How Do I Get a Copy of My Contract?

Last April, the majority of Teamster members at Allied approved concessions on the carhaul contract. I need the updated version of the contract we work under, especially because we have lots of pay rates. It’s been eight months; still nothing in writing. What can we do?

- Losing Daily at Allied

Dear Brother,

It doesn’t seem like too much to ask to get a copy of your contract. Unfortunately, you are not alone. Many Teamsters go without a copy of their contract. They shouldn’t. More members reading their contract means a stronger union.

Recently we heard from Teamsters at the Vons warehouse near Los Angeles who have been trying to get a copy of their contract from Local 848. Finally they were sent a copy of a contract that expired in 2005, along with a couple pages of notes on changes. The local officers say they are still working out language details with the employer (for three years?).

Under federal labor law, every member has a right to the contract they work under, as well as a copy of the IBT constitution and their local union bylaws.

We suggest you send a letter (perhaps certified mail) to your local requesting your contract. You may want to have a number of co-workers sign on to the letter.

Your officers cannot use “printing delay” as an excuse; they must have a copy at the union hall, as they have a legal duty to enforce it. They can go to the copy machine and send you a copy of that. Let us know if you don’t get a response or if you have further questions.

Let’s get more Teamsters knowledgeable about their contract and how to enforce it.

P.S. The UPS National Contract was just ratified. But if it takes the IBT as long as it did last time, it will be 2009 before anyone sees a contract book.

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