Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For August 3, 2016

 

TEAMSTERS

Hoffa: Congress Can’t Let TPP Go Through   Teamsters...Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are likely to put up a huge fight in an effort to pass the 12-nation Pacific Rim agreement during the closing days of the congressional session. Why? Because they realize that with two anti-TPP nominees at the top of both major party tickets, it is likely their best chance to get this deal done. Congress can’t let this happen. A growing bipartisan coalition of lawmakers opposes the agreement, including recent converts vice presidential nominee and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as well as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).  That’s an encouraging sign. But victory is far from a given...

Feed The County Food Drive Has Record-Breaking Year   Bangor Daily News...Traci Place, business agent for the South Portland-based Teamsters Local 340, said Monday that the Feed the County Food Drive brought in 4,000 pounds of food and $7,225 in donations during the annual Maine Potato Blossom Festival parade on July 16. “Money is still trickling in,” she said. “We were so thrilled to see everyone supporting us like they did. Everywhere we went, people were just so generous to us. It was just amazing”...

Union, Osco Reach Tentative Agreement On New Pharmacists’ Contract   Teamsters Local 727...The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Osco management returned to the bargaining table July 28, and after an 11-hour mediation session, reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract for more than 500 Chicago-area pharmacists. “Although we didn’t get everything we wanted, economically this is a richer contract than the last contract,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “During these negotiations, the Union made strides toward improving working conditions with the pharmacists, and we were able to secure a freeze for HRA healthcare contributions for the first time in the history of this contract”...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Obama Pushes Support For TPP, Critics Fear Another NAFTA   WTTW...“We are part of a global economy. We’re not reversing that–it can’t be reversed,” Obama said. “Most manufactured products now involve a global supply chain where parts are made in all corners of the globe and converge and then get assembled and packaged and sold. The notion that we’re going to pull that up, root and branch, is unrealistic.” But not everyone is convinced. Those opposing TPP include many supporters of Bernie Sanders, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton–who was for it before she was against it–and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump...

India May Move WTO As US Fails To Abide By Verdict On Steel Import Duty   Livemint.com...The move comes close on the heels of the US dragging India to the arbitration panel for its alleged failure to remove trade restrictions on American poultry. “We have studied the CVD on Indian steel products case and have found that the US has not complied with the WTO appellate panel ruling. We had given them 16 months to comply with the judgement, which expired in March this year. We are considering to move to the compliance panel against the US on the matter,” a government official said, requesting anonymity...

Long Road Ahead For Iran’s Bid To Join World Trade Organization   AL-Monitor...“Now that years of intensive negotiations have finally cleared all the misunderstandings around Iran's nuclear activities, we are taking the next step toward integrating more deeply into the global economy. … Finalizing WTO membership is therefore a priority for the Iranian government,” said Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh at a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi late last year...

Amid Fierce Opposition, Obama And Big Biz Still Resolute In Pushing TPP   Common Dreams...Eschewing criticisms that it would "leave many people behind," Obama said the TPP provides an "opportunity to grow our economies and write the rules for trade in the 21st century in a way that is equitable. It gives us a chance to advance American leadership, reduce economic inequality, and support good paying jobs, all while strengthening critical strategic relationships in a vital region." International and national labor, public health, environmental, consumer advocacy, and rights groups have all issued warnings over the contents of the 5,000-page agreement, which was largely negotiated behind closed doors with representatives from multinational companies...

House Lawmakers Urge Obama To Forgo Lame-Duck TPP Vote   The Hill...Michigan Reps. Candice Miller and Dave Trott spearheaded a letter this week to the president arguing that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has raised too many concerns for Congress to take a vote after the November election. “A lame-duck Congress should not vote on an agreement of this consequence, it would be an end-run around the American people immediately following an election,” the House members wrote...

Russian Prime Minister Medvedev Says TPP, TTIP 'Encroaching On WTO'   Sputnik News..."The WTO is not ideal but it is the only universal platform that defines the rules of the game throughout the global economy. But the WTO is being encroached upon, in particular, you know that… there are projects like TPP and TTIP," Medvedev said at the Terra Scientia international youth forum. He added that the attempts to fragment the regulatory field of the global economy will lead to the "destruction of world trade"...

National Health Mission Staff To Be Pruned, Workers Threaten Strike   Haryana Tribune (Haryana, India)...The NHM Employees’ Association has submitted a notice regarding the strike to the Mission Director and also demanded regularisation of their services. Hundreds of health workers fear losing their jobs as the National Health Mission (NHM) has begun the process to rationalise its staff by at least 20 per cent. Recently, the Mission Director of the NHM in Haryana Rajiv Rattan had sought details of the staff to be rationalised from officers of the various health programs...

