(WASHINGTON) – The following is the official statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa on today’s defeat of a vote for cloture on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill.
“With today’s defeat in the Senate of a vote for cloture on fast track, members of Congress have signaled they will not relinquish their constitutional authority over trade agreements by allowing this legislation to move forward.
“Fast track would undermine the authority entrusted to Congress to make sure that trade agreements with other nations are fair and in the best interest of the American people. No trade agreement should ever be brought up in Congress for a simple up-or-down vote. We all know what fast track has brought us in the past – unfair, unbalanced trade agreements like NAFTA that have led to the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs in our country over the last 20 years.
”The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been negotiated in secret and what details that have been leaked paint a bleak picture for the middle class. Serious concerns have also been raised over how key issues like currency manipulation and investor state dispute resolution would be handled under the TPP.
“Passing fast track would remove the Congress’ power to amend the TPP and send us down a road that ends with more American jobs shipped overseas. That is a path the middle class cannot afford to go down again.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
THANK YOU PA State Rep. Gene Digirolamo
THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR THE HARD WORKING MEN AND WOMEN IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PA
Protecting Trades Workers from Government Overreach
PA State Rep. Gene Digirolamo discusses his opposition to House Bill 874 and offers his support to the carefully struck balance in existing law which protect workers and employers. Click on his picture to listen to him address the Speaker of the House
PA State Rep. Gene Digirolamo
THE PA SENATE HAS INTRODUCED SB 650 A "RIGHT-TO-WORK BILL" CALL YOU PA SENATOR AND PA LEGISLATOR AND TELL THEM NO ON SB650
Right-to-Work? It's all wrong for workers: William Hamilton
By PennLive Op-Ed The Patriot-News on April 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM, updated April 10, 2015 at 2:01 PM
By William Hamilton
Pennsylvania is generally a friendly place for workers. But some lawmakers are trying to change that, and the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters isn't standing still and letting that happen.
There are many serious problems pending in the Commonwealth that need to be addressed instead of wasting valuable time and resources on Right-to-Work legislation that will reduce wages.
Some members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate believe it is more important to pass right-to-work legislation than take care of the most critical problems facing the state, which they were elected to do.
School funding, infrastructure and good-paying jobs need their attention, not a measure that would devastate the middle class.
It is quite obvious these members have been bought out by billionaires and organizations who are more interested in lining the pockets of Wall Street and big business than helping the hard-working men and women in Pennsylvania maintain good paying jobs.
Right-to-work could more aptly be called "right-to-poverty.
Right-to-work is wrong.
It could more aptly be called "right-to-poverty."
Many of our fathers, grandfathers, relatives and ancestors fought and died helping workers achieve better wages, working conditions and safety in the work place by forming unions.
Unions have always helped strike a balance between the employee and the employer.
Our lawmakers promised to create good paying jobs in this state yet some are entertaining legislation that will force many of us into lower paying jobs by instituting such laws.
By lowering wages, elected officials would hurt the tax base and drive many more constituents into a life of low wages and welfare benefits to feed their families and make ends meet.
This will only add more stress on a system that is already overburdened. Even The Wall Street Journal recently published an article stating that wages in Right-to-Work states are much lower.
The cleverly worded title to the Folmer bill is "The Freedom of Employment Act." But it is nothing more than a bill designed to destroy unions and good-paying jobs and has nothing to do whatsoever with freedom in the workplace.
Lawmakers and the public shouldn't be fooled.
William Hamilton is the president of the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters.
Bill restricting union dues collection fails in PA Senate
Hon. Lt. Gov. Mike Stack
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Teamsters Praise Lt. Governor Stack for Supporting Working Families
So-Called Paycheck "Protection" Bill Fails
PHILADELPHIA, March 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters across the state are praising Lt. Governor Mike Stack for standing strong and striking down an attempt by some lawmakers to place a stranglehold on unions.
