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Today's Teamster News 12.15.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters: Seattle Drivers Win a Voice With Historic City Council Vote  Teamster.org  ...Drivers in Seattle’s for-hire industry won the right to collectively bargain over their wages and working conditions through an initiative passed by the City Council today. The Mike O’Brien-sponsored bill will now move to the mayor’s desk for his signature. Drivers and community supporters celebrated the bill’s passage...
Seattle first U.S. city to let Uber drivers unionize  Detroit News  ...Seattle on Monday became the first city in the nation to allow drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions. Supporters erupted into cheers after the City Council voted 8-0 in favor of the legislation, which is seen as a test case for the changing 21st century workforce. The Teamsters Union Local 117 also celebrated the vote, while the National Right To Work Legal Foundation criticized it as a violation of drivers’ rights...
Teamsters Make Progress at Carhaul Talks, More Negotiations to be Scheduled  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union and carhaul employer representatives continue to discuss and exchange proposals for a new national contract that are responsive to the concerns of the membership. Based on the talks just concluded last week, we can report some tentative progress. Many of the contract proposals have been resolved, but both sides still need to focus on the economic issues. The parties have decided to suspend talks over the holidays...
AFSCME and University reach tentative contract agreement  Workday Minnesota  ...AFSCME will brief clerical and technical workers this week on a tentative contract settlement with the University of Minnesota that the union said "begins to close the gap between the haves and have-nots at the University." The union credited solidarity among its local unions and with Teamsters Local 320 for leading to a breakthrough in the six-month negotiations...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Hundreds of Myanmar Garment Workers Mark Seventh Day of Labor Strike  Radio Free Asia  ...More than 200 garment workers in Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon Monday marked the seventh day of a strike demanding full salary for November after the owner of the factory that employs them docked their pay for failing to meet production targets. The workers have been protesting since Dec. 7...
Steelworkers union calls on Canada, U.S. to reject TPP  Canadian Manufacturing  ...The executive board of the United Steelworkers have adopted a formal resolution urging Ottawa and Washington to reject the tentative Trans-Pacific Partnership. The union says the resolution is the precursor for a “fully engaged” TPP rejection campaign that will get underway in both Canada and the U.S. “The TPP will only continue the failed trade policies of the past"...
Major Summit Could Put World's Poorest Inhabitants on Corporate Chopping Block  Alternet  ...Last week, 453 civil society groups including trade unions, farmers, environmentalists, public interest groups and development advocates from over 150 countries wrote an urgent letter to members of the WTO to “express extreme alarm about the current situation of the negotiations in the WTO.” The 10th Ministerial meeting of the WTO is occurring against a backdrop of accelerated “mega-regional” comprehensive pro-corporate “trade” deals...
TPP trade agreement undercuts biologic patents  Washington Examiner  ...An important part of the deal is protection of intellectual property — including copyright, trademarks and patents — which are necessary for commercial and scientific innovation. The biggest obstacle to congressional approval, however, appears to be the deal's inadequate protection of intellectual property in "biologic" medicines...
Trans-Pacific Partnership Takes a Hit  Hoosier Ag Today  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal recently suffered a huge setback after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview Congress should not take up the trade deal before the November elections. McConnell told the Washington Post that President Obama would be making a big mistake by pushing for a vote on TPP during the election cycle...
Don’t Be Misled; The TPP Is Still Coming Full Steam  (opinion) OurFuture.org  ...Recently there have been news reports that Republicans are going to delay TPP until after the 2016 elections. Do not be misled; this is a bargaining ploy. They want the Obama administration to make “side agreements” that give corporations even more. We have to keep up the fight, and keep getting the word out. People opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “trade” agreement have recently had their hopes lifted...
India's October tea output drops 7% as workers strike  Economic Times  ...India's tea production in key October month dropped 7 per cent from a year earlier to 158.06 million kg, the state-run Tea Board said in a statement, as a strike called by plantation workers in southern India hit plucking. Production in the southern state of Kerala, where plantation workers went on strike demanding higher wages, dropped 60 percent...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Right-Wing GOP Governor Succeeds in Making More People Go Hungry  Alternet  ...Maine's Gov. Paul LePage can now claim the proud policy achievement of making more needy people go hungry.   David Farmer reports in Daily Bangor News that during LePage's administration, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which administers SNAP benefits, has been so badly mismanaged it risks losing federal funding. The USDA also admonished the organization for failing to process applications in a timely way...
Amid $15 debate, tipped workers call for one minimum wage  Times Union  ...If state lawmakers approve a raise for all workers during the next legislative session, those earning tips say it’s time to dismantle the state’s two-tiered wage system. In a letter sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United Co-Founder and Co-Director Saru Jayaraman called on the governor to move to abolish the separate tipped minimum wage for certain workers in the restaurant and hospitality industries...
New state laws address gender pay gap, child care, disability leave  SF Chronicle  ...About three dozen employment laws take effect in California next year, including ones that bolster equal-pay protections, help workers with chronic health conditions and give parents unpaid time off to research schools and deal with child care emergencies. The most significant law on an annual list put out by the California Chamber of Commerce is SB358, the widely publicized Fair Pay Act...
