Today in 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

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Henry Ford was born on this date, the Medicare Act was signed, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, and United Airlines agreed to offer domestic-partner benefits.” quote=”Henry Ford was born on this date, the Medicare Act was signed, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, and United Airlines agreed to offer domestic-partner benefits.”]

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

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3 thoughts on “Today in Labor History July 30th”

  1. New Jersey story: Our next-door neighbor was an over-the-road Teamster and I remember that issue of LIFE coming in with the mail. My dad’s union the Mine Mill Smelters had been banned from the CIO, and his 110-member local went independent. The UAW and the Teamsters courted the local. My father, sec’y treasurer favored the UAW and his buddy O’Grady, the president, favored “Jimmy’s Boys.” The local had a supervised election and the UAW was voted in. My father and O’Grady remained good buddies and both declined to run for office for he next local election. Younger members took up the lead and the UAW continued to represent the workers until the plant closed in 1971.

  2. The man that built the Strongest Union in American. Proud to be a second generation Teamster for life. Damn right. Here s to our Union. To the men that stood for the Brotherhood with Jimmmy Hoffa and who still stand with son. God Bless The International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

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