Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For October 18, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Majority of King County Groups Approve Total Comp Agreement  Local 117  ...On Friday evening, Teamster volunteers tallied up the votes on the total comp agreement between the coalition of unions and King County. Eleven of twelve bargaining units approved the agreement. The agreement calls for a 2.25 percent general wage increase in 2017 and a 2.75 percent increase in 2018. One percent of the 2018 increase is contingent on the coalition successfully negotiating a separate Master Agreement by the end of next year...

Santa Rosa ratifies new bus union contract  NWF Daily News  ...Teamster bus drivers and monitors at Durham School Services in Santa Rosa County voted overwhelmingly, 85-1, in favor of their first agreement with the company. The agreement was reached Oct. 8. The workers had decided to form a union with the Teamsters in February 2013 but Durham didn't accept the certification until this month...

School bus drivers score pay raise, benefits  PNJ.com  ...An exhaustive three and a half-year effort to secure benefits and increase wages finally paid off for Santa Rosa County school bus drivers. The bus drivers voted Saturday to ratify a collective bargaining agreement between Teamsters Local 991 and Durham School Bus Service. The two sides agreed to the terms after 10 negotiating sessions. The union ratified the agreement by an 85-1 vote...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Canada union approves Fiat Chrysler contract; Ford next  Reuters  ...Canadian manufacturing workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles voted on Sunday to approve a tentative labor agreement with the automaker, their union said, averting a strike and clearing the way for talks with Ford Motor Co. The Unifor union said 70.1 percent voted to ratify the four-year deal, which covers 9,750 manufacturing workers...

Obama defends TTIP deal with Europe  News.com  ...Defending the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement being sought with the European Union, US President Barack Obama says globalisation, particularly in the form of free trade, has improved the lives of "billions". TTIP is under negotiation but its future is in doubt as both US presidential candidates to succeed Obama, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have reservations about it...

Posting New Secret Trade Docs, Wikileaks Further Exposes Corporate Plot  Common Dreams  ...Wikileaks on Friday also published new draft chapters of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) which shed new light on the pending deal that critics say puts global economies at further risk from powerful banks, financial institutions, and corporate greed. The latest release follows a series of others by the pro-tranparency publication and comes just days ahead of the next round of TISA negotiations set to begin Monday in Washington, DC...

Ratifying Pacific trade pact not on Vietnam assembly agenda  Seattle Times  ...Vietnam needs more time before it ratifies the Trans Pacific Partnership, an official said Tuesday, dealing a blow to the trade deal that includes the United States and Japan. Thorough preparation is needed to ensure Vietnam’s success in participating in the pact, so it will not be submitted for approval during the assembly’s monthlong session that begins Thursday, Nguyen Hanh Phuc, general secretary of the National Assembly, told reporters...

Free our trade deals from corporate interests  (opinion) Washington Post  ...Why do polls show that Americans support “free trade” but oppose our trade agreements? Consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership: A 2014 Post infographic reveals that more than 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests had special access to TPP negotiators and texts while the public, press and Congress were shut out...

The truth about trade  (opinion) Boston Globe  ...The debate over global trade and investment has played a central role throughout the 2016 campaign, as it did in the 1992 election. Back then, third-party candidate Ross Perot claimed that the proposed North American Free Trade Act with Canada and Mexico would cause a “giant sucking sound” of jobs out of the United States to low-wage Mexico. Now the debate is over two similar negotiations...

Obama hails Renzi's Italian reforms, criticizes EU austerity  Reuters  ...Barack Obama praised the political "vision" of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in a newspaper interview on Tuesday ahead of a state visit by Renzi to Washington, and criticized EU rules that rein in national budgets. "I believe the austerity measures have contributed to slowing growth in Europe," the U.S. president told la Repubblica daily...

Environmental Official Shot Dead in Brazil as Attacks on Land Defenders Rise in Latin America  Common Dreams  ...An environmental official well-known for his aggressive enforcement of deforestation laws in his city in the Brazilian Amazon was gunned down in front of his family late Thursday, city officials reported Friday. Two men shot the official, Luiz Araujo, seven times as he drove up to his home, local police told the Associated Press. "[T]wo men fled on a motorcycle without taking anything, leading to speculation that they were paid assassins," the Los Angeles Times reports...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Florida minimum wage rising to $8.10 an hour in 2017  Sun Sentinel  ...Florida is raising its minimum wage to $8.10 an hour beginning Jan. 1, up 5 cents from $8.05 in 2016, the state Department of Economic Opportunity has announced. For tipped employees, the minimum wage will be at least $5.08 an hour. The minimum wage rate is recalculated each year on Sept. 30, based on the Consumer Price Index... 

Indiana: IPFW economist says study shows state made mistake becoming right-to-work  Sun-Commercial  ...An Economic Policy Institute study should provide a wake-up call to Indiana on the mistake it made when it became a right-to-work state, according to a local authority on labor relations. Regions with a higher share of workers represented by unions have higher nonunion wages, the study said, and a nationwide decline of unionization during the past three decades has reduced wages for the country’s nonunion workers...

