Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For January 21, 2016

TEAMSTERS 

O’Reilly Auto Parts Workers Win Teamster Representation After Five-Year Battle  Teamster.org  ...For half a decade, workers at a warehouse in Moreno Valley, Calif. have gone without union representation despite voting in favor of joining Teamsters Local 166 in 2010. Now the 65 warehouse workers and drivers of Ozark Automotive Distributors, who stock and deliver supplies to O'Reilly Auto Parts stores, can finally call themselves Teamsters. An election held on Jan. 8 resulted in a majority voting in favor of joining the union...

Hoffa to MillerCoors: Keep Eden Brewery Open  Teamster.org  ... In a letter to corporate executives, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa called on MillerCoors to reverse its decision to close the award-winning Eden, N.C., brewery, calling the decision, “callous and short-sighted.” Hoffa said the union is convinced that the decision to close Eden is merger-related and timed to avoid regulatory scrutiny during the federal government’s antitrust review of the proposed Anheuser Busch InBev and SABMiller merger...

Teamsters delivering bottled water to Flint, Mich.  RTV 6  ...Teamsters delivering bottled water to Flint, Mich. Thursday morning, they are delivering more than 1,000 cases of bottled water to Flint, Mich. The city is dealing with a tainted water problem. Flint's tap water became contaminated after the city switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River as a cost-cutting move...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Greek Sailors Stage 48-Hour Strike Against Austerity Measures  Sputnik News  ...Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) began on Wednesday a 48-hour strike against austerity measures, as all vessels remain in ports and ferry traffic to Greek islands is suspended. The sailors are protesting the Greek government's plans to reform pension and social security systems, and the elimination of seamen insurance fund NAT...

Independent economists: TPP will kill 450,000 US jobs  BoingBoing  ...TPP would lead to employment losses in all countries, with a total of 771,000 lost jobs. The United States would be the hardest hit, with a loss of 448,000 jobs. Developing economies participating in the agreement would also suffer employment losses, as higher competitive pressures force them to curtail labor incomes and increase production for export...

TPP to cost U.S. billions in lost tariffs  Politico  ...The approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could cost the United States more than $15 billion in lost tariff revenue over the first 10 years of the pact, experts say, potentially leading to new fees on businesses or spending cuts to cover the tab...

TPP will be signed in Auckland next month  Radio NZ  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be signed in Auckland in two weeks, the government has confirmed. The confirmation comes a fortnight after the Chilean government announced that the signing would go ahead in New Zealand on 4 February - news the New Zealand government refused to confirm last week, saying the arrangements had not been decided on...

Independent agency holds big sway over TPP trade deal  Washington Post  ...the obscure commission holds sway over one of the most contentious political issues of 2016: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, struck between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations. With a vote in Congress unlikely until after the November elections, the entire influence industry seems to be whirring either for or against the trade deal...

TPP's Economic Impact Will Be Fewer Jobs, More Inequality, New Study Says  Huffington Post  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership meant to create the world’s largest free trade area will cost Canada 58,000 jobs and increase income inequality, says a new U.S. study. Perhaps more surprisingly, the study found that the two largest economies in the TPP — the U.S. and Japan — would actually shrink as a result of the trade deal, and that the deal would result in fewer jobs overall in all the participating countries...

Froman rallies mayors for TPP support  The Hill ...The top U.S. trade official on Wednesday rallied the nation’s mayors around an expansive Pacific Rim trade agreement. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman called for support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and urged Congress to quickly pass the 12-nation deal...

16-Hour Days for Migrant Workers at Malaysia Factory  Solidarity Center  ...Migrant workers at a glass factory in Malaysia say that for the past year, they have been forced to work 16-hour days, Monday through Friday, and eight-hour days on Saturdays and Sundays—without a day off. Injuries are common, such as the deep, seven-inch long gash one worker suffered on his chest while carrying glass...

Draft Labor Law Must Be Dropped: Cambodia Union Leaders  Solidarity Center  ...Union leaders are asking the Cambodia Royal Government and National Assembly to suspend adoption of a pending trade union law because of restrictions it would place on the freedom to form unions, collectively bargain and strike...

