August 23, 2013: TDU is growing, and it's no secret why.
The Hoffa-Hall IBT leadership has failed, and Teamsters who want to do something about it realize that as isolated individuals, we are powerless to change the union. The only way to make it happen is if we're organized: that's what Teamsters for a Democratic Union is all about.
The biggest face plant by Hoffa and Hall has been negotiating the national contracts this year: UPS, ABF and UPS Freight. All three have been done behind the backs of members, and have led to concessions and give-backs.
But you don't have to work under a national contract to see that our union is moving in the wrong direction. Teamsters from every industry are looking for an alternative—and the only way to make change is with a nationwide organization with staying power. The next IBT election is three years away, but the time to start building for it is now.
How to Build TDU and Help Take Back Our Union
We asked a few members who have recruited Teamsters to TDU lately for their own tips on how to do it. Here are few we heard:
One at a Time
Start with a goal of recruiting just one person to TDU. Approach someone you know wants change in our union. Ask them directly to join TDU, and tell them why in your own words. When you get one, keep going. The worst thing that can happen is someone may say no, but even then, they will appreciate being asked.
Make it easy
If they say yes, then ask them to fill in the application, and then you mail it in for them. We're all busy and sometimes we put things off, so make it easy for them. This is key. Some people say yes, but don’t have the money at the time. If you know or work with the person, it's fine to say "pay me after pay day" and take the application and come back later for the money. And of course TDU takes credit cards.
Give a Reason
Give your reasons to join. Such as: do you value having an alternative voice and choice in national IBT elections, help with your rights, and a national network at contract time? Use your own reasons. The key is to be direct and honest.
Want to know more?
TDU will help you with materials, ideas and more. Join and become part of the TDU Builders Network.
"New Chicago TDU members are asking me 'How can I get others to join?' When recruiting to TDU, I tell members about our history like how we won the right to vote. That's what got me to join. And you have to be direct and ask.
"It's important members know their rights and build organizing skills, and you learn those at the workshops at the TDU Convention."
Gina Alvarez, Local 743, Chicago
TDU Steering Committee Trustee