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      MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY-TREASURER
      Steven P. Vairma

      Steve Vairma's Column:

      What happened to FDR's legacy?

      During the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a wealthy and socially prominent New York political leader, the Democratic Party became the ally of the working class.  The unlikely bond between the blueblood president and a blue collar work force lasted from 1933 until Roosevelt's death during his fourth term in office in 1945.

      It began with the establishment of the Civilian Conservaton Corps as part of FDR's New Deal, a series of economic proposals designed to pull the United States out of the Great Depression.  The CCC put three million young, unemployed men to work in public works programs throughout the country.

      Two years later in 1935 FDR signed the Wagner Act, which allowed workers to organize into labor unions, giving them unprecendented workplace rights.  The Wagner Act later became the National Labor Relations Act, and has been weakened somewhat over the years by anti-worker amendments.

      Roosevelt believed in labor's philosophy:

      "No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.  By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level - I mean the wages of decent living."  he said.

      If I went to work in a factory, the first thing I'd do would be to join a union," is another quote from FDR.

      Vice President Harry S. Truman became president when Roosevelt died in 1945 shortly before the end of World War II.  He also supported the right of workers to unionize.

      "It is time that all Americans realized that the place of labor is side by side with the businessman and with the farmer, and not one-degree lower," said Truman.

      A great Republican president also got into the act.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower said:

      "Today in America, unions have a secure place in our industrial life.  Only a handful of reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions and depriving working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.  I have no use for those -- regardless of their political party - who hold some vain and foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when organized labor was huddled, almost as a hapless mass.  Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice."

      For many years, the alliance between labor and the Democratic Party was good for working men and women.  Laws granting the 40-hour week, overtime pay, worker safety and many other workplace rights were passed, as well as Social Security and Medicare.

      John F. Kennedy was mostly pro-union but he was burdened by his brother's vendetta against James R. Hoffa, a great labor leader.  After Kennedy, the Democrats' solid support for the labor movement began to slowly erode.

      Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter were hampered by a historic southern bias against trade unionism, although Johnson was a great force for civil rights.  Under Carter the trucking industry was deregulated, which made so-called "independent contractors" out of 200,000 truck drivers.

      Bill Clinton was largely responsible for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which has killed thousands of American jobs.

      Obama's heart seemed to be in the right place, but labor issues never appeared to be number one on his priority list.  The proposed Employee Free Choice Act, strongly supported by the unions, was killed with help of Democrats in 2009.

      And Hillary Clinton?  She didn't even have time to campaign in the union-dense industrial states of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which were all won by Donald Trump.

      "Nuff said?

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      Current Campaigns
      • 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.

      • 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.

         

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