October 18, 2006: It’s up to Teamster members to lead the fight for pension justice.
The past three years have proven that the Teamster leadership’s approach is a complete failure. They lied to sell us contracts, let the employers take over our pension funds, slapped Teamsters with the first-ever cuts, and tried to cover it all up.
Members have learned to fight back, and in some cases, gain ground.
We need action around the upcoming contracts. Contracts covering over 300,000 Teamsters in national agreements expire in 2008. With or without early bargaining, we should focus on building campaigns in 2007 to win back our benefits. Neither UPS nor the freight employers want disruptions or even uncertainty during this critical growth period for their businesses. This puts us in an excellent position.
We need rank and file networks that have the ability to vote down any offer that fails to improve benefits.
We need local action as well. We need to continue to build TDU and Pension Improvement Committees in our locals and link nationally to educate Teamsters and retirees to exert the kind of power we need to win.
Teamsters are hungry for information and for positive action around benefits. It’s up to us to help turn that concern into action and provide a positive plan to win.
TDU will be there with information, with legal help, and with a network to help build this movement as broad and strong as possible.