Site Map Icon
RSS Feed icon
 
 
 
January 27, 2022

On This Day in 1695
In what could be considered the first workers’ compensation agreement in America, pirate Henry Morgan pledges his underlings 600 pieces of eight or six slaves to compensate for a lost arm or leg. Also part of the pirate’s code, reports Roger Newell: shares of the booty were equal regardless of race or sex, and shipboard decisions were made collectively.
~ D.C. Labor

Member Login
Username:

Password:


Not registered yet?
Click Here to sign-up

Forgot Your Login?


James Bethea, 1952-2014
Updated On: Dec 11, 2014

Additional photos can be viewed here.

Funeral services were held Thursday, November 20, 2014, for former Baltimore Sun driver James Bethea, also a Baltimore City Fire safety officer who died in the line of duty.

Local 355 Union officers, business agents and members joined hundreds of firefighters and law enforcement officers from as far away as Canada, politicians and family members who attended to pay their respects to the well-respected 40-year veteran of the department. Bethea, worked for The Baltimore Sun as a part-time driver from 1989 until his retirement in December 2013.

Baltimore Sun dispatcher and long-serving shop steward Jim Sawyer was among those asked by the family to deliver a eulogy of words of remembrance and comfort. Jim graciously agreed to share his comments here:

"I am honored to speak to you today on behalf of Teamsters 355 and the employees of the Baltimore Sun about a man that we came to respect and admire: Jim Bethea.

Jim came to work with us at The Sun in June of 1989 as a Teamster driver. At the time, just another fire fighter looking for a part-time job. Little did we know how he would tounch out lives.

Jim was generally a quiet man that went about the business of performing his job with a subtle dignity that you could almost feel. Jim was an intelligent man who was smart enough to know that he didn't know it all; a caring man whose concern for others was obvious; a person who commanded respect without demanding it.

Jim had a good sense of humor, too. Having the same first name kind of opened the door to some amusement for me. When he came in, I'd say "Hey Jim" and he'd say "Hey Jim" and I'd say I hear an echo and he'd say "yeah, but I'm the better looking one."

I found that, at times, Jim was an observor. He'd watch and listen and sometimes comment. Jim seemed to always be looking things to be better, whether personally or work-related or in the Teamster contract. He seemed to enjoy trying to make things better.

You know, we in the general population regard you fire fighters as heroes for your dedication to the protection and preservation of people and property while putting yourselves in jeopardy. One night, a few years ago, Jim gave us a first-hand look at what that means. One of our former drivers had pulled up to the dispatch office after returning from a delivery with a 53' tractor trailer. The driver got out of his trucj and went inside just as Jim was coming out. This driver was so preoccupied with whatever, he neglected to set the parking brake and the entire rig started drifting backwards down the driveway. If not stopped, it could have caused significant damage. Jim saw it drifting and starting to pick up speed and, with no rehard for his personal safety, managed o jump into the truck and pulled the brake. Just one wrong step o one little slip could have meant serious injury to Jim, yet he acted like it was no big deal.

Needless to say, the company, his fellow workers, and the Teamsters disagreed.

But there was other ways that Jim was a hero in my eyes: The way he carried himself with quiet dignity, the way he was alway concerned about the safety and well-being of others, and even in theway he went about doing his job.

We've missed him on the job since he retired at the end of last year, although some of the guys would still get together with him for a round or two of golf (even if he did usually kick their butts), and we'll miss him even more now. However, I do rest easy in the fact that when the Father kcalled hime home, he was doing what he loved for the past 40 years. He's in a better place now.

Jim Bethea was a good friend to many a good coworker, a good union brother and, in my opinion, a very good man. Goodbye, my brother. I am proud to have known you."

Photos:

Top: A firefighter carried Lt. Bethea’s helmet ahead of his coffin. A fire engine from Baltimore City Fire Department Squad 40, Bethea’s firehouse during the years he worked as a firefighter, carried his coffin to the church and the cemetery. Hundreds of firefighters lined the driveway in front of the church while lines of mourners stretched for blocks around.
Top right: (L-R) Local 355 Secretary-Treasurer Dave White, President Denis Taylor, Trustee Ed Mulford, Business Agents Jim Deene, Mark Garey, Chip Elgert and Marcus Smith.
Center: Jim Sawyer

On November 12, 2014, LT. JAMES E. BETHEA Survived by wife; Dr. Brenda Pridgen, son; Darryl A. Bethea (Tia M.), parents; James and Margarine Bethea, sister; Darlene Bethea, grandson; Ethan J. Bethea, and a host of other family and friends.

Viewings: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.,  and Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wylie Funeral Home, 701 N. Mount St., Baltimore, MD 21217.
Funeral services:  Thursday, November 20, 2014, 11 a.m, at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md.
21210

Corrected 12/11/14: An earlier version of this story mis-identified Brother Jim Sawyer as "recently retired." Sawyer has not retired.



General Membership Meetings:
Feb. 6, 2022 - Baltimore
10 a.m. 
Baltimore Union Hall
Feb. 20, 2022 - Salisbury
10 a.m. Salisbury Union Hall

Please be present and on time.
Bring a coworker!
Masks are required at both meetings.







Teamster News Headlines
 
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Formally Sign Historic Agreement
Huffington Post: This Company Spent More Than $1 Million On Union-Busting Consultants
Rail Labor’s Largest Coalition Reaches Dead End on Path to Voluntary Agreement
San Diego Union-Tribune: Republic Services Told Workers We Were Family. Strike Negotiations Proved Otherwise
The General Strike No One is Talking About
Report Shows Unions Make a Difference in Workers’ Lives
No Progress Towards Resolution of Teamsters Local 174 Construction Strike as Employer Representatives Arrive to Mediation Unwilling to Negotiate
Teamsters Stage Practice Picket at CEMEX
Teamsters Applaud Senate Judiciary Committee Passage of The American Innovation and Choice Online Act
Verilife Rosemont Workers Join Teamsters Local 777
 
     

UnionActive Newswire
 
Join the Newswire!
Updated: Jan. 26 (22:57)

Happy retirement Lois!
Clark County Sheriffs Support Guild
Happy retirement Lois!
Clark County Sheriffs Support Guild
Happy retirement Lois!
Clark County Sheriffs Support Guild
Happy retirement Lois!
Clark County Sheriffs Support Guild
This Company Spent More Than $1M on Union-Busting Consultants
Teamsters Local 570
OSHA Withdraws Its Workplace Vaccine Rule
Teamsters Local 570
 
     
 
 
Teamsters Local 355
Copyright © 2022, All Rights Reserved.
Powered By UnionActive™

1054418 hits since
Visit Unions-America.com!

Top of Page image