Wisconsin: Scott Walker Backers Defend Lead and State's Poisoned Politics  PR Watch  ...In Scott Walker's Wisconsin, lead chips have replaced cheese curds as the tasty snack of choice. At least that's what one might think reviewing right-wing reaction to news revelations in the Guardian that Scott Walker may have secretly solicited $750,000 from Texas billionaire Harold Simmons. Simmons was the owner of numerous businesses including a lead pigment firm called NL Industries, which sold toxic paint and other products containing lead for decades...

Illinois: State Renovation Project Honors Prevailing Wage  Alton Daily News  ...A statehouse Republican is applauding the recent decision to honor prevailing wage and bidding rules typically followed by publicly funded projects during the privately funded renovation of Illinois' historic Executive Mansion. "Symbols are very important," state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Decatur, said. "I think bidding a project of this scope out sends a good signal at a time when Illinois is so deeply polarized"...

Ohio’s homeless voters face barriers to the ballot box  Think Progress  ...In addition to the high levels of apathy and distrust in a population struggling with mental illness and stress, the group has also faced many legal barriers to election participation. They unsuccessfully challenged the state’s voter ID law, arguing that it disproportionately punished homeless voters who often lack the documents needed to acquire an ID...

 

U.S. LABOR

SEPTA Workers Vote To Authorize Strike  CBS  ...The union representing SEPTA bus drivers, subway and trolley operators has voted to authorize a strike if a deal is not reached before its contract expires at the end of October. SEPTA spokeswoman Carla Showell-Lee said officials are working to avoid a strike. “The parties continue to bargain, to reach a new agreement,” she said...

Why Are Workers At Our Richest Universities Going Hungry?   The Concourse  ...This month, Harvard University received a $10 million donation earmarked to study residents in poor neighborhoods in Boston. The same week, Harvard’s dining workers had to go on strike in search of a living wage. The richest universities in America have financial reserves comparable large publicly traded corporations. Harvard, the richest of all, has an endowment of $35 billion...

Business seeks quick overtime shutdown  Politico  ...Business groups filed a motion late Friday for expedited summary judgment, in effect asking a federal judge in Texas to vacate immediately the Labor Department’s overtime rule. The regulation, effective December 1, will double (to $47,476) the salary threshold under which virtually all workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in a given week...

About Those 79 Cents  The Atlantic  ...The 79-cents statistic is an average that includes all women, but it obscures the even wider gaps faced by women of color. For black women, the number is closer to 65 cents, while for Latinas it is even lower, at 54 cents. This data draws attention to the fact that while women as a group aren’t paid as much as men, women of color see even more pronounced earnings gaps...

McDonald’s Labor Board Deal May Speed Joint Employer Ruling  Bloomberg  ...McDonald’s USA LLC and its franchisees agreed to let the National Labor Relations Board decide whether they’re joint employers, even before processing dozens of related unfair labor practice charges across the country. The case has been watched closely because of the NLRB general counsel’s claim that the franchiser’s indirect or potential control over fast food employees supports a finding that it is a joint employer with local restaurant operators...

Wal-Mart Holds On To Win In Calif. Union Protest Action  Law360  ...Wal-Mart correctly received an injunction barring union protestors from demonstrating inside its stores, a California state appeals court said in a published opinion Friday, affirming an earlier decision that the unions were attempting to toss out. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and the Organization Untied for Respect at Wal-Mart had appealed the trial court's original decision and protested the appeals court's earlier ruling affirming it...

How Trump's Casino Bankruptcies Screwed His Workers out of Millions in Retirement Savings  Mother Jones  ...Trump's company encouraged its employees to invest their retirement savings in company stock, according to a class-action lawsuit filed by employees against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts following its 2004 bankruptcy. Then, when the stock price was near its nadir as bankruptcy loomed, the company forced the employees to sell their stock at a huge loss...

Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Threat To Victims, A Quandary For Bystanders  NPR  ...What responsibilities do co-workers have as bystanders when they witness unwanted sexual behavior at work? The question has surfaced anew in the past week, as Donald Trump's taped comments about kissing and grabbing women — and the allegations now coming from accusers — have prompted discussion online and elsewhere...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Immigrants In The U.S. Illegally Say 'We're Not Hypothetical'  NPR  ...About half of the people in the U.S. without legal documentation come from Mexico, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. The rest are from all over: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, India, Korea and a mix of other countries, according to DHS. The estimate of 11 million has been relatively stable for nearly a decade, even though Trump has referenced the "record pace of immigration"...

In Ferguson, the Seeds of Trump's Defeat  The Atlantic  ...Some have argued that Trump's nomination may have come as a white backlash to events like the Ferguson protests, which Trump has called “race riots.” But if Trump loses the presidential election, an outcome that looks increasingly likely, it will be due to the backlash to the backlash: the increasingly diverse American electorate, starting with an African American community that proved stubbornly resistant to Trump’s belated attempts to woo them...

More 'Delay and Deceit' as Exxon Tries to Block Climate Change Investigation  Common Dreams  ...ExxonMobil requested Monday that a federal court throw out a subpoena from New York's attorney general that would force the oil and gas behemoth to turn over decades of documents, which would show whether the company misled investors and the public on the connection between fossil fuel emissions and climate change...

18,000-member organization of police chiefs apologizes for past treatment of people of color  Think Progress  ...On Monday, during an annual convention for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the leader of the 18,000-member organization issued a formal apology to “communities of color.” But the apology stopped short of acknowledging current injustices that those communities face...

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