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January 31, 2023

Today in 1975
After scoring successes with representation elections conducted under the protective oversight of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, the United Farm Workers of America officially ends its historic table grape, lettuce, and wine boycotts. ~ DC Labor

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  • Local and National News

    Amid gains, railroaders seeking quality-of-life improvements
    Jan. 30, 2023 
    | Even though track maintenance workers in the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division union aren’t on call the way train crews are, they are increasingly being sent on the road for days at a time to tackle construction projects and repairs, prompting many to reconsider whether the job is worth the sacrifice, Teamster BMWED union spokesman Clark Ballew said. “To date, we haven’t seen genuine concern from management about these quality-of-life decisions that our members increasingly wrestle with.” Associated Press

    Energizer plans to outsource Teamster jobs
    Jan. 20, 2023 
    | The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is fighting plans by billion-dollar company Energizer to outsource more than 600 good-paying jobs after the company announced intentions to close its battery plants in Fennimore and Portage, Wisconsin. Last year, Energizer gave $93 million to shareholders through quarterly dividends and posted a gross profit of $1.1 billion. Learn more at Teamsters.

    Tonight at 7 pm: Senator Sanders on the State of the Working Class
    Jan. 17, 2023 
    | “Before we can effectively go forward in terms of economic policy, it’s necessary to know where we are at. On Tuesday, I will give a speech at the U.S. Capitol on the state of America’s working class and how we address the existing crises.” – Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont. Watch his national address live from the U.S. Capitol at

    Older articles here.

    Elsewhere in the News

    UPS Faces Rising Labor Costs, Strike Risk in Upcoming Union Fight

    Jan. 31, 2023 | PACKAGE DIVISION | United Parcel Service Inc. will pay more for labor after replacing a union contract that expires in July. The main question for Chief Executive Officer Carol Tomé is how much more — and if it’s enough to avoid a strike that would throw package delivery into chaos. A strike now in the era of e-commerce would have a much bigger impact than in 1997 when most packages were sent by businesses, and parcel networks operated five days a week instead of non-stop. Teamsters President Sean O’Brien is promising a hard fight. Talks on the nationwide contract will begin April 16, O’Brien said in an interview. The current contract ends July 31. “We’ve got some great arguments on why these folks should be paid,” O’Brien said. “We’ve got a great argument just on how much money the company’s been making.” Yahoo News  Related: UPS reports $11.55 billion profit for 2022 as it continues to hike rates

    Unions Can Help Beyond Their Membership. César Chávez Proved it.

    Jan. 30, 2023 | LABOR HISTORY | [...] Chávez and the United Farm Workers union he led recognized in the 1960s what was happening — long before most other Americans did. They started blowing the whistle on how the chemical industry and agribusiness manipulated the idea of scientific uncertainty to continue selling pesticides they knew were dangerous. The UFW’s crusade against toxins like DDT — its 1972 ban was a milestone in U.S. agriculture that marked the beginning of a decade of bans — revealed how activists could triumph over big business and make American life safer. Washington Post

    Week Ending 1/27/2023

      • Kroger Union files class action suit alleging wage theft  
      • Amazon union fight continues despite workers’ win
      • New study shows 4-day workweek has positive impact
      • Gaming: a huge industry workers are trying to unionize
      • Strong unions are a force for economic and racial justice
      • Employer wants Supreme Court to set aside 60 years of settled law
      • NLRB judge rules against Pittsburgh paper, orders it back to the table
      • Why union members are first line of defense to protect Social Security

      • Fast-food companies spending millions to block raises for their workers

      • No to paid sick leave, Union Pacific spent more on stock buybacks than workers
      • Gov. Moore proposes tax cuts, free health care for Maryland’s retired veterans

    Maryland Allies Amplify Struggle of Starbucks Workers at ‘Sip-In’

    Jan. 26, 2023 | WORKERS' RIGHTS | Among the 20 or so people who attended the Starbucks “Sip-In for a Contract” in Belair on January 20, 2023, was Ed Crizer. He’s a just-elected Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee member in District 6, the old shipbuilding neighborhood of Baltimore City/County. He says that Baltimore County used to be a union-dense area; even bartenders were unionized and thus had a steady income. Now that the service industry is dominant, too many people believe that younger people are doing these jobs and don’t need the benefits. “But if these jobs are just for students, why isn’t McDonald's closed during school hours?” … The Bel Air Starbucks voted to unionize months ago, and yet there has not been a sit-down meeting with management... When asked what allies can do to support the union between sip-ins, the answer from the workers was clear: “Show up (to Starbucks locations), tip, and say, ‘Union Strong.’” Peoples World

    America’s Trucking Industry Is At A Crossroads

    Jan. 26, 2023 | FREIGHT INDUSTRY | Life for truck drivers in the United States is changing. From government mandates to the approach of greater automation to drastically lower wages, making a living behind the wheel of a big rig is becoming tougher every year. By some estimates, around 90% of those who take up the profession leave within the first year. And now, there’s a serious shortage of qualified drivers. Andrew Kay got to know what drivers face today by meeting them at truck stops and on the road for a piece in Wired. He spoke with the Standard about what he learned about the struggles that modern truckers face. Texas Standard
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