Senate’s Motives At Issue As Redistricting Trial Starts  CBS  ...The decisions prompting state Senate leaders to choose a redistricting plan they recommended to a Leon County judge took center stage Monday, the first day of a trial to determine whether that map should go to the Florida Supreme Court. Circuit Judge George Reynolds has the task of recommending to the Supreme Court either the Senate’s redistricting proposal or one of several plans offered by a coalition of voting-rights groups...
Lincolnshire creates right-to-work zone that unions oppose  Daily Herald  ...Lincolnshire has become the first town in the Chicago area to establish itself as a right-to-work zone, a move critics have assailed as anti-union. t's also a move experts say is sure to face a legal challenge. To create the zone, the village board approved an ordinance preventing local employers from requiring workers to pay union dues with payroll deductions...

U.S. LABOR
Detroit casino workers ratify new contract  Detroit Free Press  ...Workers at Detroit's three casinos ratified a new five-year contract Sunday — ending months of contentious and complicated negotiations and providing relief to thousands of workers. Joe Daugherty, president of Unite Here Local 24 and head of the bargaining committee for a group of unions, said in an e-mail that a majority of workers at all three casinos approved the contract...
UAW-Nexteer workers to vote on second deal  Detroit News  ...UAW Local 699 President Rick Burzynski believes a second tentative agreement reached with Nexteer Automotive addresses concerns that led to a 20-hour strike and 97 percent of membership rejecting a first deal. “We pretty much addressed everything that our workers wanted,” he said Monday morning, a week after workers walked off their jobs and picketed the Chinese-owned auto supplier...
NLRB certifies VW Chattanooga election results  Times Free Press  ...The National Labor Relations Board has certified the results of the United Auto Workers election held at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant on Dec. 3 and 4. Maintenance, or skilled trades, workers at the plant agreed to be represented by the UAW for collective bargaining purposes by a margin of 108 to 44...
Progress made in UAW, Kohler talks  Sheboygan Press  ...The Kohler Co. strike has entered its fifth week, with more talks scheduled for today between the company and the United Auto Workers Local 833. Union officials weren’t immediately available for comment Monday morning but posted on the UAW Local 833 Facebook page on Friday, Dec. 11, that there was “good movement in talks with the company today”...
IBEW 125 members ratify contract at Pacificorp  NW Labor Press  ...In votes counted Dec. 14, members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125 approved a new four-year contract with Pacific Power by a 72 percent margin. Local 125’s previous collective bargaining agreement with Pacific Power expired Jan. 26, 2015. In June and again in August, members voted down company proposals by overwhelming margins, and on Sept. 1, 2015, they authorized the union to call a strike...
Chicago Teachers Union’s Overwhelming Approval of Strike Shows Power of Bottom-up Organizing  In These Times  ...The numbers are in from the Chicago Teachers Union's strike authorization vote, and it's not even close. After three days of voting last week, 22,678 of the union's 24,752 eligible members cast ballots, and 96.05 percent of them voted “yes”—88 percent of all CTU members. The nation's third-largest — and arguably most important — teachers union has sent a clear message that they are willing to walk off the job amid their current round of contract negotiations...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
New rule: Truck drivers must electronically record hours  Newsday  ...An estimated 3 million commercial truck and bus drivers must electronically record their hours behind the wheel under a new government rule aimed at enforcing regulations designed to prevent fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the long-awaited rule on Thursday. Drivers have been required to keep paper logs of their hours dating back to 1938...
After Paris, There Is Some Room for Hope  The Nation  ... it will undoubtedly be many years before renewable forms of energy—wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and others still in development—replace fossil fuels as the world’s leading energy providers. Nonetheless, 2015 can be viewed as the year in which the epochal transition from one set of fuels to another took off, with renewables making such significant strides...
On policing, the national mood turns toward reform  Washington Post  ...In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired his police chief and faces a growing clamor for his resignation. In Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired her police chief and abandoned plans to seek reelection. And in San Francisco, protesters are demanding the head of yet another police chief, prompting Mayor Edwin Lee to vow last week to overhaul police procedures regarding deadly force...
A Tense Baltimore Braces for A Verdict  The Atlantic  ...As the jury prepares to deliver a verdict in the trial of the first of six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore police department is taking pains to reach out to the community and signal that it is ready to respond to any outcome, including protest. Community activists, meanwhile, say that distrust of the police still runs deep...
Robert Reich: Why the Middle Class Is in Revolt and Susceptible to a Dangerous 'Strongman'  Alternet  ...Now someone comes along who’s even more of a bully than those who for years have bullied them economically, politically, and even violently. The attraction is understandable, even though misguided. If not Donald Trump, then it will be someone else posing as a strongman. If not this election cycle, it will be the next one. The revolt of the anxious class has just begun...
Flood of Anti-Muslim Violence Driving Record Year for Crimes of Hate  Common Dreams  ...2015 is shaping up to be "one of the most intensely anti-Muslim periods in American history," according to reports, as increasing xenophobia and hateful rhetoric has propelled a record number of attacks on mosques and Islamic centers across the U.S...

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