Three Showdowns Reveal How to Beat Concessions and How Concessions Beat Us

June 1, 2010: Teamsters can beat givebacks, even in a tough economy. Just ask the members at ABF.

ABF Teamsters united and soundly rejected a 15% pay cut that was promoted by both the corporation and the Hoffa administration.

Too often, when employers demand givebacks, the Hoffa administration comes to members with a sales pitch and excuses, instead of a plan to win.

When another major Teamster employer, Coca-Cola, demanded contract concessions, it looked like it might be a different story.

The IBT threatened to take nationally coordinated strike action to stop Coke from moving toward nonunion, third-party distribution.

Local officers united behind the plan to save Teamster jobs. Our union had the leverage to win. Instead, the IBT caved and gave the green light to a deal that puts Teamster jobs at risk.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Our union can win good contracts even in a bad economy. Local 814 members have done just that.

These Teamsters elected new leadership and launched a contract campaign to put an end to givebacks and rebuild their union’s power.

Now they’re celebrating a contract that restores healthcare cuts, saves their pensions and delivers major wage increases to the lowest-paid members.

Our union has the power to stop givebacks. Members need to get involved and demand that our leaders use the leverage we have to win the contracts we deserve.

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