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Push Creditors for Less Austerity in Davos  Wall Street Journal  ...Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to avert a fresh confrontation over Greece’s bailout at meetings in Davos, Switzerland, as disputes over the country’s broken finances threaten to reignite fears about its future in the eurozone. Mr. Tsipras is meeting this week with the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Awaiting court input, WVa Senate set for right-to-work vote  WTRF  ...As their majority hinges on an impending state Supreme Court decision, West Virginia Republican senators are teeing up a vote on right-to-work legislation. With no fanfare Wednesday, the GOP-led Senate moved the right-to-work bill into position for a vote Thursday. Their ability to cement right to work into law depends on an upcoming Supreme Court decision on whether a Democrat or Republican should fill a Senate vacancy...

Bill eliminating state’s prevailing wage advances  Metro News  ...Legislation eliminating West Virginia’s long-standing practice of paying government-determined wages for public projects has advanced at the Capitol. The House Government Organization Committee voted 15-9 along party lines Wednesday to pass HB 4005 striking down the state’s prevailing wage law...

Missouri House Republicans advance voter ID bills over Democratic opposition  Kansas City Star  ...The Missouri House on Wednesday gave initial approval to a pair of bills that would require Missourians to present a photo ID to vote in public elections. Both bills are expected to pass the House and be sent to the Senate on Thursday. The first bill would amend the state’s constitution, upon voter approval, to allow Missouri to require a photo ID to cast a ballot...

Vt. lawmakers debate mandating paid sick leave  WCAX  ...The bill-- that says workers could earn up to 24 hours per year in paid sick leave-- passed despite significant Republican opposition. It exempts seasonal or temporary workers. The bill would not require a change for companies already offering more than three days of sick leave. Senate Pro Tem John Campbell supports the legislation and wants to see it come up for a vote on the Senate floor-- if it gets through Mullins' committee...

South Dakota Lawmaker Wants To Drug Test All Welfare Applicants And Make Them Pay For It  Think Progress  ...As South Dakota’s legislative session begins this week, lawmakers will introduce a bill to make everyone who applies for welfare benefits take a drug test first. Applicants will be on the hook for the $25 or $30 test fee. And if they test positive, they would be denied cash assistance benefits. While at least 13 states currently drug test people who apply for welfare, they have had to get more creative than simply testing anyone who applies...

Walmart To Hike Its Minimum Wage To $10, Raise Pay For 1.2 Million Employees  Huffington Post  ...More than 1 million U.S. workers will be getting a raise next month when Walmart hikes its pay scale for store employees. The raises are part of a series of increases the retailer announced last year that will get all but its newest hires to at least $10 per hour. Walmart said Wednesday that the average pay for hourly employees will hit $13.38 for full-timers and $10.58 for part-timers...  

Boston exploring $15 per hour minimum wage, Mayor Martin Walsh says in State of the City address  MassLive  ...The city is putting together a task force of workers and employers to study a $15-an-hour minimum wage, Mayor Marty Walsh said in his State of the City address Tuesday. Walsh, a former labor union leader and state representative, said by setting up the task force “we’ll take the conversation about inequality one step further”...

 

U.S. LABOR

USW Reaches Settlement with FreightCar America  PR Newswire  ...The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania yesterday approved a settlement reached between the United Steelworkers (USW) and FreightCar America, LLC over the company's unlawful termination of retiree medical and life insurance benefits. The company had promised to provide lifetime benefits to its retirees...

Regional labor groups will join CSU faculty in potential strike  SacBee  ...Should the California Faculty Association strike over what it says has been a persistent underfunding of teaching staff during the past decade, union umbrella groups for counties encompassing 19 of the 23 CSU campuses – including the Sacramento Central Labor Council – have promised their own sanctions on the university...

Yorba Linda car wash to pay workers $68K in back wages, damages  OC Register  ...A Yorba Linda car wash that cheated 16 of its workers must pay $68,656 in back wages and damages, federal officials said Tuesday. Riverbend Hand Car Wash on La Palma Avenue made its employees arrive at a certain hour in the morning but refused to pay them for their time until a manager called them to clean cars, according to a U.S. Labor Department investigation...

