80th Anniversary Celebrates Historic '34 Teamster Strike

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 08:58
June 13, 2014: Eighty years ago, in a defining moment for the American labor movement, the Teamsters Union defeated employers in a titanic truck strike in Minneapolis. It made Minneapolis a union town, spurred over-the-road organizing across the Midwest and paved the way for the Teamsters to become a powerhouse international union. The strike will be celebrated in Minneapolis in July with two events:
  • A street festival on Saturday, July 19 from 4 to 10 p.m. at 7th Ave and 3rd St. Music will include acoustic folk, classic rock and hip hop, along with speakers and an historical display.
  • A family picnic on Sunday, July 20 from noon to 4 p.m. at Wabun Picnic Area D, at Minnehaha Park. There will be short speeches, free lunch, children's games, an historical display and music. Strike descendants will be honored.
The July weekend was chosen because it coincides with a turning point in the strike that occurred on July 20, 1934 when police opened fire on unarmed strikers, shooting 60 people, almost all in the back and killing two strikers, Henry Ness and John Belor. The Remember 1934 Committee is organizing the event and includes rank-and-file activists and support from a large group of Minnesota labor unions, including Teamster locals. Members of the Minnesota chapter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union are helping organize the events. Teamsters Local 120 has called a march of its members from the Star Tribune printing plant to the festival on July 19. The Minneapolis struggle employed innovative strategies and tactics that provide valuable lessons on how to win a strike, including a daily strike newspaper, cruising pickets, a committee of 100 that consulted with the leadership, and mass mobilizations of workers and the unemployed. More information about the July 19-20 events commemorating this historic strike can be found here.Issues: Labor MovementTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Top 10 Tips for Protecting Yourself from Harassment

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 08:50
June 13, 2014: Harassment isn’t an accident at UPS. It’s a strategy, called management-by-stress. Under management-by-stress, the company uses harassment to try to intimidate us into working faster. Sometimes, they’re trying to provoke you into losing your temper. In extreme cases, they’ll try to harass workers into quitting. TDU asked experienced package car stewards for suggestions on how Teamsters can protect themselves from harassment at UPS. Here were their Top 10 tips. Don’t Make it Easy for Them You know the cardinal sins. Don’t commit them. Take your breaks and lunch according to the contract. Sheet every package in your truck and do it accurately. Make sure to be at the customer's address when making DIAD entries. Don’t turn late Air or a missed package into a dishonesty issue. If management is coming after you, don’t make it easy for them. Don’t Overreact Supervisors use harassment as a strategy to get results. If it’s not working, they’ll stop wasting their time on you. Try not to let management get under your skin—and never let them know it when they do. If you turn into a runner after you get called into the office, you’re teaching your manager that harassment works. Work safe and smart. Practice following the methods every day. If you work inside, focus on safety, sort/load quality and protecting the packages. Don’t play into management’s hands by blaming coworkers for slacking; help them out instead and stick together so everyone can work at a sustainable pace.This will be good for your body and your wallet. Be Strategic In the Office If you get called into the office, always bring your steward. Management’s goal in the office is to pressure you, get a rise out of you or fish for information. Be strategic. Answer management’s questions with clear, simple answers. Whether they’re fishing or trying to goad you into reacting, don’t take the bait. Keep your cool and never make up an answer. If you don’t know or don’t remember, just say so. When you leave the office, document what happened while it’s still fresh in your mind. Put the Problems Back on Management Inform management of unusual situations that come up. Send a DIAD message if there's a problem with your Air, if you need help with your pickups, or if you will have missed pieces. Don’t take shortcuts or count on supervision to always look the other way. Put the problems back on management and work as directed. Don’t Let them Dirty Up Your Record If you get a warning letter or other discipline, grieve it right away. If you get in more trouble later, a grievance panel or an arbitrator will hold it against you if you haven't challenged previous warnings. Document Everything Document your day with a Package Car Log Book, a notebook that fits in your pocket or on your smart phone. Keep track of your stops, pick-ups and circumstances that affect your production, like being sent off route, changes in your work, construction, bad traffic, etc. Use your smart phone to take pictures of DIAD messages or summary screens for documentation. Management is less likely to pick on the drivers who keep track of their days. When they know you’re prepared for them, they tend to leave you alone. Track Management & Use that Smart Phone If a supervisor gives you an instruction that violates the methods, make a record of it. If you get an inappropriate message on your DIAD board take a photo and save it. File Harassment Grievances If management is trying to build a case against you, you need to build a case of your own. If you’re being targeted by management, it’s too late to fly under the radar. File grievances and build a paper trail. Especially useful are well-documented, clear instances of harassment, discrimination or instructions that violate UPS’s own policies and procedures. Include in your remedy that you want a record of the incident to be retained in your personnel file. Put Management to Work Make management pay for petty discipline by prolonging grievance meetings and using your rights in the grievance procedure. Caucus with your steward in the hall. Have the steward ask detailed questions about the company’s investigation and evidence. Article 4 requires the company, upon request, to provide the local union or designated shop steward with documents and information that is “reasonably related” to a pending grievance. Managers that issue frivolous warning letters are sending the message that they love paperwork. So put them to work producing more of it for the union's grievance investigation. Strength in Numbers If you're being harassed, odds are you're not the only one. Talk to your steward or other drivers and work together. If you see a driver who's feeling the heat, help them out before they get to the breaking point. Teamsters are stronger standing up to harassment when we work together.