"Stack did the right thing by voting against the paycheck protection bill that was offered up by legislators who are hell-bent on harming working families," said Bill Hamilton, Teamsters International Vice President and President of the 95,000-member Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters.
"This legislation unfairly singles out and prohibits voluntary deductions made by workers but continues to allow deductions that go to insurance companies, big banks, and financial companies, even though they use the money to spend heavily on lobbying and politics," Hamilton said. "The sole intent is to force the union to spend more resources collecting dues so that they have less ability to advocate for workers at workplaces and in politics. Essentially, this law gives the government a say in how union workers spend the money they've earned and restricts their right to participate in the political process."
"By voting against this legislation, Stack is a true friend of labor and working families," Hamilton said. "He believes that we have a middle class in Pennsylvania because of unions. The Teamsters are proud to support him."
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto. The Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters represents more than 95,000 members and 40,000 retirees statewide. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "Like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
Lt. Gov.Mike Stack cast his first tie-breaking vote to defeat the amendment 25-24
The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair County, would have made it illegal for government to deduct union dues from state and school employees' paychecks.
Democrats voted as a block to oppose the bill along with five Republican senators from the southeastern corner of the state - Sens. John Rafferty of Montgomery County, Stewart Greenleaf of Montgomery County, Tom McGarrigle of Delaware County, Robert "Tommy" Tomlinson of Bucks County, and Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County.
PA Lt. Governor Stack said, "I just think its anti-labor and it's designed to take away the ability of unions to organize, and I'm one of those people who believe we have a middle class here in Pennsylvania because of the worker unions. They are not perfect and no organization is perfect but I think that legislation is not the answer."
The PA Conference of Teamsters would like to thank Lt Governor Stack and all the PA Senators that stood with the working men and women of PA and voted against this union-busting bill.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 830 SECRETARY/TREASURER DANIEL H. GRACE LAUDS GOVERNOR-ELECT TOM WOLF FOR BARRING YUENGLING BEER PRODUCTS FROM INAUGURATION BALL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Frank Keel
January 16, 2015 484-410-4932
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 830 SECRETARY/TREASURER DANIEL H. GRACE LAUDS GOVERNOR-ELECT TOM WOLF FOR BARRING YUENGLING BEER PRODUCTS FROM INAUGURATION BALL
Grace Says Yuengling CEO’s Anti-Worker/Anti-Union Stance Is Reason for Exclusion
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The leader of Philadelphia-based Teamsters Local 830 today lauded the decision of Governor-Elect Tom Wolf to exclude Yuengling Beer products from his inaugural ball in Harrisburg next Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Teamsters Local 830 Secretary/Treasurer Daniel H. Grace believes that D. G. Yuengling & Sons, Inc.’s products were barred from the menu at the Governor’s Inaugural Ball because of Yuengling President Dick Yuengling’s decidedly anti-worker/anti-union stance. The boycott of Yuengling has also been endorsed and supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the PA Conference of Teamsters, and the PA AFL-CIO.
“Every union member in Pennsylvania is indebted to Governor-Elect Wolf for this strong statement on behalf of the state’s labor movement. By standing against Yuengling, he has stood up for the little guy,” said Grace. “The Governor-Elect can’t offend anyone publicly over this situation, but I can. The reason there won’t be any Yuengling beer served at the inauguration is that Dick Yuengling is defiantly, aggressively anti-worker and anti-union. For nearly a decade now, he has abused those workers who wished to remain part of the Teamsters union and has steadfastly fought any new attempt to unionize his brewery workers. He’ll tell you otherwise – that his workers don’t want a union – but that’s simply false. Every time he gets a whiff of an organizing effort, he threatens his workers with the loss of their jobs. He has openly stated his disdain for unions and has aggressively lobbied Republican legislators to bring ‘Right To Work’ laws to Pennsylvania, all in the interest of further lining his and other corporate fat cats’ own deep pockets. This decision demonstrates that Governor-Elect Wolf supports Pennsylvania employers who treat their workers fairly.”
