Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 12.16.15

TEAMSTERS
Flexjet and Flight Options Pilots Vote to Join Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...Pilots at luxury on-demand air travel companies Flexjet and Flight Options voted today to join the Teamsters Union. Following the vote tallied by the National Mediation Board, the 670 pilots in the class will join Teamsters Local 1108, in Richmond Heights, Ohio. On Sept. 30, 2015, the NMB determined that Flexjet and Flight Options are operating as a single transportation system for representation purposes under the Railway Labor Act...
Teamsters Protest Closure of MillerCoors Plant in Eden  TWC News  ...Teamsters from Local 391 rallied Tuesday in support of the more than 500 employees from the MillersCoors plant that will be losing their jobs in the new year. The plant in Eden is set to close in late 2016 because of what company officials say is "logistics." Facilities in Virgina and Florida will take over Eden's responsibilities. Teamsters say there is no reason for the plant to close...
In Memoriam: Ralph Taurone, Teamster Leader  Teamster.org  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is saddened to announce the passing of Ralph J. Taurone, a beloved member of the Teamster family, on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Taurone began his Teamster career in 1964 when he was initiated into Local 282, New York, while employed as a construction driver. In 1965 he moved to Chicago and became a member of Local 710...
Mediation to Resume Tuesday, But Coca-Cola Trashes Retroactivity, Adds Pitiful Health Care Increases in Latest Proposal  Local 727  ...Coca-Cola Refreshments abruptly broke off negotiations on Monday night with Local 727 and asked to resume mediation on Tuesday, December 15. After the union had already told the company it was willing to negotiate into the night, Local 727 agreed to return Tuesday. Coca-Cola wasted another six hours engaging in delay tactics...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
New Zealand Bunnings workers go on strike, union warns Christmas shoppers will be disrupted  Stuff.co.nz  ...As many as 850 Bunnings staff will go on strike on Wednesday afternoon, with more industrial action planned as the dispute continues. Workers from 21 stores, mostly across the North Island, voted to strike for the day after a morning meeting. Staff from a further seven stores will meet on Friday and decide whether to take similar action...
Speaker Ryan: House vote ‘very possible’ in 2016 on Obama’s trade bill  Washington Post  ...Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that it is "very possible" that the House could vote on President Obama's Pacific Rim trade accord next year, providing hope for the administration after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested last week that the pact should be delayed until a new president takes office. Ryan (R-Wis.) did not specify a timetable...
White House says optimistic Congress will back TPP trade pact  Reuters  ...The White House said on Tuesday it was optimistic Congress would back the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact "in timely fashion" and that it will work with Republican congressional leaders to that end. "We continue to be optimistic that this is something that Congress can and should do in a timely fashion," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a White House briefing...
Pena Nieto Pushes Labor Reforms, But Unions Still See Shortcomings  MyInforms  ...Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has newly pledged to carry out labor rights reforms in two areas identified as critical by House Democrats and U.S. labor unions in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) debate, but labor advocates are already questioning the extent to which the promised steps will really represent meaningful change...
8 Terrible Things About the Trans-Pacific Partnership  In These Times  ...Progressive public-interest organizations say that the final text, the fruit of seven years of secretive trade talks between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries, dashed even their low expectations. The deal not only continues most of the troubling features of trade agreements since NAFTA but also breaks worrisome new ground. Like most recent international economic agreements, the TPP only glancingly resembles a classic trade deal...
How the GOP Is Diverting Our Attention Away from the TPP  (opinion) Alternet  ...GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stokes the fire by urging Americans to blame anyone but corporations and corporate honchos like himself. One-percenter Trump and his fellow GOP candidates exhort average Americans to hate and fear Muslims, Syrian refugees, Black Lives Matter activists and undocumented immigrants. Division and diversion help the one percent secure policies like trickle-down economics and job-destroying trade deals...
Hopes of a global trade deal remain low as WTO meets in Nairobi  The Guardian  ...Fourteen years of tortuous global trade talks will end in failure this week unless there is a sudden and unexpected end to the impasse between developed and developing countries that has bedevilled negotiations. Hopes are low of a breakthrough at the World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting that begins in Nairobi on Tuesday, with the US openly calling for time to be called on the Doha round of talks that began in the Qatari capital in November 2001...
Global Trade Faces Fragmentation Risks From TPP, TTIP, TiSA  Sputnik News  ...The United States and the European Union launched secretive trade and services deregulation talks with other countries, outside the framework of the WTO, as the Doha Development Agenda stalled in 2008 amid disagreement between advanced and developing nations over agriculture, services and tariffs...
