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July 09, 2020

On This Day in 1966
From July 8 to August 19, 1966, over 35,000 airline workers across the nation employed by five airlines went on strike. After several years of stilted wage gains as the airline industry invested heavily in jet technology, aircraft mechanics and other ground service workers represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) were anxious to share in the substantial profits of 1965. Facing a bargaining impasse between the IAM and the five carriers (United, Northwest, National, Trans World and Eastern) covered in the industry’s first multi-carrier labor contract, a Presidential Emergency Board presented a “compromise” package. In the summer of 1966, IAM members rejected this compromise and walked off the job in the largest strike in airline history. For 43 days during the peak summer travel season, 60 percent of the U.S. commercial airline industry was literally inoperative as 35,000 workers stayed out on strike.
- Voices of Labor

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  • Local and National News

    Attention Members
         Updated June 30, 2020 - Our July general membership meetings in Baltimore and Salisbury are canceled. The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to take steps that protect the health of our members and our staff as we continue to provide service and support. To that end, essential procedures instituted March 25 remain in effect. Click here to read these important notices regarding office and credit union hours of operation. If you need to see your business agent or have questions or concerns, give us a call at 410-566-5700.


    Burris Foods driver's daughter, a Hoffa Scholarship winner, becomes a doctor
    July 7, 2020 | Nine years ago, the daughter of long-time Local 355 Teamster and Burris Foods driver, Leonard Russell, set her sights on a medical career. With her father’s encouragement, Rebecca applied for and received a $10,000 award from the 2011 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund. Today, as Rebecca Jean Russell, M.D., she is doing her medical residency at Christiana Care Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. Dr. Russell achieved her dream of becoming a family physician specializing in geriatrics after a grueling eight-year educational quest. “Thank you so much for supporting me and my family on my journey to becoming a medical doctor,” Dr. Russell wrote in a recent letter to the Teamsters... Continue reading at 355 News  (Pictured: Proud dad, Leonard, with daughter Dr. Rebecca Russell)

    Public Services members: Listen to the latest Member Town Hall
    July 7, 2020 | Check out the Public Services Division’s “Member Town Hall” webinar recorded on June 25 to learn what Teamster members can do to keep safe and stay sane during the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring video messages from General President James P. Hoffa and Public Services Division Director Jason Rabinowitz as well as an informative discussion from Gretchen Grindle, LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and Lamont Byrd, of our Safety & Health Department. Listen here.

    Teamster Union lauds Cares Act relief for YRCW workers
    June 30, 2020 | A $700 million loan provided by the United States Treasury under the CARES Act will help YRC Worldwide, Inc.’s operating companies pay its employees’ health care and other benefits and get through this pandemic while protecting the livelihoods of about 24,000 Teamsters and their families, Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa said yesterday. The CARES Act assistance will be used to pay for employee health care and pension costs and other obligations. YRCW employs 30,000 freight workers, including 24,000 Teamsters at YRC Freight, Holland, Reddaway and New Penn. Read more here.

    Hoffa: Changes to guest worker programs will help protect U.S. livelihoods
    June 30, 2020 | In a statement released yesterday about a White House effort to temporarily curtail guest worker programs during the current economic downturn, General President Hoffa said, “U.S. workers are facing a nearly unprecedented loss of jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Given the current conditions, it only makes sense to prioritize the lives and the livelihoods of hardworking Americans and protect their wages…” Continue reading here.

    Older news items are available at 355 News.


    Shop stewards: The May/June issue of On The Front Line is now available
    You may view and download the current issue here. Please note that the newsletter contains clickable links to external pages for additional information. Mail delivery of our Joint Council 62 steward newsletter is suspended until further notice. 

