Rank-and-File Bill of Rights

I. Democratic By-Laws. All business agents and stewards should be elected. Vacancies in office should be filled by special election within three months. Local union committee should be elected. Contract and strike votes should be by majority (not two-thirds). All contracts should provide for elected officers retaining company seniority.

II. Direct Election of Officers. General President and all International officers should be elected by the membership. International VPs elected by regions. An end to trusteeships and split-off locals.

III. A Fair Grievance Procedure. Innocent until proven guilty, right to remain on the job until final procedure completed. Grievance procedure should include right to a speedy trial, arbitration by peers and the right to strike if necessary.

IV. Preservation of Working Conditions. The union’s purpose is to expand and preserve what we have, not trade it away for anything less. People come first, not productivity.

V. Safety and Health. We have the right to enter the workplace without fear for our health and leave in the same condition we arrive. Teamsters should have the right, backed up by our union, to refuse unsafe work or hazardous conditions. We are not machinery.

VI. Eight Hour Day and Five Day Week. Forced overtime and unfair dispatch rules destroy our family life and cost us jobs. No mandatory overtime, “flexible” work weeks or 70-hour slavery. We are for the advent of the four-day work week. We work to live, not live to work!

VII. A Decent Pension. Every dollar in the pension funds belongs to us. We are entitled to 25-and-out, cost of living on pensions and union pension trustees elected by the rank and file and retirees to safeguard our money.

VIII. Just Salaries for Officers. A union officer can’t understand the problems of members who make less than half what he makes. No officer should make more than the highest paid working members in his jurisdiction. No multiple salaries from union, company or government sources, or special fringes and pensions. Salary increases limited to the average increase for membership, and subject to membership approval.

IX. Equality Among Teamsters. Bring all wage levels up to the highest standards, not a lot for the few and little for the many. Fight the hardest for the lowest paid.

X. End to Discrimination. Employers have used the differences in age, race and sex to divide us for years. We oppose these injustices and divisions. Support affirmative action to correct past injustices. Employers should bear the cost of their past discrimination, not the members.