October 17, 2007: On Oct. 5, Local 726 Teamsters working for the City of Chicago ratified their contract overwhelmingly after pressing hard to get what they deserved. The 2,100 members rejected two earlier proposals before the union and city addressed concerns regarding job classifications, layoff procedures, and subcontracting provisions.
The Fighting for the Future Slate, currently running to unseat the incumbent slate in Local 726, led the campaign to win changes in the proposed contract.
Vince Tenuto, candidate for Local 726 Secretary Treasurer explained, “Members knew the issues and what they needed. It helped to have a network in place to spread the word. It shows what a united membership can do when they put it in gear. We didn’t get everything we wanted and ten years is a long time, but we did make a real difference in the outcome.”
Following the earlier contract rejections, Fighting for the Future leaders offered to meet with Local 726 officials to explain what members needed to get the ten-year contract passed. Local 726 officers refused to meet directly, claimed they negotiated the necessary improvements, then argued that nothing had been changed from the initial proposal.
“Now we need to roll this membership concern into a strong turnout for change when it comes to our election in Local 726,” said Duke Clark, candidate for vice president on the Fighting for the Future Slate.
Ballots in the Local 726 election were mailed in mid-October and will be counted in early November.
You can learn more about the movement at www.fightingforthefuture.com