Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For February 23, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Boston activists make a statement with Flint water effort  Boston Globe  ...Clean drinking water isn’t a scarce commodity in Boston. But the same cannot be said for Flint, Mich., home of one of the worst drinking-water crises in American history. As it had after Katrina, Teamsters Local 25 donated a truck and a driver to drive the water to Michigan, and the parking lot of the Lena Park Community Development Corporation was turned into a bustling staging area, where volunteers dropped off supplies...

Houston workers fight for promised pensions  Houston Chronicle  ...More than 250 enraged retirees and active workers filled the Houston union hall of Teamsters Local 988 Sunday morning to hear how they can fight to keep their retirement funds. "All these guys worked their entire life with the promise to get a pension, and they planned their retirement and their future around it, and now they are talking about cutting it," Simmons said. "Who's going to hire a guy at 68-years-old with health issues?"...

Chicago to Host James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund Event  Teamster.org  ...The City of Chicago will be the site of the 2016 fundraising event for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund.  The annual fundraising event will be a Gala Reception and Dinner to be held at the Chicago Hilton hotel on Michigan Avenue. The evening will feature past winners of the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Argentine State Workers Join National Strike Against Macri  TeleSUR  ...Argentine public sector workers will converge in front of the presidential palace Wednesday as part of a national strike to protest the policies of President Mauricio Macri. Macri has fired approximately 10,000 state workers since the beginning of 2016, with even more layoffs expected in the coming months as government ministries continue to review contracts...

Djibouti: teacher unionist released from prison after global support  EI-IE  ...Teacher unionist and human rights defender Omar Ali Ewado is once again a free man after he was released from prison on 14 February following an appeals court decision that dismissed charges against him. Ewado, the Deputy General Secretary of the Union of Primary School Teachers and President of the Human Rights League of Djibouti, began serving a three month sentence at the end of last year on trumped up charges...

Obama Says He Remains 'Optimistic' on Pacific Rim Trade Deal  Bloomberg  ...President Barack Obama told Republican governors on Monday that he remains "cautiously optimistic" that Congress will approve a sweeping trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations this year. “The presidential campaigns have created some noise” about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama said during a question-and-answer session with governors of both parties...

Beijing Sees Nothing Anti-Chinese in TPP Deal  Sputnik News  ...Beijing does not consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal to be directed against China, the country's Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said Tuesday. According to the minister, the official text of the agreement has been completely translated into Chinese and some time is needed to analyze the deal. Gao noted that China always positively regarded transparent regional free trade agreements...

TTIP Trade Deal Puts NHS at Risk, Warns U.K. Union  Newsweek  ...A leading trade union will on Tuesday warn British MPs of the potential impact of a U.S.-EU trade deal on the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS), according to reports. New guidance prepared for Unite the Union by Michael Bowsher QC, former chair of the Bar Council’s EU law committee, says that clauses inserted into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) aimed at minimizing corporate power over the NHS may be too weak, BuzzFeed News reported...

Opposing Corporate Coup, Campaigners Block Trade Talk Doors  Common Dreams  ...As European Union and U.S. negotiators arrived for the latest round of controversial trade talks in Brussels on Monday, opponents of the mammoth TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) made their resistance known by blockading access to the negotiating site for hours. The demonstration highlighted growing, transcontinental opposition to the pro-corporate trade agreement...

Italy Stokes Brussels-Berlin Tensions With Anti-Austerity Proposals  Sputnik News ...Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has launched another attack on the EU's economic policy, calling for increased spending as part of an anti-austerity agenda. The proposals, which present a challenge to the current status quo, are set to further strain tensions between Rome, Brussels and Berlin...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

John Kasich Wants To ‘Deregulate’ Public Schools, Lower Requirements For Teachers  Think Progress  ...The Ohio legislature may advance a bill that would “deregulate” public schools at the same time as an education budget proposal would ensure half of the state’s schools receive less funding. On Monday afternoon, the Ohio House Education Committee will vote on sending the bill to the House floor, Cleveland.com reported...

Colorado Senate OKs bill turning state into right-to-work territory  Business Journal  ...Republicans in the Colorado Senate approved a bill Monday that would turn the state into a right-to-work state, though the measure is extremely unlikely to make it through the House. Majority GOP members voted over objections from all the Democrats in the chamber to pass Senate Bill 70, sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, which would prohibit companies from requiring union membership as a condition of employment...

Voter ID lawsuit heads to court  ABC  ...It’s a law Republicans touted as a way to prevent voter fraud, requiring a photo ID be shown at the polls in a bill that passed in 2013. Democrats immediately called the move an effort to suppress young and minority voters, filing a lawsuit against the law that headed to court Monday, hoping a judge strikes it down...

Oregon's Smart Approach to a Minimum Wage  The Atlantic  ...Last week, Oregon’s house of representatives passed a bill that would make the state’s minimum wage one of the highest in the country. While the bill still needs the approval of Oregon Governor Kate Brown for the bill to pass, Brown has already said that she intends to sign the bill. But what’s most noteworthy about the Oregon bill isn’t how high the minimum wage will be...

