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Today in Labor History

May 26, 1937:  Ford Motor Co. security guards attack union organizers and supporters attempting to distribute literature outside the plant in Dearborn, Mich., in an event that was to become known as the “Battle of the Overpass.” The guards tried to destroy any photos showing the attack, but some survived—and inspired the Pulitzer committee to establish a prize for photography.

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Local and National Union News

UPS Teamster locals, leaders meet at Unity Conference to discuss 2018 contract
May 15, 2017 | agreed  Hundreds of local union leaders, business agents, shop stewards and members packed a room at the Teamster Unity Conference on Wednesday to hear about preparations being made fro negotiations on the UPS 2018 contract. “We have many issues we need to face in the upcoming negotiations. Package Division Director Sean O’Brien told meeting attendees there is no commitment yet on whether or not to pursue early negotiations. But he said surveys will be used via social media, as well as focus groups and polling, to determine what members think about when to start negotiations and what the focus of bargaining should be. Read the full report here.

Teamsters aircraft mechanics print open letter to UPS CEO
May 2, 2017 | agreed As UPS prepares for its annual shareholder meeting, more than 900 of its aircraft mechanics and other related classifications sent an open letter to CEO David Abney and the board of directors Monday saying they are concerned that UPS is trying to strip them of their health benefits and that they will do whatever it takes to secure a fair contract. UPS relies on the mechanics, stationed at more than 90 gateways across the country, for all maintenance of its cargo aircraft. The workers do physically demanding and often dangerous work around jet engine aircraft and equipment and toxic chemicals and exhaust… teamster.org Related: UPS Teamsters, remember to vote! Demand lobbying accountability at UPS.

YRC Freight rescinds pay cuts – but not for all workers
May 1, 2017 | agreed Three years after the Teamsters agreed to pay cuts to prevent YRC Freight trucking company from going bankrupt, the company is rescinding the cuts – but only for workers in some areas. YRC Freight and two of its regional trucking affiliates agreed Apr. 10 to end the two-tier system for newly hired truckers and mechanics and gradually eliminate the 15% pay cut for dockworkers… laborpress.org

Older news items are posted at 992 News.

Elsewhere in the News
Memorial Day Beer Shortage Expected on Long Island
May 25, 2017 | STRIKES | As Long Island approaches the second biggest beer-buying weekend of the year – Memorial Day – a shortage of Budweiser, Bud Light, Heineken, Blue Point and other popular beers are expected. Teamster drivers and warehouse workers at beer distributor Clare Rose have been on strike for one month, choking off deliveries of Anheuser-Busch products to Long Island and leaving many store shelves empty. Members of Teamsters Local 812 went on strike on April 23 when the company illegally cut drivers’ wages by 30 percent and ended the workers’ pension. Clare Rose has since begun permanently replacing its Long Island workforce with out-of-state workers. Still, scab and warehouse workers have been unable to complete deliveries… teamster.org
Government Can Help Put People Back to Work
May 24, 2017  | JOBS | The American workplace is undergoing substantial change. Increasingly, employers are less interested in hiring full-time employees. Instead, they want to use what they call contractors, whether the title is accurate or not. While unemployment is low, the quality and pay for many of these newer jobs is dubious at best. There is a realization that steps need to be taken if hardworking Americans are going to be able to support themselves in the years to come. A new report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) calls for the creation of a “Marshall Plan for America, one that would challenge the effects of reduced bargaining power, globalization and changes in technology to ensure workers can succeed in the 21st century… teamster.org
Administration’s Budget Builds a Wall Between the Wealthy and All of Us
May 24, 2017 | INEQUALITY | With its 2018 federal budget proposal, the Trump administration made public, and made plain, its priorities for our nation. Its vision for America is one where the sick, children, families and the disabled are sacrificed for tax breaks for the very wealthiest and giveaways to trillion-dollar corporations, That’s the wall that thus budget constructs and yes, Trump wants the poor and middle class to pay for it. This budget is cruel to the point of absurdity… ourfuture.org
Interviewing Truck Drivers at a Crossroads
May 24, 2017  | JOBS | …Truck drivers are everywhere on our highways, undergirding the American economy, but most of us know little about their work and personal lives beyond musty stereotypes from the days of CB radio. Most truckers were quick to disabuse me of any notion that life on the open road holds romantic allure. I got interested in truck driving while reporting an earlier story about what became of 600 unionized workers at an Alcoa aluminum plant in Indiana that closed down. A number found jobs in trucking, which has a perpetual HELP Wanted sign out. They soon learned the pay ways nowhere near as good, and the lifestyle – keeping them away from home for weeks at a time was brutal… nytimes.com Related: Trucking and blue-collar woes
Teamsters: Don’t Trade Overtime for Comp Time
May 19, 2017  | WAGES | Lawmakers who cozy up to corporate America love to sponsor legislation that to the uninitiated might sound like a good thing for workers, but in the end is just another pathway for big business to line their pockets with even higher profits. The Workplace Families and Flexibility Act of 2017, which passed the House earlier this month, is being touted by Republican supporters as one that would give workers more say in the workplace. But really it gives companies an out from paying workers overtime. While supporters claim that the legislation grants U.S. workers greater balance by giving them the flexibility to take comp time instead of overtime if they prefer, the reality is companies ultimately can decide to decline these time-off requests… teamster.org









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Updated: May. 26 (08:43)

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