Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For September 2, 2016

In honor of Labor Day, the Teamster Nation blog will be not be posting our regular news roundup on Monday, September 5, 2016. We will resume the news blog on Tuesday, September 6. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.

 

TEAMSTERS

A Labor Day Message from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa  Teamster.org  ..."Labor Day is a time for reflection; a day to remember that working people tell the true story of America. They are the mirror that shows how we live and whether we live up to our founding ideals. It is my profound hope that a revitalized labor movement will once again empower working people to drive their own destinies and create a more equally prosperous America. The American labor movement is responsible for many things we take for granted"...

Teamsters vote to strike at Sharonville gas plant  Cincinnati.com  ...Drivers and plant operation workers at industrial gas company Airgas in Sharonville have voted to authorize a strike. The workers, members of Teamsters Local 100 in Evendale, have been without a contract since Nov. 30, 2015 and went on a one-day warning strike n March 11, 2016. The workers claim Airgas has placed cameras in workers’ restrooms and locker rooms at the local facility and the company refuses to allow workers to take up to two unpaid sick days per year...

Labor union continues fight to restore Park Ridge police officer's job  Chicago Tribune  ...The labor union representing a Park Ridge police officer who was fired last year is seeking to have an arbitrator's ruling against him thrown out. According to a July Cook County Circuit Court filing, Teamsters Local 700 is asking a judge to vacate arbitrator Donald Cohen's June 22 decision, which denied Mark Vallejo's grievance against the city of Park Ridge and upheld the former police officer's termination...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Workers Strike Across India to Protest Economic Reforms  ABC News  ...Millions of public sector workers across India went on strike Friday to protest economic reforms, saying the government's plan for raising the country's minimum wage for unskilled workers did not go far enough. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government says the reforms, including opening some sectors to private and foreign investment, are needed to boost growth...

TTIP: Are US-Europe trade talks tanking?  BBC   ...Sigmar Gabriel, the German economy minister, says that trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union have effectively failed. The talks began in 2013 with the aim of reducing or removing a wide range of barriers to transatlantic trade and investment - but they have proved controversial in both Europe and America. There are many critics who hope Mr Gabriel's assessment is right...

A Homegrown Disaster  Buzzfeed  ...Since NAFTA took effect in 1994, that obscure legal channel, known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, has widened into a torrent of legal claims, many of them against countries that are poor or facing economic crises. The judgments of this global super court carry enormous power — in the US, they often carry the same authority as Supreme Court rulings — and there is no serious right to appeal...

The Real Danger from the TPP  The News Virginian  ...Most of the criticism of our trade deals has focused on the very real problem of jobs and decent wages for American workers. But we hear curiously little about what, in the long run, would likely prove the worst thing about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): a provision that would seriously erode our national sovereignty...

Portugal’s PM says anti-austerity drive is boosting economy  Financial Times  ...Portugal is proving that there are successful alternatives to austerity for the eurozone’s struggling economies, the country’s socialist prime minister has said. António Costa said this week that an anti-austerity pact between his mainstream party and the radical left was delivering economic growth and budgetary rigour, ensuring that Lisbon would this year comply with the EU’s fiscal rules for the first time...

Completing Democratic Overthrow, Brazil's Right-Wing Senate Ousts Rousseff  Common Dreams  ...As ABC News reports, the nation's first female president faced charges of "violating fiscal laws by using loans from public banks to cover budget shortfalls, which artificially enhanced the budget surplus." Critics of the process, however, have repeatedly argued the legal grounds for those charges are essentially non-existent...

Trump's Wall is Tantamount to Act of War: Outrage in Mexico as President Peña Nieto Meets with Trump  Democracy Now  ...On Wednesday, Donald Trump traveled to Mexico City to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who once compared Trump to Hitler and Mussolini. The Mexican president came under fire for inviting Trump to meet with him in Mexico, a move many critics saw as legitimizing Trump’s positions...

The Overlooked Crisis On The U.S.-Mexico Border  Think Progress  ...With some 40,000 people, Calexico is Imperial County’s second-largest town and the closest one to Mexicali, a city widely considered one of the most air-polluted in Mexico and, considering its size, likely the most polluted along the U.S-Mexico border aside from Ciudad Juárez. No other Mexican city with less than a million people is close to having as many deaths linked to air pollution...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

New Jersey Democrats plan to put $15 minimum wage on 2017 ballot after Christie veto  Daily Kos  ...The New Jersey state legislature passed a minimum wage increase, only to have wildly unpopular Gov. Chris Christie veto it. Now, Democrats say they will try to put the issue on the ballot in 2017, when voters will also be electing Christie’s successor. Christie went to a grocery store to veto the bill, taking selfies with some of the workers he was presumably denying a raise....

Minimum-Wage Hikes Go Straight to the Ballot Box  The Atlantic  ...While Christie was issuing his veto in New Jersey, a court  out west ruled that Arizona would join Colorado, Maine, and Washington as states where voters would have the opportunity to lift the wage floor themselves. The ballot measure approach worked for progressives in 2014...

California Passes First-Ever Bill To Give Poor Families Money For Diapers  Think Progress  ...California could soon become the first state in the country to offer poor families some help with an expensive necessity: diapers. Diapers aren’t covered by food stamps — in California, they’re classified along with cigarettes and alcohol as invalid purchases — nor by the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program for low-income mothers... 