Never Let Them See You Sweat

“Managers use harassment to get results. If it’s not working, they’ll stop wasting their time on you. “Try not to let management get under your skin—and never let them know it when they do. “If you turn into a runner after you get called into the office, you're teaching your manager that harassment works.” Thomas Oliver, Steward, Local 804, New York

What Is Management by Stress?

Invented by Toyota and now championed by UPS, management by stress is a strategy for boosting productivity (and profits) by keeping employees under constant pressure. Management-by-stress techniques include intense monitoring of the workforce, and constantly demanding more production, in less time, with fewer employees. Other management-by-stress strategies are constantly changing how work is done or mounting revolving campaigns on different methods that that must be followed or mistakes that need to be eliminated at any given time.


Issues: UPSTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

New UPS Contracts Available from TDU: Get the Contracts Hoffa and Hall Don’t Want to Send You

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 08:28
June 13, 2014: The Hoffa-Hall administration has not made the new agreement available to members as a contract book or even online. So TDU is making the new UPS contract available to help Teamsters know their rights and enforce the contract. TDU created the 2013-2018 contracts by combining the new negotiated changes with the old language. These contract downloads are unofficial documents for use by UPS Teamsters, stewards, and local union reps. To make it easy to spot the changes, the new language appears in bold type. Deleted language is not indicated. Click here to download your contract today.Issues: UPSTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Unions Boost Women’s Earnings, Benefits, and Workplace Flexibility

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 07:05
Center for Economic and Policy ResearchJune 19, 2014View the original piece

Over the past four decades, women have played increasingly important roles as breadwinners in their families. At the same time, women’s share of unpaid care work and housework has remained high. A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), “Women, Working Families, and Unions,” explores the role unions play in addressing the challenges facing working women and families in balancing their work and family responsibilities. The paper looks at trends in unionization for women; the impact of unions on wages, benefits and access to family and medical leave; and the role of unions in addressing work-life balance issues.

“There are few other interventions known to improve the prospects for better pay, benefits and workplace flexibility as much as unions do.  Anyone who cares about the well-being of women workers and working families should also care about unions,” states Nicole Woo, a co-author of the report.

Click here to read more at CEPR.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Teamsters Ask Judge to End 25 Years of Federal Oversight

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 14:11
Kris MaherThe Wall Street JournalJune 17, 2014

For the first time, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is asking a federal judge to end 25 years of strict oversight intended to root out corruption and alleged Mafia influence in the union's highest ranks.