No Margin For Error As UK Sets About Sealing New Trade Agreements   South China Morning Post...When a majority of British voters opted on June 23rd to have less to do with foreigners, they ushered in a prolonged and costly period of economic and political uncertainty. Like most divorces, the degree of difficulty Brexit encounters will be determined to a large degree by how much goodwill parties bring to, and generate at, the table. Revamping trade policy is a large component of the extrication process. Currently, the UK is part of a customs union and single market inside the European Union...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Former Us Labor Secretary Robert Reich Says The Gig Economy Can Be A “Nightmare"   BuzzFeed News...“Tech is affecting the entire workforce very dramatically,” Reich said. “A lot of people don’t know how much they’re being affected. It’s not just Uber and Airbnb — it’s really the whole employment relationship.” Here’s what he told BuzzFeed News about why the gig economy — a group he said makes up 30% of the American workforce — is bad for workers, how it’s making labor worse, and what we can do to fix it...

Saving Lives With The Minimum Wage: A Different Way To Think About An Old Policy Fight   Salon...If you pause to consider the logic behind the argument, it makes perfect sense: a higher minimum wage would provide low-wage workers better access to higher quality medical care that might otherwise be out of their reach. And, as Leigh writes, there are less direct impacts to consider as well: “Increasing wages can improve psychological well-being and job satisfaction, increase the opportunity cost of engaging in unhealthy habits, and expand the ability to delay gratification.” The relationship between income and health is well-documented and consistent across all income groups”…

Why A $15 Minimum Wage Shouldn’t Scare Us   PBS News-hour (opinion)...Today’s low-wage workers are far better educated than in 1968: 46 percent have some college compared to 17 percent in 1968, and 79 percent have high school diploma versus 48 percent in 1968. Yet they earn 23 percent less! Competition does not raise wages in an economy in which millions are looking for work. In that type of an economy, any type of work beats becoming homeless...

Make The Government A Model Employer   New York Times (opinion)...When the Labor Department ruled last week that 674 workers in the cafeteria of the United States Senate had been denied their full pay in recent years, the contractor that runs the cafeteria said it was an accident. The workers said it was deliberate.The Senate cafeteria workers won attention and redress in large part because they alerted senators, whom they see daily, to their plight. Meanwhile, other food servers, maintenance workers and salespeople who work for contractors at Union Station, the Smithsonian and other federal sites in Washington continue to protest regularly over poverty-level pay and subpar conditions...

Fight For Cleveland's $15 Minimum Wage Now Before Ohio Supreme Court   Cleveland Plain-Dealer...The fight for a $15 minimum wage in Cleveland is now before the Ohio Supreme Court, which must decide whether thousands of newly collected signatures in support of the initiative require City Council to put the issue on the November ballot. A complaint filed on behalf of several city residents contends that Council Clerk Pat Britt has unlawfully refused to accept 18,000 signatures calling for the issue to be decided at the general election...

Labor Department Wins $2.4m Wage Settlement With Mass. Construction Firms   The Boston Globe...A Lunenberg construction company and a related Framingham firm agreed to a $2.4 million settlement with the Department of Labor in a case involving unpaid overtime for 478 workers. An investigation by the Labor Department’s wage and hour division found that Force Corp. and AB Construction Group Inc., and principals Juliano Fernandes and Anderson Dos Santos, misclassified the bulk of their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime wages and other benefits...

OSHA Slams Major Dallas City Contractor's Safety Record, Issues Six-Figure Fine   Dallas Morning News...One of Dallas City Hall's biggest contractors has incurred the wrath of federal officials -- and a possible six-figure penalty. Roanoke-based Oscar Renda Contracting was slapped with a $124,300 proposed fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a drainage project in Houston. Oscar Renda officials denied wrongdoing...

$15 Minimum Wage Supporters Prepare Lawsuit For Minneapolis Vote   Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal...Labor organizers are preparing to show their unhappiness over Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal's recent recommendation to keep a $15 minimum wage question off November's ballot. Organizers turned in about 20,000 signatures last month calling for a popular vote to add a $15 minimum wage to the city's charter, but Segal said last week that such a referendum is not legal because it doesn't have to do with the function of city government...

 

U.S. LABOR

Nurses And Doctors Are Fighting Back Against Corporate Healthcare By Unionizing    The Nation...For all medical workers, overwork, once a proud hallmark of the profession, now symptomizes systemic rot. To tackle the root cause, nurses unions have become a leading voice in the movement for single-payer health care. Eakin argues that breaking the dominance of the medical insurance industry is critical for overhauling the social-service infrastructure as a whole. “Part of the problem is, this for-profit system is so set up to…suck dollars out of the system, and give it to health-care corporations, pharmaceuticals, Wall Street executives, instead of using that money to take care of patients”...

In Vineland, An Uncertain Fate For Progresso Soup Plant And Its Workers   Philadelphia Inquirer...General Mills, the Minneapolis-based food giant that has operated the plant since 2001, delivered the news - which one union leader called a "kick to the stomach" - July 21. It came just two months after United Food & Commercial Workers Local 152 ratified a four-year contract that all but ensured job security at the Vineland plant during its term. "Nobody saw this coming," said UFCW local president Brian String. "We want answers. Is there any possible way to work in conjunction with politicians and the state to keep this plant going and keep these people working?"...

