Five Challenges Our Union Must Meet In 2010

A bad economy and Hoffa’s weak leadership have meant weak contracts, benefit cuts and less job security.

Five challenges our union must meet to turn things around.

Employers are using the global recession to demand contract concessions, benefits cuts and other givebacks, and too often they have found a willing partner in the Hoffa administration.

We need a new direction in 2010 that replaces go-along, get-along with a union plan of action. Here are five places to start.

Enforce Our Contracts: Standing up to employers starts in the grievance procedure. At the top, we need a stronger stand from the IBT. At the bottom, our union needs to back up stewards and members with more training and support.

Defend Our Benefits: Wall Street, not working Teamsters, caused the economic meltdown, but we’re the ones paying the price with pension and healthcare cuts. Our union can’t out-lobby Corporate America. Our strength comes from our numbers. Our union needs to mobilize the members and join with other unions and allies to defend workers’ pensions and healthcare, including retiree healthcare.

Defend Our Job Security: Defending our jobs starts with enforcing our contracts—and taking on subcontracting, improper full-time job elimination, and excessive overtime violations while Teamsters are on layoff. Too often we’re giving concessions to ‘save jobs’ but then find our jobs given away.

Organize the Nonunion Competition: Nonunion competitors threaten our job security and make it tougher to win good contracts. The Teamster leadership needs a plan to organize in our industries. Members need to pitch in to help make it happen.

Put Members First: We can’t rebuild Teamster Power if the Hoffa administration and some local officials continue to keep members locked out of our union. Members need less PR and more action. It’s time to get involved and return our union to the members.

Rank-and-file power. That’s what TDU is all about. Let’s put it to work to build a stronger union. The status quo isn’t working.

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