"The union's rank-and-file members and duly elected officers should be allowed to reclaim control of their union's affairs," Teamsters lawyer Viet Dinh wrote in a June 4 letter to Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Federal prosecutors indicated in their response that they would support scaling back government control over the union but not eliminating the measures.

"Corrupt and undemocratic practices persist at all levels of the union," Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara La Morte wrote in a June 12 letter to the judge.

A union spokesman disagreed with that assertion.

The 1.3-million-member Teamsters entered into a consent decree in 1989 to settle a racketeering lawsuit brought a year earlier by the Justice Department. Then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani sought to remove top officers of the union, alleging it had made a "devil's pact" with the Mafia by allowing it to control officer elections. The suit named as defendants 18 members of the union's executive board and 26 alleged organized crime members, 25 of whom had been convicted of crimes such as extortion, embezzlement and illegal union payoffs. No one was charged criminally in the Giuliani suit.

The union agreed to oversight including a court-appointed supervisor who oversees the election of top Teamster officers and an independent review board to investigate allegations of corruption.

There is no clear timeline for the case. The union and prosecutors still have to file motions that would precede a hearing.

In addition, a rank-and-file group called the Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a frequent critic of current union President James P. Hoffa, is fighting the effort. "The IBT has made progress, but it is not yet a stable and reliable democracy," the group wrote in a June 9 letter to the judge.

Teamster officials have lobbied unsuccessfully in the past for an end to the decree, including through negotiations with the Clinton administration.

The current effort grew out of talks with the U.S. Attorney's office that didn't result in an agreement, Teamsters spokesman Bret Caldwell said. "The effort to rid the union of organized crime has been successful, and it's time to move on," he said.

The union retained two legal heavyweights who served in former President George W. Bush's administration: Paul Clement, former U.S. solicitor general, and Mr. Dinh, former assistant attorney general.

Mr. Dinh wrote that charges investigated by the review board, which doesn't have prosecutorial power and refers cases back to the Teamsters for disciplinary action, have plummeted. Cases that involved alleged racketeering or other activity that prompted the consent decree fell to 33 in the past decade, from 144 in the first five years of the consent decree, he wrote.

Prosecutors said misconduct by Teamsters was far from sporadic in recent years and alleged that it involved high-ranking officers. They cited several examples, including a Teamster local president and his son who were found by the review board's investigator to have allegedly looted the local from 2007 to 2012 and was disciplined by the union for embezzlement, among other things. The local president was also a vice president of the international union for part of the time in which the misconduct occurred, prosecutors said.

"We vehemently disagree with the U.S. attorney's assertions that corruption remains in the teamsters union," Mr. Caldwell said. He said the cases the U.S. Attorney points to aren't related to organized crime or its influence, the reason for entering into the consent decree.

President Barack Obama supported ending the consent decree in 2008 when he was a candidate for president. At the time, a spokesman for the then-candidate said organized crime influence had drastically declined. On Tuesday, a White House spokesman declined to outline the president's current position and referred questions to the Justice Department.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York said the office had no comment beyond the letter it has filed with the judge.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

IWW Canvassers Strike Over Unpaid Wages

IWW - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:36

By Shane Burley, Labor Notes

A crew of nine marijuana legalization canvassers walked off their jobs and into the Portland office of the Industrial Workers of the World June 5, looking to form a union.

The workers at the Oregon Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp had been refused paychecks they were owed. This was on top of several past bounced paychecks. After their checks did not arrive on the late schedule and management would not even discuss it, they walked out.

With IWW support, the canvassers have formed the United Campaign Workers. In a joint statement they pointed to a “culture of secrecy and information repression that make incidents like this an ongoing problem.”

read more

Categories: Unions

Support the Struggle of the BIOME Workers in Greece!

IWW - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:25

From the IWW International Solidarity Commission (ISC)

BIOME Thessaloniki workers are fighting a recent court action that is attempting to expel them and return their worker-run factory back to its former employer – bosses who had vanished two and a half years ago!

