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Today in Labor History

Jan. 21, 1974
A four-day strike by 2,000 postal workers at the New Jersey Bulk and Foreign Mail Center in Jersey City began on this date. The “Battle of the Bulk” was caused by postal management’s unilateral changes in workers’ hours and working conditions. The wildcat strike was led by a group of young workers who identified themselves as “The Outlaws”. A federal judge ruled in the union’s favor, directing management to settle the issue through binding arbitration. Union Communication Services

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Local and National Union News

UPS Freight national contract is now available online
Jan. 18, 2019 |  The 2018-2023 National Master UPS Freight Agreement is now available online and ready to print. You may access the agreement here. Workers at UPS Freight ratified the new five-year agreement in November 2018 that was the company’s last, best and final offer. Members approved the contract by a 77 percent to 23 percent margin. The agreement covers about 11,600 workers at the company.

UPS contract update
Jan. 18, 2019 |  The seven Teamster local unions that represent UPS Teamsters covered by the Upstate and Western New York Supplement have reached a tentative agreement, and voting information will be mailed to members on Tuesday, January 22. Voting will be done over the internet or by phone. Ballots will be counted on Tuesday, February 5. Four supplements remain outstanding: Central Pennsylvania; Western Pennsylvania; Local 804; and Local 243 and Metro Detroit… Teamsters

YRC negotiations resume, continued progress reported
Jan. 14, 2019 |  The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) met this week to continue negotiations for a new National Master Freight Agreement covering YRC Freight, Holland and New Penn. The parties met for full days over the course of the week and discussed a wide variety of issues. TNFINC secured a tentative agreement with improvements on a number of items such as equipment, safety, stewards and work opportunities. TNFINC Co-Chair Ernie Soehl stated: “We continued making progress for the members and resolved a number of national non-economic items. Obviously, we will still need to tackle the difficult economic issues, but at least so far I am encouraged by the progress.” Negotiations are scheduled to resume later in the month.

Teamsters go to court over federal rest time ruling
Jan. 11, 2019 |  In a move that pits business interests against organized labor, the federal agency that regulates big-rig traffic late last year issued a ruling that wipes out California labor laws mandating meal and rest breaks for interstate truck drivers. Within a week of that decision, the Union filed a legal action in federal court challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ruling. The federal agency is being asked to prove it has the authority to preempt this California regulation… The Press-Enterprise

Thousands of federal employee union workers rally for end to government lockout
Jan. 10, 2019 |  Teamsters stood with federal workers and other trade union allies at a rally today in Washington, DC to demand an end to the government shutdown. Tens of thousands of our union brothers and sisters are locked out or working without pay. Chanting ‘Shut the shutdown now,” they demanded that government leaders “do your job” and reopen the government so they can go back to work. More than a dozen members of Congress joined the rally to stand with the workers including leaders from Maryland (House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Senators Chris Van Hollen, and Benjamin Cardin) and Virginia (Senator Mark Warner and Representative Don Beyer).

Older news items are posted at 992 News.

Elsewhere in the News
Martin Luther King Jr. Was a Union Man
Jan. 21, 2019 | U.S. LABOR |  If Martin Luther King Jr. still lived, he’d probably tell people to join unions. King understood racial equality was inextricably linked to economics. He asked, “What good does it do to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can’t buy a hamburger?” Those disadvantages have persisted. Today, for instance, the wealth of the average white family is more than 20 times that of a black one. King’s solution was unionism… Working In These Times
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Hoffa, Teamsters call on Congress to Reopen Government
Jan. 18, 2019 | PUBLIC SERVICES | Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa joined other labor leaders at a rally today in the nation’s capital to call for an end of a partial federal government shutdown that has left 800,000 government workers without a paycheck for nearly a month. Speaking outside of Nationals Park, Hoffa said it is time for the Senate to vote on a funding bill approved by the House earlier this month that would fully reopen the government and allow not only federal workers but contractors as well to return to the job with pay. “We all know what’s going on,” Hoffa told union workers, including many Teamsters, in attendance. “We are here to rally with you and call for the vote. It’s time for this to come to an end…” Teamsters
Should Federal Workers Walk Off the Job?
Jan. 17, 2019 | OPINION |  [...] For the most part, federal employees deemed essential are required to still turn up and do their jobs and they are doing just that. After all, if they don’t, they could be fired and their unions fined. The law forbids federal employees from striking, which is why a number of federal unions and workers have taken to the courts, alleging everything from violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act to claims that demanding workers show up for their jobs even though they have no idea when they will receive a paycheck amounts to “indentured servitude” and is an unconstitutional violation of the 13th Amendment. In this crucial way, the many federal workers potentially have the leverage to stick it to Trump and put an end to the shutdown. Will Trump really fire workers en masse if they call in sick day or simply engage in a slowdown because they are not receiving a paycheck? Will the American people stand for it if he does? … Washington Post
Teamsters: Fed Workers Deserve Respect – and Pay – for Their Jobs
Jan. 16, 2019 | WAR ON WORKERS | Some 800,000 Americans who work for the federal government are closing in on a month of going without pay. And that is not good news for this country. As it stands, the U.S. government currently owes federal workers some $5 billion in back wages. The effect of the federal furlough reaches far beyond these government workers, however. The Teamsters joined with other unions at the rally in Washington to demand that elected officials make sure these workers return to work soon. And it may only be the start of federal workers flexing their muscles to demand change… Teamsters Union
 
 
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