Friday, December 18, 2015

Today's Teamster News 12.18.15

TEAMSTERS
Parsippany School Bus Workers Choose Teamsters Union  Teamster.org  ...School bus drivers and aides at Student Transportation of America (STA) in Parsippany, N.J., overcame tough opposition from management Wednesday, voting decisively in favor of union representation by Teamsters Local 102 in Springfield Township, N.J. The 78 bus workers are calling for improved working conditions, respect on the job and assurances that they will be paid for all hours worked...
Orange County Employees Join Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...A majority of the more than 400 operations and service maintenance workers employed by Orange County, Calif., voted to join Local 952 yesterday. After years of being part of an association, the new members of the local, which include custodians, laborers, mechanics, public works maintenance, equipment operators and pest control workers, overwhelmingly chose Teamster representation...
Local 528 Welcomes Pepsi Workers  Teamster.org  ...Drivers, merchandisers and warehouse workers at the Pepsi facility in Macon, Ga., recently voted to become members of Local 528. A majority of the 45-person unit cast ballots in the Teamsters’ favor. “We are pretty excited that we won,” said Erick Barber, a warehouse worker at the Macon facility. “This is my first time being a union member and I encourage anyone considering joining the Teamsters to keep pushing forward”...
Talks Progress in Effort to Save Safeway Warehouse Jobs  DC Labor  ...Union leaders and political allies trying to save nearly 1,000 jobs at the Safeway warehouse in Upper Marlboroon Tuesday had their “most productive meeting yet” with top officials from Albertson’s, Safeway’s parent company. “We have a much clearer picture of what needs to happen, and it was a very productive meeting on all sides,” said Ritchie Brooks, president of Teamsters Local 730, which represents most of the workers...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Workers let go after strike for 6-peso raise  Mexico News Daily  ...Over 100 workers were laid off at a Lexmark plant in Ciudad Ju├írez, Chihuahua, after going on strike for two days to press for a daily wage increase of 6 pesos, or US $0.35. They sought the increase, from 114 to 120 pesos, for more experienced workers, but the company rejected the demand in October. Discontent among workers had been brewing for months...
Cambodia garment factory owners ask government to help quash strike by workers  Star Tribune  ...Garment factory owners in Cambodia asked the government on Thursday to help stop a strike by workers for higher wages, saying the labor action is damaging the investment climate for the industry, the country's main source of exports. Wages are a volatile issue in Cambodia.  Unions sought an increase in the minimum monthly wage to $160 in 2016, but most settled for $140...
EU Aims for Free Trade Deal With US by End of Obama's Presidency - Merkel  Sputnik News ...The European Union aims to reach a free trade agreement with the United States by the end of current US President Barack Obama's term, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday. "We reiterated that we need a fast conclusion of talks on the Transatlantic Free Trade Area, and that it remains our goal to achieve such a political decision during Obama's presidency," Merkel told reporters...
TPP Ratification Process Grinding To A Halt As Canada Launches 'Widespread Consultations' On The Deal  Tech Dirt  ...The arrival of a new government in Canada has meant that the corporate sovereignty provisions in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU might be re-examined. The other major trade deal involving Canada, TPP, is much more complex. Although that limits the Canadian government's scope for changing course, it appears that it is nonetheless taking a radically different approach compared to its predecessor...
Spanish Coalition Speaks Out Against Proposed EU-US Free Trade Deals  Sputnik News  ...The Spanish United Left-Popular Unity coalition does not support the free trade deals the Euorpean Union is negotiating with the United States, the party candidate for the country’s parliament said. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free-trade deal between the European Union and the United States. The agreement which has been criticized for its unusual secrecy, is opposed by many Europeans...
County Board voices its opposition to TPP  Mesabi Daily News  ...St. Louis County commissioners on Tuesday solidified their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. Commissioner Tom Rukavina of Pike Township brought the resolution forward after State Rep. Jason Metsa addressed the board earlier in the year on the TPP’s affect on local business and industry, which was unanimously approved...
Portugal's Anti-Austerity Govt Reverses Public Pay Cuts  ABC  ...Portugal's new Socialist government is restoring full pay to civil servants after four years of cuts, ticking off another item on its anti-austerity to-do list. Under legislation approved Friday, pay increases will be phased in over next year until previous pay levels are reached in October. Cuts of up to 10 percent for staff earning more than 1,500 euros ($1,620) a month came into force in 2011...
Albanians protest over government’s austerity measures  Euro News  ...Thousands of Albanians took to the streets to protest over the governments handling of the economy with rising levels of poverty and unemployment. The government has angered many by cracking down on non-payment of household electricity bills, increasing social security contributions and raising income tax...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
2016 Ballot Effort to Privatize California Public Employee Pensions Faces Rocky Start, New Poll Finds  Alternet  ...The conservative obsession to cut public employee pensions is facing an uphill climb in California, according to a newly released poll that found ambivalent support for a pair of 2016 ballot measures pushed by former San Jose and San Diego officials. According to a Capital & Main-David Binder statewide poll of 500 likely voters, there’s roughly a 40-40 split, with the rest undecided, for both measures...
Missouri lawmaker proposes $15 minimum wage statewide  Business Journal   ...A Democratic state representative from St. Louis has pre-filed legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.65 per hour to $15 per hour. State Rep. Michael Butler said in a statement that Missourians who work full-time jobs should not live in poverty...
Florida Senate redistricting trial ends as judge weighs options  Miami Herald  ...After eight rulings by the Florida Supreme Court and an admission of guilt by legislators, the Senate redistricting trial ended Thursday with a Tallahassee judge asking the parties to tell him their top choices for a new Senate map. Leon County Circuit Court Judge George Reynolds now must decide whether to accept one of four proposals offered by the challengers...
Federal judge dismisses voter ID challenge  Post Crescent  ...Wisconsin's requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls has survived another legal challenge after a federal judge Thursday dismissed portions of a wide-ranging lawsuit alleging the mandate burdens the right to vote. One Wisconsin Institute Inc., a liberal group; Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund, a voting rights organization; and a half-dozen individual voters filed the lawsuit...
Will all N.J. workers get paid sick leave?  NJ.com  ...The state Senate on Thursday passed a bill entitling all employees to paid sick leave in New Jersey. The bill, which requires employers of all sizes to offer their workers paid sick time off, was opposed by business groups that called it a one-size-fits-all approach would hurt small businesses and drive up costs. Proponents say the measure is a pro-worker and pro-public health policy that will spare people from having to choose between their health and their jobs...
Labor advocates concerned about Tacoma minimum wage rules  News Tribune  ...Tacoma is wrapping up its rule-writing for the city’s new minimum wage law, and some labor advocates are concerned that the regulations water down what voters approved. Those advocates say several issues concern them, including what they describe as lax record-keeping requirements for employers and a fuzzy enforcement process...
City Wraps Up The Year By Giving Workers The Ability To Take A Paid Day Off When They Get Sick  Think Progress  ...New Brunswick, New Jersey passed a paid sick leave ordinance. That makes it the 27th place in the country to do so, as well as the eleventh city in the state. The news was received with mixed support by advocates. It marks another step forward in the wave of legislation that has swept the country and helps address the fact that 40 percent of workers in the city previously lacked paid leave for their own or a family member’s illness...

