May 22, 2012: Key contract negotiations are coming up and the International Union is gearing up for early bargaining. Members who want good contracts need to gear up too.
A quarter of our 1.3 million Teamsters are covered by national contracts which will be bargained in the coming year at UPS, UPS Freight, and the freight industry.
These contracts set Teamster standards, especially on health benefits and pensions, for hundreds of thousands of other Teamsters.
Employers want early bargaining and to settle the contracts before they expire. The Hoffa administration's strategy is to go along with early bargaining and try to get a reasonable contract offer in exchange for negotiating an early deal.
The problem is, employers only bargain reasonably when they see Teamster members are united and prepared to reject a bad contract offer and to win the contract improvements we deserve.
That's where Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) comes in.
TDU brings Teamsters together to send our employers a united message: we are willing to bargain early but we are not willing to settle short and mortgage our future.
TDU is building contract networks at UPS, in freight, at UPS Freight and in local contracts too.
Working Teamsters are getting involved by signing up for email updates, distributing contract bulletins, participating in conference calls, and using social media to share concerns and swap strategies.
At UPS, drivers are uniting to fight for their pensions and defend themselves from production harassment, excessive dispatch, and management abuse of technology and “dishonesty” language.
Part-timers and inside workers are organizing a national campaign to win higher pay and more full-time jobs.
Freight Teamsters at ABF, along with YRC, are organizing a campaign against any concessions in the next freight contract.
Important local contracts are coming up too, and TDU will lend a hand where Teamsters want to organize a local contract campaign.
Your contract is your future. Negotiations aren't a spectator sport. If you want to get something out, you've got to put something in.
Click here to contact TDU to find out how you can get involved.