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Gold Rush!

Gold! Rumors of gold! It was said to be everywhere! According to Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, “Fortune lies upon the surface of the earth as plentiful as the mud in our streets.” So began the historic California Gold Rush of the late 1840s and 1850s. Most came away with nothing more than fool’s gold. History repeats itself. This time the promise of gold has hit UPS facilities in the form of a...

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The Most Crucial Decision You Will Make as a Teamster

March 16, 2006: This is a pivotal time for all of us. Perhaps the most crucial decision we will make as Teamsters is the choice we make in the upcoming election for General President of the IBT. That person will be responsible for, among other things, negotiating the next UPS contract and National Master Freight Agreement. Both have trickle-down effects on every other Teamster contract that is negotiated. It is imperative that James Hoffa not...

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Leedham Hits Road, Gains Ground

March 16, 2006: The winds of change are blowing in the Windy City, says Mark Day, a UPS driver in Chicago Local 705. “The members of my local are getting behind Tom Leedham. We’re going to win big-time come November,” Day said. “When members hear Tom, they know he’s for real. They’re tired of the empty Hoffa talk. Tom’s the guy they want leading our union when we take on UPS, Overnite or fighting for...

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Teamsters Serving Their Country Told They Can’t Serve Their Union

Last October, when Local 25 Teamster Dave Vallone returned from 18 months of active duty with the Army Reserves, he looked forward to returning to work as a shop steward—and to running for delegate to the Teamster Convention. Then Vallone, a 26-year Teamster, learned that he was ineligible to run for delegate because his military leave caused a break in his dues payments. “I couldn’t believe that I lost my right to serve my union...

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BLET President Hahs to Face Challenger in 2006 Election

A high-level official of the Teamster Rail Conference’s Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) announced that he will challenge President Don Hahs for leadership of the BLET. Tom Brennan served as the staff counsel for the national division for eight years, before suddenly resigning his position in early February. “In my opinion, [Hahs’] views and decisions are adversely impacting the survival of our craft and organization,” Brennan wrote in his resignation letter. Since then,...

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Rail Workers Pressure Leaders To Fight Against One-Person Crews

Imagine trains carrying toxic chemicals or nuclear waste through your town and across the wilderness. Now imagine that the train is operated by a lone employee working long hours. The first part is already reality. The part about a lone employee is the goal of the railroad employer group, the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC). All-Out Attack on Rail WorkersThe carriers first put out their plan to go to single-employee operations about 15 months ago,...

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No Reopener at DHL

From coast to coast, DHL Teamsters feel the same way: Hoffa did the company’s bidding and didn’t even bother to consult the affected Teamsters. Much anger is focused on the union allowing DHL to leave the freight grievance panels for more pro-company panels, but a second issue also demands an answer: why did the union fail to exercise the option to reopen the contract? The contract reopener was put in the contract for good reason....

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Teamster History Quiz Answer Sheet

1. How soon after the formation of the IBT did reformers challenge an incumbent president? Two years. A slate of reformers narrowly lost against Cornelius Shea in 1905. In 1957, reformers ran against James Hoffa. They lost, but lawsuits over the election led to a board of monitors being put in place to oversee the IBT. 2. Which Teamster leader was beaten and nearly killed by opponents? In 1908 Shea was nearly killed by opponents...

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Dues Hike: Where Did the Money Go?

March 16, 2006: It has been nearly four years since a special IBT Convention was held to raise dues from two hours pay to 2.5 hours pay. In that time, an additional $525 million has been raised as a result of the dues hike. Members are asking, where did that money go? Here we present some factual answers, based on financial reports obtained from the union, including the 2005 General Secretary Treasurer report. Who got...

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PR Won’t Organize UPS Freight

Ever since UPS announced it would buy Overnite Transportation, the Hoffa administration has been promising to unveil a “comprehensive plan to both organize Overnite and win a good contract.” Teamster members and officers are still waiting. Nine months have passed. During that time, Hoffa has issued six press releases trumpeting plans, meetings, and the union’s “renewed commitment to organizing Overnite.” Last June, the IBT called Teamster leaders from every UPS local to Chicago for a...

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