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Today in Labor History

July 8, 1966
From July 8 to August 19, 1966, over 35,000 airline workers across the nation employed by five airlines went on strike. After several years of stilted wage gains as the airline industry invested heavily in jet technology, aircraft mechanics and other ground service workers represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) were anxious to share in the substantial profits of 1965. Facing a bargaining impasse between the IAM and the five carriers (United, Northwest, National, Trans World and Eastern) covered in the industry’s first multi-carrier labor contract, a Presidential Emergency Board presented a “compromise” package. In the summer of 1966, IAM members rejected this compromise and walked off the job in the largest strike in airline history. For 43 days during the peak summer travel season, 60 percent of the U.S. commercial airline industry was literally inoperative as 35,000 workers stayed out on strike.
- Voices of Labor

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Unions Support Workers During Crisis
Posted On: Jun 29, 2020
June 29, 2020 | OPINION | The COVID-19 pandemic has sent our world into a public health and economic tailspin. As of May, the national unemployment rate was at 13.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Michigan, it is a staggering 21.2% — worse than the Great Recession. [ In Maryland, it’s 9.9%.] The Washington Post reports that more than 100,000 businesses have closed permanently. But more important, lives are at stake. While a majority of employees in white-collar industries were able to move to much safer remote work environments, hundreds of thousands of “essential” and “frontline” workers — grocery store clerks, sanitation and transportation workers, medical professionals, and others — could not stay home even when the nation was on lockdown… This pandemic has shown just how critical it is to have a union to protect the rights, working conditions, safety, and health of workers. With almost the flip of a switch, millions of hard-working people across the country were suddenly without work, without health benefits, struggling economically — proud individuals who suddenly needed to file unemployment, miss mortgage payments, and visit food banks… Detroit News







 
 
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