Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For February 16, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Hall: WV Legislature Sides With Corporate Interests Over Workers  Teamster.org   ...Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer and Local 175 President Ken Hall on the West Virginia Legislature’s override of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s vetoes of so-called right-to-work and prevailing wage legislation today: “This is a dark day for our state. Lawmakers have chosen to side with out-of-state billionaires over hardworking West Virginians"...

“The hard work begins” following right to work passage  Metro News  ...“Not only would they vote to pass right to work, but it’s the manner in which some of the people like Senator (Robert) Karnes (R-Upshur,11) and others attacked workers,” said Ken Hall, General Secretary Treasurer of the Teamsters Union of South Charleston. “It’s not something that our members are going to forget.” On Friday, West Virginia became the 26th state to pass a right to work bill...

The D.C. Taxi app has arrived  Washington Post  ...A taxi is now just one tap away in the District. The new D.C. Taxi app lets you hail a cab through your smartphone almost in the same way you request an Uber or Lyft — and it brings the taxi industry into the digital age by essentially ending the need for you to stand at the corner of the street waving at every taxi that passes by. “Drivers see the app as a tool they can use to provide customers the service they desire,” said Royale Simms, a union leader that represents taxis drivers associated with the Teamsters...

Public session on proposed Teamsters pension cuts set for Tuesday in Kansas City  Kansas City Star  ...A public session on planned cuts to benefits under the Central States Pension Fund will be held Tuesday at the Kansas City Convention Center. The U.S. Treasury will rule on whether the plan, which involves cuts of 50 percent and more to many retired Teamsters, meets the requirements of a 2014 law that allows the plan to be considered. Kenneth Feinberg, a noted mediator, was appointed special master to handle the case...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Dublin: Tram workers plan strike for St Patrick's Day  BBC  ...Workers on the Luas, Dublin's tram system are to step up their industrial action. They plan to strike on 8 March and on 17 March - St Patrick's Day, which is a national holiday in Ireland. Last week, the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (Siptu) workers stopped work for 48 hours in a dispute over pay...

TPP may bankrupt Indonesia, activists say  Jakarta Post  ...Indonesia could fall into bankruptcy if the biggest market in Southeast Asia join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would allow investors to sue the government in international arbitration courts through investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS), an activist has warned. Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ) spokeswoman Rachmi Hertanti said ISDS favored investors’ interests over the national interest...

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Passing TPP: ‘I’m Not the Dictator of the House’  CNS News  ...House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that he doesn’t see where the votes are right now to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and when pressed to explain what he would want to change in order to get the votes, Ryan told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” he’s not the “dictator of the House”...

California and the World United Against the TPP  CTC  ...Saying the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would lead to a global race-to-the-bottom in wages, working conditions and environmental standards if ever enacted, Californians protested the proposed trade agreement outside an international economic summit with southeast Asian nations’ leaders hosted by President Obama at the Sunnylands Estate in Rancho Mirage, California on February 15, 2016...

Tax avoidanceTTIP 'Could Prevent Tax Justice' Amid Concerns Over Corporate Courts  Sputnik News  ...Any potential ratification of the controversial TTIP trade deal would play into the hands of large multinational corporations and threaten the ability of EU member states to crack down on tax evasion, new research has claimed...

TTIP of the Iceberg: Consumer Concerns Could Sink the US-EU Trade Agreement  PR Watch  ...Although negotiators tout the TTIP as the vanguard of a "new generation" of trade agreements with the potential to raise standards and advance sustainable development, in reality it is built upon the clunky, old trade rules demanded by industry to ensure just the opposite will occur. In particular, proposals for "regulatory cooperation" and the inclusion of an "investor-to-state" dispute resolution system have generated strong opposition from consumer and environmental groups...

Austerity causes biggest rise in England’s death rate since WWII – health expert  RT  ...Government cuts to social services could be killing large numbers of vulnerable people in England, a health journal has said, as new figures show 2015 saw the biggest increase in the national death rate for decades. Preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate mortality rates in 2015 rose by 5.4 percent on 2014 - an increase of nearly 27,000 deaths, bringing the total to 528,340...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

WV right-to-work, prevailing wage vetoes overridden  Gazette-Mail  ...The West Virginia Legislature overrode Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's vetoes Friday of two highly contentious pieces of legislation that Republicans argue are pro-growth and Democrats argue will harm workers and lower wages. West Virginia will become a right-to-work state on July 1, 2016, and the state's prevailing wage will be repealed 90 days from when the bill is enrolled, sometime in mid-May...

