The following is an interview with Frank Halstead, a grocery worker at Ralphs in Los Angeles Local 572.
What are some examples of solidarity, within the IBT and without, that your chapter has been involved in?
Our solidarity work is all within the Teamsters. We have our hands full right here!
Currently we have a project around organizing a contract campaign for the Sysco facility. This has tremendous promise because we have numerous issues to rally around and we have a core group of TDUers who work there.
One important thing to keep in mind is that often solidarity work involves coming into play late in the game. For example, we got involved with the International Window workers (Teamster manufacturing workers) after they had been on strike for three months. Although our TDU chapter did a lot of good work, including a picket of the shareholders meeting, things were too far along and the local union in this case was not willing to do what needed to be done to win.
What basic suggestions would you have for other Teamsters who are interested in getting involved in their areas?
Every project we get involved in we have always been able to count on TDU and fellow reformers for sound advice and strategic suggestions.
It is vital to lead by example. Getting involved to help other workers also helps build credibility for TDU. The more people that see the truth about TDU the less effective the old guard’s attacks and lies will be. We are all human and we will make mistakes. Don't let that possibility prevent you from helping other workers. Your sincere desire to help your fellow workers will shine through and you will make a difference
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