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Today in Labor History

JAN. 24, 1952
The federal minimum wage increased to 75¢ an hour.
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Local and National Union News

Attention CDL drivers: FMCSA doubles random drug testing rate to 50%
Jan. 9, 2020  | The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has raised the random drug testing rate for controlled substances for commercial drivers to 50% from the current 25% of driver positions. The change went into effect Jan. 1… Truck News

Local 992 UPS driver created wildly popular ‘UPS Dogs’ social media pages
Jan. 7, 2020  | When Sean McCarren, 44, started having little four-legged “fans” follow him around on his UPS route, he decided to start taking their photos. After collecting more than 60 pictures of dogs on his phone, he posted one on his personal Facebook page in 2013 just for fun. “Everybody got all excited about it, so I just went ahead and made a little Facebook page to share them all,” said McCarren, who lives in Martinsburg, W.Va., and works out of the Hagerstown UPS center. After he established the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, other UPS drivers started posting dogs that they see on their travels delivering packages. There were steady posts for several years, then in 2017, the pages took off. “It just went viral,” McCarren said… Herald Media [McCarren has been a member of Teamsters Local 992 in Hagerstown since 2002.]

Two Teamster UPS drivers die in PA turnpike crash
Jan. 6, 2020  | The Teamsters Union mourns the loss of two Teamsters Local 776 members and UPS drivers, Dennis Kehler and Daniel Kepner, who were killed Sunday in an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The pile-up involved several tractor-trailers that reportedly crashed after a tour bus was unable to negotiate a turn and hit an embankment. Five people were killed and 60 injured. Keller was a 28-year Teamster with UPS and Kepner was a five-year Teamster at the company… 992 News

Older news items are posted at 992 News.

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How to Make Every Job A Good Union Job
Jan. 24, 2020 | OPINION | Our current system has profound shortcomings: First, worksite-by-worksite bargaining creates a major incentive for employers to fight unionization in order to avoid having to pay higher wages than their competitors. Second, it encourages corporations to outsource work to nonunion contractors or to classify employees as independent contractors. Third, it creates divisions between the lucky workers who belong to a union and those who do not, making it harder to win better conditions for all workers. A system that provides rights to all workers across a given sector, not just everyone at one worksite or one franchise, solves these problems. The many democracies that already have such a system have far greater collective bargaining coverage than the United States does. Not surprisingly, researchers have found that broad, sector-wide collective bargaining coverage tends to reduce economic inequality… BuzzFeed News
Overhaul US Labor Laws to Boost Workers’ Power, New Report Urges
Jan. 23, 2020 | U.S. LABOR | More than 70 scholars, union leaders, economists and activists called on Thursday for a far-reaching overhaul of American labor laws to vastly increase workers’ power on the job and in politics, recommending new laws to make unionizing easier and to elect worker representatives to corporate boards. The report argues strengthening labor unions and worker power represents the most effective strategy to combat America’s economic inequality and corporations’ sway over the economy and politics. “Today, the struggle to preserve democracy in the face of extreme wealth concentration is acute because we live in an historical moment when vast disparities of economic power have been translated into equally shocking disparities in political power,” says the report… The Guardian
House Revives Agenda After Impeachment Storm
Jan. 22, 2020 | LEGISLATION | House Democrats are preparing to turn the focus back to their policy agenda now that impeachment has moved over to the Senate… Democratic leaders are aiming for a vote before President’s Day on Feb. 17 on major legislation to strengthen union bargaining and to enact tougher penalties on employers that retaliate against workers seeking to unionize. The bill, called the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, would prohibit employers from making workers attend meetings meant to dissuade them… The Hill
Young Workers Key to a Resurgent Labor Movement
Jan. 21, 2020 | ACTIVISM | A decade that started with the worst recession in 75 years ended with a booming economy and record low unemployment rate. The “too big to fail” era also ushered in a new generation of workers far more progressive and activist than in the past. That’s a great thing for the labor movement. Certainly, young workers are concerned with the same issues that were the focus of those who came before them — fair wages for fair work, access to quality health care, and a stable pension that will enable a dignified retirement. But we are also more expansive in our approach fighting for workplace protections against harassment and discrimination, demanding LGBTQ+ rights, advocating for clean building practices and green investments that protect our environment and address climate change; and ensuring a healthy work-life balance for all employees… CommonWealth
 
 
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