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April 14, 2024

Today in 1934
The Toledo (Ohio) Auto-Lite strike begins today with 6,000 workers demanding union recognition and higher pay. The strike is notable for a five-day running battle in late May between the strikers and 1,300 members of the Ohio National Guard. Known as the “Battle of Toledo,” the clash left two strikers dead and more than 200 injured. The two-month strike, a win for the workers’ union, is regarded by many labor historians as one of the nation’s three most important strikes. ~ Labor Tribune

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  • Local and National Union News

    Reminder: Applications available for the 2024 Local 355 Scholarship Awards
    Apr. 11, 2023 | Applications are now available for the children and stepchildren of Local 355 members who seek to fulfill their dreams through higher education. There are no tests and no lengthy application process. The deadline for application submission is May 3. The scholarships will be awarded during the May 2024 regular monthly membership meeting.  Additional information and application here.

    Teamsters warehouse workers ratify first contract at Sysco Louisville
    Apr. 8, 2023 | More than 100 warehouse workers at Sysco Louisville have overwhelmingly ratified a first Teamsters contract in Kentucky. The new four-year agreement includes improved safety standards, better working conditions, more paid time off, and substantial wage increases, with some members seeing 29 percent pay bumps. The workers have been in negotiations for a first contract since they voted to join the Teamsters in September. In early March, Local 89 members unanimously authorized a strike if needed. Learn more here. Why this matters: There is strength in numbers -- Sysco Baltimore drivers and warehouse workers are Local 355 members.

    Final rule clarifies employee representation during OSHA inspections
    Apr. 3, 2023 | Teamsters applaud OSHA for finalizing the new Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process, which affirms the right to worker representation during OSHA workplace inspections. This is an important step toward ensuring the integrity of inspections and preventing employers from abusing the process in order to hide unsafe working conditions from regulators. The rule is effective May 31, 2024. Learn more about the rule here.

    Strike and boycott continue as Molson Coors negotiations collapse
    Mar. 28, 2023 | Negotiations that included a mediator with Molson Coors broke off on Thursday over the multibillion-dollar beer maker’s refusal to agree to real wage increases for Local 997 Teamsters in a new three-year contract. The company offered just five more cents — on top of its original degrading offer of 99-cent per hour — in its wage proposal to the workers who brew and package its signature beers. Since workers were forced onto the picket line 41 days ago, Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley has been paid more than $5.1 million. Molson Coors is a major sponsor of the NCAA’s March Madness. Teamsters will be out in full force in Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston, and Phoenix, informing and urging the public to boycott Molson Coors products throughout the college basketball tournament. Learn more here.

    Older articles here.

    Elsewhere in the News

    Week Ending 04/12/2024

      • Key Bridge collapse is a story about deregulation
      • ‘We are the workforce that this country needs’
      • The 32-hour workweek is ours for the taking
      • NLRB refuses to bow to Space X, Amazon pressure
      • Divided Amazon union lurches toward leadership election
      • Steelworkers push back against $14B deal for U.S. Steel as vote looms
      • With Teamster support, Kentucky governor vetoes driverless vehicle bill
    New Jersey expands discrimination protection to members of labor unions

    The Charleston Cigar Factory Strike

    Apr. 12, 2024 | LABOR HISTORY | The Charleston Cigar Factory Strike was a labor strike that involved workers at the Charleston Cigar Factory in Charleston, South Carolina, from October 22, 1945, to April 1, 1946. The strike resulted from the company refusing to institute raises and racial discrimination. The modern version of the gospel hymn and civil rights anthem that would become popular in the 1960s, We Shall Overcome, was first performed by striking worker Lucille Simmons, during the strike. The strike began on October 1, 1945, when Harold F. McGinnis, manager of the Cigar Factory, fired a Black male worker after a White female supervisor accused him of taking familiarities with Black female workers. Most of the Black women workers at the factory, who comprised 60% of the workforce, viewed the firing as racially motivated.

    Unemployment for Strikers Would Balance the Scales

    Apr. 10, 2024 | COMMENTARY | A bill that would allow workers on strike to access unemployment insurance is currently under consideration in the Minnesota Legislature.  Working people make our biggest gains on the job when we take collective action. When employers fail to pay family-sustaining wages and benefits or refuse to make the workplace safer, it nearly always takes some form of worker action to move management. The most effective action is withholding our labor and going on strike.…Our nation’s labor laws are heavily tilted towards management. Once a collective bargaining agreement has expired, employers have the legal right to lock workers out and replace them, stall negotiations, and cut off benefits — all without any personal sacrifice from managers or their families. When workers decide whether to legally strike, however, we must consider the impact going without pay or health insurance will have on our families. Minnesota Reformer

    Elon Musk Wants to Gut the National Labor Relations Act

    Apr. 9, 2024 | WORKERS’ RIGHTS | Elon Musk is challenging the New Deal legislation that established the National Labor Relations Board. Experts warn that this is “a serious threat.” [Musk] hates unions, with a white-hot passion that has rendered him delusional. [T]he Tesla CEO explained that “I disagree with the idea of unions…. I just don’t like anything which creates a lords-and-peasants sort of thing.”...When the second-richest man in the world is complaining that giving employees a voice in their workplace creates negativity and “a lords-and-peasants sort of thing,” we’re definitely through the looking glass. But Musk is hardly the first billionaire manufacturer to flip out over the prospect of having to treat workers with the respect that the law requires. The Nation
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