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Today in Labor History

Jan. 23, 1933
Led by metal finishers, 6,000 workers walked off the job over wage cuts at Briggs Manufacturing Company, sparking a strike wave of 15,000 auto body workers that paralyzed Detroit’s auto industry. With scabs trucked in and finished products trucked out under police escort, the company quickly resumed production. When the strike was called off on May 1, strikers were not rehired, but their collective action forced wage increases in the industry.
- Voices of Labor

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Updated: Jan. 24 (04:43)

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Local and National Union News

Update: Contracts in Place at Toyota, Chef’s Warehouse; negotiations continue at AMR, others
Jan. 22, 2020 A three-year contract approved by members at Toyota provides annual wage increases, maintenance of Health & Welfare, employer contribution increase to the 401k, a signing bonus and improvements to language provisions. Members at Chef’s Warehouse approved a contract that included a significant... Local News

Attention drivers with CDLs: FMCSA doubles random drug testing rate to 50%
Jan. 9, 2020 The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has raised the random drug testing rate for controlled substances for commercial drivers to 50% from the current 25% of driver positions. The change went into effect Jan. 1… Truck News

Local 992 UPS driver created wildly popular ‘UPS Dogs’ social media pages
Jan. 7, 2020 When Sean McCarren, 44, started having little four-legged “fans” follow him around on his UPS route, he decided to start taking their photos. After collecting more than 60 pictures of dogs on his phone, he posted one on his personal Facebook page in 2013 just for fun. “Everybody got all excited about it, so I just went ahead and made a little Facebook page to share them all,” said McCarren, who lives in Martinsburg, W.Va., and works out of the Hagerstown UPS center. After he established the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, other UPS drivers started posting dogs that they see on their travels delivering packages. There were steady posts for several years, then in 2017, the pages took off. “It just went viral,” McCarren said… Herald Media [McCarren has been a member of Teamsters Local 992 in Hagerstown, MD since 2002.]

Older news stories can be found at Local News

Elsewhere in the News
Overhaul US Labor Laws to Boost Workers’ Power, New Report Urges
Jan. 23, 2020 | U.S. LABOR | More than 70 scholars, union leaders, economists and activists called on Thursday for a far-reaching overhaul of American labor laws to vastly increase workers’ power on the job and in politics, recommending new laws to make unionizing easier and to elect worker representatives to corporate boards. The report argues strengthening labor unions and worker power represents the most effective strategy to combat America’s economic inequality and corporations’ sway over the economy and politics. “Today, the struggle to preserve democracy in the face of extreme wealth concentration is acute because we live in an historical moment when vast disparities of economic power have been translated into equally shocking disparities in political power,” says the report… The Guardian
House Revives Agenda After Impeachment Storm
Jan. 22, 2020 | LEGISLATION | House Democrats are preparing to turn the focus back to their policy agenda now that impeachment has moved over to the Senate… Democratic leaders are aiming for a vote before President’s Day on Feb. 17 on major legislation to strengthen union bargaining and to enact tougher penalties on employers that retaliate against workers seeking to unionize. The bill, called the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, would prohibit employers from making workers attend meetings meant to dissuade them… The Hill
Young Workers Key to a Resurgent Labor Movement
Jan. 21, 2020 | ACTIVISM | A decade that started with the worst recession in 75 years ended with a booming economy and record low unemployment rate. The “too big to fail” era also ushered in a new generation of workers far more progressive and activist than in the past. That’s a great thing for the labor movement. Certainly, young workers are concerned with the same issues that were the focus of those who came before them — fair wages for fair work, access to quality health care, and a stable pension that will enable a dignified retirement. But we are also more expansive in our approach fighting for workplace protections against harassment and discrimination, demanding LGBTQ+ rights, advocating for clean building practices and green investments that protect our environment and address climate change; and ensuring a healthy work-life balance for all employees… CommonWealth
Dr. King Understood the Power of Unions
Jan. 20, 2020 | ACTIVISM | In what would have been his 91st birthday, we celebrate the towering legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—his moral force as a faith leader, his devotion to nonviolent resistance and, of course, the sacrifices he made to end legalized segregation in the South. But there is an often-overlooked aspect of his work: Dr. King was one of his era’s most fearsome champions of working people coming together to organize, build power and improve their lives. Here is how he put it in a speech to the Illinois AFL-CIO convention in October 1965: “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old age pensions, government relief for the destitute, and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life…” The Root
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