Monday, November 30, 2015

Today's Teamster News 11.30.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters Local 727 Files Unfair Labor Practices Against Coca-Cola Refreshments  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 727 filed numerous unfair labor practice charges today against Coca-Cola Refreshments, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola, that include bargaining in bad faith, intimidation of workers with baseball bats and unilaterally changing contract terms and working conditions. Local 727 represents more than 300 warehouse and production workers and transport drivers at Coca-Cola Refreshments facilities in Niles and Alsip, Ill...
An Uber union? Seattle could clear way for ride-app drivers  Seattle Times  ...Ajema contacted Uber staffers in Seattle suggesting the company meet with a committee of drivers to review changes, he said. For months, the effort went nowhere. “So I just Googled labor unions in Seattle,” Ajema said. The only response came from Teamsters Local 117, which had already helped set up a trade association for taxi drivers...
Strike at Distributor Slows Beer, Wine Deliveries  KEZI  ...A strike at a Portland-area beer and wine distributor has slowed deliveries just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Oregonian reports that about 80 workers represented by Teamsters Local 162 went on strike last week at General Distributors Inc. in Oregon City. Teamsters officials say the walkout began Tuesday. They say the company is demanding annual cuts that would average $19,000 per employee...
Transdev Drivers Are Standing Together to Form Their Union  Local 117  ...About 275 drivers, employed at Transdev, are fighting to win their union and become members of Teamsters Local 117. These drivers perform essential services to our community by transporting elderly and disabled residents of King County to locations throughout our region. Many will be working over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend...
Teamsters to represent Site C camp attendants  Alaska Highways  ...The Teamsters union has won the right to represent attendants at the Site C work camp, against the wishes of the company hired to build it. On Nov. 2, the Labour Relations Board dismissed an objection by ATCO Two Rivers Camp Services calling the union’s application for certification “premature.” Close to two dozen workers servicing the temporary work camp at the dam site had been seeking representation...
Teamsters Local 362 Celebrates New Opportunities For Veterans In Alberta  Teamsters 362  ...Just days before Remembrance Day, an announcement was made by the Alberta government that will have a positive impact for Canadian Armed Forces. Alberta transportation Minister Brian Mason announced that Alberta will now recognize the DND 404 military driver’s permit. Teamsters Canada has been a supporter of the initiative and were very happy with the announcement...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
How the TPP could impact regulation of everything from cars to medical devices  Vox  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a mammoth deal the Obama administration finished negotiating last month, doesn't just deal with trade in physical goods. It also establishes a number of new rules governing how countries from Canada to Vietnam regulate the digital economy. Like most parts of the TPP, the new rules on electronic commerce largely reflect the priorities of US industry...
Five groups that could determine the fate of TPP  The Hill  ...Congressional passage of a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade agreement hinges on several key endorsements that will make or break the pact on Capitol Hill. Republican leaders, a tight coalition of Democrats and a diverse range of business groups — all of whom worked hard to pass trade promotion authority (TPA) this summer — are needed to push through the massive 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal...
Thailand says 'highly likely' it will seek TPP membership  Reuters  ...Thailand is "highly likely" to seek membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) but would first need to weigh up the impact of the free-trade accord on its export-led economy, a deputy prime minister said on Friday. The pact currently has 12 members and would slash tariffs in a bloc comprising countries from Canada, Australia and Japan to Mexico, Vietnam and Chile in a trade area of 800 million people worth about 40 percent of the global economy...
Once an Obama ally on trade deal, Utah’s Hatch may fight latest proposal  SLTribune  ...The Trade Promotion Authority passed Congress, but now with Hatch's help may actually doom the president's push for a transpacific-trade deal. The TPA allows Congress only an up or down vote on a trade deal without amendments, but it also mandates that the legislative body gets to review and suggest changes to the administration...
TTIP talks: EU alleged to have given ExxonMobil access to confidential strategies  The Guardian  ...The EU appears to have given the US oil company ExxonMobil access to confidential negotiating strategies considered too sensitive to be released to the European public during its negotiations with the US on the trade agreement TTIP, documents reveal. Officials also asked one oil refinery association for “concrete input” on the text of an energy chapter for the negotiations...
Thai traffickers exposed by campaign group investigating fishing industry  Reuters  ...A three-year investigation into slavery on Thailand's fishing boats has uncovered a well-oiled system of trafficking, abuse and exploitation in the southern port of Kantang, leading to eight arrests this month, a campaign group said on Monday. The owner of a fishing company, three enforcers and four boat captains were arrested on Nov. 7 after the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) handed police evidence against them...
Hundreds walk in Montreal austerity protest  Global News  ...They walked by the hundreds: students, teachers, healthcare workers, even politicians. “What they are saying to the government is stop lying about balancing the budget, there are other means of balancing the budget,” said Qu├ębec Solidaire deputy Amir Khadir. Saturday afternoon, protesters gathered in Jarry Park to make their message heard: no to austerity, yes to social justice...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Republicans look to shift federal road funds; opponents say it's attack on prevailing wage  Star Tribune  ...Republican legislators have created a bill that would shift federal road-building dollars from local work to state projects, a move that would exempt local projects from federal prevailing wage requirements. Sen. Duey Stroebel and Rep. Rob Brooks' bill would move $47 million in federal funding away from local projects and pour it into state projects such as freeway rehabilitation...
Kraus announces voter ID as a top priority  Missouri Times  ...Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, plans to file a joint resolution and a bill regarding voter identification Tuesday when pre-filing begins for the upcoming legislative session. Kraus said passing the joint resolution and putting the issue to a vote of the people is a key step in preventing voter fraud in the state...
