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Today's Teamster News For January 27, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Call on Legislators to Extend Assault Benefits on DOC Lobby Day  Local 117  ...The power of Teamster correctional employees was on full display in Olympia today. Over 150 members and their families, along with Teamster staff and members from other industries, met with dozens of legislators as a part of our DOC Lobby Day. Ensuring that Teamsters at DOC who are seriously injured in an assault have the benefits they need to continue to provide for their families was the day’s number one priority...

Jewel Members Respond to Angering Proposal from Employer  Local 710  ...The Teamsters Local 710 Bargaining Committee met in Park Ridge for a marathon session today to discuss how the membership reacted to Jewel’s proposal from last week and to respond with new and modified proposals. The union was prepared at 11:00, but the employer was not ready to begin until 11:30. Each member of the Local 710 committee members opened today’s session by first relaying to the company that their initial proposal overwhelmingly angered and insulted the membership...

Truck Drivers Suing XPO Subsidiaries for Misclassification  Global Trade  ...Three subsidiary companies of XPO Logistics Inc. are being sued for misclassification of workers as independent contractors, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The three trucking businesses in question are Pacer Cartage Inc., PDS Transportation Inc. and Harbor Rental Transport...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Argentina orders halt to LATAM Airlines workers' strike  Reuters  ...Argentina's labor ministry ordered striking aviation employees to resume wage talks with LATAM Airlines and return to work, a ministry official said on Tuesday, after their walkout grounded four flights out of Buenos Aires' main airport. The workers, who belong to Argentina's Union of Commercial Airline Senior and Professional Personnel, went on strike at dawn at Ezeiza International Airport over stalled pay negotiations...

Refugees Are Being Forced to Work in McDonalds Without Pay  US Uncut  ...A cleaning company contracting with McDonalds franchises in Switzerland duped refugees into working for free for months, telling them that their unpaid labor would lead to a residence permit, according to the Swiss newspaper Work (Workzeitung). Top Clean Multi Services contracted with Gemacona SA, which operates 9 different McDonalds franchises in Geneva, Switzerland...

Morocco Teacher Trainees March for Dignity and Justice  Solidarity Center  ...Thousands of teacher trainees, holding banners reading “Marching for dignity and justice,” and chanting “We’re prepared to go to prison,” marched through the streets of Morocco’s capital, Rabat, this week to denounce two government decrees to cut scholarships and jobs. The protest followed a meeting between representatives of the teacher trainees and the government...

Portugal Workers Stage Strike for Quicker End to Austerity  ABC  ...Portugal's new Socialist government is facing its first strike, with one of the biggest public sector trade unions saying Wednesday its members will walk off the job to force a quicker rollback of austerity measures. The 24-hour strike Friday by the Common Front, an umbrella organization that represents about half the country's more than 600,000 government workers, is likely to cause disruption...

Anger as government blocks TTIP legal documents relating to health service  The Guardian  ...The controversial trade deal between Europe and the US has come under further fire after campaigners accused the government of blocking access to legal advice that shows its impact on the health service. Campaigners warned on Tuesday that the legal documents could reveal the extent to which private health companies can sue the government...

Malaysian lawmakers approve TPP deal  Channel News Asia  ... After two days of debate, Malaysian Members of Parliament on Wednesday (Jan 27) approved the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) agreement. The lower house of Malaysia's parliament approved the deal with 127 MPsvoting  in favour of the country's involvement in the TPP, while 84 MPs opposed it...

New Zealand protesters to march against Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement  Stuff  ...Blenheim protesters will join a nationwide last-ditch effort to delay the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on Saturday. A series of rallies have been organised across the country ahead of the signing of the trade agreement in Auckland on February 4. Jacqui Clayton, co-organiser of the Blenheim protest, said she was concerned about the involvement of big corporations in the formation of the TPPA...

Will Hillary Clinton Push Fellow Democratic Supporters To Oppose The TPP? (opinion)  NH Labor News  ...Yesterday, the Bernie Sanders campaign hit Hillary Clinton on her newly adopted position opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If Clinton wants to prove that she is as whole-heartedly against the TPP as she claims, there is something she can do to prove it and would generate more grassroots labor support for her Presidential campaign...

Four reasons the global economy is completely screwed  Salon  ...A fresh blast of cold air swept across global financial and commodity markets on Wednesday, raising fears that the world economy could be heading toward a recession — one perhaps even bigger than the last one. Further falls in crude oil prices were the catalyst for the widespread sell-off as investors from New York to London dumped stocks...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Ban on lobbyist gifts passes Missouri House committee  Kansas City Star  ...Missouri lobbyists no longer could dole out gifts to legislators and other public officials under a proposal that passed unanimously out of a House committee on Tuesday. Gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers are unlimited under current law. Hermann Republican Rep. Justin Alferman’s measure would prohibit that...

Documents allege Right to Work’s involvement in Montana elections  Bozeman Daily  ...Thousands of newly uncovered documents and recently filed court records bolster already mounting evidence tying the anti-union National Right to Work Committee to the political activities of conservative nonprofit groups accused of improperly coordinating Republican legislative primary campaigns in Montana...

Pro 'Right to Work' Politicians in West Virginia Attack Working People on the State Senate Floor  AFLCIO  ...West Virginia state Sen. Robert Karnes (R) doesn't think too highly of every day working people trying to create a better life and earn wages to sustain a family on. In fact, he called the concerned citizens who attended a recent "Right to Work" bill debate "free riders." Karnes is one of the republicans in leadership in the West Virginia Senate pushing a bill that out-of-state corporate CEOs just love...

