December 2, 2011: Our campaign to elect new leadership didn’t succeed. But we can be proud of what we accomplished.
I spent the last year on the road talking to Teamsters across North America. They’re angry. They’re frustrated. But most of them do not want to give up hope in our union.
It’s our job to give members something to believe in, a way to get involved, and a way to fight back by building union power. That’s what this campaign was about.
Our campaign put forward specific changes to rebuild Teamster Power.
- Close the concessions stand and fight for strong contracts by mobilizing the members, not closed-door bargaining.
- Enforce our contracts and defend our standards. We can’t build for the future if we don’t protect the foundation of our union.
- Stop writing blank checks to politicians. We’ve got to mobilize members on our issues and hold politicians’ feet to the fire.
- Build stronger local unions by directing IBT resources and staff to assist local organizing and contract fights. Help locals coordinate contract fights and organizing drives by industry and market area.
- Build Teamster Power by involving Teamster members and local leaders. Hold meetings for UPS and the Freight Division, and local Teamster Power conferences for members, and develop new educational programs for members and union representatives.
I don’t have a patent on any of these ideas. I hope to see our elected IBT officers take up some of them, and hope members will continue to organize for positive change in our union.
The election is over, but the work of rebuilding Teamster Power continues. I’ll be on picket lines and in organizing drives—in fact, I just launched a new one in my local.
I’ll keep traveling the country to organize schools and trainings for Teamsters on how to win strong contracts, enforce their contracts, run for office and build stronger locals.
Finally, I want to say THANK YOU to all the Teamsters who supported our campaign.
You took time off of work. You donated generously. You opened up your homes and took me around to your workplaces.
It’s been my privilege to be your candidate.
I’m proud to be on your team for the last year—and I’m even prouder to be a part of it going forward.