The money that you donate to the DRIVE fund helps The Teamsters fight bad legislation locally and nationally that will hurt the average worker and the labor movement in general. Below is an update of what we are working on right now:
Federal Legislative & Field Updates June 9, 2015
Fast Track (NEW UPDATE): The House Committee on Rules has scheduled a meeting on June 10 at 3:00 PM on H.R. 1314, the bill containing Fast Track language. A floor vote has not yet been scheduled, but could be coming soon.
Since our last call, Fast Track passed the Senate 62-37 and has moved on to the House. A vote is not currently scheduled, but it appears that one may happen on Friday, or be pushed to next week. There are still Representatives who remain undecided or have not made firm commitments that they will oppose Fast Track. We will be in touch with Joint Councils and Local Unions about a fly-in day when we have confirmation that the vote is scheduled for the floor. We also encourage Joint Councils and Local Unions to call your Representatives and ask that they oppose Fast Track when it is brought up for a final vote.
The Senate’s version of the bill includes Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which we would ordinarily support. However, this version of TAA is underfunded, provides no support to displaced public employees, and is paid for by cuts to Medicare. For these reasons, we oppose TAA as presented in the Senate Fast Track bill, and do not see the presence of TAA in Fast Track as a justification to vote for the bill.
Transportation Appropriations (NEW UPDATE): The Transportation Appropriations bill passed the House 216-210 on June 9th, with the 33-foot double trailer increase and the continued suspension of hours-of-service regulations. We are shifting our focus to the Senate to keep these dangerous anti-safety provisions out of the base bill, and defeat the amendments in committee markup, which is scheduled for the week of June 15.
State Legislative Updates
Missouri: Governor Nixon vetoed Right to Work on June 4th.
Michigan: A petition to repeal Prevailing Wage is circulating in Michigan. The initiative process refers the question to the legislature and allows initiatives to become law without Governor’s signature.
New Mexico: Convened a special session on June 8th to vote on a capital outlay bill that labor supported. A compromise version passed, and the Senate Leadership was able to keep anti-labor bills from becoming part of the negotiation.
DRIVE Phone Program
DRIVE is currently testing a phone program for members to opt-in for contributions. In the Joint Council 7 pilot, the program had a 15% success rate and averaged contributions of over $2.50 per week. We hope to have more Joint Councils take part in the next round of calls before the end of the month.
If you have questions about the program, contact Ed Baptiste at (202) 624-8955.
Building Teamster Political Power Program
The Department is continuing to schedule “Building Teamster Political Power” Officer Briefings with Joint Councils. The goal for this program is ongoing education and engagement of members in the political process to help build momentum for the 2016 elections and beyond. The Officer Briefings will continue through September 2015, and the goal is then for every Joint Council to hold a membership training before the 2016 Teamster Convention next June.