Grace knows that certain right-wing Republican factions in the legislature will cynically attempt to undermine his position by noting that Grace was appointed to the governor-elect’s transition team.
“My appointment to the transition team has zero to do with my taking this public stance against Yuengling,” he added. “I am, first and foremost, a labor leader. Unionism is in my blood. Dick Yuengling is the worst kind of union-buster and he doesn’t even attempt to hide it. The reason his beer won’t be served at the governor’s party is the same reason you won’t find it in my refrigerator at home. If you use your bully pulpit to advocate against working people – to try to enrich your already bursting bottom line at the expense of living wages and benefits for workers – then America’s union members and working class families have no need for your product.”
Hoffa Message To The Members: A New Day For The Teamsters
January 14, 2015
(Washington, DC) In a video message to the 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced today that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the U.S. Attorney General for the Southern District of New York have filed an application with Chief Judge Loretta Preska requesting that she approve an agreement to end decades of government oversight over the Teamsters Union. It is anticipated that Judge Preska will approve the agreement.
"We're not going away, trust me," Wagner said. "I'm going to be like the worse case of poison ivy".
(Harrisburg, PA) Senator Scott Wagner’s Amendment (Paycheck Deception Amendment) to Senate Bill 803 was defeated on October 15, 2014 by a vote of 28 to 20. Thousands of emails, letters and calls made recently to the PA Senate from the working men and women in labor on this issue was heard loud and clear. The PA Conference of Teamsters would like to thank the 28 Senators (both Republican and Democrat) for standing with the working men and women of this great Commonwealth.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE PA CONFERENCE OF TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION MAKES HISTORY
(PHILADELPHIA) – A group of 47 drivers at FedEx Freight’s East Philadelphia terminal in Croydon, Penn. made history today when they overwhelmingly voted to join Teamsters Local 107 in Philadelphia. The vote was 26-18 in favor of joining Local 107.
“We are tired of getting treated with disrespect and dealing with constantly changing unfair and unwritten work rules,” driver Gary Loftus said. “We also want job security and to be valued for the work we do making FedEx Freight successful.”
“I am so proud of these guys at the East Philadelphia terminal, who stayed strong and united despite the company spending truckloads of money to hire union-busters,” said Bill Hamilton, Teamsters Union International Vice President and President of Local 107. “I am proud of the workers and how they remained focused. Their energy and commitment will propel this campaign in the coming weeks and months.”
Numerous campaigns at FedEx Freight are under way, and the Teamsters Union is committed to helping the drivers win a more secure future.
“The drivers are fed up with FedEx Freight,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “These workers are tired of management talking down to them at every chance, and they want decent benefits, including more affordable health insurance. They also want consistent and fair working conditions and a more hopeful future. This is why thousands of freight workers at FedEx Freight and Con-way are turning to the Teamsters Union.”
The workers’ campaigns to join the Teamsters have already paid off. At FedEx Freight, the company announced an 80-cent-per-hour raise a few days after Local 107 filed for the election at Cinnaminson, and the company got rid of its overly punitive driver scorecard, which gives drivers infraction points for errors. Also, after organizing got under way at Con-way, the company announced it would increase truck driver pay by $60 million in 2015, and other improvements.
“It seems more than mere coincidence that these two companies have announced significant pay increases just as hundreds of workers across the U.S. are approaching our local unions seeking representation,” said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management. Workers now realize the only way to achieve meaningful change in the workplace is to get it in writing in a binding contract.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters.
39th Annual TNBC Conference Commences in Historic Philadelphia
(August 2014) This year’s Teamsters National Black Caucus (TNBC) kicked off its educational conference and banquet in downtown Philadelphia with hundreds of Teamsters from all over the world united to celebrate another year of accomplishments. This annual conference is also used to organize the unorganized with new goals and ideas.
