A Woman's Place is in the Teamsters

Our union’s failure to encourage leadership by women members is a symptom of a bigger problem. Too often, Teamster officials discourage member involvement unless you’re part of the old boys club.

Brooke_thumb.jpg

I’m excited to be going to the Teamster Women’s Conference.

It’s a weekend of sisterhood, solidarity, and Teamster education. Our union has amazing women, stewards, activists, rank-and-file leaders.

It’s a shame that so much of this talent and power is put in a corner except for one conference a year. We have just one woman in the International Union leadership—and Hoffa-Hall tried to prevent her from taking office. Leadership by women at the local union level is not much better.

Our union’s failure to encourage leadership by women members is a symptom of a bigger problem. Too often, Teamster officials discourage member involvement unless you’re part of the old boys club.

We can do better.

In Rhode Island, we elected new local union leaders that opened up the union to the members. There was no political litmus test. The new executive board reached out to everyone who was committed to building a stronger union by informing and mobilizing the members.

We won the right to elect our shop stewards and contract negotiating committees. We formed Contract Action Teams to unite and mobilize the members to win good contracts.

At Rhode Island Hospital where I work, women stepped up to help lead the fight to win a good contract and to enforce it.

The slogan of the Teamsters Human Rights Commission is “A strong union involves everyone.” That’s the truth.

It’s great to see Teamster sisters involved at the Women’s Conference.

Let’s take the information and organizing skills we learn there and put them to work building a stronger Teamsters—including tearing down the barriers to participation for Teamster women.

By Brooke Reeves, Recording Secretary Local 251, Rhode Island


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Statement on Charlottesville

The events in Charlottesville have aroused the conscience of our country and the world. TDU condemns the racism and violence of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK, today and everyday. We stand in solidarity with the victims of the violence and their families. We are more determined than ever to fight racism by uniting all Teamsters for social and economic justice. Solidarity trumps hate.

Hoffa Refuses to Hold Executive Board Meetings

Teamster members elected a full General Executive Board last November. Now Hoffa refuses to hold regular meetings claiming that “past practice” dictates that he’s not required to hold GEB meetings. This is in direct violation of the Teamster Constitution, which specifically requires that the Board meet once in every quarter.

View More News Posts