May 22, 2012: The Teamsters Union scored a small but important organizing victory in April when drivers for the Toll Group at the Port of Los Angeles voted 46-15 to unionize. One driver predicted it would be the "beginning of a big war."
The Toll Group is an $8 billion a year logistics company based in Australia. The Transport Workers Union of Australia, which represents the Toll workers there, supported the Teamster drive.
There are some 11,000 port drivers in Los Angeles and Long Beach, and some 100,000 in the country. The vast majority are considered "independent contractors," which strips them of the right to organize and forces them to work long hours for low wages.
The way for this victory to be the "beginning of a big war" is to spread the movement to the majority of port drivers, to win changes in the unjust port system.
The TDU Convention provides Teamsters with the best member education and organizing trainings anywhere. Meet Teamsters from across our union October 26-28 at the Chicago Holiday Inn O'Hare to get the information, advice and skills we need to turn our union around.
Education. Inspiration. Dedication.
"You get more education at the TDU Convention than in a lifetime of going to union meetings. You'll meet hundreds of likeminded Teamsters who are organizing to return our union to the members.
"After last year's convention, we came home more dedicated than ever to keep the fight going. Make your plans today to get to Chicago this October."
John Scoles, URM Grocery Warehouse, Local 690, Spokane
Teamsters from across our union are joining TDU.
We asked some new members why they signed up.
Here's what they had to say.
Educating Members To Fight Back
"At Rhode Island Hospital, we weren't getting the representation we deserve and management had our backs against the wall.
"I joined TDU to get the support and education we need to fight back. Now we're filing grievances and being taken more seriously."
Matthew Martins, Rhode Island Hospital
Local 251, Providence
Informing The Membership
"I joined TDU because I believe a union must be transparent and communicate with its members to be trustworthy and effective.
"TDU provides IBT members with information they won't get anywhere else. A good decision on issues can only be made when members have all the information. Thanks TDU!"
Susan White, Police Dispatcher
Local 2010, California
Uniting Teamsters Across the Country
"TDU works to unite UPS Teamsters all across the country with information members need to enforce our contract.
"I joined to get the education necessary to help other members build our union."
Reginald Harvey, UPS Part-Time
Local 705, Chicago
Organizing to Win Stronger Contracts
"I joined TDU to be part of a network of UPS Freight Teamsters from around the country.
"We're all concerned about our next contract and want to make sure that there are real improvements. That will take an organized contract campaign and TDU is the best place to get started."
Veronica Norton, UPS Freight City Driver
Local 728, Atlanta
Click here to join TDU.