Wednesday’s event began with Executive Director Antonio Christian introducing the TNBC executive board and national board officers. The morning session began with the Pledge of Allegiance and anthems presented by 82nd Airborne Hajdak/Mokan Philadelphia Chapter Color Guard, followed by an invocation by Rev. Stanley Hearst II, who is pastor of Jones Tabernacle AME Church in Philadelphia.
This conference is historic, not only because it takes place in the home of democracy and the birthplace of labor, but also because the TNBC Philadelphia Chapter has been finally established, resulting in TNBC chapters in every city in Pennsylvania.
Greetings from William Hamilton ignited the energy in the room. Hamilton is international vice president and principal officer of Philadelphia-based Local 107.
“The unity you show here today and throughout this conference will ring loud and clear throughout the country. The message is that this is just the beginning of growing the Black Caucus throughout this country, and making more people aware of its importance,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton praised the leadership of the TNBC for working together to get things done. Giving special recognition to International Vice President and TNBC Chairman Albert Mixon, Hamilton said “There is no better leader for your cause and for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.”
Mixon addressed the crowd with a letter from General President James Hoffa, in which Hoffa expressed his support for the TNBC and encouraged all members to get out and vote.
Educating members on voting is the main focus of this conference. Speakers reminded everyone of the slogan: “Access is a Key to Success.” This year is a crucial year to vote, they said, for there are people behind closed doors trying to rewrite history and roll back voting rights. “There is power in numbers,” they said.
Pennsylvania Sen. Anthony Williams spoke, giving honor to his grandfather, who was a postal worker for 75 years. He honored the hard work that led the way for Williams to be where he is today. “As ridiculous as some extreme Tea Party folks are, they’re still running this country because there’s a generation of young people who are not connected with our basic values,” Williams said.
There were also greetings from Jack Ferguson, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau; Rick Staub, general manager of the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, and Linda Schaidt, customer service manager of the Philadelphia Passport Agency, who shared great tips on how to apply for passports.
Daryl Clarke, president of the Philadelphia City Council, welcomed the TNBC on behalf of the mayor. Clarke showed great gratitude to the Teamsters for maintaining a sustainable life in the city by presenting a token of the city’s appreciation, a replica of the Liberty Bell.
State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas was among today’s speakers. “You look north, south, east, and west in the United States, you will find a Teamster,” Thomas said. “People who serve as the anchor of good wages and good working conditions.”
“We must stand up and exercise our right, taking as many people as we can to get registered and vote,” said Thomas, who also credited Teamsters for his winning the primary with no opposition in the general election.
W.C. Smith, executive assistant to the general president, discussed the James R Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund that is available to help Teamster children further their education.
Smith recognized the leadership of the TNBC’s Executive Board and fellow officers for the great work.
“I enjoy the conference because you assemble to educate each other, you assemble to make a better union for all of us, and you should be commended for that,” Smith said.
Speaking on behalf of General President Hoffa, who was not able to attend the conference this year, Smith mentioned that the war on workers continues – but so does the fight to protect workers, especially since Michigan became a right-to-work (for less) state last year.
Smith also inspired the attendees to get out and vote by stressing the importance of the elections.
“There are analysts that believe that if 70 percent of the union members, of all the unions, will go to the polls and vote for a democratic candidate, we would win the White House, the majority of the Senate, the majority of House of Representatives,” Smith said.
'We're Teamsters, we're Republican and we vote -- but not for anti-worker politicians'
Dozens of Pennsylvania Teamsters are standing with York County legislators to denounce H.B. 1507 as a bill that hurts all union members and working people.
Fred Wilson, president of Teamsters Local 776, in Harrisburg, Pa., said the bill is nothing more than a flat-out attack on workers' rights. It would prevent employers from honoring employees' voluntary request to deduct dues automatically from their paychecks. Said Wilson:
Attacking middle-class families should never be a partisan issue.