The former employers were given a total of 126 months of imprisonment for debts to workers. Now, however, in collaboration with the appointed trustee, they are asking that BIOME be given a “bankruptcy” status to avoid paying what they owe to the employees, to Social Security, and to the public. They are also requesting that the plant be evacuated of all workers.

This is an outrage to the workers of Greece!

read more

Categories: Unions

UPS Announces Dimensional Weight Changes

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:15
Seeking AlphaJune 17, 2014View the original piece

UPS today announced that, beginning December 29, 2014, in the United States, dimensional weight will be utilized to calculate the billable weight of a shipment on all UPS Ground services and UPS  Standard to Canadapackages. UPS already applies this method for UPS air services (domestic and international), UPS Standard" to Mexico ground services and for UPS Ground packages and UPS  Standard to Canada packages measuring 3 cubic feet in size or larger.

"UPS has been researching the potential expansion of dimensional-weight pricing for a number of years because it enables us to more appropriately align rates with costs which are influenced by both the size and weight of packages," said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

Click here to read more at Seeking Alpha.

Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Sign the Petition to Protect Our Pensions!

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:04

June 16, 2014: Teamsters, along with many other groups, are fighting back against a proposal Congress is considering to allow troubled pension funds – like the Central States Fund – to slash existing benefits. You can help by signing a petition to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee. Help preserve the federal anti-cutback law to protect our pensions.

Click here to sign the petition.

Call TDU: 313-842-2600 to get petitions to circulate in your area.

Pension Action Committees have formed in Northeast Ohio and the Twin Cities. If you want to form a committee in your area, click here.

To learn more about this threat and what you can do, click here.

Issues: Pension and Benefits
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Make UPS Deliver on Surepost Promises

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 13:25

June 13, 2014: How to document violations and make Hoffa-Hall and UPS deliver on their SurePost promises.

The new contract includes restrictions on SurePost that are supposed to mean fewer packages diverted to the Post Office and more fulltime Teamster driving jobs. So far, drivers report a different story. “I deliver to the Post Office on my route,” said Michigan Local 243 Teamster Marty Labut. “I still see SurePost packages on dead-end streets where I already have deliveries. I see SurePost packages right next door to stops on my route. We are supposed to be delivering these parcels.” “Hoffa and Hall have had months to work out the details on enforcement. The SurePost language should have been implemented as soon as the contract was forced through,” Labut said. Enforcement Tips It’s time to enforce the contract. Under the new language:
  • SurePost packages are contractually limited to 10 lbs. in weight and less than three cubic feet in size.
  • SurePost service is for business-to-residential shipments only.
  • SurePost packages are supposed to be put on a package car for final delivery by a Teamster whenever they are being delivered to the same address or in the vicinity of an address where there is a UPS package for delivery. If you deliver to the Post Office, you’re in the best position to help enforce the contract.
  • Take a photo of any SurePost package you see that is addressed to a location close to where you deliver UPS Ground.
  • Take a photo of any SurePost package that is more than three cubic feet or weighs more than 10 lbs.
If you’re a driver, use your smart phone to document these violations—when you're off the clock is best. Then file a grievance saying that the company is violating Article 26, Section 4 (SurePost). Preloaders can help too by flagging oversized and overweight SurePost packages to the driver. Fewer packages going to the Post Office means more full-time jobs. Contract Loopholes In a glossy PR mailer to every UPS Teamster, Ken Hall claims the new SurePost language “puts more packages back on UPS trucks and protects Teamster work and jobs.” A closer look at the new language in Article 26, Section 4 reveals the usual grey areas and loopholes that management loves to exploit. Instead of strict restrictions there are vague promises that UPS will “use and develop new technology” to move SurePost packages out of the Post Office and on to package cars and implement the technology “when available.” It will be up to UPS Teamsters to document violations, file grievances and put heat on the International Union to deliver on their SurePost promises.Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

