Saturday, December 20, 2014

Today's Teamster News 12.20.14

Teamster News
Anne Arundel County Fire Department Battalion Chiefs Choose Teamsters  teamster.org   ...–Anne Arundel County Fire Department battalion chiefs have voted unanimously to join Teamsters Local 355 in Baltimore...
Negotiations At VIA Rail: The Teamsters Union And The Employer Have Requested A Conciliator  CNW News   ...The bargaining process between the 350 Locomotive Engineers at VIA Rail represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and the rail carrier, are at a point that both parties agree that third party assistance would be beneficial...
CN reaches tentative labour agreement with Teamsters union representing locomotive engineers and conductors on Northern Quebec Internal Short Line  Yahoo Finance   ...The four-year agreement would provide wage increases and benefit improvements to 93 employees. Details of the agreement are being withheld pending ratification by the affected TCRC members. The union is expected to announce the results of the ratification vote by the end of February 2015...
Council Asks EPA For Bridgeton Landfill Contaminant Studies  KMOX   ...The St. Louis County Council has unanimously passed a resolution that pushes the Environmental Protection Agency to release studies on groundwater contamination at the Bridgeton Landfill...
Trade
Elizabeth Warren: Obama Trade Deal Could Undermine Wall Street Reform  Huffington Post   ..."With millions of families still struggling to recover from the last financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed, we cannot afford a trade deal that undermines the government's ability to protect the American economy."...
The consequences of a crumbling TTIP (opinion)  Euractiv   …A growing number of Europeans see TTIP as selling out Europe's social and environmental standards. Perhaps the EU and the US should have never undertaken this mammoth project...
State Battles
Warren County Passes Local Right-To-Work Law   ...The General Motors plant in Warren County is a closed shop, meaning its 888 employees must pay union dues in order to work there. But the Warren County Fiscal Court passed a local law Friday banning that practice in the future, defying the state's Democratic attorney general and taking the first step toward trying to overturn a 49-year-old state decision...
Minimum Wage On Agenda At Legislature  Albuquerque Journal   ...Two bills have been pre-filed this week by Democratic lawmakers, both seeking a hike in the state’s current $7.50-per-hour minimum wage – one of them to $8.30 an hour and the other to $10.10....
Minimum Wage In Louisville Upped To $9  Louisville Courier Journal   ...The Metro Council and Mayor Greg Fischer, who were at odds over increasing the minimum wage, reached an agreement Thursday night with the council voting to increase the minimum wage in Jefferson County to $9 an hour gradually over three years...
Ohio's Minimum Wage Increase Expected To Boost Economy By $40 Million  Cleveland Plain Dealer   ...As the calendar flips to 2015, Ohio's minimum wage will increase by 15 cents to $8.10 per hour, benefiting an estimated 313,000 low-wage workers in the state, according to a release from the National Employment Law Project, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that advocates on issues affecting low-wage and unemployed workers. In addition, the minimum wage for tipped workers in Ohio will rise by 7 cents to $4.05 per hour...
War on Workers
Obama labor board comes down hard on McDonald’s  Politico   …In a significant victory for fast-food demonstrators, the Obama administration filed 13 legal complaints on Friday against McDonald’s USA, LLC, alleging 78 instances in which it violated federal labor law by punishing workers for taking part in fast food protests...
When the Well Educated Middle Class Joins the Working Poor  BillMoyers.com   ...Today, around three-quarters of all US college professors are classified as “contingent faculty” — those who aren’t on a tenure track — and about half are technically “part-time,” even though many of them teach a full-time load of classes. They may be highly educated professionals, but most adjuncts struggle to make ends meet with low pay, limited benefits and zero job security...
Yard Worker Killed  Trade Winds   ...The worker was on a ladder about 30 feet above the deck at the time. He lost his balance and fell, striking his head on a beam...
Employee Dies While Working At Dayton Sand And Gravel  Portland Press Herald   ...Goodwin Mills Fire Chief Roger Hooper said Libby was climbing down a ladder attached to a bucket truck when he went into cardiac arrest and fell....The death is the second at the business in two yearsl...
Construction Worker Dies In Emerson  NorthJersey.com   ...A construction worker was killed Thursday afternoon when he was working near a backhoe and was hit in the head by the machine’s rear bucket, authorities said...
Miscellaneous

