July 15, 2011: This spring politicians passed the worst anti-union law in Ohio history.
But we aren’t hanging our heads low. Teamsters are working with other unions and community groups to repeal the new law through a citizen’s veto.
Senate Bill 5 eliminated binding arbitration for public sector unions, and makes 50 percent of teacher pay based on test scores—all while our anti-union governor is giving tax breaks to his corporate buddies.
Packing the Senate
We fought hard to stop the bill from being passed. On the first day of hearings on SB-5, I piled into the Senate chambers with firemen, police officers, teachers, and fellow Teamsters. We spilled into the hallways.
We rallied and marched through the streets of Columbus. But the corporate politicians rammed it through anyway.
After the bill was passed, we only had 90 days to get 231,149 to get a repeal of the new law on the ballot this fall.
At the teachers’ union hall, truckloads of blank petitions would show up and Teamsters were there to unload them. I spent eight hours with another Teamster brother unloading tens of thousands of petitions—only to see other union members pick them up as fast as we could unload them!
On June 29, we marched to the Secretary of States office to hand over the petitions. It was amazing how many people showed up on a weekday—there were bagpipes and a Harley squad.
Then the final count was released: we collected 1,298,301 signatures! We beat the number of signatures needed by a million.
The politicians thought they could ram through this massively-unpopular bill and take away our union rights. But now the people of Ohio will get to decide this fall.
By Nick Perry, UPS Part-Timer Local 413, Columbus, Ohio.
July 15, 2011: Steve Pocztowski, the secretary treasurer of Chicago Local 705, passed away on July 2 in Las Vegas as he prepared to leave the Teamster Convention. This was just three days after his nomination for Central Region Vice President, on the Hoffa slate.
Steve worked his way up in the union, starting in 1974 as a part-timer at UPS. In 2003 he was elected principal officer, defeating an incumbent leader for the first time in Local 705 history. He was known as a militant leader and a unifier.
He is survived by his wife Linda and two sons, Stephen and Kevin.
The Local 705 Executive Board has tapped Juan Campos as the new secretary treasurer. Campos previously served as the recording secretary and a union representative for UPS members.
As we go to press, the issue of whether Pocztowski’s name will remain on the ballot this fall in the IBT election is not settled. In early July, Election Supervisor Richard Mark requested comments on the issue. This question will likely be decided soon.
The ballots to elect the next Teamster General President will go out just weeks after the TDU Convention.
The TDU Convention will be a critical stop on the road to victory.
- Meet Teamsters from across our union.
- Ask the experts in over a dozen workshops.
- Get ready for the final push to Dump Hoffa and elect the strong leadership we deserve.
Click here to register today.
I'll Be There!
“I’ll be in Cleveland to work with other members to elect Sandy Pope.
“Women Teamsters and public sector Teamsters believe in Sandy, and her energy and commitment help keep us going.”
Laverna Wharam Inver Grove Heights School Local 320, Minnesota
“Carhaulers are worried about what will happen down the road.
"We need to change the old way of thinking and get Sandy elected.
“I’ll be in Cleveland and I hope to bring along a few others with me.”
Mike Kindellan, Allied Local 449, Buffalo
“We’ve got to get out there to support Sandy Pope, and the TDU Convention is where we’ll plan the final push to win.
“I was so encouraged to meet all the great Teamsters at my first Convention last year. I’ll see you in Cleveland.”
Curtiss Zeolla, ABF Local 710, Chicago
Click here to Register today.