• December 16, 2017
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      MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY-TREASURER
      Steven P. Vairma

      Steve Vairma's Column:

      Hey, Dems Go union!

      "A better deal: better skills, better jobs, better wages."  Yep, that's the Democrats' sorry excuse for a theme for their 2018 political campaign.

      Oh, it's a nice thought, however boring, archaic and short on historical substance.  How many times over the years has organized labor heard such banality from the Democrats?  Too many times in too many campaigns to count.

      If the Democrats can't finally come out swinging in support of working men and women in 2018, then the Democrats will face a slow death by irrelevance.  As Hillary discovered, it's difficult for them to win without labor votes.

      Union workers left the Democratic Party in droves at the polls in 2016 when they finally said enough is enough.  The tipping point was when Hillary Clinton turned up her nose at workers during the campaign by simply ignoring them in certain highly unionized industrial states.

      But the estrangement started long before 2016.  Workers have been expressing skepticisim about the Democrats' efforts on their behalf for many years, as far back as the early 1960s.  That's when Dems helped kill legislation that would have deleted section 14b from the Taft-Hartley Law, the section allowing states to pass so-called right-to-work laws that strip workers of wages, hours and working conditions.

      Then came trucking deregulation under President Jimmy Carter, the loss of anti-strike legislation and the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) under Bill Clinton and the rejection of the Employee Free Choice Act while Barack Obama was president.

      Congressional passage of the Wagner Act in 1935 gave workers the right to organize into unions, but since then the law has never been amended to make it easier for labor to organize.

      Unfortunately, the law that protects workers' freedom to bargain has been perverted.  Workers who want to form unions are threatened with plant closings, interrogated, offered bribes, spied on and intimidated.

      The Wagner Act has never been capable of keeping pace with the evolving up-to-date and mendacious union busting tactics of corporate America.  Since 1935, the only laws passed concerning private sector union organizing have made it more difficult.

      The long-term decline in collective bargaining is a significant cause, not only of wage stagnation but also the nation's health care and retirement security crises, which grow worse daily.  A key element in achieving economic fairness must be the restoration of workers' freedom to form unions, speak for themselves and negotiate a fair share of the wealth.

      Strong unions are needed today if the nation's workforce is to regain a semblance of economic balance with Wall Street bankers, speculators and corporate CEOs.

      Today only 8 percent of private sector workers belong to unions, even though independent surveys show that most workers say they want a union in their workplace.

      Hey Democrats, want to get the union vote in 2018?  We suggest adding a few words to yuor new campaign theme:

      "For a better deal, better skills, better jobs, better wages - Go Union!"

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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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