Friday, December 19, 2014

Today's Teamster News 12.19.14

Teamster News
Teamsters settles grievance with town over surveilance cameras in town hall  Watertown Daily Times   ...the language added to the contract though helps alleviate concerns that the cameras were being installed to monitor employees...
Hamburg Ratifies Contract  Sun News   ...After about two and a half years, clerical staff in the Hamburg Central School District have a new contract, with a five-year collective bargaining agreement between the district and Teamsters Local 264 unanimously approved at the school board’s Dec. 9 meeting...
Opposition to Carriage Horse Ban is Growing: Poll  New York Observer   ...Some 67 percent of residents polled in new Quinnipiac University poll released today said they do not believe Mayor Bill de Blasio should ban horse-drawn carriages, something he promised to do on “day one” of his administration. Just 22 percent of those polled supported the mayor’s plans to nix the industry...
Backing The Wrong Horse  City Journal   ...In threatening to ban Central Park horse carriages, he is taking on a popular and well-connected industry and making enemies out of natural allies. The 300 or so carriage drivers, represented by Teamsters Local 553, enjoy the support of the Central Labor Council, representing 1.3 million workers in the five boroughs, as well as the left-wing Working Families Party...
Security Workers At Indian Point Have 5-Year Contract  Patch   ...Entergy and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 456 have a new contract for the union’s approximately 186 members who work in security positions at the Indian Point Energy Center...
Offset Paperback Won’t Eliminate 37 Jobs  Citizens Voice   ...Unionized employees are represented by the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 137C...
Hernando Commission Approves Proposed Contract With Employees  Tampa Bay Times   ...The county's roughly 430 bargaining unit members with Teamsters Local 79 will vote on the pact at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 5 in the jury assembly room at the Hernando County Government Center. Teamsters business agent John Sholtes is enthusiastically supportive of the proposed contract...
Trade
Elizabeth Warren, other Democrats raise concerns about free-trade pact with Asia  Washington Post   ...Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday voiced new concerns over President Obama’s trade agenda as congressional Democrats ramp up efforts to slow the administration’s bid to finalize a major free-trade pact in Asia that the president has called a top priority...
"NAFTA on Steroids" Trade Talks to Wrap Up  The Free Press   ..."This whole thing is an attempt to make sure that capitalism runs completely unabated by any legislator or regulator," said Jackson at the November meeting of Maine's Citizen Trade Policy Commission, a panel of state lawmakers and stakeholders who advise federal policy makers on trade policy. "The few elite will decide what's best for all of us, and it won't get debated. It'll get voted up or down, and that is not transparent government in any shape or form."...
Latest secret TPPA leak reveals mass surveillance plans  The Daily Blog   ...a seemingly innocuous e-commerce chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) could become a stalking horse for the NSA to get its hands on our personal data, as well as sweeping away privacy protections and controls on internet commerce...
Democrats urge officials to leave out investor-state dispute provisions in major trade deals  The Hill   ...Several House and Senate Democrats are urging the Obama administration to leave out provisions in a two major trade deals they say could lead to changes in U.S. finanical regulations...
State Battles
Wisconsin Teamsters laying groundwork for right-to-work battle  TeamsterNation   ...Anti-worker politicians in Wisconsin are spoiling for a fight against working people in 2015, and Wisconsin Teamsters are ready to defend them if necessary...
Foes of Unions Try Their Luck in County Laws  New York Times   ...Beginning here in the hometown of Senator Rand Paul and the Chevy Corvette, groups including the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Heritage Foundation and a newly formed nonprofit called Protect My Check are working together to influence local governments the same way they have influenced state legislatures, and anti-union ordinances are just the first step in the coordinated effort they envision...