Many York County Teamsters are Republican, and their message to state lawmakers is that they're Teamsters, they're Republican, they vote and they will not support Republican lawmakers who vote for H.B. 1507 and against working people.
York's mayor, C. Kim Bracey, and state Rep. Kevin Schreiber joined the Teamsters to discuss the damage H.B. 1507 would do to middle- and working-class families.
“Paycheck Deception is the product of the Koch Brothers, the same guys who have been weakening workers’ rights throughout the country to hurt the struggling American middle-class and outsource our jobs overseas,” Wilson said...
“HB 1507 has one purpose and only one purpose – to weaken unions and to lower our wages,” said Danny Grace, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 830 in Philadelphia.
All of the speakers urged Democrats and Republicans to defeat HB 1507 and work together to create jobs for a struggling middle class and not play politics with workers’ wages.
A non-partisan issue, representatives from Teamsters Local 776, which includes more than 2,800 registered Republicans, stood tall with the rest of the speakers in calling for the defeat of the bill.
Union Members Pack Courtyard In York City To Call On Legislators To Oppose HB 1507
(Harrisburg, PA) March 7, 2014 PA-AFL-CIO
Union members and labor leaders from across Central PA held a press conference in York Pennsylvania on Wednesday, March 5 and accused some in the legislature of union-busting. They urged area State Representatives to oppose legislation which unfairly attacks teachers, nurses, corrections officers and all public sector workers in Pennsylvania.
Fred Wilson, President of the Teamsters Local 776, helped lead the press conference which was hosted by Democratic State Representative Kevin Schreiber. Tom Santone, President of the York-Adams Central Labor Council; Danny Grace, Secretary-Treasurer of IBT Local 830; Mickey Sgro, the Chair of the Central PA Area Labor Federation; and Frank Snyder, Secretary-Treasurer of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO all called for the defeat of HB1507 and its Senate counterpart, SB1034. They asked local Republican legislators to withdraw their support for these bills and to begin working together with their Democratic colleagues on the important business of putting Pennsylvanians back to work and supporting policies that expand the middle class.
After the press conference, attempts were made to have meetings with the Republican legislators – Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover, Ron Miller, R-Jacobus and Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Twp. Governor Corbett has said that if this legislation reaches his desk that he will sign it.
A Child’s Christmas Dream…
The PA Conference was proud to be a part of her dream
Brielle and her Sister - Click picture to view her Princess Party at the Hotel Hershey
Brielle was born October 16th 2008 and at only 6 days old it was discovered that her small intestine had twisted and died and had to be removed. She needed a transplant desperately and spent her first Christmas in the hospital with a line infection…the first of many. On October 5th2012 the family thought their prayers were answered and Brielle received her new intestines. She had her first of three rejections on October 17th and spent the next 55 days in the hospital.
After being re-admitted to the hospital in early December with what seemed to be the flu or another line infection a scope on January 23rd revealed the tumor in her new bowel and on the 25th they had to remove her new intestine. As if this tragic ordeal were not enough for Brielle and her family a routine ct scan prior to discharge revealed over a dozen small B Cell Lymphoma in her brain and liver. This child has spent 1/3 of her life in the hospital, undergone 32 surgeries and is currently taking chemo for the Lymphoma.
On a sad note, Brielle passed away in June 2014. The horses that pulled her princess carriage to Hotel Hershey in late November escorted her coffin to the gravesite. We offer our sincere condolences to Brielle’s family and may Brielle, the strong and courageous little fighter, rest in peace.
Brielle's dream was made possible through and organization known as Jamie's Dream Team. Jamie Holmes is the founder of Jamie’s Dream Team. Her organization can be viewed at:
Whose images will appear on our Public Enemy posters for supporting the attack on the hard working men and women in the Commonwealth of PA??? The working men and women are just trying to make a living, while sustaining a fair and livable wage? Where will our elected officals's loyalties rest? Will it be with the corporate billionaires or their hard working constituents working under labor agreements???
