Can the International Union Help You Win a Better Contract?

October 13, 2011: Teamster employers operate nationally and even globally. But most Teamster contracts are bargained locally—with little International Union backing.

Sandy Pope is running for International President on a program of smarter strategies that can win stronger local contracts.

"The locals took big concessions on jobs. They needed a national fight back." - Juan Leal, Coca-Cola, Local 683, San DiegoJuan Leal works for Coca Cola in San Diego Local 683. He’s seen what happens when locals fight on their own against a global corporation. In nearby Los Angeles, “the locals took big concessions on jobs. They needed a national fight back.”

His own local contract was not as bad, but concessions tend to spread like cancer without a strong International Union that can stand up to corporate greed.

Sandy Pope, a candidate for General President, says our union has to be smarter.

“Teamster locals can’t be left to fend for themselves against multinational corporations. That makes no sense,” Pope said.

“No local should stand alone against a big company like Safeway, Kroger, Coke or PepsiCo. When they demand concessions, they have to know it won’t be one local they’re taking on, they’re taking on the Teamsters Union.”

Sandy Pope’s Action Plan

Hundreds of thousands of Teamsters work for multinational corporations in industries like airline, bakery, grocery, soft drink and brewery, waste and more.

“These employers are gunning for our contracts and standards,” Pope said. “I’ll put our International Union to work helping local unions answer the challenge and negotiate strong contracts.”

Sandy Pope’s Action Plan for Stronger Contracts includes the following reforms.

  • Coordinated Bargaining. Sandy Pope will bring Teamsters together by industry and market area to develop coordinated strategies for negotiating with common employers.
  • More International Union Backing. Sandy Pope will put more International Union representatives into the field to help locals bargain strong contracts and organize nonunion competitors that are undermining our contracts.
  • Organizing the Nonunion Competition. Sandy Pope will expand funding to local unions to finance organizing drives that target nonunion competitors that are undercutting local contracts—while the International coordinates national organizing drives in our core industries.
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