Walmart Workers Strike, Protest Company Heiress On Black Friday  Think Progress  ...Walmart workers and their supporters are protesting at a dozen stores around the United States on Black Friday as part of an ongoing campaign for union recognition and a $15 hourly wage. The protests are scaled down from previous years’ Black Friday activism, when striking workers and solidarity protesters staged larger rallies and a longer list of locations...
How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce  Bloomberg  ...OUR Walmart, a group of employees backed and funded by a union, was asking for more full-time jobs with higher wages and predictable schedules. Walmart considered the group enough of a threat that it hired an intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin, contacted the FBI, staffed up its labor hotline, ranked stores by labor activity, and kept eyes on employees (and activists) prominent in the group...

U.S. LABOR
CUNY Faculty Authorizes a Strike Vote  The Nation  ... The Professional Staff Congress—the labor union that represents more than 25,000 faculty and staff across the City University of New York’s 24 campuses—has had a busy November. In the course of three weeks, the union has organized a coordinated act of civil disobedience, taken the first step towards calling for a strike, and helped deliver more than 40,000 postcards to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office...
How Higher Wages For U.S. Autoworkers Could Help You Get a Raise, Too  Bloomberg  ...Cars are flying off U.S. dealer lots at the fastest pace since 2005, and after a decade of flat wages, the workers who make them are getting a raise, too. If such gains precede broader pay bumps in the labor market, Federal Reserve policy makers could have more evidence that the wage pressure they so desperately want to see is starting to build...
Ford Says UAW Contract Lifts U.S. Labor Costs Less Than 1.5%  Bloomberg  ...Ford Motor Co. said its new four-year contract with the United Auto Workers will increase its U.S. labor costs by less than 1.5 percent annually by letting the company hire more low-cost workers and move production to factories in other countries. The contract will raise Ford’s hourly labor rate, including wages and benefits, to $60 from $57...
Hillary Clinton Nabs Another Big Endorsement  Huffington Post  ...Hillary Clinton just locked down another endorsement from a major labor union as she seeks the Democratic nomination for president, solidifying her hold on organized labor's backing in the primary. The Laborers' International Union of North America, or LIUNA, announced Tuesday that it would be throwing its weight behind the front-runner...
Tampa assisted living facility pays $287K in back wages  Business Journal  ...A federal probe has found that workers at La Bella Vida Assisted Living Facility Inc. in Tampa weren't living a beautiful life, at least not when it came to their paychecks. The facility is paying $287,087 in back wages and damages to 20 workers, after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation found that La Bella Vida violated overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions...
Making Employees Work On Thanksgiving Doesn’t Pay Off For Retailers  Think Progress  ...Eleven brands opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, requiring millions of employees to report to work on the national holiday. Many businesses believe that opening on Thanksgiving will boost overall holiday sales by getting shoppers in ahead of the official start to Black Friday. But this year’s sales data show it was mostly a dud...
The middle-class economic squeeze is not about rising federal taxes  EPI  ...Policymakers and candidates for office have reacted to rising inequality and near-stagnant wages in recent decades by promising to either cut or hold the line on federal taxes for “middle-class” families. However, the rise in inequality and the near-stagnation of hourly wages for most American workers has not been driven by rising federal taxes. In fact, federal tax rates have steadily fallen...
Inside the Southern California factory that makes the Donald Trump hats  LA Times ...Look around the factory floor where these hats are being made by the thousands, and you’ll find faces that don’t seem to fit into Trump’s America. Yolanda Melendrez is one of them. Melendrez, an immigrant from Mexico who was brought to the United States by her parents when she was a baby, has worked at the Carson-based Cali-Fame headwear company since 1991...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Taylor Farms recalls Costco salad linked to E. coli  The Californian  ...Federal officials say a vegetable mix has been recalled after it was believed to be the source of E.coli in Costco chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened 19 people in seven states. Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. of Tracy, has recalled a mix of diced celery and onion used in Costco chicken salad...
3 Dead; 9 Wounded at Planned Parenthood in Colorado  Common Dreams  ...Robert Lewis Dear, a 57-year-old from North Carolina, has been named as the gunman behind a massacre at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic in which three people died and nine were injured. In a statement Friday night, Planned Parenthood said: "We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment"...
Paris Protests Turn Violent as Hundreds of Thousands Rally for Climate Worldwide  Slate  ...Hundreds of thousands of people around the world got together for rallies and demonstrations on Sunday to demand action on climate change from global leaders who are gathering in Paris for a major summit on the issue. In Paris itself, things got off to a violent start as police fired tear gas at protesters and 208 people were detained after clashing with riot police...
Paris Climate Deal Must Not Ignore Billions of World's Poorest: Oxfam  Common Dreams  ..."World leaders need to step up," the head of Oxfam declared Wednesday, calling for an ambitious global fund to address a key paradox of climate change in which the poorest people on Earth suffer most from a crisis they did little to cause. The international aid agency is calling on rich countries to do their part by committing to deeper emissions cuts and higher climate finance...
Krugman: How to Stop the Affluent from Trampling on the Poor as They Move Back to Big Cities  Alternet  ..."Urban America reached an inflection point around 15 years ago," he writes. "After decades of decline, central cities began getting richer, more educated, and, yes, whiter. Today our urban cores are providing ever more amenities, but largely to a very affluent minority." There are a couple of drivers for this phenomenon, Krugman figures...