Indiana Supreme Court Dismisses ‘Right To Work’ Challenge  Indianapolis Star   ...The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed a second challenge to the state’s “right to work” law. The state’s high court unanimously dismissed the case Tuesday — a move that was expected after justices upheld the law in a similar case last month...
Why Did Wisconsin Club for Growth Send $750K to a Dark-Money Group in Missouri Last Year?  Express Express   ...I’ve always wondered why a Missouri-based attorney was mixed up in a case involving Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws. Is the Wisconsin Club for Growth’s money the link? And, if so, why?...
EBay parts ways with controversial political group ALEC  Reuters   ...Ebay Inc said on Thursday that it will end its association with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a political group that other tech companies dropped earlier this year due to its views on climate change...
Uber Strikes Deal With Portland to Suspend Service for Three Months  Wall Street Journal   ...Uber reached an agreement with Portland to suspend operations in the city for three months while regulators work to revise rules around taxis that currently prohibit ridesharing apps...
After A Spate Of Bad Press For Uber, Some Turn Back To Traditional Taxicabs  New York Daily News   ...The renegade taxi service has been a worldwide punching bag all year — thanks to prices that become astronomical during peak times, a company official who suggested investigating reporters, drivers who have sexually harassed and allegedly raped customers, and claims of bizarre routes meant to jack up prices — and more and more New Yorkers are hitting delete...
War on Workers
America’s Wealth Gap Is Becoming a Wealth Chasm  Slate   …"The upper fifth of households by income, their typical wealth levels have indeed started to mend from the devastation of the Great Recession," says Richard Fry, a researcher at Pew and author on the report. "But for the bottom four-fifths of households, particularly the middle income households, they’ve made no gains."...
Meet the Men and Women on the Hill Who Told Citigroup to Go to Hell  Wall Street on Parade   ...Citigroup received the largest taxpayer bailout in history during the financial crisis as a result of its unchecked derivatives: $45 billion in TARP funds; over $306 billion in asset guarantees; and more than $2 trillion in low-cost loans from the Fed according to the General Accountability Office. The abject repulsion that the very bank that got the biggest handout and played a pivotal role in collapsing the economy should now be gaming Congress to repeal financial protections drew a joint letter of protest from Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio...
Sorry, Kevin Yoder: Your measure really is about helping the big banks (opinion)  Kansas City Star   ...Ever since he was named last week as the sponsor of a controversial measure rolling back a significant financial reform, U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder has been trying to have it both ways. The Republican from Kansas wants constituents to think his motives were all about helping out community banks and farmers. But the biggest beneficiaries are Wall Street banks, which already have rewarded Yoder handsomely and will continue to do so...
20 States Raise Their Minimum Wages While the Federal Minimum Continues to Erode  Economic Policy Institute   ...these increases will provide workers with $2.5 billion in additional wages over the course of the year. This added pay represents a modest, but significant, boost to the spending power of the affected workers, many of whom have children and families to support...
Oil Trains Hold Upper Hand As Pipeline Called Off  Houston Chronicle   ...The big increase in rail transport has raised safety concerns and pushed regulators to examine hazardous materials shipping standards in the face of high-profile accidents - including a July 6, 2013, derailment and explosion that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec...
Miscellaneous
Beach man saved by UPS worker dies in hospital surrounded by family  WTKR   ... Last week Marvin went into cardiac arrest while inside the Calvary Baptist Church in Virginia Beach. At that moment, UPS workers Sisha Perea  and her husband Rob pulled up to deliver a package. Sisha gave Marvin CPR and saved his life...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wisconsin Teamsters laying groundwork for right-to-work battle