Paycheck Deception Amendment
Paycheck Deception Bill
Photos courtesy of the Rick Smith Show; B. Banditell
Below is a picture of the 1992 PA Conference of Teamsters “Conference Report” showing a building located at 814 North 2nd Street in Harrisburg, PA that will become the official headquarters for the PA Conference of Teamsters. Also shown below are the actual designs used to construct the PA Conference of Teamsters Crest that, still today, adorns the headquarters. To view more unique, rare and historic Teamster item go to our Nostalgia page 1 and Nostalgia page 2.
Bands of Brothers is a new nonprofit group working to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans in an innovative and uplifting way. With an online reality show centered on music, veterans can inspire each other and the audience to rock for those who serve! 18 veterans commit suicide every day. Over a million others live with PTSD. Luckily, there is free, anonymous help available a click or phone call away. With Bands of Brothers, we can help remove the stigma of PTSD and get those help that need it. The PA Conference of Teamsters supports their efforts and has dedicated a page on our web site to them. Please go to the Bands of Brothers Page on our web site to learn more about their cause by clicking on the logo above.
FROM OVER-THE-ROAD TEAMSTER TO TALK SHOW PROGRAM
Teamster Rick Smith
In 2005, The Rick Smith Show stepped into a local radio world devoid of progressive talk. On a small country & western station, Rick took his Teamster-member outlook to the air and started mixing it up with conservatives from one of the reddest areas north of the Mason Dixon line. His show grew steadily, attracting listeners starved for a voice that spoke to working stiffs who felt the economic floor crumbling beneath them.
Five years after the start of his weekend program, Rick moved to new time slots and new stations. His show now airs Monday-Friday 9pm-12am on WIOO 97.9 FM & 1000 AM (Carlisle/Harrisburg) and WEEO 93.9 & 1480AM (Chambersburg/Shippensburg), where he offers hard truth and commentary with a unique blend of clear-headed, gruff analysis and bemused observation. Lest things get too serious, he spices things up with a laugh or two.
Rick comes by his outlook honestly. He grew up in the projects of Cleveland, ducking local gangs while doing paper routes and odd jobs to help feed his family. After high school, he went out on his own, driving 18 wheelers as a proud union member. Nowadays, Rick, a father of three, is working on a Masters. He feels the calling to spread the word about the desperate needs facing workers, and to make the world a better place for kids growing up in what is becoming an America of rich and poor.
Rick believes somebody has to wake up the American working class to engage in the democratic process, but not in the corporate-funded Tea Party fashion. He has the rough edges and the grit of a Teamster; he’s a street talker, but a street talker with charm.
In addition to being a Teamster in two Ohio Local Unions, Teamsters Local 293 and 407, Rick was a card carrying member in Teamsters Local Union No. 229 and Teamsters Local Union No. 776 both in PA
The Rick Smith Show February 2, 2015
The Rick Smith Show and the Illinois Labor History Society have teamed up to bring you a 2 minute daily Labor History segment called Labor History in 2:00.
The Rick Smith Show
Labor's history has been under attack by corporate interests for the past 30 years. The time to set the record straight is now. That's why the Rick Smith Show has teamed with the Illinois Labor History Society to write, produce, share and broadcast a daily 2 minute labor history lesson. Each day Labor History in 2:00 will bring you a battle, strike, lockout, and or struggle of the past from a worker-centric perspective. We would love it if you and/or your organization helped spread Labor History in 2:00 segments to your family, friends, and co-workers every day. Also, it would be terrific if you and/or your organization put a link on your website, liked us on Facebook, and followed @laborhistoryin2 on Twitter. Tell us what you think of our work. If you have ideas for a segment feel free to reach out to us at Rick@thericksmithshow.com
Under new requirements for 2005, CDL HAZMAT drivers will be required to successfully complete a Federal criminal history background check, have their fingerprints taken and pay additional Federal fees.
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Web Site Last Updated: July 28, 2015
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