North Carolina’s voter ID law on trial  MSNBC  ...Does North Carolina’s voter ID law illegally discriminate against African-Americans and Latinos? That question is at the center of a trial over the law held this week in a federal courtroom in Winston-Salem. If the law is upheld, it could make voting harder this fall in the Tar Heel State, which figures to be pivotal in the presidential race. And it could give a green light to other states considering similarly restrictive voting laws...

Prevailing wage repeal effort ready for WV House vote  WV Gazette-Mail  ...Legislation to repeal West Virginia’s 81-year-old Prevailing Wage Act (HB 4005) will be up for a passage vote in the House of Delegates today, after Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, quashed an amendment to instead suspend the wage-rate scales for five years. Armstead ruled that the amendment, offered by Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, and other Democrats, was not germane to the bill...

Minimum-wage hike, paid medical leave among Ohio Democrats’ priorities  Columbus Dispatch  ...Ohio legislative Democrats rolled out their economic agenda today, including a bump in the minimum wage, paid medical leave and efforts to end gender pay disparities. “We need to refocus state government’s efforts away from chasing political headlines in national campaigns to policy solutions that create a path to economic stability for working people"...

Senate Committee Ready To Pass Paid Sick Leave Bill  VPR  ...Vermont lawmakers are debating a bill that would require businesses to offer paid sick days, and we'll look at the pros and cons. Last year, the Vermont House passed H. 187, an act "relating to absence from work for health care and safety." Now, the bill is in the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs, which will likely vote in favor of it on Wednesday morning...

 

U.S. LABOR

CWA to Stump Against Altice-Cablevision  Multichannel  ...The Communications Workers of America said it will testify against the the MSO's proposed acquisition by European telco Altice around the state over the next several weeks. CWA has already registered its unhappiness with the deal with the Federal Communications Commission, suggesting the debt involved in the transaction — $8.6 billion — will lead to downsizing, and pointing to issues with contractors and outsourcing...

Workers, lawyers, NLRB team up to expose Menard's union busting  People's World  ...There had long been rumors that Menard's employee handbooks forced his managers contractually to automatically dock their own pay 60 percent if a union formed under their jurisdiction, along with harsh rules if they "let workers gossip" about working conditions. Legalese imposed amazingly broad "liquid damages" against workers' pay, to be determined by binding private arbitration, even long after a worker left the company...

AFSCME members' back pay to be delayed  News-Gazette  ...About 1,750 union employees who ratified new contracts with the University of Illinois more than a month ago will have to wait a bit longer to get their back pay. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Locals 3700 and 698 approved their new three-year agreements in December after working more than 15 months without a contract...

Union asks for arbitration in dispute with Mondelez  Just-Food  ...The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union has asked for court intervention over claims that Mondelez International is flouting collective bargaining agreements at its Nabisco production facility in Chicago. The union has called for arbitration over Mondelez's alleged use of non-union employees in bargaining unit positions...

UConn Staff Union Agrees To Raises, 40-Hour Workweek  Courant  ...The University of Connecticut has reached a tentative agreement with its largest labor union, guaranteeing its employees an average wage increase of at least 3.2 percent over each of the next five years. In exchange, the 1,900 members of the UConn Professional Employees Association will begin working a 40-hour week, up from the current 35-hour workweek...

Staples Lays Off Hundreds of Employees  Fortune  ...Staples Inc. on Monday laid off hundreds of corporate employees, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. “It was a bloodbath,” says one source, who adds that pink slips were handed to both senior and junior employees. Company spokesman Kirk Saville declined to confirm or deny the layoffs...

Assaulted On The Job, Prison Staff Want Time Limit On Benefits Lifted  NW News Network  ...Washington has a program that awards prison staff their full salary if they miss work because of an inmate assault. However, that benefit runs out after a year. A bipartisan proposal in the legislature would lift that cap. McPherson said a colleague of his lost two years of work after ripping his pectoral muscle breaking up an inmate fight...

Labor Goes South  American Prospect  ...Some signs of life have emerged from the Southern labor movement—not so much in workplace organizing, but in political victories at the municipal level. From the Piedmont to the Gulf Coast, emboldened by the surprising momentum of the Fight for $15. A small number of unions persist in workplace-organizing campaigns, most prominently the United Auto Workers in the factories of German and Japanese automakers. But what’s new in labor’s approach to the South is its focus on cities...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Loyola Students Face Discipline for On-Campus Protest, Say Univ. Violating Social Justice Commitment  In These Times  ...The “Loyola 4,” along with Loyola’s entire student government, are being charged with disruption and harassment of a staff member over a November 20 demonstration for higher wages for unionized food service workers, which they helped organize and lead. If found guilty, they face probation and even suspension from the university...

Flint: they poisoned a city and insulted the victims  Socialist Worker  ...The criminal decision was made with the aim of inflicting the Republicans' fanatical austerity agenda--through cost-cutting and/or privatization--on an already devastated city. Water from the river quickly caused corrosion and damage to the city's pipes, releasing lead into the water that flowed into the city's homes, businesses and public buildings...

Charter School Insiders Now Admit Public Education Can't Be Remade In Wall St.'s Image  Alternet  ...Charter schools, which have been criticized for grabbing billions in taxpayer dollars with promises to reinvent public education using corporate efficiencies and values, are finding themselves under fire from industry insiders who are saying that these hyped market-based reforms don’t work. The criticism comes in the wake of scandals by some of the sector’s biggest for-profit players that have given the industry a bad name...

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