Anti-worker politicians in Wisconsin are spoiling for a fight against working people in 2015, and Wisconsin Teamsters are ready to defend them if necessary.

Earlier this month, Wisconsin State Rep. Chris Kapenga said he planned to introduce a right-to-work bill, though he hasn't set a date.

Above, Teamsters Local 200 in Milwaukee hosted a Milwaukee Building Trades Council workshop for understanding and education union members about right to work in Wisconsin. Brother Tom Millonzi, secretary-treasurer of Local 200, sent us these photos of building trades managers and business representatives who attended with Teamsters from Local 200, 344, 662 and 695.

They learned that 'right ti work' doesn't mean what it seems to mean. Grossly misnamed right-to-work laws actually decrease wages, lower median household income, increase poverty, and undermine workplace safety. A supporter of right to work even admitted to the press that right-to-work laws don't create jobs. He said, 'we’re not purporting to prove that right-to-work produces superior economic performance.'

It does what CEOs and billionaires want it to do: push wages down, ship jobs overseas and take away freedoms at work in order to make even more obscene profit and exercise even more power over workers' lives. 

Wisconsin is fortunate to have a number of enlightened businesses that oppose right to work. The Associated Press reported yesterday that a coalition of business has formed to fight right to work: 
A newly formed coalition of more than 300 construction-related private businesses in Wisconsin announced Wednesday that it will work to defeat a right-to-work proposal being discussed by Republican leaders in the Legislature. 
Formation of the group comes as talks proceed behind the scenes among Republicans who control the Legislature about the timing of a right-to-work bill and what form it may take. 
Gov. Scott Walker repeated his message Wednesday, during a brief speech to Republican state senators in the Capitol, that he sees right-to-work as a distraction from his agenda. He told lawmakers he wants them focused on his legislative agenda, but he also didn't promise to veto a right-to-work bill should it pass.
Wisconsin, sadly, isn't the only state where politicians are attacking workers' wages, their safety and their rights at work. In Kentucky, illegal local right-to-work laws are advancing through three counties and more are expected. In Missouri, a state lawmaker announced his intention to file a right-to-work bill in the next session.


Today's Teamster News 12.18.14

Teamster News
Teamsters, Consumers And Community Protest UNFI Shareholders Meeting  teamster.org   ... Teamsters, organic food consumers, supply chain workers and community leaders protested the unsustainable practices of United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) and its retail partner Whole Foods Market at UNFI’s annual shareholders meeting today. The protestors informed UNFI shareholders and put management on notice that continued worker abuse and intimidation will not be tolerated...
BLET/Teamsters, Smart-TD And Four Other Rail Unions Bargain Together  teamster.org   ...Top leaders of the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART–TD) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) announced today that their organizations will be participating with four other rail unions in coordinated bargaining in the upcoming round of national negotiations...
Some Labor Unions Reluctant To Back ’24 Olympics Effort  Boston Globe   ...The International Olympic Committee wants assurances that there is broad public support in the city that would host the Games. And the support of [Teamsters] Local 25’s 11,000-person army of truck drivers, parking lot attendants, and others could play a crucial role...
St. Louis County Council Cites 'Growing Consensus' On West Lake Landfill Dangers  St. Louis Post Dispatch   ...The St. Louis County Council says there is “growing consensus” that the radioactively contaminated West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton “presents an active danger to the community,” and it’s putting new pressure on federal regulators to take action...
Trade
New TISA Leak: US on Collision Course With EU Over Global Data Flows  techdirt   …Like TPP and TAFTA/TTIP, TISA is being negotiated in strict secrecy, but earlier this year the financial services annex leaked, giving us the first glimpse of the kind of bad ideas that were being worked on. Now, another leak has surfaced, which reveals the US's proposals to free up data flows online...
