November 20, 2009: Some 700 Teamsters employed at Allied in Ontario and Quebec voted today to leave our union and join the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW). The unfortunate choice came after Canadian carhaulers became alienated from the Teamster officialdom.
Drivers and mechanics voted by 383-183 for the CAW, and Allied’s office workers voted by 21-4. The Teamster officialdom made only minimal efforts to retain the carhaulers, who wanted assurance that their pension would remain under rank and file control, and an end to concessionary bargaining.
Nearly 300 carhaul yard workers employed by Gen Auto left the Teamsters for the CAW two months ago. It’s a sad day when Teamsters in one of our core industries decide to head for another union.
Toronto Local 938 was the largest unit of carhaulers in the IBT, but now most of them have gone to the CAW. Some 1000 Brinks drivers also left the Teamsters in Ontario last month for the CAW.
Going forward, we need to build solidarity with our brother and sister carhaulers in the CAW. But most importantly, we need to rebuild Teamster power in carhaul in the USA.
We can support the current IBT pressure campaign on GM and Fiat-Chrysler to try to force them to stop destroying good jobs in our industry.
And we can work to turn around the policies of the IBT Carhaul Division, toward a direction that respects our members, reaches out to organize, and has a strategy to defend our jobs and our contract.