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Today in Labor History

JAN. 17, 1962
President John Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988, recognizing the right of federal employees to bargain collectively. The order was a breakthrough for public sector workers, who were not protected under the 1935 Wagner Act.
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Attention CDL drivers: 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 since 2002.]

Two Teamster UPS drivers die in PA turnpike crash
Jan. 6, 2020  | The Teamsters Union mourns the loss of two Teamsters Local 776 members and UPS drivers, Dennis Kehler and Daniel Kepner, who were killed Sunday in an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The pile-up involved several tractor-trailers that reportedly crashed after a tour bus was unable to negotiate a turn and hit an embankment. Five people were killed and 60 injured. Keller was a 28-year Teamster with UPS and Kepner was a five-year Teamster at the company… 992 News

Older news items are posted at 992 News.

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It’s Time for Lawmakers to Acknowledge Workers Are Struggling
Jan. 17, 2020 | FAIR WAGES | There rightfully has been a lot of focus recently on the need for good-paying jobs. We wrote about it last week in this space and will again right now. Why? Because it is important to counter the narrative being pushed by some that everything is going just great for workers. Interest in the topic certainly goes beyond the Teamster Nation Blog. In fact, a report released last week by the Brookings Institute painted a bleak picture of the state of working America, noting that 44 percent of workers – 53 million workers overall – earn barely enough to live on. Their median earnings come out to about $18,000 a year. Many of these low-wage workers are in what should be their prime earning years of 25 to 54 (64 percent) and are the primary earners or contribute substantially to their family living expenses (51 percent). About 37 percent have children, and 23 percent live below the poverty line. This is all happening, mind you, while $10 billion in cuts are made to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, widely known as food stamps)... Teamsters  Related: 14 states (including Maryland and Virginia), D.C. and New York City sue to stop Trump plan to slash food stamps for 700,000 unemployed people
Virginia 38th and Final State Needed to Pass Equal Rights Amendment
Jan. 16, 2020 | EQUALITY | Since Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, the proposal to enshrine gender equality in the Constitution has languished in state legislatures, failing to rack up the approvals in the three-quarters of states required of Constitutional amendments—until now. On Wednesday, Virginia became the 38th state to pass a resolution to ratify the ERA in its newly elected Democratic state legislature. The significance of the ERA lies in its power to strengthen existing anti-discrimination laws—on issues like pay equity, sexual violence, and pregnancy discrimination—by giving them the weight of a constitutional amendment that cannot easily be repealed, amended, or weakened in the courts, its proponents argue.But the victory, for now, is mostly symbolic… Mother Jones   Photo:Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
For the Love of God, Ask the Candidates About Unions
Jan. 16, 2020 | VOTE2020 | The American labor movement has been under attack for decades, but you wouldn’t know it from watching the Democratic primary debates. On Tuesday evening, moderators mentioned unions once — specifically a union, the AFL-CIO, and only to ask Bernie Sanders why he opposed the USMCA trade deal that the union endorsed. This meager exchange is still something of an improvement on most previous debates. When unions have come up at all, it’s usually thanks to the candidates, who invoke “good union jobs” to polish their economic proposals or to criticize Medicare for All. To date, debate moderators themselves have not asked candidates a single direct question about labor rights… New York Magazine
Looking Back at 2019 From Workers’ Perspective
Jan. 14, 2020 | COMMENTARY | The number of Americans who engaged in work stoppages last year was at a 30-year high, on pace to equal 2018′s strikes when almost half a million U.S. workers walked off the job. That said, such “days of idleness” were still less than the levels that workers sustained during the entire post-World War II period through 1979. Organized labor helped increase the minimum wage in 21 states effective this year, with an additional 26 cities and counties also increasing minima. Further, the National Employment Law Project reports than 22 other cities and counties and 2 more states are poised to hike minimum wages in the coming months, voters elected dozens of pro-worker candidates up and down the ballot, and 64% of the public approves of unions – a 50-year high… Canton Daily Ledger
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