Can Freight Teamsters Be a Force for Change?

June 19, 2009: Hundreds of freight Teamsters have contacted TDU during the YRC concession crisis. They are concerned and they are angry. The question is: can we come together and be a force for change?

Bill Zollar’s reckless mismanagement has driven YRC to the brink of disaster. However they plan to vote, YRC Teamsters know the latest concessions plan is a stop-gap measure at best.

We need a union program for rebuilding Teamster power in the freight industry—something freight Teamsters have never gotten from the Hoffa administration. We need new leadership and a new direction for our union.

James Hoffa took office ten years ago promising to Restore Teamster Power in freight. Instead we got a decade of PR and union decline. Just look at the Hoffa years: CF. USF Redstar. Letting UPS pull out of the Central States Pension Fund. A substandard contract at UPS Freight. A lack of organizing. Concession after concession.

It would be foolish to blame every problem we face in freight on Hoffa. And we don't. But ask yourself this: what kind of leadership do these times demand and what kind of leadership do we have.

For years, there has been a growing sense among the ranks—and among some officers in the Freight Division—that freight Teamsters have gone from being the heart of our union to its forgotten Teamsters.

Rebuilding Teamster Power in freight won’t be easy. One thing is for sure, it will never happen if freight Teamsters don’t get organized and work together for change.

The TDU Freight Committee unites freight Teamsters who are fed up and want a new direction. We provide freight Teamsters with information we should be getting from our own union.

And we unite members to elect the kind of International Union leadership that we deserve— leaders that will fight to protect our benefits, organize the nonunion competition, and rebuild union standards in the freight industry.

Our union is on the wrong road. It’s up to Teamster members to take the wheel and change the direction. Be a part of it.

Click here to join Teamsters for a Democratic Union. A one-year membership costs $40 and includes a subscription to our newspaper Convoy Dispatch.

Click here to send your comment or question to the TDU Freight Committee. What do you think our union should be demanding in bargaining? What should Freight Teamsters who want change do about it?

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