GPhA Expresses Concern Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Negotiations Could Hinder Access and Competition to Generic Drugs  First Word Pharma   ...GPhA and its member companies are concerned about any effort to include provisions in the TPP agreement that would hinder competition and access to the safe and affordable medicines that the generic pharmaceutical industry provides to patients in the United States and abroad...
State Battles
How ALEC helped undermine public unions  Washington Post   ... the success of ALEC-derived labor bills resulted in lower public union density beginning three to four years after those bills became law. On average, state public-sector union density fell by about three percentage points per year, or nearly 10 percent of the current level of public-sector union density in the country as a whole...
Missouri’s Minimum Wage Rises In 2015, No Change In Kansas  Kansas City Star   ...Missouri is among 29 states that have, or will have as of Jan. 1, state minimums that are higher than the current federal rate of $7.25 an hour...
Unions, retirees sue to block Chicago pension changes  Reuters   …Chicago public employee unions and others on Tuesday opened a new front in the battle over pension cuts for public workers, suing to block a law aimed at shoring up funding for two of the city's public pension systems…
Los Angeles hotel groups sue city over minimum wage ordinance  Washington Post   …The American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owner Association filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city of Los Angeles over an ordinance that raises minimum wage for hotel workers to $15.37...
State high court to take up Doe cases centered on Walker's campaign  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel   ... Four of the justices have benefited from political spending by the Wisconsin Club for Growth, one of the groups at the center of the investigation. Some legal experts have argued that at least some of those justices should not hear the cases because of actual or perceived biases from that political help...
War on Workers
How the NLRB may expand responsibility for labor violations  Reuters   ...The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is expected to rule soon on if, and how, companies can be held responsible for labor violations carried out by their contractors or franchisees - a move that could have far-reaching implications for businesses...
Metro-North Faces Historic Fine For Retaliating Against Worker Who Reported Injury  Hartford Courant   ...In fining the railroad $260,000 plus legal fees, the U.S. Department of Labor said it found a culture of intimidation, in which supervisors actively tried to discourage workers from filing injury reports and punished workers who did. In November, the National Transportation Safety Board, following a string of accidents, including fatalities, said Metro-North failed to maintain effective safety programs...
100 defects found during state crude oil rail inspections  Albany Times Union   ...The latest round of the state’s targeted crude oil tank car and rail inspections showed 100 track and train car defects, including eight that require immediate action, the governor’s office announced Monday...
More than 60 million households rely on low-wage workers  The Hill   ...The research shows that most low-wage workers are frequently the primary breadwinners in their families and they are not, as commonly thought, teenagers with few skills still living with their parents, according to the report by Oxfam America and the Economic Policy Institute...
For Low-Wage Americans, The Holiday Season Is A Time To Work  Huffington Post   ...More than 30 percent of Americans were living in poverty for at least two months from 2009 to 2011 -- a 4.5 percent increase from the period 2005 to 2007...
Americans Are Trading Sleep For Work, And It’s Literally Killing Us  Washington Post   ...This isn't a particularly healthy way to live -- insufficient sleep is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a host of other physical ailments. Drowsy driving causes around 80,000 automobile accidents every year, 1,000 of which are typically fatal...
Child Labor: Number Of Children Involved Is Shrinking Every Year  Christian Science Monitor   ...While there are fewer children involved in child labor every year, the rate at which child labor is decreasing is slowing down at both the global and regional levels...
Worker Killed In Mesa Industrial Accident  Arizona Republic   ...One person was killed in an industrial accident at a plant in west Mesa on Wednesday morning, according to a Mesa fire spokesman...
Construction Worker Killed In Caldwell Parish Crash  KNOE   ...A Cadillac ATS, driven by 42-year-old Jan Williams of Columbia, was traveling north on US 165 in the outside travel lane when she attempted to move into the inside lane but struck the rear of Chevrolet pickup and all three construction workers...


