Time for Congress to Deliver for Workers

From Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa; cross posted from TheHill.com:

As the new 110th Congress begins its work, the Teamsters Union is making sure that workers are the focus. In November, working families demonstrated our strength. Our votes and voices changed the nation's priorities. Americans decidedly rejected six years of failed policies from the Bush administration.

This is an important year for working Americans. The challenges we face include the lack of affordable health care, growing retirement insecurity, dwindling workplace rights, job-killing trade agreements, unsafe highways and concerns about our national security.

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Allied Waste Trashes Christmas

Who will Fort Worth blame when no one picks up their trash before or after the holidays? Not the drivers, helpers or mechanics. They're not the ones who left the bargaining table to take a vacation through New Years Day and leave trash piling up in residential neighborhoods.

It was Allied's lead negotiator who has stalled talks and walked away from negotiations.

But what could you expect from a company that is trying to bust the union and deny its workers their right to collective bargaining? Allied workers have been under a Teamster contract since 1998, but in the months leading up to the Dec. 10 contract deadline, the company has done everything it can to stall the talks while pressuring workers to leave the union.

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When Rail CEOs Write a Safety Plan

It's no wonder that the TSA's recommendations for rail security fall short.

"I am not convinced that all of the security gaps plaguing our current hazmat transport system will be filled by this proposal," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

Its chief, Kip Hawley, was a senior executive with Union Pacific.

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Don't Sell Our Roads

Selling roads and unionized infrastructure is a horrible idea. It destroys progressive institutions (unions) and creates a new funding stream for reactionary corporate power. That's a violation of rules 7 and 8 in building a progressive America. - Matt

Does anybody really think this is a good idea? More and more states are selling off or leasing toll roads to corporations. A plan is already on the table in Pennsylvania, and according to a Boston Globe editorial, Gov.-elect Deval Patrick will likely face a similar decision in Massachusetts.

The Globe is against the idea, as we all should be. It's bad for safety, it's bad for states and it's bad for workers.

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Lame Duck Republicans: Abusive and Powerhungry

This is unbelievably obnoxious and immoral.  Even though they lost, the Republicans are trying to take away overtime pay for truck drivers while they still have power in the lame duck session.  This isn't just bad for the drivers take-home pay, it's also really dangerous and against the traditional role of a lame duck Congress.  When drivers are exhausted, they kill people on the road.

A change to the 2005 highway bill forces delivery companies to pay drivers overtime for the extra hours they work. Without this disincentive, some companies would keep drivers on the road to the point of exhaustion - boosting their profits and risking your safety.

These are some seriously bad people, killing working drivers and random people on the road so a few companies can make a little more money.  It shouldn't be that hard to stop them since Democrats have zero incentive to go along with this.  Here's where you can write in. 

This abuse, by the way, of the lame duck session, is wrong, and it's something that we should consider when the Republicans are talking about bipartisanship.  They really just can't stop abusing power.

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