NC, federal officials say they’ll go after labor scheme, tax cheats  News & Observer  ...After years of nibbling away at a pervasive labor scheme that cheated vulnerable workers and left honest employers struggling, state officials agreed Wednesday to work side by side with federal officials to combat the problem. The agreement breaks down long-standing barriers between federal labor officials and leaders at the state Industrial Commission, which was charged last year by Gov. Pat McCrory with coordinating efforts among state agencies to find and crack down on scofflaw employers...

Protests Erupt in San Juan as Obama Forms Unelected Control Board to Run Puerto Rico  Truthout  ...President Obama has appointed seven members to a federal control board that will run the finances of Puerto Rico's nearly bankrupt government for at least the next five years and restructure nearly $70 billion in debt. The board is made up of three Democrats and four Republicans who will not only approve any budgets created by the island's politicians, but also attempt to negotiate with the island's nearly 20 creditors...

No, voter fraud actually isn’t a persistent problem  Washington Post  ...Politicians and voting rights advocates continue to clash over whether photo ID and other voting requirements are needed to prevent voter fraud, but a News21 analysis and recent court rulings show little evidence that such fraud is widespread. A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span...

The Impact of a $15 Minimum Wage on Hunger in America  Century Foundation  ...The Great Recession has had an immense toll on the ability of Americans to feed themselves. Today, 14.0 percent of American households—about one in seven—suffer from food insecurity, which means they do not have the resources to provide enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members...

 

U.S. LABOR

St. Louis area union painters strike over wages  Post-Dispatch  ...About 1,400 union painters in the St. Louis area went on strike Thursday in a wage dispute with contractors. The strike began after the three-year contract covering members of Painters District Council 58 expired at midnight Wednesday. A council representative said no union official was available Thursday to discuss the strike...

Volkswagen Rejects Auto Union Plea and Files Appeal on Labor Board Ruling  Fortune  ...Volkswagen AG said on Thursday it has filed an appeal of a federal labor board decision on its dispute with the United Auto Workers union in Tennessee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The National Labor Relations board on Aug. 26 sided with the UAW in the union’s effort to get VW to negotiate wages and benefits for about 160 of the 1,500 hourly workers at a VW plant in Chattanooga...

Ballots To Finally Be Counted In WGA’s Bid To Unionize Peacock Productions Producers  Deadline  ...The National Labor Relations Board has finally ordered the counting of ballots cast more than three years ago to determine whether reality show producers at NBC News’ Peacock Productions want to be represented by the WGA East. Writer-producers at the NBCUniversal subsidiary filed a motion for union election with the NLRB in October 2012, and a vote was held the following June...

Packers' Aaron Rodgers: Players should demand arbitrator in next CBA talks  ESPN  ...If Aaron Rodgers is still playing in 2021, he wouldn't mind getting involved in the next round of labor negotiations between the NFL and the players' union. In doing so, he believes the players should ask for an independent arbitrator -- and not commissioner Roger Goodell -- to rule on player discipline...

Walmart plans to cut 7,000 jobs  BBC  ...Walmart, the US supermarket chain, plans to cut 7,000 back office and accounting jobs in its US stores. The move comes after a pilot programme in 500 stores this summer that tested a new accounting system. A Walmart official said the employees affected by the changes would have the option of moving into jobs serving customers if they chose to stay...

Survey: 'Gig economy' workers not quite satisfied  Seattle Pi  ...Seattle has become a prime testbed for all kinds of innovation, including startups in the “gig economy." But workers participating in the “gig economy" -- temporary or independent-contract workers -- might not be as satisfied as they were with regular, full-time employment. A recent survey from Deloitte found that 67 percent of respondents who had worked as independent contractors wouldn’t choose to do it again... 

Black Workers Really Do Need to Be Twice as Good  The Atlantic  ...There’s data that demonstrates the unfortunate reality: Black workers receive extra scrutiny from bosses, which can lead to worse performance reviews, lower wages, and even job loss. The NBER paper, authored by Costas Cavounidis and Kevin Lang, of Boston University, attempts to demonstrate how discrimination factors into company decisions, and creates a feedback loop, resulting in racial gaps in the labor force...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Obama moves to end the war on drugs: Commuting the sentences of 111 offenders is a good first step  Salon  ...On Wednesday, the White House announced that Obama has commuted the sentences of 111 federal inmates, including 35 serving life sentences. The prisoners were all nonviolent drug offenders and many had been sentenced under mandatory minimums and other guidelines no longer in effect today...

Celebrations Abound as Angela Corey, 'Cruelest Prosecutor in America,' Ousted  Common Dreams  ...Reviled Florida State Attorney Angela Corey lost her reelection bid on Tuesday night, prompting widespread celebration as the woman The Nation once suggested was "the cruelest prosecutor in America" was ousted. "Corey's loss is an encouraging sign that the public will no longer tolerate overzealous and unprincipled criminal prosecutions, including women and children"... 

Donald Trump Just Gave His Most Extreme Immigration Speech Yet  Mother Jones  ...In a provocative 75-minute speech Wednesday evening in Phoenix—one that quickly drew praise from David Duke and other prominent white nationalists—Donald Trump put to rest any notion that he is "softening" his stance on immigration. The GOP nominee reiterated many of his most extreme proposals...

Your Tax Money Is Subsidizing Wall Street Bonuses  The Nation  ... Few people have heard of Section 162(m) of the tax code. But if you want to understand the deeply perverse incentives built into the American economy, all you need to do is examine this little subsection of the law. Section 162(m) was a well-intentioned effort by Bill Clinton to rein in executive pay by capping tax deductions for CEO salaries at $1 million. There’s a loophole in the language, however, that allows exemptions for stock options or any other pay... 

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