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The fight goes on to keep tired truckers off the road

At least one U.S. senator vows to follow the public's wishes to keep tired truckers off the road.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he will try to restore the 70-hour limit that truck drivers can work in a week. Congress extended those house to 82 in the hideous CRomnibus bill. The CRomnibus also lets already earned benefits be cut for retirees, allows Wall Street banks to gamble with taxpayer-insured dollars and permits rich people to spend much, much more on political campaigns.

President Obama signed the bill into law last night.

What's especially galling about the dangerous increase in the number of hours truckers may drive is how it passed. First, Maine Sen. Susan Collins sneaked it onto a spending bill -- one larded, by the way, with gifts for the wealthy (like the trucking industry) at the expense of the many.

Second, Collins did it two days before a Walmart driver who hadn't slept in 24 hours slammed into a limousine, killing James McNair and critically injuring Tracy Morgan.

Third, the measure was passed without hearings or debate. (Tracy Morgan is suing Walmart for its lax safety practices.) If members of Congress had openly deliberated about the dangerous increase in the number of hours truckers may drive, they would have found 80 percent of the public wants truck drivers' hours limited to 70 hours a week.

As the Commercial Carrier Journal reported:
The survey by Lake Research Partners shows 80 percent of the public oppose Congress “raising the number of hours a semi-truck driver is allowed to work in a week from 70 to 82 hours,” which is “more than twice the normal work week for most people,” as the poll question reads. 
“This survey reveals a clear disconnect between what the public wants and what special trucking interests want from Congress at the expense of public safety for everyone,” Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety President Jackie Gillan said in conference call. “We urge Congress to reject this anti-safety change and heed the public’s correct assessment of the dangers.” 
Pollster Joshua Ulenberry called the results “remarkable” and “impressive.” 
“You do not get to 80 percent opposed in any question unless you have really wide and deep support,” he said, noting the bipartisan breakdown of the survey responses.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Blumenthal pushed an amendment to keep the existing hours of service limits. Blumenthal said he'll fight on:
I certainly will make an effort legislatively to reverse the rollback. All of the folks who have an interest in transportation safety are dismayed and disheartened by this rollback of common-sense safety rules, everyone from the Teamsters and the truck drivers to the safety advocates.

3 Kentucky counties advance illegal right to work laws

Anti-worker forces are starting to attack unions illegally at the local level, with three Kentucky counties trying to pass right-to-work laws in the past few weeks. 

Politico reported Simpson County on Tuesday joined two others -- Warren and Fulton -- to advance a local right-to-work measure.  

Kentucky’s highest court already ruled right-to-work laws can only be made at the state level. These local ordinances are illegal

They also aren't what they seem. Grossly misnamed right-to-work laws actually decrease wages, lower median household income, increase poverty, and undermine workplace safety in the county.

CEOs and billionaires want to push wages down, ship jobs overseas, and take away freedoms at work in order to make even more obscene profit and exercise even more power over workers' lives. 

Sometimes right-to-work supporters actually admit what they're up to. The sponsor of a right-to-work bill in Missouri actually said that wages may drop by 'two to three dollars an hour' if right to work passes. 

And in Wisconsin, a spokesman for the National Right to Work Committee admitted right to work laws don't create jobs. He said, 'we’re not purporting to prove that right-to-work produces superior economic performance.'

Instead of passing frivolous, illegal ordinances that only benefit the rich and powerful, Kentucky officeholders should be solving the problems of falling wages and rising joblessness. 

Politico has more details about the out-of-state special interest that's still trying to push a radical out-of-state agenda in Kentucky: 
...a new offshoot of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) called the American City Council Exchange (ACCE) recently joined forces with the Heritage Foundation to press cities and counties to pass right-to-work legislation at the local level. The groups targeted Kentucky in particular because of what one attorney who works with ACCE termed its “favorable demographics.” It’s not clear these ordinances will pass legal muster, however, because the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, which enabled states to pass right-to-work laws, refers only to a “state or territory.” Kentucky is not a right-to-work state (though it would have likely become one had Democrats lost control of the Kentucky House in the midterms). 
In all three counties, right-to-work passed a first “reading,” or vote, and must pass a second to become law. In Warren County (which includes Bowling Green’s UAW-organized Corvette plant) the final reading will be Dec. 19.  In Fulton County, the final reading is Dec. 29, and in Simpson County the final reading is Dec. 30. 

