by Lindsay Beyerstein
How our blog got its name
Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”
Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.
It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.
Talkin' Union Blues: PA Truck Drivers Fired, Soper Investigates
Spencer Soper won a Sidney Award for his expose of deplorable working conditions at an Amazon warehouse complex. This week, Soper published another memorable labor story. His latest dispatch is about truck drivers who say they were fired for talking about forming a union:
Five months after it opened a new $35 million cardboard plant in Lower Macungie, Pratt Corrugated Logistics laid off most of its 18 truck drivers, telling them the company decided to contract with outside haulers instead.
But 13 drivers who lost their jobs in April allege in legal documents that their terminations came after the company found out they were talking about forming a union.
The drivers complained to the National Labor Relations Board that they were terminated due to union activities, in violation of federal laws that protect workers' rights to form collective bargaining units.
The Morning Call interviewed eight truck drivers who were terminated, and those interviewed maintain they have reason to be suspicious of the company's motives. [Morning Call]
Read the whole thing.
[Photo credit: visagency, Creative Commons.]