MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY-TREASURER
Steven P. Vairma
Steve Vairma's Column:
Strikebreaking threats skew collective bargaining
If they aren't a part of it, and there isn't a major strike making headlines, most people are blissfully ignorant of the turmoil prevalent today in labor-management relations.
With the blessing of he federal government, corporate management for the past 36 years has been able to assume a dominant role in collective bargaining, leaving workers - both union and non-union - with less control over their own destiny.
The decline of employees' influence in matters of the work place - primarily their wages, hours and conditions of work began 36 years ago when the federal government effectively stripped organized labor of the right to strike.
Indeed, it is still legal to go on strike, and many strikes have been successful in recent years, but few workers today want to risk losing their jobs to scab replacements. If the strike is the ultimate weapon for aggrieved workers, that gun now fires mostly blanks.
The use of strikebreakers is a collective bargaining tactic that began in 1980 when President Reagan fired and replaced 11,000 striking air traffic controllers. His decision legitimized the corporate strategy of using scabs to break strikes.
Before that the public generally frowned on the use of scabs, and most employers were reluctant to engage in strikebreaking, believing it to be a moral issue. Among industrialized nations, only the U.S. South Africa and England permit the practice.
It is now common for management to hire or threaten to hire scab replacements when a labor dispute looms. (The mere threat of using strikebreakers has a chilling effect at the bargaining table). In 1970, permanent replacements were used 1% of the time by management. Now they are used in more than 25% of all strikes.
The days are gone when a local union leader would sit down with a company president to negotiate a labor agreement, free from government meddling, and based on the real worth of a worker's labor.
Nowadays it often takes hundreds of hours of negotiations between company lawyers, who are often expensive hired gun union-busters with evil intentions. Across the negotiating table are representatives of local unions that can't come close ot matching corporate money, which is a huge disadvantage in collective bargaining.
But while the labor movement has been losing strength - from 12 percent private sector union density in 1980 to about eight percent today - we are enduring, and finally beginning to gain some grond, still negotating solid contracts with good wages and benefits.
It can be done, but it is so much more difficult nowadays thanks to the politicians, both Democrats and Republicans who haven't voted to lower the barriers to union organizing since the National Labor Relations Act was enacted in 1935.
So the key to eventually turning the tables on the union busters is politics. We must elect candidates who realize that labor's strength is the strength of the middle class and, therefore the nation's strength.
If you want to help, you can join DRIVE, the Teamsters' political action committee, which supports pro-worker cnadidates.
In fact, you might even offer a membership to your nonunion friends. Tell them the truth: That unions set prevailing wage standards for all workers, union and nonunion. If the unions do well, nonunion workers will get a raise, too, and stifle the urge to become a scab.
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The IBT and your Atlanta Committee members, Geoff Maloney and Chris Rogers have been negotiating with Company management since 2010; almost as long as the IBT have been negotiating for the Express Jet CRJ members.
The Company has now given us their final, closeout proposal on wages. Neither the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division, the Business Agents of Local 210 and Local 19, nor your rank-and-file committee members are recommending this be ratified. A detailed letter from your ExpressJet CRJ Negotiating Committee can be found here. A copy of the company’s last, best and final offer can be found here.
Ballots were mailed on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Each member will receive voting instructions and credentials required for voting. Voting will close on Monday, July 10, and will be counted the same day.
The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.
We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed
XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics.
This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes. Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.
XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.
Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”
Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!
This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office. Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill, a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.
Negotiations for the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) recently concluded and a tentative agreement has been reached. On Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 representatives from carhaul local unions met in Detroit to endorse the National Agreement and the Central-Southern Supplement, paving the way for members to vote. The Eastern and Western Supplements were approved in 2016, and will not be re-voted. However, all carhaul members will get to exercise their right to vote on the National Agreement and General Monetary Changes.
Ballots will be mailed out on or about March 10 and are tentatively scheduled to be counted on March 30.
The tentative agreement is from September 1, 2015, until May 31, 2021.
Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!
The Teamsters Union represents more than 250,000 members at UPS and UPS Freight. UPS remains an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) despite the organization’s anti-worker and anti-union agenda that seeks to undermine and weaken worker protections.
This web page provides information on the ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since 1994, NAFTA has devastated working families, putting corporate profits ahead of people. What’s worse is that NAFTA has become the blueprint for all other trade agreements, from the way that it was negotiated in secret, to the bad provisions that have made their way into every agreement that has been signed since then. Now, NAFTA is being renegotiated and we demand that it be reframed to work for workers instead of corporate interests.
Workers across the country at FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight are standing shoulder to shoulder to form their unions with the Teamsters to win a more secure future. Momentum is building with a first wave of victories with many more to come.
There is growing worker resentment toward the companies after years of being treated unfairly. While the companies have suddenly made improvements since workers began to organize, workers know that without a legally binding contract the company can take these things away at any time.
The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.
But now workers are taking action and standing up for themselves by forming their union. It's a different era now. It's Teamster Time! LIKE our Facebook page, here.Like
Teamsters are been standing together to protect good jobs at Sysco and US Foods. Our solidarity on many fronts helped to defeat the mega-merger of the two companies, which would have put thousands of jobs at risk. But challenges remain as both companies refine their plans. Join our campaign to ensure these foodservice giants honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and help us bring more Sysco and US Foods workers into the Teamster family. LIKE our Facebook page, here.