Today's Teamster News 12.17.14

Teamster News
More Than 400 Sysco Workers in Atlanta Win Teamster Representation  teamster.org   ...Sysco workers have voted to join Teamsters Local 528 in Atlanta. With 423 workers in the bargaining unit, the vote for Teamster representation is the biggest at Sysco in years...
Workers At Selland Auto Transport Vote To Join Teamsters Union  teamster.org   ...A group of about 240 drivers, owner-operators and shop employees at Selland Auto Transport have voted to join the Teamsters Union in California, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Utah. Ballots were counted today at the National Labor Relations Board in Seattle...
National Labor Relations Board Rules In Favor Of Teamster School Bus Workers  teamster.org   ...School bus drivers and monitors in Santa Rosa County, Fla., who are members of Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile, Ala., have won another victory in a decision handed down by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) [which] orders the workers’ employer, Durham School Services, to “cease and desist” failing and refusing to recognize and bargain....
Minnesota Attorney General Questions Sysco, US Foods Merger  St. Louis Post Dispatch   ...Minnesota's attorney general has expressed concern about the merger of food distribution giants Sysco Corp. and US Foods, saying it was questionable whether any divestiture could restore competition lost to the transaction...
Teamsters, Consumers, Community To Protest UNFI Shareholders Meeting  Morningstar Advisor   ...On Wednesday, December 17, Teamsters, organic food consumers, supply chain workers and community members will protest the unsustainable practices of United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) and its retail partner Whole Foods Market, at UNFI's annual shareholders meeting in Sacramento... 
Unionized Niles Police To Stay Teamsters  Journal And Topics   ...Rank and file Niles police officers will remain members of the Teamsters union after a vote of unionized police officers Thursday (Dec. 11)...
Akron's Jobs For Sewers Program Packs The House  WSKU   ...Some 250 people showed up at a program on Akron’s east side that had expected to draw about half that many. “OK, guys. I’m from the Teamsters. Who’s got questions?’ And for the better part of the next two hours, the questions -- and answers – flew...
Pension Fund Run By Wall Street Cited In Push To Cut Retiree Benefits  International Business Times   ...lawmakers have inserted language that would give private pension plans the power to cut benefits to thousands of current retirees whose pension savings were decimated by investment losses from the financial collapse of 2008...
Trade
How “Citibank Budget” Push Foreshadows “Fast Track” For Trade Deals  Campaign for America's Future   ...After the budget, Congress’ will push to pass “fast track” legislation, to grease the skids for the TPP. Fast track trade promotion authority rigs the legislative process, essentially pre-approving “trade” deals like TPP before they are even finalized — before members of Congress even know what is in the treaties...
'Fast Track' To Nowhere: Congress Shouldn't Give Obama Power To Ram Through TPP (opinion)  Forbes   ...The kumbaya trade agreement cheerleader crowd has convinced itself that 40 years of trade deficits don’t matter, even as the shrinkage of GDP growth has rendered the U.S. a dwindling superpower teetering on the brink of second class economy status...
Bad Trade  Huffington Post   ...Under billions of tons of imports, the American dream is suffocating. The American people have lost faith. They know that bad trade has bled factories, middle class jobs and wage increases from the country...
State Battles
Simpson County Approves Right to Work Ordinance  WBKO   ...5-0, a unanimous decision for Simpson County (Ky.) to become a right to work county, with four democratic magistrates voting for it...Simpson County falls in line with Warren and Fulton Counties having approved a right to work measure on the first reading...
Audit: 1.7 million unemployment hotline calls blocked last year because lines were full  Wisconsin State Journal   …Nearly 1.7 million calls, or three out of five, to the state’s automated unemployment hotline were blocked last year because the system was too busy handling other calls, according to an audit released Tuesday....
Secretive groups ran $25M in ads for state races  Associated Press   ...Shadowy outside groups broadcast an estimated $25 million worth of political ads on local TV stations with a goal of shaping state-level elections this year, and their full roster of donors is unlikely to ever be known, according to an analysis released Wednesday...
Mayor Vows Veto Of Minimum Wage Hike To $10.10  Louisville Courier Journal   ...Just hours after a Metro Council committee backed a plan to raise the local minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, Mayor Greg Fischer promised to veto it...
War on Workers
Wal-Mart must pay $188 million in workers' class action  Reuters   … The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Wal-Mart Stores Inc to pay $188 million to employees who had sued the retailer for failing to compensate them for rest breaks and all hours worked...
Southwest Airlines employees protest work conditions, delays  Indianapolis Star   ...As Southwest Airlines on Wednesday prepares to announce new departures from Indianapolis, its baggage handlers are contending that increased flights are causing unprecedented delays and overworked employees...
Patriot coal worker dies in Kentucky mine after hit by vehicle  Mineweb   ...A worker was killed today in a Kentucky mine owned by Patriot Coal Co., the company’s third such fatality this year...
Miscellaneous
David Koch: I'm not an evil billionaire, I'm socially liberal!  Ring of Fire   …… Their critics say David Koch and his brother are responsible for secretly financing the tea party, polluting the environment, funding candidates who deny climate change, and buying elections with buckets of dough.”...
Foreign lobbying oversight found lax  Politico   …Lobbyists working on behalf of foreign interests regularly evade laws that require registration and disclosure of their activities, a new report charges, and the Justice Department lets many violations slide...