Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 12.11.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters, Activists Deliver Thousands of Signed Petitions to UPS Calling for Withdrawal from ALEC  Teamster.org  ...Today, Teamsters Union representatives in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Ga. led delegations that included environmental and community activists that delivered thousands signed petitions to UPS offices in both cities. The 75,000 signed petitions collected call on the corporation to withdraw its membership in the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)...
Hoffa: Final Customs Bill Offers Little More to Make TPP Better for Workers  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the issuance of a House-Senate conference report on a customs reauthorization bill that does little to address the many shortfalls contained in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): “If leaders in Congress were trying to come up with a way to make trade fair for American workers and those around the globe, they failed miserably"...
Drivers at Transdev Vote to Join Teamsters Local 117  Local 117  ...Drivers, who are employed by Transdev, have voted to join Teamsters Local 117. The 260 workers came together seeking retirement security, affordable health care, fair and equal treatment, strong representation, and respect. “We’ve taken a very important step toward making our work environment better for the future,” said John Secord, a 4-year Transdev employee...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Paris Transport Workers Strike Amid Spike In Suspicious Package Claims  IBTimes  ...Less than a month since the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 and fueled international concerns over security, Paris transport workers are expressing their concerns for their own safety. Workers went on a 24-hour strike Thursday, saying security concerns have increased as a result of a high number of suspicious packages being reported on Paris public transportation, the Agence France-Presse reported. Passengers in Paris reported severely disrupted train traffic...
McConnell deals blow to Obama TPP hopes  The Hill  ...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday crushed any hope that Congress could pass a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade agreement before the 2016 elections. McConnell, who has expressed concerns about the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and has yet to take a stance, said President Obama is risking defeat of his signature trade deal if he tries to push for passage before a lame-duck session next year...
Honduras and CAFTA Show Us One of the Key Reasons Why TPP Should Be Opposed  (opinion) AFLCIO  ...This week, the governments of Honduras and the United States signed an action plan to begin addressing the widespread failure to enforce labor laws in Honduras. While this is a small step in the right direction, the Honduran government has not fully considered or included workers' recommendations regarding this Monitoring and Action Plan. The Honduran government, employers and unions have reached consensus on some points...
Portugal's new anti-austerity government makes more spending cuts in battle to lower deficit  Star Tribune  ...Portugal's new anti-austerity Socialist government has hit a snag: it needs to introduce more cutbacks to keep its pledge of getting the budget deficit lower than 3 percent this year, as demanded by its eurozone partners and creditors. Finance Minister Mario Centeno said after a Cabinet meeting Thursday the government is imposing a freeze on non-urgent spending...
Tunisian Unions Receive Nobel Prize in Ceremony Today  Solidarity Center  ...,The Nobel Peace Prize was formally awarded today to the Tunisian “Quartet,” which includes the country’s labor movement for its role in brokering a peaceful path to democracy. At a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, Houcine Abassi, general secretary of the Tunisian General Labor Union (Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail, UGTT) said, “Tunisia is an exception so far in the Arab Spring countries, but this doesn’t mean that it may not be replicated in other countries”...
How Climate Change Will Transform Work  The Nation  ...The term “green economy” danced around the corridors at the Paris climate talks, evoking visions of electric cars and “clean tech.” But “decarbonization” is a messier story in the Global South. Workers in the rapidly warming “developing world” need more than wind turbines and highbrow organic farms; they need to build livelihoods that can mitigate ecological crisis—and leap ahead of the dominant fossil-fuel based economies, which historically have both controlled and stifled their development...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Connecticut Legislature Approves Budget Cuts  Wall Street Journal  ...Lawmakers in Connecticut on Tuesday approved a $350 million plan to address a shortfall in the state’s budget. The state Senate, controlled by Democrats, passed the bill 20-15. The House of Representatives, also controlled by Democrats, passed it 75-65. The plan cuts spending by $195.8 million and diverts $135.7 million from several specialized accounts, including the transportation fund...
Senate moves Pennsylvania budget fight into House's court  WTAE  ...The Pennsylvania Senate sprinted through hundreds of pages of just-unveiled budget legislation Thursday, handing it back to the House Republican majority and all but ensuring that a five-month stalemate that is crippling social services agencies would plow into next week. The Republican-controlled Senate adjourned Thursday night after a marathon week of passing major bills that authorize $30.8 billion in spending...
California pension overhaul advocates move forward after Kamala Harris issues analyses  Sac Bee  ...California moved one step closer to a public retirement fight after the state issued official summaries for two pension-change ballot proposals on Thursday – and for the first time neither labor unions nor the measures’ proponents griped that the language was politically slanted or inaccurate. “It’s not the most positive way to describe the initiative,” said Chuck Reed, the former San Jose mayor who is backing the proposal...

‘Right to work’ a tired, failed proposal  (opinion) Cincinnati.com  ...Here in Ohio, a broad coalition of working people is mobilizing against yet another attack on collective bargaining. Even though “right to work” has failed repeatedly in the past, Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Mount Lookout, is pushing a new bill in the statehouse. It’s an effort to keep middle-class Ohioans from speaking up together for wages and benefits that can sustain our families...

Tucson talks of requiring paid sick leave from employers  Arizona Daily Star  ...The City Council is studying a proposal to require all Tucson employers to give earned sick days to employees, but the issue got off to a shaky start. Councilwoman Regina Romero proposed a city ordinance Tuesday making sick time mandatory as part of a “working family agenda,” but the discussion got heated and turned to whether the city can spend time on social justice issues while it’s trying to get its own fiscal house in order...