Portugal's New Govt Starts Reversing Austerity Measures  ABC  ...Portugal's new anti-austerity government is making good on its promise to put more money in people's pockets, reducing or eliminating for most families a 3.5 percent super tax on monthly pay introduced during the country's financial crisis. Fernando Rocha Andrade, secretary of state for fiscal affairs, said Tuesday the tax will be eliminated next year for households with income below 7,000 euros...
Slave-peeled shrimp tied to major retailers, restaurants  CNBC  ...Poor migrant workers and children are being sold to factories in Thailand and forced to peel shrimp that ends up in global supply chains, including those of Wal-Mart and Red Lobster, the world's largest retailer and the world's largest seafood restaurant chain, an Associated Press investigation found. At the Gig Peeling Factory, nearly 100 Burmese laborers were trapped, most working for almost nothing...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
After LePage’s Anti-Poor Crusade, Maine Could Face Giant Fine Over Food Stamp Gridlock  Think Progress  ...Maine’s efficiency at processing food stamps applications has gotten so bad that the United States Department of Agriculture is warning Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) team to fix things fast or get hit with significant penalties. Maine ranked 36th out of 53 administrative units in processing speed for food stamps back in 2014, but has now slipped all the way down to last...
California lawmaker sets up debate over next big issue in the 'gig' economy  Business Journal  ...Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez offered a glimpse Monday of what could be the next chapter in a battle involving workers in the so-called gig economy. Upcoming legislation would allow those workers to collectively bargain for rights like health care – even if they aren’t unionized...
California’s Medicaid Program May Be Failing 7.3 Million Latinos  Think Progress  ...California is failing its low-income residents by declining to attract doctors who can treat people enrolled in its Medicaid program, according to a civil rights complaint filed with the federal government this week.
Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid health program for low-income residents, provides free medical care for about 30 percent of the state’s population, including nearly 7.3 million Latinos...
Paid Sick Leave Set To Go Statewide In Oregon  KPLU  ...More Oregon employees will be able to take sick leave in the coming year. It's because of a new law taking effect in January. If you already get sick leave in Oregon this law probably won't affect you. But advocates for the bill, which narrowly passed both legislative chambers in June, said many low-wage workers have to choose between taking unpaid time off or going to work sick...
Trial over redistricting in NC gets underway  WNCN  ...A trial over redistricting in North Carolina began Wednesday morning in federal court. A federal judge will decide if General Assembly drawn maps are constitutional. The trial has been about four years in the making, which is when the maps were drawn. Democrats say Republicans used race as a reason to draw the maps and have been fighting to have them overturned...
Airport employers seek new hearing on SeaTac minimum wage  Seattle Times  ...There’s some good news and bad news for workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport who’ve been looking for a bump up to $15 in minimum wage for the last two years. The good news: Most, since August, have been getting paid $15.24 an hour, according to an attorney for the group that backed the minimum-wage law. The bad news: The legal wrangling over whether the minimum-wage law should apply at the airport has gained new life...
Missouri Lawmaker Wants To Revoke Scholarships If Athletes Protest  Huffington Post  ...Legislation introduced in Missouri would strip college athletes of their scholarships if they refuse to play for any reason "unrelated to health." The proposal, filed Friday by state Rep. Rick Brattin, comes a month after the University of Missouri was roiled by protests in which 30 black football players refused to show up unless President Tim Wolfe resigned...
Ill. Village Becomes State’s First ‘Right to Work’ Zone  CBS  ...Illinois has its first “right to work zone” after a vote  by trustees in a Chicago suburb. But a legal challenge is expected to follow. The village board of Lincolnshire passed an ordinance Monday to prevent local private sector employers from requiring workers to join a union or pay dues through payroll deductions...

U.S. LABOR
Trump’s Vegas Hotel Refuses To Recognize Its Workers’ Union  Think Progress  ...Just 24 hours before billionaire frontrunner Donald Trump took the stage for the fifth GOP debate, the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas launched a legal challenge to its 500-odd workers’ effort to form a union. After a year of organizing, much of it in secret, a narrow majority of the workers voted earlier this month to join the Culinary Workers Union and Bartenders Union, which are part of the national hospitality workers union Unite Here...
In Landslide Election, University of Chicago Adjuncts Vote to Form Union  In These Times  ...In a landslide election, University of Chicago non-tenure track faculty voted to form a union last week—becoming the first faculty to unionize in the Faculty Forward Chicago movement that has seen growing support at universities across the city. On December 9, contingent faculty, largely representing the Humanities Division, voted 96-22 in favor of a bargaining unit that will be represented by Service Employees International Union's Local 73...
Kohler Co., UAW reach tentative deal  Sheboygan Press  ...Kohler Co. and the United Auto Workers Local 833 jointly released a press release Tuesday at 10:34 p.m. to announce they have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract that would resolve the more than month-long labor dispute. In the press release, the two sides say the new agreement "features increased wages and benefits"...