NLRB Tells UPS: Hands Off Teamster Voice

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 13:10
June 2013, 2014: Tom Glidden, a UPS driver at the Maple Grove, Minn. UPS facility, has passed out Teamster Voice for years. He does it in the parking lot before and after work and leaves a few copies in break areas. UPS management told him to stop. Now the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has directed management to back off and respect the rights of Teamster members. In May 2013 Tom’s supervisor told him he would be disciplined if he continued to pass out the Teamster Voice or any contract-related materials. Glidden knew his rights and contacted TDU. TDU attorney Barbara Harvey then filed labor board charges. Management at the Maple Grove UPS facility must now post a settlement agreement that informs all Teamsters that they have the right to distribute union-related information, including TDU literature, in non-work areas at non-work times. “I know how important it is to get info out to Teamster members. Knowing more about the issues we face makes us stronger as a union. It gives us more power to enforce our contract,” Glidden said. Glidden is not the only Teamster that UPS tries to stop from distributing union information. If management interferes with your rights, contact TDU for help.Issues: Labor MovementTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Got Union: New York Dairy Teamsters Taking Back Their Local

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 13:02

June 13, 2014: A group of rank-and-file reformers, Local 584 Members First, are organizing to empower members, defend their jobs, and take back their union.

Dairy Teamsters in Local 584 have had a rough go of it. A change in state law has allowed nonunion competitors to flood the New York City milk market. Aside from the nonunion competition, the big winner in this has been Elmhurst Dairy. Local 584 officials gave concessions to Elmhurst and Teamster dairy jobs have been cut as companies lease operations to nonunion competitors, in violation of the contract. More than 250 dairy Teamsters have lost their jobs in the last two years. Rank-and-file members first got involved with TDU in late 2012, when 42 Teamsters at Elmhurst Dairy were fired and replaced with new hires off the street. TDU activists organized co-workers to pressure the union to launch a public campaign and do outreach to the community to defend their jobs. But the union called off a planned rally and told members to wait on the arbitrator to settle the dispute. They lost the arbitration and members uncovered a slew of secret Memoranda of Agreement that had stripped away seniority protections and members’ rights. The union has been nonexistent for members who are demanding help in enforcingthe contract. “We can’t afford to wait any more,” says Stephen Mohan, TDU member and a leader of Members First. “The Elmhurst firings and loss of jobs pushed a lot of members to start demanding a plan from the union. Members began asking questions. They see that our officials are not up to the task of standing up to the companies and fighting for us.” Members First organized to reform the local’s bylaws this spring to give members the right to elect negotiating committees, vote on trustee appointments, and have contracts translated into Spanish if members request it. A clear majority of members voted in favor of the proposed reforms, but the local’s leadership refused to put them in place and invoked the clause that proposals need twothirds approval to pass. “We used the campaign to reach out to members and say what we stand for,” said Robert Ortiz, a member from Derle Farms.  “The bylaws campaign showed the true colors of our current officials, who actively opposed measures to give more rights to our members. It’s obvious they don’t want us to be informed.” Members First are building their campaign throughout the summer. They're reaching out to stewards and members across the local and meeting with members from New Jersey to Long Island to learn what changes they want to see in the union. The campaign is also planning a BBQ and soft-ball game for late June. The Members First campaign is about building a strong union that involves everyone. Close to 250 members, including many Latina and immigrant women, work at a food processing plant on Long Island and have long been marginalized from the union. “Some members are just excited to see us come out and hear their issues because they feel like they've been ignored by the union for so long,” said Manny Garcia, a member from Tropicana. “Our support is growing everyday.”“We can’t afford to wait any more. “Members are asking questions and they see that our officials are not up to the taskof standing up to the companies and fighting for us.” Stephen Mohan, Rollin Dairy  “Members are excited to see us come out and hear their issues because they feel like they’ve been ignored by the union for so long. Our support is growing everyday.” Manny Garcia, Tropicana


Issues: TDUNY-NJ TDUTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Teamster Viewpoint: International VP Cost 166 Teamsters Their Jobs

