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Today's Teamster News For April 22, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters, Brookfield Zoo Management Reach Tentative Agreement, Preserve Workers' Health Care  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) management on April 21 reached a tentative agreement on a five-year contract, which preserves health care benefits for nearly 300 workers at Brookfield Zoo. Teamsters Local 727 represents full-time and seasonal zoo workers, including zookeepers, groundskeepers and patrol officers...

One of the nation’s largest pension funds could soon cut benefits for retirees  Washington Post  ...The Central States Pension Fund, which handles the retirement benefits for current and former Teamster union truck drivers across various states including Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, New York and Minnesota, was the first plan to apply for reductions under the new law. Consumer advocates watching the case say the move could encourage dozens of other pension plans across the country that are facing financial struggles to make similar cuts...

NLRB Argues “Misclassification” as an Independent Contractor is Unfair Labor Practice  National Law Review  ...The National Labor Relations Board’s Los Angeles office has issued an unfair labor practice complaint alleging that it is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) for an employer to misclassify an employee as an independent contractor. The Complaint, which is based on a charge filed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters asserts that Intermodal Bridge Transport “has misclassified its employee drivers as independent contractors"...

Teamsters Local 710 Overturns Termination at AWC TLX  Local 710  ...A Teamsters Local 710 member on the Shuttle Crew at AWC TLX (formerly known as Translogix) recently returned to work after being unfairly discharged in the beginning of February. Local 710 Business Agent Anthony Lamy recently began representing members at the Chicago facility and immediately began reviewing outstanding issues...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Germany: Workers to strike at Frankfurt airport on April 27  EuroNews...Trade union workers are going to strike at Germany’s biggest airport in Frankfurt on April 27, trade union Verdi said in a statement on Friday. Strikes will also affect airports in Munich, Duesseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Dortmund and partially Hanover, it said. At Frankfurt, ground crews, check-in staff, repair workers and the fire department will be on strike until about 1300 GMT, the statement said...

NSA spying & Transatlantic trade talks   Friends of the Earth  ...Progress on concluding the TTIP deal has been slow. One reason is that the U.S.-EU trade talks have been under a cloud for almost three years as a result of the U.S. National Security Agency spy scandal, which involves U.S. mass surveillance of Europeans and others involved in trade policy. Disclosures show the agency routinely spies on trade negotiations, communications of economic officials in other countries and even foreign corporations”...

Trade unions and charities fight lead national day of action against TTIP  The National  ...unions and charities will tomorrow take part in a nationwide day of action against the international trade treaty TTIP. The day of action is also being planned to highlight concerns about TTIP – which stands for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – in the run up to the Scottish Parliament elections on May 5...

Clinton Pivots From Obama's Asia Policy With TPP Opposition  ABC ...Hillary Clinton was the first standard-bearer for the Obama administration's strategic push into Asia, but her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal could be a major obstacle to sustaining it should she win the presidency. The TPP has been the main economic plank of President Barack Obama's seven-year effort to intensify engagement with a fast-growing region and counter China's rising clout... 

 China Edging Closer to Accepting TPP Reality   VOA  ...After nearly three years of concentrated efforts to counter the U.S.-sponsored Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and build an alternative trade block, China is now seriously considering the possibility of joining the TPP regime. "The two sides should stop creating trade bottlenecks and join hands for the expansion of free trade,” Wang told VOA... 

New Paper Finds Unpredicted Rise in Trade Deficit Overwhelmed Predicted Impact of Reduced Trade Barriers in Korea-US Free Trade Agreement  CEPR   ...“The most widely cited models failed to predict large increases in trade deficits that followed the signing of NAFTA and the Korea-U.S. FTA. The economic impact of the rise in these deficits dwarfed the predicted gains from reduced trade barriers,” paper co-author and CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker said...

Improving Conditions in the Garment Industry will Take More Than Consumer Pressure  Reuters  ...A country-level strategy is crucial for protecting the rights of all workers, regardless of sector. This strategy requires a long-term commitment to build the capacity of workers’ organizations to advocate for the rights of all workers, of governments to pass and enforce comprehensive labor protections, and of employers to engage in peaceful and meaningful labor relations...

Students Join Hundreds to Protest Austerity Budget  VOCM  ...Hundreds gathered at the Confederation Building yesterday to protest the Liberal government's recent austerity measures announced in the provincial budget. Among the protesters, Alex Noel treasurer for the Canadian Federation of Students who said that the student population is targeted by the government. Noel says cutting the student grant program is cutting down future consumers...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Judge sets hearing on right-to-work stay request  Fox 6 Now  ...A judge in Madison has set a hearing on state attorneys’ request to say his ruling striking down Wisconsin’s right-to-work law. Three unions filed a lawsuit last year challenging Wisconsin’s law as an illegal taking of union services since unions must represent all employees in a workplace even if workers don’t pay dues...

