Interesting article Teamsters to Congress: Change The International Brotherhood of Teamsters this week set out a comprehensive legislative agenda for the 110th Congress, including wages, health care and work standards. Relying on the new Democratic majority to accomplish many of their goals, the Teamsters said they are going to push for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act and for a minimum wage hike but against free trade agreements that they say would harm both workers and the environment. "The mid-term elections demonstrated that Americans demand change in this country," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "The Democratic majorities in the House and Senate have an extraordinary opportunity to improve the lives of working families." The following are the chief issues the union wants to put before the new Congress:-- Advocacy for the Employee Free Choice Act is based on strengthening workers' right to form a union.-- Although union members generally make more than the minimum wage, the Teamsters want to raise the federal floor to $7.25 per hour, with the expectation that those just above the minimum level will also be affected.-- Universal health care would cover an additional 16 percent of Americans who do not have any health insurance, the union said.-- The Teamsters retirement security plan depends on reversing the decline in defined benefit pension plans.-- Teamsters oppose the Department of Transportation's pilot program allowing Mexican carriers to cross the U.S. border as well as the President's plan to construct a NAFTA superhighway connecting Mexican ports to Kansas City.-- The union wants to change the model for the fast-track presidential trading authority, which sunsets on June 30, 2007 and to prevent trade agreements with Peru and Colombia.-- The Teamsters are calling for comprehensive immigration reform that prevents undocumented workers entering the United States.-- They oppose any legislation containing a guest worker program.-- As representatives of the largest number of workers in fruit and vegetable processing, the union wants Congress to examine the causes of the recent E. coli contamination.-- Teamsters support the SAFETEA-LU protections for overtime pay for workers at FedEx and UPS.-- Anyone know what this is? The union has a long list of requirements for any rail security bill, including whistle blower protections and infrastructure improvements.-- Teamsters are demanding full funding for Amtrak. The union called for more privacy and lower costs in connection with background checks for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential.-- The union wants Congress to ease restrictions on commercial driver licenses.-- Teamsters would protect union members from unfair competition from cheap prison labor.-- The union wants to reverse a recent National Labor Relations Board decision prohibiting more than 8 million workers defined as supervisors from joining unions. Copyright Traffic World Copyright Traffic World All Rights Reserved.