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General Membership Meetings
Baltimore: Sunday, Mar. 1, 2020 @ 10 am
Salisbury: Sunday,
Mar. 15, 2020 @ 10 am
Please be present and on time.

February 25, 2020

On This Day in 1919
Congress passed a Federal Child Labor Tax Law that imposed a 10 percent tax on companies that employed children, defined as anyone under the age of 16, working in a mine/quarry or under the age of 14 in a “mill, cannery, workshop, factory, or manufacturing establishment”. The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1922 in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co.
- Voices of Labor

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Local and National News

Membership meeting, February 16, 2020, at the Local 355 Union Hall in Salisbury, MD

General President Jim Hoffa won’t seek re-election in 2022
Feb. 24, 2020| James P. Hoffa on Friday signaled the end of an era for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, telling The Detroit News he will not seek re-election just as the labor union this week makes a historic exit from government oversight. "I think it's time for the next generation to take over," the 78-year-old labor leader said. "We rebuilt this union. We've rebuilt our finances. We rebuilt the spirit. We put the swagger back in the union. ... I'm very proud of what we have done, but I also realize maybe it's time for the next generation to take over." Hoffa, the second-longest serving Teamsters president, will leave behind a complex legacy when he steps down in March 2022 after 23 years, experts said. The Detroit native now says he feels confident in the finances, unity and momentum of one of the country's largest unions — and its restored integrity… Detroit News

Take the Teamster poll to rank the remaining presidential candidates
Feb. 20, 2020| The Teamsters Union has not endorsed a presidential candidate, and instead has made a concerted effort to get all the candidates on the record on key union priorities such as pension reform and collective bargaining rights. As the primary process continues, the union wants to hear from its members about what candidate they favor. Go to TeamstersVote to see where the candidates stand on the issues and then take the Teamsters Preference Poll to rank the remaining candidates in order of your preference. The Teamsters will use the results to help guide its choice if it does ultimately decide to endorse a candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election.

Black History Month means more to the Teamsters
Feb. 14, 2020| But for the Teamsters Union, black history isn’t just an add on to our story or recognition of advancements. It is part of the core of our history. Black and white Teamsters rallied together after the Civil War to improve conditions, starting the first independent team driver locals. Black teamsters (and women teamsters for that matter) were part of the original conventions forming the Team Drivers International Union in 1898 and its spin-off The National Teamsters Union in 1902. T.A. Stowers, a black delegate from Chicago was a leading voice at the 1903 convention to create the Teamsters Union as we know it today. He helped write the union’s constitution, yet few have heard of him. Stowers was the force behind adopting a creed vastly different from other unions, allowing members of any race, creed, gender or religion into the Teamsters. That’s a mainstay of our history and should be remembered… NJ Today

Deadline fast approaching for this year’s Hoffa Memorial Scholarship
Feb. 13, 2020| The deadline for applying for an academic or vocational/training program scholarship from the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund is March 2.  The college and vocational scholarship programs are available only for the sons, daughters and financial dependents of active and retired Teamsters. Visit the scholarship fund's website for information on who is eligible to apply and how to apply.

Older news items are available at 355 News.

Elsewhere in the News
Seeing Black History in Context
Feb. 24, 2020 | OPINION | Black History Month is traditionally a time to honor black Americans and, theoretically, accord them their proper place in American history. Every February we re-examine the exemplary lives of Harriet Tubman, Charles Drew, Frederick Douglass and those of lesser-known but truly significant leaders, artists, scientists, thinkers, and others. The occasion has always felt too narrow to me. We are eager to celebrate our favorite figures and their trailblazing achievements — Barack Obama is the latest — but less eager to examine the fact that their heroism was based more often than not in fighting an American system that fought — and still fights — against their status as full Americans… History News Network
In Case You Missed It

  • Workers are struggling because labor law is broken
  • Letter: Make America union again
  • Candidates visit Teamster shops during NH primary
  • 20 movies reveal the black experience in America
  • Labor's dispute over ‘Medicare for All’ tests its 2020 clout
  • Will FedEx Express link up Ground make organizing easier?
  • ‘We can’t afford healthcare’: US hospital workers fight for higher wages
  • Workers face retirement with fear after GOP refuses to back pension protection bill

The Economy is Roaring. So Why Are More Workers Striking?
Feb. 20, 2020 | ECONOMY | […] Two factors likely are driving workers to stage walkouts en masse, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank whose research focuses on trends involving working people. Employees are well aware that if they lose their jobs for striking they're likely to find another quickly. And employees aren't getting the wage gains that a tight labor market normally brings. "[It's] people kind of looking around and saying, 'Oh my God, we're 10 years into this recovery. The unemployment rate is 3.6%. Why am I not seeing decent wage increases?'" said Heidi Shierholz, one of the authors of EPI's analysis and a former Department of Labor chief economist in the Obama administration… CNN Business Related: Some striking numbers
The Next Big Grocery Strike is Knocking on Safeway, Giant’s Door
Feb. 19, 2020  | COLLECTIVE ACTION | Last April, more than 30,000 Stop & Shop grocery workers across the Northeast won a raucous 11-day strike against the company, beating back health care and pension cuts. Now, another major grocery strike has become a serious possibility, this time in and around the nation’s capital. On Wednesday, UFCW Local 400 announced that it will be holding a strike vote early next month for more than 25,000 workers at hundreds of Giant Foods and Safeway stores across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The union has separate contracts with Giant and Safeway, but both of those contracts have been expired since last October. Negotiations in the ensuing months proved fruitless, and now the union is preparing for what could become the first large strike of 2020… Working In These Times  (Photo: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Knowing the Past Opens the Door to the Future:The Continuing Importance of Black History Month
Feb. 17, 2020 | BLACK HISTORY MONTH | […} The question that faces us today is whether or not Black History Month is still relevant. Is it still a vehicle for change? Or is it a useful concept whose goals have been achieved? I would like to suggest that despite the profound change in race relations that has occurred in our lives, Carter G. Woodson’s vision for black history as a means of transformation and change is still quite relevant and quite useful. African American history month, with a bit of tweaking, is still a beacon of change and hope that is still sorely needed in this world. The chains of slavery are gone—but we are all not yet free… Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
In Case You Missed It

  • More tech workers are starting to unionize
  • It’s time to shorten the American workweek
  • Why America needs a better labor law
  • The great affordability crisis breaking America
  • Maryland comptroller bans disposable e-cigarettes
  • Chicago Teamster invents truck brake releaser system
  • Union endorsements will play a big role in the 2020 election
  • The largest federal employee union punches back at Trump
  • Why the PRO Act is a victory for workers and our democracy
  • Md. county becomes first in nation to ban hairstyle discrimination
  • Teamsters say goodbye to 30 years of U.S. government oversight

Why America Needs a Better Labor Law
Feb. 13, 2020 | LABOR LAW REFORM | […] Most Americans understand and appreciate the role that labor unions play; in fact, we’re more popular today than we’ve been in nearly 50 years. But union membership has been decimated over the last few decades, destroyed by laws designed to make it harder for workers to organize and negotiate contracts, and stifled by corporate-backed interests at the National Labor Relations Board and the Supreme Court. The most recent annual Gallup poll shows unions’ approval rating at 64 percent, while last month’s government tally of union membership shows the share of private-sector workers enrolled in unions to be a meager 6.2 percent—less than 10 percent of the share of Americans who approve of unions. That’s why now, more than ever, we need a new set of labor laws to help change the balance of the economy in this country so it’s fairer for the people who do its work… The American Prospect
 
 
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