March 15, 2007: Ballots on the tentative concessionary deal covering 3,300 Teamsters at Allied Holdings are now re-scheduled to be mailed on March 19, and should be in the hands of Allied Teamsters soon after that. The decision is now in the hands of Allied Teamsters.
Allied Teamsters who are opposed to the concession deal will observe the vote count on April 16, thanks to a stipulated consent order won in federal court by Teamsters for a Democratic Union attorney Barbara Harvey. Donna McCuiston (Local 299 Allied) and Ava Miller (Local 332 Allied) will be among the observers.
Sisters Miller and McCuiston were plaintiffs in the case McCuiston et al. v. Hoffa et al., Civil Action No. 04-70047, which won observer rights. The case was filed after the 2003 contract vote count was proven to be falsified, at least for the Michigan Office Supplement to the national agreement.
At a Detroit Local 299 meeting on March 11, members called upon the local to pay the expenses and lost time for sister McCuiston and additional observers. Local 299 president Kevin Moore agreed that the local union will cover those expenses. The same issue was raised in Flint Local 332.
Members who want to ensure that there are sufficient observers at the count and that carhaulers’ rights are defended, can donate to Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), and earmark it for this purpose. Call TDU at (313) 842-2600 regarding the vote count. Also visit www.tdu.org.
In some locals, Allied Teamsters are organizing to xerox all their marked ballots, sign them and keep all of them as a record of the local union vote. The contract vote will be counted separately by Local Union.
International Leader: “If I were to vote today, I would vote no.”
Terry Hewer, Local 299 Carhaul Director and co-chair of the national carhaul committee, told Detroit Allied Teamsters on March 11 that “If I had to vote today, I would vote no.” He said the same thing at the Memphis Local 984 meeting on March 10. He went on to state that although that is his heart-felt sentiment, he hoped that members would think it over and vote Yes. Go figure.
The International Union can still renegotiate this deal, rather than just present it as take-it-or-leave-it. Now is the time for leadership.