Today in Labor History – July 30th

Today Labor History July 30th

Automobile tycoon and fascist Henry Ford was born on this date in Dearborn, Michigan. His introduction of the assembly line and other mass production techniques revolutionized profit-making not only by dramatically increasing worker productivity, and therefore reducing labor costs, but also by de-skilling the workforce and weakening the power of the workers. – 1863

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare Act, providing federally-funded health insurance for senior citizens. – 1964

Former Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. Presumed dead, his body has never been found. Hoffa was a union activist with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) from a young age, and was an important regional figure with the union by his mid-twenties. By 1952, Hoffa had risen to national vice-president of the IBT, and served as the union’s general president between 1958 and 1971. He secured the first national agreement for teamsters’ rates in 1964. During his term as leader, Hoffa played a major role in the growth and development of the union which eventually became the largest (by membership) in the U.S. with over 1.5 million members at its peak. – 1975

United Airlines agreed to offer domestic-partner benefits to employees and retirees worldwide. – 1999

Jimmy Hoffa: The Controversial Life and Disappearance of the Godfather of the Teamsters

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