House panel approves minimum wage hike, sets up final vote  OregonLive  ...A House committee approved steep increases to the minimum wage Monday night, sending the bill to the full chamber for a final vote. The House Business and Labor Committee approved Senate Bill 1532, which raises wages to $14.75 in the Portland area over the next six years... 

Bills would raise minimum wage, repeal right to work law  Savannah Now  ...Proposals to raise the minimum wage in South Carolina and repeal an anti-union law have virtually no chance of passing in the Republican-dominated Legislature, but Democrats hope to spark a debate. Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, who sponsored both bills, said it’s time to discuss living wages in a state that ranks 46th in child poverty, 48th in per capita income and last in union membership...

Greenville Co. protesters call for $15 minimum wage hike  Live 5 News  ...rotesters calling for a minimum wage increase planned events in Greenville County on Saturday. More than 100 people gathered at the McDonald's on Laurens Road around 2 p.m. with signs and banners bearing the message "Fight for 15." Protester Kimberly Cannon said she wants to see in an increase so she can save for essentials...

Thousands Rally in North Carolina for 'Moral Imperative' of Voting Rights  Common Dreams  ...Thousands of people marched and rallied in the frigid streets of Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday morning to demand a restoration of voting rights and voice broad support for a new progressive agenda to counter the current policies of Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-controlled state legislature. Organized by the Move Forward Together Movement and the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP, led by Rev. William Barber III, the demonstration attracted a diverse coalition...

 

U.S. LABOR

Bankrupt Coal Giant Plans $11 Million Payment To Executives For Slashing Benefits For Mine Workers  Think Progress  ...A bankrupt coal company last month unveiled a plan to pay top executives up to $11.9 million in bonuses over six months as an apparent reward for slashing benefits for workers and dodging environmental clean-up obligations during bankruptcy proceedings. The company, Alpha Natural Resources, is one of the four largest coal companies in the U.S. and filed for bankruptcy last year...

SEIU announces that Duke faculty have filed for union election  Chatham Newspaper Journal  ...Non-tenure track faculty at Duke University have filed for a union election to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as part of the national Faculty Forward campaign to raise standards in higher education. Duke faculty are continuing to build support while taking an important step towards a vote to join colleagues at the University of Chicago, Tufts, Georgetown and dozens of other universities who have joined SEIU in the past three years...

What Will Become of Public-Sector Unions Now?  The Atlantic  ...progressives were pinning their hopes on Scalia to play the role of unlikely savior in one of the term’s most contentious cases: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. (While often the swing vote, Justice Kennedy’s comments during oral argument in a similar case two years ago indicated he was likely to vote against the union.)...

Republicans (and two Democrats) in Congress want to derail commonsense protections for workers  EPI  ...Dozens of Republican members of Congress and two Democrats—Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Brad Ashford (D-Neb.)—have signed a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez about the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule on overtime pay for salaried employees, calling on him “to reconsider moving forward with this rule as drafted”...

Federal Contractors with History of OSHA Violations Battle New Safety Rules  PR Watch  ...President Obama issued the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (EO) in 2014. The order requires federal contractors to report their safety record to the federal government as a condition for receiving federal contracts. It is a good first step toward holding repeat, serious violators to account and protects more than 26 million workers or 1 in 5 in the workforce. But some of these federal contractors are pulling out the stops, urging the Obama administration to withdraw new rules...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Air traffic control privatization takes a step forward  Daily Kos  ...A troubling plan to privatize air traffic control has passed through a House committee, paving the way for a vote in the full House and then for Senate consideration. The justification for the plan is another extension of the Republican mission to break government and then use the fact that it’s broken to abolish or privatize it...

Antonin Scalia’s frozen racial past: How his Voting Rights Act ignorance excluded millions  (opinion) Salon  ...It’s certainly appropriate to mourn the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia and remember his passion and wit. But let’s also remember that his view of the Constitution hurt millions of Americans excluded from his theory of constitutional originalism. Take for example his view of the Voting Rights Act. For Justice Scalia, the Voting Rights Act was a “racial entitlement”... 

Grave Inequality: Life Expectancy Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Dramatically Widening  Alternet  ...Researchers have long established that people who earn lower incomes live measurably shorter lives than their better-off counterparts. But disturbing new findings from the Brookings Institution indicate that the “longevity gap” between the rich and the poor in the United States has grown dramatically wider in recent years...