Prisons for Profit: Under Kasich, Ohio Becomes Laboratory for Privatizing Public Jails  Democracy Now  ...Ohio holds the distinction of being the first state to sell off a public prison to a private corporation. This happened in 2011 when Governor John Kasich oversaw the sale of Lake Erie Correctional Institution to the Corrections Corporation of America. The sale was promoted as a way to save the state money, but according to the ACLU of Ohio, the plan largely backfired... 

America’s hidden economic crisis: The rising tide of statewide recessions & the GOP lawmakers who refuse to help  Salon  ...According to economic indexes tracked by Moody’s Analytics, four states – Alaska, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming – suffered consecutive quarters of economic contraction at the end of 2015. That means those states met the technical definition of a recession. Another three – Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma – saw economic growth decline in the final quarter of the year, and could be headed toward recession themselves...

 

U.S. LABOR

UAW 1112 votes in favor of new contract at GM Lordstown  WKBN  ...The vote tally is in and workers have voted in favor of a new contract agreement between General motors and its union production workers in Lordstown. Members of the United Auto Workers 1112 had 24 hours to vote on the contract. Voting began at 5 a.m. Monday and wrapped up at 5 a.m. Tuesday. The vote count came in at 78 percent of production workers voting in favor of the new deal, with 22 percent voting no. Skilled trades voted 45 percent in favor – 55 percent against...

Uber is using its US customer service reps to deliver its anti-union message  Quartz  ...Last month, a group of Uber customer service representatives in the US received a script unlike any they’d seen before. For the most part, it was a survey on driver satisfaction, but at the end it switched to another topic: why a union wouldn’t make sense for drivers. Uber’s customer service reps were told they’d be using the script when contacting the company’s drivers in Seattle... 

ATI, USW reach tentative deal after 6-month lockout  WTAE  ...Allegheny Technologies and the United Steelworkers union reached a tentative agreement Monday after a six-month lockout of 2,200 workers. The new four-year contract is subject to ratification by the members of the local unions at the 12 ATI facilities located in six states, as well as approval from the National Labor Relations Board, a press release said...

As Maine manufacturing falters, unions hold line elsewhere  Bangor Daily  ...Maine’s union ranks have been hit hard by the decline of paper and other manufacturing jobs, but organized labor has held the line in other areas. The decline in Maine and elsewhere leaves organized labor looking for other growing industries in the state, such as health care or lobstering, where workers might want to negotiate collective contracts...

Denied the Right to Unionize, Domestic Workers Find New Ways to Organize  Truthout  ...In 2010, New York became the first state in the nation to enact a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights. The law was passed after years of lobbying, with domestic workers across the state sending handwritten letters to legislators in Albany. Although domestic workers won basic rights through the law, the right to bargain collectively was not one of them... 

With potential strike looming, Stop & Shop scouts replacements  Stamford Advocate  ...With no agreement in the offing with the labor union representing cashiers and other personnel, Stop & Shop parent Ahold has been actively advertising for replacement workers to staff checkout lines starting as soon as Sunday if workers vote to go on strike. UFCW says Stop & Shop’s latest contract offer freezes pay, eliminates “premium” pay for holidays, Sundays or otherwise longer working days; and requires workers to pay higher health-care premiums...

Menards arbitration practices come under NLRB scrutiny  People's World  ...For the first time ever, a federal agency has been granted authority to investigate whether the binding arbitration policy that the Menards home improvement chain forces on its employees is legal. A U.S. district court ruled February 18 that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has the power to determine if the corporation's requirement that employees resolve disputes with the company through binding arbitration is overly broad and restricts their right to remedies under the National Labor Relations Act...

Murdering American Manufacturing: 'Strictly Business'  Huffington Post  ...In the week before Valentine’s Day, United Technologies expressed its love for its devoted Indiana employees, workers whose labor had kept the corporation profitable, by informing 2,100 of them at two facilities that it was shipping their factories, their jobs, their communities’ resources to Mexico. A few workers shouted obscenities at the corporate official. Some walked out. Others openly wept... 

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Michigan Governor Accused Of Withholding Documents Related To Flint Water Crisis From Congress  Think Progress  ...On January 26, Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings (MD) and Brenda Lawrence (MI) sent a letter to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) requesting a number of documents related to the current water crisis in Flint. But his office has “completely ignored” that request so far, Cummings said in a letter on Monday. He sent the most recent letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform...

Debtors' Prison in 21st-Century America  The Atlantic  ...As the recent deluge of reports and litigation confirms, and many have long known, thousands of people throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area are routinely sent to jail because they cannot pay local court fines and fees. These people are poor, and they tend to be black. While there are many terms to describe this—including, importantly, unconstitutional—there is one with historical resonance reserved for such a practice: debtors’ prison... 

The Future is Flooded: Seas Rising Faster Than They Have In 28 Centuries  Common Dreams  ...When it comes to swelling oceans that threaten coastal communities around the world, it's bad, and it's going to get worse. Sea levels are rising faster than they have in the last three millennia, and that rate continues to accelerate due to the burning of fossil fuels, according to new research published Monday... 

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