    Elsewhere in the News
    New House Bill Would Tax Wall St. Windfalls to Guarantee Good Jobs
    July 7, 2020 | JOBS | The pandemic has claimed nearly 15 million U.S. jobs. Meanwhile, high flying financial traders are making a killing off the market volatility caused by the crisis. A new House bill would tax Wall Street windfalls to guarantee good jobs for people in high unemployment areas. The Workforce Promotion and Access Act would ensure employment in jobs that pay at least $15 per hour with benefits and address local needs, such as childcare, eldercare, and infrastructure. “Working people who stand up to corporate bosses and get fired as a result face loss of income, loss of housing, loss of medical care, and food insecurity,” Erica Smiley, Executive Director for Jobs with Justice, said in a press release. “The Workforce Promotion and Access Act blunts the threat of firing and allows working people to demand a role in our economic system.”… Truthout
    How the American Worker Got Fleeced
    July 6, 2020 | ECONOMY | Over the years, bosses have held down wages, cut benefits, and stomped on employees’ rights. Covid-19 may change that… [The pandemic] helps clarify just how much employers have chipped away at the labor rights and bargaining power that came with the New Deal. Legislation and court rulings have outlawed key organizing and protest tactics, legalized aggressive anti-union efforts, and radically shrunk the range of occupations granted basic labor rights. Companies looking for a short-term jolt to their profit margin have more incentives than ever to hire workers indirectly, keeping payroll and liability off their own books. The pandemic certainly could give employers even more power to set the rules. Or it could give workers a chance to end a heist on a nationwide scale… Bloomberg
    Why Labor Unions Make People Less Racist
    July 2, 2020 | EQUALITY | Compared to non-union workers, union members have higher wages and smaller gender and racial wage disparities. A study shows they change the way you see the world too. A new research paper finds that stronger labor unions have an anti-racist side effect: white union members feel less racial resentment against Blacks than their non-union counterparts. The paper published in the American Journal of Political Science, called "Labor Unions and White Racial Politics," was written by Professors Paul Frymer of Princeton University and Jacob Grumbach of the University of Washington. "Union membership reduces racial resentment toward African Americans," they write. The reason, they believe, is partly because union leaders "need to recruit workers of color in order to achieve majority memberships in racially diversifying labor sectors" and therefore "have ideological and strategic incentives to mitigate racial resentment among the rank and file in pursuit of organizational maintenance and growth…” Salon
    Nearly Half the US Population Is Without A Job
    July 2, 2020 | ECONOMY | Nearly half of the population is still out of a job showing just how far the U.S. labor market has to heal in the wake of the coronavirus.  The employment-population ratio — the number of employed people as a percentage of the U.S. adult population — plunged to 52.8% in May, meaning 47.2% of Americans are jobless, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the coronavirus-induced shutdowns tore through the labor market, the share of the population employed dropped sharply from a recent high of 61.2% in January, farther away from a post-war record of 64.7% in 2000. This ratio is a broader look at the employment picture. It takes into account adults not in the labor force and captures those who were discouraged about the prospects of finding a job, whereas the unemployment rate looks at people actively looking for a job… CNBC 
    How COVID-19 Widened America’s Wealth Gap
    June 30, 2020 | INEQUALITY The novel coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated income inequality, experts say, stretching the racial wealth gap in the United States and making the richest wealthier while leaving many of the poorest without jobs. As the COVID-19 pandemic overtook the U.S., it brought with it an unprecedented financial crisis and unemployment rates at their highest levels since the Great Depression, especially among Black, Hispanic and Asian workers (16.8%, 17.6% and 15% in May compared to 12.4% for whites). At least 45 million people have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began. Yet between March 18 and June 17, as the pandemic raged, the combined wealth of the 614 U.S. billionaires increased by $584 billion… ABC News
    Unions Support Workers During Crisis
    June 29, 2020 | OPINION | The COVID-19 pandemic has sent our world into a public health and economic tailspin. As of May, the national unemployment rate was at 13.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Michigan, it is a staggering 21.2% — worse than the Great Recession. [ In Maryland, it’s 9.9%.] The Washington Post reports that more than 100,000 businesses have closed permanently. But more important, lives are at stake. While a majority of employees in white-collar industries were able to move to much safer remote work environments, hundreds of thousands of “essential” and “frontline” workers — grocery store clerks, sanitation and transportation workers, medical professionals, and others — could not stay home even when the nation was on lockdown… This pandemic has shown just how critical it is to have a union to protect the rights, working conditions, safety, and health of workers. With almost the flip of a switch, millions of hard-working people across the country were suddenly without work, without health benefits, struggling economically — proud individuals who suddenly needed to file unemployment, miss mortgage payments, and visit food banks… Detroit News
    In Case You Missed It

      • The jobs we need
      • Update for Industrial Trades Teamsters
      • Workers are striking during coronavirus
      • COVID-19 news updates for June 25
      • GCC Local in Pa. defeats a decert campaign
      • More than half of workers expect to work past 65
      • How a raise for workers can be a win for everybody
      • Warning: These 9 hand sanitizers could be toxic
      • AFGE scores major contract win for EPA employees
      • How to stay safe at the beach amid coronavirus
      • Mine workers seek order protecting them from coronavirus
      • Two million “Save USPS” petitions delivered to U.S. Senate
      • YRC healthcare coverage extension set to expire
      • Policy & election discussed at Teamsters (virtual) political conference
      • Teamsters demand Republic Services end abuse of Black workers in Atlanta
      • 7 labor leaders on how COVID-19 has given the labor movement new urgency










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