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 12:50
June 13, 2014: International vice president Bill Hamilton has apparently cost up to 166 Philadelphia Teamsters their jobs, good paying jobs at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC). Six labor unions were employed there. The Teamsters can no longer count themselves among them. Was it because of tough negotiating, or a refusal to take concessions? No! Bill Hamilton has never had an issue capitulating to management. We need to look no further than his coercive campaign during the YRC/New Penn concession votes. Virtually every contract in Local 107 is stagnating or concessionary. He’s negotiated contracts as low as $11 an hour. Hamilton and the 107 BAs lost these Teamster jobs because they could not deliver a signed copy of a contract addendum prior to a May 5th deadline that they knew about for 10 months. Their inability to deliver the contract was due to the fact that, on May 5th the entire 107 Executive Board was either in Alaska, or golfing with Hoffa in Las Vegas at the “Unity Conference.” The PCC Board and venue management company, SMG, renegotiated a labor arrangement with the six unions called the “Customer Service Agreement” (CSA). The purpose of the CSA was to make it more amenable to vendors. All unions were aware of the deadline. It wasn’t as if Hamilton was taking a hard line against the deal, because he signed the CSA. He just didn’t get it in on time. What is tragic is that the concessionary language in the CSA didn’t pertain to the Teamsters. Having read the CSA, the highlights were; a 10-year contract with a 30 percent raise, and the creation of more Teamster jobs. These members lost their jobs needlessly. In the aftermath of this debacle, Local 107 filed a ULP Charge against the PCC for bargaining in “bad faith.” In their charge they admit: “The CSA was the product of joint negotiation by the six labor organizations.” They then go on to say: “On May 9, 2014, Local 107 signed the, offer” and that it “was rejected as untimely.” Philip Harvey, professor at Rutgers School of Law commented that Hamilton has a “weak position” and, “There’s no real principle of law in dispute here.” Hamilton’s reign has coincided with Hoffa’s. That’s no coincidence, he’s Hoffa’s man. The only growth Local 107 has experienced since is due to merging with locals 470 and 837. This is a systemic problem in this union. Hoffa rewards his key yes men with multiple salaries. They in turn, surround themselves with yes men who sell the doctrine of Hoffa. In addition to monetary remuneration, rubber stamping Hoffa’s agenda apparently can garner you immunity. Ron Carey took Hamilton out with a trusteeship in 1996. Hoffa returned him. Despite 107 being cited by the IRB and NLRB multiple times for patronage and discriminatory hiring practices, Hamilton, under Hoffa’s protection, remains unscathed. Given Hamilton’s dubious history and actions here, one question remains; were those jobs lost because of complicity, or stupidity? By Ed Taylor, Local 107, PhiladelphiaIssues: Local Union ReformTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Chicago TDU Members Meet With Supporters

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 12:29

June 13, 2014: The Chicago TDU Chapter hosted a discussion and fundraiser for TRF (TDU’s nonprofit educational sister organization) on May 17 with Ken Paff, TDU’s National Organizer. The event drew TDU members, supporters of Teamster reform, and allies from other unions and netted $2,600 for TRF.

“We had a good discussion on where our movement is headed and it was great to see the support and interest from members from other unions and organizations who are inspired by TDU’s work.” Frank Pesce, Central States PensionFund, Local 743, ChicagoIssues: TDUTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

New York TDU Chapter Bowls for Teamster Reform

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 12:27

June 13, 2014: The NY Chapter raised more than $6,000 at a Bowl-athon in May. Members sold raffle tickets to help pay a $500 team-entrance fee and team captains recruited more than 60 bowlers.

“Members really got into the Bowl-a-thon,” says TDU member and Local 814 organizer Julian Tysh, who helped organize the event. “It was a fun way to build some solidarity and get to know one another better. We’re going to make it an annual event.”Issues: TDUNY-NJ TDUTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Take Back Our Union Meetings

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 09:15

Members are holding Take Back Our Union meetings in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Western Pennsylvania to reach out to concerned Teamsters and organize for change.

