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January 29, 2020

On This Day in 1834
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal workers rioted on this date, prompting President Jackson to send in troops. This was the first time American troops were used to suppress a domestic labor dispute. Workers were rebelling because of terrible working conditions and low pay. The canal project had been designed by George Washington and was intended to facilitate transportation of goods from the Chesapeake Bay to the Ohio River Valley. Construction teams were made up mostly of Irish, German, Dutch and black workers who toiled long hours for low wages in dangerous conditions. The use of federal troops set a dangerous precedent that gave business leaders the confidence that they could count on the federal government to quash labor unrest in the future.
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New wash system at Amports brings more work, more jobs
Updated On: May 08, 2013

May 8, 2013

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held May 3, 2013, unveiled a new car-washing system at Amports' Baltimore terminal, replacing a decades-old system that had become an unreliable link in the company's vehicle processing operation.

Teamsters Local 355 estimates an increase of 9-10 jobs will likely be created as a result of the installation of the more efficient car wash system.

Attending the ceremony were auto manufacturing representatives from Detroit, MI, George Molyneaux, Amport Terminal Manager, Larry Johnson, Baltimore Port Authority, and Business Agent Jim Deene, Teamsters Local 355. Also on hand were Amports shop steward Dwaynne Miles (rail dept.) and drivers Nathaniel Johns, Robert Washington, Syble Wilkins and Lindsey Webb, all members of Local 355.

New American vehicles heading to destinations around the world arrive by rail and are processed through the Amports facility located at the port in Baltimore. Auto manufacturers pay to have their vehicles washed, rinsed, dried, wrapped and undercoated before being loaded on to cargo ships destined for new owners in Europe, the Mideast and Asia. Amports is a 24/7 operation.

Car wash driver Syble Wilkins, a 19-year employee, said the new system will ensure "the products are safely in and safely out." Syble operated the old system alone, placing each vehicle on a roller system that moved it through all the processes. Between 30-40 vehicles per hour were moved through the car wash.

The new system which can move up to 120 vehicles per hour, requires someone behind the wheel of every vehicle, significantly reducing the possibility of interruption in product processing. Every vehicle must be cleared of dirt and pollen or the wrapping (think shrink wrap) will not adhere to the vehicle's surface.

"This is a great improvement for our company's processing system," Syble said. "But one person can't operate it. It requires more manpower. And that's good for us."


 
 
Teamsters Local 355
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