The Legal Argument That Could Overturn ‘Right-to-Work’ Laws Around the Country  In These Times  ...Union supporters had reason to cheer earlier this month when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s hated “right to work” law was overturned by a Dane County Circuit Judge. Unfortunately, the decision is all but certain to be overturned by Wisconsin’s conservative Supreme Court. But contained in the case is a line of questioning over the constitutionality of the right-to-work concept that has quietly been playing out in federal courts...

California bill to unionize ‘gig’ workers likely dead for 2016  SacBee  ...Legislation allowing gig workers in the tech industry to unionize will likely go no further in 2016. The soaring popularity of businesses that can summon help through an app, from rides to grocery shopping to apartment cleaning, has pushed policymakers to think about the employment rights of people who work for those companies...

After A Year, Seattle's New Minimum Wage Hasn't Raised Retail Prices  Fast Coexist  ...More than a year after a new minimum wage took effect in Seattle—$12.50 an hour now for small employers, increasing to $15 an hour by January 2018—prices at most stores haven't gone up. n a new report, researchers from the University of Washington presented data that showed "little or no evidence" of price increases in most sectors...

Democrats Call For Statewide Voter ID Education Campaign  Wisconsin Public Radio  ...Some Wisconsin Democrats are calling for the GOP-controlled state Legislature to fund a statewide campaign to educate voters about Wisconsin’s newly enacted voter ID law.  State Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, was joined at a Capitol news conference on Thursday by the Wisconsin League of Women Voters and poll workers from across the state, who shared challenges some voters faced during the presidential primary earlier this month...

Women Won’t Have Equality Until Dads Stay Home  The Nation  ...The United States lags behind the rest of the world in providing paid family leave. In a study of 185 countries, only two besides the United States failed to ensure that new mothers get paid time off from work; the United States was also one of very few countries that doesn’t extend paid leave to fathers. Some US states, however, are experimenting with ways to catch up with the rest of the globe: Four of them, now including New York, guarantee residents paid leave...

 

U.S. LABOR

Taylor Farms cited by state for workers injured by chlorine exposure  Business Journal  ...Salinas-based Taylor Farms has been cited for 16 workplace safety violations by Cal/OSHA, the state's division that oversees worker health and safety regulations. The violations are associated with an October 15 chorine leak at a company facility in Tracy. Twenty workers were hospitalized with symptoms that included vomiting, nosebleeds and fainting, according to a Salinas Californian article published days after the incident...

UPS Pilots Open Strike Center as End of Federal Mediation Approaches  WHAV  ...UPS pilots have opened a Strike Operations Center to serve as the union pilots nerve center in the event of a strike. The Independent Pilots Association says that after five years of bargaining, including two years of intensive federal mediation it’s crunch time for pilots at UPS...

Sending call-center work overseas is a key issue in Verizon strike  Philly.com  ...At a time when Verizon's rivals Comcast and RCN Telecom Services are bringing customer-service calls back from overseas, the New York-based telecommunications giant is closing domestic call centers and sending some of the work abroad. The extent of the movement of calls out of the country is a key bargaining issue in the strike against Verizon, which enters its 10th day Friday...

Airbnb's controversial deal with labor union falls apart after intense backlash  The Guardian  ...A controversial deal between Airbnb and one of the most powerful unions in the US has fallen apart following an intense backlash from labor and housing activists across the country. The home-sharing company had been in advanced negotiations with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)...

AFSCME Members Speak Out At DeKalb County Board Meeting  Northern Public Radio  ...About a dozen members of AFSCME attended a DeKalb County Board meeting Wednesday to protest changes to health insurance costs in their current contract.  Under their current contract, AFSCME members premiums could only rise a maximum of twenty percent each year...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Prince Recognized That ‘if There Ain’t No Justice, Then There Ain’t No Peace’  The Nation  ...Prince was not often identified as a political artist. He was rarely referred to as a protest singer. Yet, in the last year of a remarkable life, he was hailed as a “funky Pete Seeger” who amplified the message of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. There was so much more to Prince Rogers Nelson, who has died unexpectedly at age 57, than politics. But Prince often made bold statements about the issues of his times...

Lobbying Firm Subpoenaed in Expanding Exxon Climate Denial Investigation  Truthout  ...DCI Group, a Washington DC public relations and lobbying firm, is the latest group subpoenaed in an expanding investigation by state attorneys general into the funding of climate change denial by ExxonMobil, according to court filings reviewed by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). ExxonMobil has now received separate subpoenas from both the New York and US Virgin Islands US Attorneys' Offices...

UK Issues Travel Warnings Against 'Anti-Gay' US States  Common Dreams  ...The UK this week issued travel advice to tourists that warns of the dangers of visiting "anti-gay" U.S. states like North Carolina and Mississippi, both of which recently passed discriminatory legislation. "The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country," the travel warning states...

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