Union Calls On Allina Nurses To Back Open-Ended Strike   Minnesota Public Radio...The Minnesota Nurses Association on Tuesday called for nearly 5,000 Allina Health nurses to authorize an indefinite strike against five Allina hospitals. A vote is set for Aug. 18. The move comes a day after contract talks between the union and hospital system broke down again. The nurses' health plan remains the main sticking point. In June, Allina nurses went on strike for seven days at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Unity Hospital in Fridley, United Hospital in St. Paul and Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis...

Will Southern California Grocery Workers Strike? Both Sides Hope Not  Los Angeles Daily News...An estimated 400 grocery workers, union representatives and supporters gathered in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday to demand a resolution to their long-running attempt to forge a new labor contract with Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons. Some 50,000 United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 members voted recently to authorize a strike against the supermarket companies. If a workable agreement isn’t reached by the Aug. 8 deadline, a strike could occur as early as the following day, said Rigo Valdez, a vice president with the union....

N.J. Teachers Union To Dems: No Campaign Cash Until Pension Amendment Vote   NJ.com...County Democratic Party leaders won't be able to count on New Jersey's largest teachers union for political contributions this year because state lawmakers haven't acted to put a constitutional amendment on state pension payments on the fall ballot. Three county chairman told NJ Advance Media they received calls from a New Jersey Education Association lobbyist informing them the powerful union would be withholding campaign contributions until next spring out of frustration with stalled legislative action on the proposed public pension constitutional amendment...

Momentive Workers Take Strike Authorization Vote In Waterford   Times-Union (Albany, NY)...IUE-CWA Local 81359, which represents 700 workers at the Momentive plant, is holding the vote at the Halfmoon Firehouse on Hudson River Road in Waterford, although CWA President Chris Shelton would give the final OK on any worker walkout. Word of the strike vote comes a week after IUE-CWA leaders rejected a "final" three-year contract offer from Momentive that included raises and a ratification bonus but a steep rise in health care costs. Union officials were upset that the company publicized its proposal as its last and final offer even though the union had previously said the offer would not be acceptable to its members...

AT&T Mobility, CWA Reach New Tentative Agreement On Benefits   AT&T (release)...AT&T announced today that AT&T Mobility has reached a new tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America in benefits negotiations covering CWA-represented Mobility employees nationwide – more than 40,000 employees. The agreement focuses on benefits, including health care, and will be submitted to the union's membership for a ratification vote in coming days...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Environmental Records Shattered As Climate Change 'Plays Out Before Us'   The Guardian...The world is careening towards an environment never experienced before by humans, with the temperature of the air and oceans breaking records, sea levels reaching historic highs and carbon dioxide surpassing a key milestone, a major international report has found. The “state of the climate” report, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) with input from hundreds of scientists from 62 countries, confirmed there was a “toppling of several symbolic mileposts” in heat, sea level rise and extreme weather in 2015...

Affordable Housing Advocates Pack Council Meeting To Demand Action   The Tennessean...Nashvillians spent more than two hours Tuesday night debating a proposed ordinance that is designed to generate more affordable housing in Davidson County, with proponents calling the measure a key first step to address what they called a crisis and real estate groups warning of unintended ramifications. But while both sides had their say at a Metro Council public hearing that went late into Tuesday night, backers of the housing proposal known as inclusionary zoning far outnumbered opponents...

Number Of Black Farmers In U.S. Is Growing, Thanks In Part To The New Policies At The USDA   Yes! Magazine...The height of black farming didn’t last. Faced with the economic and social barriers of the time and decades of racist and discriminatory policies, black farmers spent the next century in decline. By 1982, their numbers were down to about 30,000—just 2 percent of the nation’s total. But today, the number of black farmers in the United States is suddenly growing again. In 2012, there were more than 44,000 of them, up about 15 percent from 10 years earlier. Nationally, they were still less than 2 percent of the country’s farmers, but their growth is noteworthy after such an extensive decline. Oklahoma, Louisiana and Florida all show gains, while Texas takes the lead with a gain of more than 2,500 black farmers...

"When You Dial 911 And Wall Street Answers": Inside How Private Equity Profits Off Our Daily Lives   Democracy Now!...When you woke up this morning, chances are your morning routine was touched in some way by a private equity firm. From the water you drink to the roads you drive to work, to the morning newspaper you read, Wall Street firms are playing an increasingly influential role in daily life...

Get Out Your Wallets, America: It Might Not Be Long Before We’re Bailing Out “Too Big To Fail” Banks Again   Salon.com...When you enter the ballot booth this November, keep in mind that you could very well be voting for the captain of sinking ship. You may be voting for the next president who will have to steer us through a financial meltdown, and it’s all because we never truly learned from our mistakes. The financial crisis of 2008 happened because the banks were too big, they were too opaque and they were engaging in risky business practices. Where are we now? Many of the banks are much bigger, they’re still opaque and they’re still engaging in risky business practices. This is a recipe for (another) disaster...

 

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