• August 20, 2017
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      MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY-TREASURER
      Steven P. Vairma

      Steve Vairma's Column:

      Politicians...

      Ignoring workers is a big mistake

      When Democrats lose nearly 50 percent of the working class vote in a national election they have virtually no chance of winning, and that's exactly what happened in the general election last November.

      In the process, Republicans won the presidency, picked up seats in the Senate and won control of the House by a massive, unprecedented margin.  In retrospect, while Hillary Clinton's loss was unexpected, the result was caused by a campaign that blatantly ignored working men and women.

      Now, though, because of the Trump administration's sagging poll numbers, the Democratic Party is beginning to get a bit of swagger back.

      Not so fast, Democrats.  It might be a bit hasty and unwise for you to get too cocky.  If you can't harvest the votes of a sizable segment of the working class in 2018, you could be facing four more years of a Trump administration that now apears stalled in confusion.

      The Clinton campaign didn't discriminate; victims in the November election were both union and nonunion workers.  The fact is, though, that unions set the wage and benefit standards for all workers, union and nonunion.  Statistics show that about 40 percent of union voters cast ballots for Donald Trump.  Many of these votes came from workers in the highly unionized states of the industrial Midwest, which had been losing manufacturing jobs for years.

      Worker dissatisfaction with Democrats isn't a new phenomenon.

      Some unions have been privately critical for several years about the Democratic response to their state and national problems.  These doubts appear to have manifest last November when a huge number of union and nonunion workers abandoned long-held voting habits and supported Donald Trump.  They had legitimate complaints.

      For example, America's manufacturing base, for years based in the Midwest, has been decimated by offshoring of jobs, and politicians have shown no concern for plight of the jobless workers who are the victims.

      In addition, unions for years have complained they lost the right to strike when in 1980 the government legitimized the hiring of replacement workers (scabs) to break strikes.  Also, negative rulings by state and federal courts have made it extremely difficult for unions to organize new members.

      Unfortunately, since the National Labor Relations Act was passed in 1935, Congres has not revised restrictive federal labor laws to allow unions more latitude in organizing.  That is they key factor in decline of union density in the workforce, down from about 25 percent in 1970 to eight to 10 percent today.

      Workers have been key players in politics since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  If politicans are allowed to diminish the labor movement.  America is doomed to survive only as a Third World Country.

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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!

      • On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Southwest Airlines reached an agreement covering more than 300 material specialists. Details of the agreement are available on this webpage, along with materials explaining the components of this contract.

        Ballots will be mailed on or about Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Each member will receive voting instructions and credentials required for voting via mail, along with paper copies of the tentative agreement’s highlights, the tentative agreement, and a copy of the seniority list. Voting will close on June 21, ballots will begin to be counted the same day.  Please continue to check this page for more information, it will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

      • 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 our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

      • 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.

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