Teamster are tired of Hoffa, Hall and contract concessions. Members have launched Take Back Our Union to organize for change. 

UPS, UPS Freight and freight Teamsters are leading the effort to reach out to Teamsters in all industries

Take Back Our Union meetings are being organized for next weekend. Invited guest speakers include Teamster local leaders Sandy Pope, Fred Zuckerman and Tim Sylvester.

For more information on these meetings, email takebackourunion2016 [at] gmail [dot] com

Take Back Our Union—New Jersey

Saturday, June 2110 a.m.Hilton Garden Inn50 Raritan Center ParkwayEdison, NJ 08837

Click here to download a flyer with NJ meeting details.

Take Back Our Union—Philadelphia

Saturday, June 214 p.m.Holiday Inn ExpressPhiladelphia Airport101 Taylor Ave.Essington, PA 19029

Click here to download a flyer with Philly meeting details.

Take Back Our Union—Pittsburgh

Sunday, June 221 p.m.West View VFW386 Perry HighwayPittsburgh, PA 15229

Click here to download a flyer with Western PA meeting details.

Issues: TDU
Categories: Labor News, Unions

IBT Election Timeline

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 08:59
Summer-Fall 2014 Take Back Our Union forms to unite Teamster members who oppose concessions and want to rebuild Teamster Power by electing new International Union leadership in 2016.

November 7-9, 2014

Campaign Summit: Special training held at TDU Convention for members who want to learn how to run for delegate, build a local campaign committee, and be an active part of a national campaign.

Early 2015

The Election Supervisor will be appointed to oversee the entire process and decide all pre-election protests. The updated Election Rules will issue for the 2015-2016 delegate and IBT officer elections. See www.IBTVOTE.org for the 2011 Rules and other information.

June-August 2015

Accreditation Petition Drive to collect some 50,000 signatures, spread out over five regions, to officially “accredit” a coalition slate of candidates. Accredited candidates get access to the Teamster magazine and the entire Teamstermembership list.

September-October 2015

Accredited Candidates get to publish campaign pages in the Teamster magazine which is mailed to all members, and four additional times over the next year. In October, the Election Supervisor will publish a list of dates and election plans for local union delegate elections to be held January-March 2016.

January-April 2016

Convention Delegate elections held in almost all local unions These elections are overseen by the Election Supervisor. The winners have the power to officially nominate candidates at the Teamster Convention so members have a choicein the election.

June/July 2016

IBT Convention in Las Vegas. The entire IBT Constitution will be up for review and amendment. Nominations for General President, Secretary Treasurer and all Vice Presidents and Trustees. Five percent of delegates from the relevant region, and overall, are needed to nominate candidates.

October 2016

Mailing of ballots to all Teamster members.

November 2016

Counting of ballots for all International officer positions.

Click here and contact us to find out more about how to get involved in the IBT Election.


Issues: Hoffa WatchTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

What Will It Take to Win in 2016?

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 08:12

June 13, 2014: The next International Union election will be held in 2016. What will it take to elect new Teamster leadership?

Two years from now, the IBT Convention will be held in Las Vegas to nominate candidates for General President and all 28 International officers.

Will there be reform delegates from your local union? Who will be nominated there? What will it take to win and how can we get started now?

The Vote No movement showed that a majority of Teamsters in key industries oppose Hoffa-Hall’s concessions. What happens now that the national contracts have been settled and, in the case of UPS, imposed on the members?

Will Teamsters opposed to concessions become a force for change? That depends on what Teamsters like you do now. Being fed up won’t do the job.

We need a united, national campaign organization of members in every industry working together to channel that anger into votes for change. 

Members are forming a network, Take Back Our Union, to start the education process, build local committees of members who will run for convention delegate and nominate and support a coalition of candidates. 

Initial meetings are being held and more will be scheduled. 