U.S. LABOR
23,000 NYC Janitors Could Walk Off Job  NY AFLCIO  ...With the contract deadline fast-approaching, commercial cleaners—members of 32BJ SEIU— voted to strike if no agreement is reached by the December 31st contract expiration. “We are not going to accept anything less than a fair deal that protects health care and retirement benefits and includes a raise that enables our members to continue to raise their families in New York City,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa...
SEIU 775 chalks up another victory as caregivers join union  Business Journal  ...SEIU 775 has scored another big victory. About 275 residential caregivers at ResCare Washington Inc. have joined the union, which represents 44,000 long-term care workers in Washington state and Montana. The caregivers join 953 home care workers from First Choice, a private home care agency, who joined the union in July...
This Is Why Chicago Teachers Are Fed Up With The Mayor  Think Progress  ...An overwhelming majority of the Chicago Teachers Union, 88 percent, voted on Monday to allow union leaders to call for a strike. It will be several months before the union decides whether to actually begin a strike. First, they’re going on a “fact-finding mission” in one last effort to resolve the negotiations. But if they do decide to walk out of their classrooms, it will be the second time the union has gone on strike...
The Nation Is Giving Workers 4 Months Of Paid Parental Leave  Huffington Post  ...The progressive magazine The Nation announced Wednesday that it would be offering workers four months of paid parental leave and 25 percent raises over the next six years. These kinds of benefits may be par for the course at tech companies like Google and Facebook and Netflix, but are pretty much unheard of in the media world -- or any other industry in the U.S., for that matter...
Dems call on Labor Dept. to investigate grocery chain  The Hill  ...House Democrats from Arizona, California and Nevada are calling on the Obama administration to investigate alleged labor law violations by one of North America’s largest retailers. A coalition of U.S. and Mexican labor and civil society groups  have accused the company of prohibiting employees from joining labor unions, inquiring about pregnancies during job interviews to screen out pregnant women and hiring volunteer grocery packers who are paid only tips...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
The Life-Saving Train Technology That Congress Isn’t Fully Funding  The Atlantic  ...The derailment of Amtrak train 188 in Philadelphia earlier this year, which killed eight people, introduced many Americans to a safety technology that could have prevented the crash in the first place: positive train control. Now, Congress has allocated $25 million in funding in the omnibus bill to help railroads implement the technology—but some of Washington’s most ardent supporters of PTC are still let down...
Not Just Oceans and Atmosphere, Rapid Warming Killing World's Lakes  Common Dreams  ...The world's lakes are warming at a faster rate than oceans and atmosphere, a trend that may already have triggered major changes in aquatic ecosystems, according to a new report published in Geophysical Research Letters on Wednesday. Globally, lakes have been heating up an average of 0.34°C (.61°F) per decade between 1985 and 2009, researchers found...
Hate Crimes Against Muslims Have Spiked in U.S. Since Paris Attack  Slate  ...A California State University research group that monitors suspected hate crimes against American Muslims says it's aware of 38 such incidents since the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris, triple the usual average of 12.6 per month. The New York Times spoke to Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism: The frequency of the recent attacks has not reached the levels seen in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001...
Sanders is Right. The Childcare System in the US is a Disaster  Common Dreams  ...One presidential hopeful's assessment is that the child care system in the U.S. is disastrous. And based on the findings of a new survey, many working parents in the U.S. have reason to agree. The Pew Research Center report, which surveyed over 1,800 parents of kids under 18, showed that nearly half (48 percent) of working parents with at least one child under school age say their children attend day care or preschool...
New Orleans Votes to Remove Confederate Monuments to Robert E. Lee and Others  Slate  ...The New Orleans City Council voted Thursday to remove a handful of monuments to the Confederacy from prominent locations around the city. The 6-to-1 vote to remove the three Civil War-era inspired statues and one obelisk was the culmination of a contentious campaign that began over the summer when New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for their removal...