Gov. Rauner seeks labor board ruling on impasse in talks with AFSCME  SJR  ...A week after denying it had declared negotiations at an impasse, the Rauner administration Friday asked the state labor relations board to determine if contract talks with the largest state employee union have stalled. If the Illinois Labor Relations Board rules in favor of the administration, it could open the door to the administration imposing its contract terms on the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 that represents about 38,000 state employees...

BAE to lay off up to 10 percent of Fort Wayne employees  News Sentinel  ...BAE Systems, an international aerospace and defense company, employs about 1,000 people at its Airport Expressway location. The reduction will include both International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers-Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) union represented and non-union employees, the company said...

As Obama Visits City, Teacher Sick-Outs Shutter Nearly All Detroit Public Schools  Common Dreams  ...On the same day that President Barack Obama visited the city to laud its alleged renaissance, teacher "sick-outs" over horrifying conditions closed 88 schools in Detroit on Wednesday. In response to the teachers' action, Detroit Public Schools "has filed an emergency motion seeking a restraining order." The suit names 23 individual teachers, the Detroit Federation of Teachers, union officials, and organized sickout supporters...

Nurses Union Urges Attorney General to Reject St. Joseph Health's Planned Merger  Lost Coast Outpost  ...The nation's largest nurses organization, National Nurses United, has called on California Attorney General Kamala Harris to reject efforts by two large Catholic hospital systems to consolidate, in a merger that NNU warns could have a major impact on the cost, quality and availability of critical hospital services. “NNU has substantial concerns about the impact of the proposed merger of these two hospital systems on patients, taxpayers, RNs and other employees, and the affected communities"...

Department of Labor sends warning shot to clients of temp staffing agencies  Washington Post  ...The Department of Labor thinks more companies should take responsibility for their contracted workforces, and it’s just told them exactly how and when. If there’s one trend that’s characterized the changing American workforce more than any other in recent decades, it’s been the fracturing of the employment relationship, as companies focus on their “core competencies” and pay other businesses to do everything else...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

CMD Submits Testimony to U.S. Senate on Koch Self-Interest in Criminal Justice Reform  PR Watch  ...The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committee about the Koch-backed push to undermine corporate criminal accountability under the guise of "mens rea" reform. The testimony was submitted for the Committee's January 20 hearing titled "The Adequacy of Criminal Intent Standards in Federal Prosecutions"...

Dark Money: Jane Mayer on How the Koch Bros. & Billionaire Allies Funded the Rise of the Far Right  Democracy Now  ...Democrats and Republicans are expected to spend about $1 billion getting their 2016 nominee elected. There’s a third group that will spend almost as much. It’s not a political party, and it doesn’t have any candidates. It’s the right-wing political network backed by the billionaire Koch brothers...

Report Warns that Plastics Will Soon Outweigh Fish in World's Oceans  Common Dreams  ...The weight of plastic waste clogging the world's oceans threatens to exceed all fish by 2050 if the world's seemingly insatiable appetite for the material continues at the current explosive rate, warned a new report presented on Tuesday. In fact, according to the study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation along with the World Economic Forum, "plastics production has surged over the past 50 years"...

SCOTUS Relaxes Capital Sentencing Rules, Clears the Way for Three Executions  Slate  ...On Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down a major death penalty decision that is sure to frustrate abolitionists who are still delighted over last week’s smackdown of Florida’s death penalty scheme. The opinion, penned by Justice Antonin Scalia, reversed a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that had mandated stringent procedural safeguards for capital defendants...

U.S. illegal immigrant population falls below 11 million, continuing nearly decade-long decline, report says  Washington Post  ...The illegal immigrant population in the United States has fallen below 11 million, continuing a nearly decade-long decline that has the potential to reshape the debate over reforming the nation’s immigration system, according to a study released Wednesday. The total undocumented immigrant population of 10.9 million is the lowest since 2003...

Robert Reich: Why the White Working Class Abandoned the Democratic Party  (opinion) Alternet  ...The bigotry now spewing forth from Donald Trump and several of his Republican rivals is an extension of this old race card, now applied to Mexicans and Muslims – with much the same effect on the white working class voters, who don’t trust Democrats to be as “tough.” All true, but this isn't the whole story. Democrats also abandoned the white working class...

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