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July 15, 2020

On This Day in 1931
After leading a fierce battle on behalf of sharecroppers and tenant farmers in Alabama, Ralph Gray, a leader on the Croppers’ and Farm Workers Union in Tallapoosa County, was brutally murdered by a heavily armed white mob organized by the county’s sheriff.
- 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.


    Tribune Publishing journalists launch campaign seeking new ownership
    July 14, 2020 | NewsGuild Union journalists representing 10 Tribune Publishing Co. publications across the country have launched a collective campaign to return these institutions to local ownership. In a sweeping vote of no confidence in Tribune’s current leadership, NewsGuild members at publications including The Capital Gazette, The Chicago Tribune, The Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, The Orlando Sentinel, The Virginian-Pilot and more are seeking local investors who recognize that local newspapers are vital community institutions. These campaigns will run parallel to The Baltimore Sun Guild’s Save Our Sun campaign… Continue reading at 355 News

    Public sector jobs at risk due to Senate inaction
    July 10, 2020 | The coronavirus pandemic has obviously taken a toll on the nation’s economic security. Millions have lost their jobs in the last four months. But while there have been some encouraging signs, millions of additional public sector jobs are hanging in the balance because hard-hit state and local governments might not be able to cover their salaries in the months to come. A recent blog by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) explains what’s at stake. State and local governments are facing a shortfall in tax revenues while doling out additional services due to COVID-19. Female and Black workers will be disproportionately affected by such cuts because they are employed in the public sector at higher rates. That’s why the Teamsters and other unions have been… Continue reading here.

    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.

    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
    Teachers Union President Casts Doubt on Schools Reopening Full-Time
    July 14, 2020 | COVID-19 | Randi Weingarten, president of the prominent American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, said there’s “no way” schools will reopen full-time in the fall, citing lack of funding. Weingarten said that schools would need massive funding in order to safely continue operating under public health standards. The School Superintendents Association estimated necessary protective measures in schools would cost an average of about $1.8 million per school district. The Trump administration has been adamant about reopening schools in the fall, though officials have not indicated that they will provide schools any funding to comply with new federal health guidelines…. The Hill  Related: Here’s how Maryland’s jurisdictions are planning for the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic
    Employers Break Labor Law But Get Away With It
    July 13, 2020 | NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT | Despite President Trump’s talk of “law and order” during a spring of pandemic and civil uprisings, U.S. labor relations suffer from such widespread lawlessness committed by unrepentant employers that labor law reform is desperately needed to maintain order. About 30% of Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) were about employer improper surveillance, harassment or threats against workers. Some 30% involved allegations of illegal discipline, with one in five elections affected by charges of illegally firing workers for supporting unionization. … Reuters
    In Case You Missed It

      • Teamsters hail passage of Moving Forward Act
      • Covid-19 news updates for July 7, 2020
      • Coast-to-coast rallies demand: Keep UPSP viable
      • Getting Americans back to work and good jobs
      • When essential workers earn less than the jobless
      • Baltimore City to provide rental relief
      • ‘Strike for Black Lives’: Planned July 20 walkout unites BLM and unions
      • New NAFTA will ensure safer roadways, increased rights for workers
      • July 15 is Tax Day and the IRS isn’t pushing it back any further
      • U.S. Treasury to acquire 30% of YRCW in exchange for $700m loan
      • USPS only org. forced to pre-pay for health benefits decades into the future

      • “The Killing Floor”: A historical drama of racial conflict and the labor movement

    ‘Strike for Black Lives’ to Highlight Racism
    July 9, 2020 | NATIONAL STRIKE | A national coalition of labor unions, along with racial and social justice organizations, will stage a mass walkout from work this month, as part of an ongoing reckoning on systemic racism and police brutality in the U.S. Dubbed the “Strike for Black Lives,” tens of thousands of fast food, ride-share, nursing home and airport workers in more than 25 cities are expected to walk off the job July 20 for a full-day strike. Those who can’t strike for a full day will walk out for about eight minutes — the amount of time prosecutors say a white Minneapolis police officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck — in remembrance. The national strike will also include worker-led marches through participating cities, organizers said Wednesday. The service workers union has partnered with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the American Federation of Teachers, United Farm Workers and the Fight for $15 and a Union. Social and racial justice groups taking part include March On, the Center for Popular Democracy, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of over 150 organizations that make up the Black Lives Matter movement… Associated Press
    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
 
 
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