Suburban building owners & custodians reach new contract  Business Journal  ...Suburban office building landlords and the union representing roughly 1,400 janitors reached a new contract Tuesday night that puts workers' wages just shy of their desired rate. Members of the 32BJ Service Employees International Union and the Building Operators Labor Relations group, which represents the owners of about 170 suburban Philadelphia properties, agreed to raise wages...
AFSCME local OKs contract with UI  News Gazette  ...Members of a large employee union at the University of Illinois have approved a new three-year contract with the Urbana campus after 16 months of negotiations. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3700 voted overwhelmingly to accept the terms of the tentative agreement reached last month, union officials said...
Democrats resist provision blocking NLRB's joint employer ruling  Reuters  ...U.S. congressional Democrats are beating back a Republican push to defang a National Labor Relations Board decision that could give unions greater bargaining power with large companies that rely on franchisees or contractors, a Senate Democratic aide said on Tuesday. The aide, who asked not to be identified, said that for now, a government funding and tax policy bill was unlikely to contain a provision that would basically strike down the "Browning-Ferris Industries" NLRB ruling from earlier this year...
King Soopers reaches deal with 10,000 union workers  9 News  ...The King Soopers grocery chain said it's reached a new labor deal with 10,000 union employees in Colorado. Kroger Co., parent of the Denver-based grocery chain, said the 10,000 UFCW Local 7 workers at 103 King Soopers and City Market stores in the state have ratified new labor agreements...
Senate workers win raise in new contract — but not quite ‘$15 and a union’  Washington Post  ...The blue-collar workers who serve meals to U.S. senators, their staff and Capitol visitors have won a significant increase in wages under a new contract that took effect Monday. The agreement with Restaurant Associates, the private contractor that operates the Senate’s cafeteria, private dining room and other facilities, stands to help raise the living standards for dozens of workers...
Ashland's Largest Employer to Lay Off 620 Just Before Christmas  The Levisa Lazer  ...Layoffs at AK Steel’s manufacturing plant in Ashland, Ky., are being called devastating for the community by the president of the union representing hourly steel workers. As of now, the union leader says plans are moving forward to temporarily idle the blast furnace and related steelmaking operations at Ashland Works. Company leaders blame cuts on rising levels of unfairly traded steel imports to the United States...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Congress reaches deal on spending bill to fund federal government  Daily Kos  ...Congressional leaders released their long-negotiated omnibus spending bill Tuesday evening, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan touting Republican wins that seem less than great victories. What's out—any restrictions on the implementation of net neutrality, along with Planned Parenthood defunding and the Iraqi and Syrian refugee ban...
Defending immigration, Obama says Muslim refugees are like Catholics in 1900  USA Today  ... President Obama delivered a full-throated defense of a liberal immigration policy Tuesday, saying, America betrays its history and its values when it fails to welcome those fleeing poverty, hunger, war and persecution from all over the world. Speaking at a naturalization ceremony for 31 new American citizens at the National Archives, Obama compared the current wave of immigrants to the waves of German, Scottish, Irish and German immigrants of the past...
GOP Debate: Trump Defends Muslim Ban, Other Candidates Debate How to Restrict Rights & Go to War  Democracy Now  ...The nine leading Republican presidential candidates squared off last night in the first debate since Donald Trump shook up the race by proposing to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Much of the debate focused on national security, with several candidates pushing for increasing the size of the U.S. military, escalating the wars in the Middle East and expanding the power of the National Security Agency...
Donald Trump Details Plan To Close ‘Areas’ Of The Internet  Think Progress  ...Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump followed up on his promise to close parts of the internet in order to fight ISIS radicalization, offering his most specific idea yet in the GOP debate Tuesday night.
When explicitly asked if he would take similar steps as repressive governments in China and North Korea to censor the internet, Trump said he would seal off the internet from places at war with America, since the internet was “our idea”...
Lawmakers 'Fail the Internet,' Sneak Cyber Bill Into Must-Pass Omnibus  Common Dreams  ...A controversial cyber bill is included in the final text of the must-pass "omnibus" spending deal to be voted on in U.S. Congress this week, even as civil liberties advocates warn it is nothing more than an expansion of government surveillance powers in disguise. This means the bill is likely to pass "without meaningful debate or transparency on the final text," digital rights group Fight for the Future said Wednesday...
The Kochs’ kind of welfare: “Outreach” to the poor is just another power grab for the billionaire brothers  Salon  ...Not content with having built their own parallel economy and their own parallel political party, the Koch brothers have also started to build their own parallel welfare state, Politico’s Ken Vogel reports. According to Vogel, the Kochs’ new beneficence is inspired, at least in part, by a desire to present “a more compassionate side of the brothers’ politics to new audiences, while fighting the perception that their groups are merely fronts for rich Republicans...

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