Reform Wins in Rhode Island

251 United Action, a growing rank-and-file reform movement in Rhode Island, took back their 5,500-member local when they won union office this fall.

The election posed a contest between the “old guard,” led by incumbent Joe Bairos, and a younger reform team led by UPS driver Matt Taibi and Rhode Island Hospital worker Paul Santos to lead Local 251.

But the campaign for change in Local 251 didn’t start at the Nominations Meeting. Members organized workshops and grievance trainings. They launched a campaign to change the local union bylaws and win the right to elect their shop steward and contract negotiating committees.

They built a movement. They ran for office. And they took back their union.

“For too long, Local 251 officials have run our union to benefit themselves, instead of the members,” says Taibi. “United Action will put the power of our union behind the membership to fight for better contracts and stand up to employers who are violating our rights.”

Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Racial Justice is an Issue for All Americans

Teamsters, like all people of conscience, watched the video of George Floyd pleading for his life under the knee of a Minneapolis policeman with a heavy heart and rising anger. 

During the Crisis of the Century, Hoffa Sides with Management

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Teamsters across the country have been thrust into an unexpected crisis of unforeseeable proportions. At UPS, no sooner did many of us find out that we were a part of the “essential workforce” than we were fighting on the shop floor to protect ourselves from the virus.  

View More News Posts