Why Start Early

Hoffa and Hall have a built-in campaign organization: they have a huge payroll with over 100 officials getting multiple salaries from the IBT. Hoffa and Hall don’t have to start early because they have already have a fundraising and campaign patronage machine. 

We need a different kind of machine, a grassroots army of Teamster volunteers.    

How the Election Works

The IBT Election is governed by Election Rules and overseen by an independent Election Supervisor.

Ballots will be mailed to all Teamsters in October 2016, but the election process starts nearly two years before that, when an Election Supervisor is named.

Next June (2015) petitioning starts to accredit candidates; accreditation entitles candidates to get a copy of the Teamster membership list and to reach members through campaign pages in five issues of the Teamster magazine.

Members in every local union elect convention delegates to represent them at the Teamster Convention where candidates for International Union office are officially nominated.

In the last election, many locals where members voted against Hoffa were represented at the convention by officers who nominated Hoffa-Hall and tried to keep all opposition candidates off ballot. 

It’s up to active members to make sure that doesn't happen again. We need to start organizing now and forming local committees.

What it Takes to Win

Hoffa has been able to win the last three elections with 60-65 percent of the vote. To defeat him, it will take about 200,000 votes. What will it take to achieve this goal?

  • A Grassroots Army. Hoffa has a top-down machine; we need a grassroots army. TDU has analyzed the local-by-local results from the last six IBT elections. In each election, members voted for reform in local unions where Teamsters were actively campaigning for reform candidates. We need boots on the ground to win.
  • A Campaign War Chest. We do not have to outspend Hoffa because we will outwork him. But we need to raise enough money to pay for campaign mailings to the membership and other Get Out the Vote costs. It will take at least $500,000 to win.
  • A Full Slate and Coalition Effort. Last time anti-Hoffa forces split into two camps. Together, they carried a majority of the votes in over 100 locals. There is growing momentum toward a united coalition that includes not only TDU but everyone who wants to rebuild Teamster power. That is what Take Back Our Union is all about.  
Issues: Hoffa WatchTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Hoffa Takes Aim at Teamster Democracy Save Fair Elections

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 06/12/2014 - 14:37
June 12, 2014: The Hoffa administration is headed to Federal court in a bid to end independent supervision of International Union elections. Attorneys for the International Union have filed papers in Federal court to end the Consent Order, a court-approved agreement between the IBT and the Justice Department to rid the union of corruption and establish a culture of union democracy. The coming legal battle affects every Teamster. If Hoffa succeeds in ending the Consent Order, the Hoffa administration would write its own election rules and move to eliminate contested International elections by changing the nomination requirements so opposition candidates would be effectively blocked from getting on the ballot. Judge Loretta Preska will make the final decision on the future of the Consent Order and fair International Union elections.  Take action to protect Teamster democracy. Sign an Open Letter to Judge Preska urging her to save fair elections in the Teamsters. In a letter to Federal Judge Loretta Preska, the Justice Department acknowledges that the Consent Decree has brought about positive changes toward eliminating organized crime influence, but maintains that, “Corrupt and undemocratic practices persist at all levels of the Union.” The U.S. Attorney is calling for government oversight of Teamster anti-corruption efforts and elections to be scaled back over time, not halted. TDU has also made a submission to Judge Preska, defending members’ rights to fair elections and a corruption-free union. Ending the Consent Order would also immediately eliminate the Independent Review Board. IRB investigations have resulted in penalties against top Hoffa administration officials for embezzlement, sweetheart deals with employers, threats, violent retaliation and other corruption. Without the IRB, the Hoffa administration would be left to police itself. Teamsters for a Democratic Union fought for and won our right to elect IBT officers in one-member, one-vote elections. Now, we are launching a new campaign to save fair, independently supervised elections and to make Teamster members’ voices heard. Take action to protect Teamster democracy. Sign an Open Letter to Judge Preska urging her to save fair elections in the Teamsters.Issues: Hoffa Watch
Categories: Labor News, Unions


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