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Today in Labor History

Aug. 4, 1967
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, led by President Ron Carey, went on strike at UPS. Involving 185,000 IBT members, the strike effectively shut down UPS operations for 16 days and cost UPS hundreds of millions of dollars. This victory for the union resulted in a new contract that increased wages, secured their existing benefits and gave increased job security.
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  • Local and National Union News

    What you need to know about Maryland’s mask mandate
    July 27, 2020 Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order Wednesday expanding mask-wearing restrictions, mandating that everyone older than 5 must wear masks inside all public buildings, including restaurants, houses of worship, gyms, casinos, stores and office buildings starting Friday at 5 p.m. Masks also will now be required outdoors whenever it is not possible to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others. Learn more here.

    Hoffa: Infrastructure investment holds key to improving economy
    July 27, 2020 Most Americans use these systems every day, including hundreds of thousands of Teamsters, be it as truckers, railroad workers, bus drivers, building tradesmen and others. Our nation’s failure to maintain and improve this infrastructure is costing Americans. The irony is that increased infrastructure spending is widely supported, with a recent poll showing 80 percent back it. Increasing investments in necessary networks is essential to turning the economy around. Why? Because infrastructure jobs, unlike those in other sectors, can’t be outsourced… Continue reading here.

    Contracts ratified at Aramark Uniform, Potts & Callahan, P. Flanagan & Sons
    July 24, 2020 This year would have been a busy one in our Local even without a coronavirus pandemic coming along and turning our lives and livelihoods upside down. With more than a dozen contracts expiring in 2020, social-distancing requirements have challenged us to get creative and be innovative in the handling of our grievance processes and all aspects of negotiations – from proposal meetings to bargaining sessions with employers. Here’s what’s been going on: Members at Aramark Uniform ratified a new four-year contract retroactive back to January of this year. A one-year contract was approved by members at Potts & Callahan providing an increase in wages and pension. A three-year agreement with wage, 401(k) and pension increases, and maintenance of benefits was ratified by members at P. Flanagan & Sons. Members at Bond Distributing and Edgemere Terminal approved one-year contract extensions. Contracts continue under extension agreements while negotiations continue at Aramark Vending; Breakthru; Chesapeake Beverage; Ecology Services; Hagerstown Canteen; MTC Logistics; RNDC; Southern Wine; Systems Freight; and UCC.

    Teamsters across the country strike for Black lives
    July 21, 2020 Workers with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters joined other major national labor organizations, leading racial and social justice groups, and activists in the national Strike for Black Lives. Hundreds of Teamsters across the U.S., joined by thousands more who walked off of their jobs for eight minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other Black people who are victims of police violence. “The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded on the principle of winning justice for all workers, and that cannot happen unless we dismantle racism and racist systems that continue to hold Black workers back,” said Marcus King, Director of the Human Rights and Diversity Commission at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Read the full press release here. Related: Workers in 25 cities held a short strike to protest systemic racism in society and the economy

    Hoffa on passing of Congressman John Lewis
    July 20, 2020 “Last night, our country lost a lion of the civil rights movement and a national force for good. As Teamsters, we are devastated to learn of the passing of Congressman John Lewis. “John Lewis dedicated his life to causes that were bigger than himself. For more than 60 years, his courageous leadership gave hope to the entire nation, reminding us all to be better. “More than anything, John Lewis was a fighter… Continue reading here

    Older news stories can be found at Local News

    Elsewhere in the News
    USPS Workers Say New Policies Threaten Core Mission
    Aug. 4, 2020 | PRIVATIZATION | July has a flurry of confusion and stress for postal workers, as a barrage of new measures are threatening to fundamentally overhaul and undermine the culture and operations of the U.S. Postal Service. Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported on a memo from the new USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging postal staff to leave behind mail at distribution centers if they thought it would cause a delay for letter carriers. Another memo stated that the USPS would be looking to cut transportation and overtime costs, bringing about “immediate, lasting, and impactful changes” to the federal agency… Intercept
    Can Labor Fix Our Broken Economy?
    Aug. 3, 2020 | ECONOMY | Decades of soaring income inequality rendered tens of millions of Americans just one or two missed paychecks away from financial calamity. While CEO and shareholder income skyrocketed over the past four decades, ordinary Americans’ wages stagnated. Even those juggling multiple jobs struggle to feed their families, leaving them unable to save for retirement or squirrel away money for emergencies. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Labor unions force corporations to provide workers with family-sustaining wages, affordable health insurance, viable retirement plans, safe working conditions and other benefits that help workers survive crises like the pandemic. And only the growth of unions—along with a much-needed strengthening of U.S. labor rights—can restore fairness to the cruel economic system laid bare by COVID-19… LA Progressive
    In Case You Missed It

      • Teamsters use new GOTV methods
      • Covid-19 news updates for July 30
      • Economy shrinks by 33 percent, 2M more jobless
      • Why the working class votes against its own interests
      • Meatpackers sue OSHA for virus safety enforcement
      • Covid-19 among meatpacking workers: An American tragedy
      • Employers require liability waivers as conflict mounts over workplace safety
      • How Labor Sec’ty Scalia played chicken with meatpacking workers’ lives

      • Unions urge congressional action on Philippines Human Rights Act

      • If ‘cancel culture’ is about getting fired, let’s cancel at-will employment

    Coronavirus Proves Just How Badly Union Elections Need to Move Online
    July 30, 2020 | ORGANIZING | With less than 100 days before election day amidst the deadliest disease outbreak of our lifetime, many election officials across the country are scrambling to expand voting by mail, early voting and other alternatives to showing up on election day so Americans can exercise their right to vote without risking their lives in the process. As the debate over alternatives to in-person voting plays out in our national discourse, another voting right under the law is equally under attack because of COVID-19 but has received little attention: the rights of workers to vote on union representation under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The National Labor Relations Board has been forbidden from conducting elections online in every congressional appropriations bill since 2012, in no small part because of baseless concerns on the part of anti-union members in the House of Representatives like Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who said that conducting NLRB elections electronically risks “hacking, fraud and coercion.” This claim is absurd… Teamsters Union
    Coronavirus is Unleashing Righteous Worker Anger and A New Wave of Unionism
    July 28, 2020 | OPINION | In recent decades, we have rarely seen so much worker anger and so many strikes as we’ve seen since COVID-19 hit America. Fears of the virus have greatly emboldened American workers. Some labor historians say this new militancy resembles the 1930s, when a huge strike wave helped lead to landmark pro-labor legislation and one of the biggest bursts of unionization in American history. Now many workers are hoping — and many employers are dreading — that the pandemic-induced wave of militancy could produce a similar surge of unionization. Support for unions is rising. Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of unions, nearly the highest level in 50 years. Another promising sign is the changing generational support for labor… Los Angeles Times

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