U.S. LABOR
Uber drivers get big boost in lawsuit against company  SF Chronicle  ...In a major setback for Uber, a federal judge on Wednesday dramatically expanded the scope — both in potential financial damages and in the number of people affected — of a class-action lawsuit by California drivers seeking to be reclassified as employees. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled that even drivers who accepted mandatory arbitration in their Uber contract should be included in the case...
Negotiations Resume Between Kohler Company, Striking Workers  CBS  ...Negotiations resumed between Kohler company and union officials on Thursday, according to UAW Local 833 members. The 2,000 striking employees got their final paycheck at the end of last week from the company. Some will also have their vacation time paid out, members said...
Suburban office janitors rally for $15 wage as contract expiration looms  Business Journal  ...Dozens of janitors who staff more than 150 suburban Philadelphia office buildings called for a wage that would give their children a Christmas they deserve in a demonstration Thursday outside Vanguard's Malvern offices. Members of the 32BJ Service Employees International Union want the owners of the approximately 170 properties in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties to agree to raise their wage...
D.C. Streetcar Management Found Guilty of Threatening Workers  DC Labor  ...As news surfaced that the beleaguered DC Streetcar will not be ready this year and an exposé showed that the project has drained more than $200 million in taxpayer funds, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that the private DDOT contractor charged with operating the streetcar engaged in illegal anti-union activity, including threatening workers who wanted to join a union. The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) says the decision is a legal victory...
The Tipping Point: Most Americans No Longer Are Middle Class  NPR  ...Americans have long lived in a nation made up primarily of middle-class families, neither rich nor poor, but comfortable enough. This year, that changed, according to the Pew Research Center. A just-released analysis of government data shows that as of 2015, middle-income households have become the minority...
Proposed House and Senate Bills Would Roll Back New Worker Protections in Guestworker Program  In These Times  ..After years of legal battles, the H-2B guestworker program finally acquired official rules in April. For the first time, workers in the program were guaranteed basic protections like minimum hours and local average wages. But now those rules are being challenged in several Congressional bills. The proposed bills could dramatically alter the program, cutting protections for U.S. and foreign workers alike...

UC Berkeley Workers, Students Say University’s Subcontracted Campus Jobs Mean Poverty Wages  In These Times  ...Twenty-two student protesters were arrested on December 3 after staging a two-hour occupation of the central administration offices at the University of California, Berkeley. The protesters stormed California Hall, where school head Chancellor Nicholas Dirks is headquartered, and sat down in the office lobby demanding living wages and benefits for workers employed by private contractors on campus...
After Laquan McDonald’s Shooting, Chicago Targets Police Contract Protections  Mother Jones  ...The Fraternal Order of Police contract with the city shapes how Chicago handles police misconduct allegations, disciplines rank-and-file officers, as well as when the city pays legal costs for police officers accused of wrongdoing. While activists have long called for changes to the contract, many people in local government have not been eager to take on that fight—until now...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Report Shows How Charter Schools Are in Business of 'Privatization and Profiteering'  Common Dreams  ...The explosion of charter schools in the U.S. is allowing individuals, corporations, and organizations to use public funds to secure their own financial gain and private profit—often at the expense of the common interest they claim to serve, a new policy brief from the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder finds...
Immigration official: Etowah immigration detainee hunger strike over  AL.com  ...A hunger strike by immigration detainees at the Etowah County Detention Center that began the day before Thanksgiving has ended, immigration officials say. Bryan Cox, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said eight detainees ate the evening meal Wednesday and "voluntarily ended their strike." "As of today the Etowah hunger strike is over," Cox said Wednesday...
Climate Apartheid: Greenpeace Chief Says Poorest Suffer Brunt of Rich Nations' Emissions  Democracy Now  ...Representatives from nearly 200 nations are in the final stretch of negotiations at the U.N. climate summit in Paris. The text has nearly 100 outstanding points of disagreement that still need to be resolved. One of the most contentious issues is the role that wealthy and more advanced developing countries should play in helping vulnerable nations cope with the impacts of climate change...
Poll: Majority of Americans oppose Trump's Muslim ban plan  Daily Kos  ...Poll: Majority of Americans oppose Trump's Muslim ban plan. There are sharp differences by political party. Just over half of Republicans responding -- 54 percent -- support such a ban, while most Democrats and independents do not...
Hundreds of U.S. Groups Join Forces to Stand Against 'Dangerous Tide of Hatred, Violence'  Common Dreams  ...It is incumbent on every public figure, elected politician, and media outlet to stand up against the "dangerous tide of hatred, violence, and suspicion" taking hold in the United States, over 700 prominent organizations and people declared in a full-page ad in Thursday's New York Times. Signatories warn that, in particular, violence is aimed at "Arab and Muslim Americans, women and the places we seek health care, Black people, immigrants and refugees...
A Guilty Verdict for Daniel Holtzclaw  The Atlantic  ...An Oklahoma County jury handed down a series of guilty verdicts on Thursday night in the trial of former Oklahoma City Police Department officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who allegedly raped and sexually assaulted at least 13 black women in the neighborhood he patrolled. Holtzclaw, who turned 29 years old on Thursday, faced 36 charges in total...