Letters From Our Members

Why They Fear Teamsters for a Democratic Union

Our union officials badger Teamsters for a Democratic Union because they are afraid of the membership finding out what they are doing.

Those who fear TDU must have something to hide from the membership, like multiple salaries and pensions and nepotism, not to mention weak contracts, failure to organize core industries, and a shrinking labor movement. When members realize how much they are paying their union officials in contrast to what the average union member makes, they wonder if they are getting their money’s worth. This is especially so when members’ pensions are cut, health costs go up, and wages do not keep up with inflation.

No wonder union officials try to make TDU a campaign issue. If it were not for Teamsters for a Democratic Union, the members would be left in the dark. It’s not TDU that “sucks,” it’s arrogant, over-paid union officials.

Bob Leslie, Local 120, Cemstone, St. Paul, Minn.


Get Out the Vote

Having lost a close vote for delegate, I urge all of you to help get out the vote for Tom Leedham. Make those phone calls I did not make. Remind your co-workers to vote. All Teamsters need to be aware of the issues and vote. That’s the only way to truly “restore the power.”

Al Hildestad, Local 90, UPS, Des Moines, Iowa


TDU Convention Makes You Proud to Be a Teamster

This past TDU Convention was my first, but definitely will not be my last. The experience was one that I will never forget. The brothers, sisters and activists who attended the convention seek knowledge to effect change and to create a better way of life for themselves and their fellow union brothers and sisters.

I met people from different crafts, working at UPS or Kroger’s, with the exact same problems I face in the rail industry. This convention clearly is a place to learn and share ideas with fellow Teamsters.

I also learned at the convention that through our new affiliation with the Teamsters, the BLET can hold our national officers accountable for the decisions they make and the actions they take. I am proud to be a Teamster, I am proud to be a member of TDU, and most of all I am proud to join my brothers and sisters in the fight for what is right.

Chris Woods, BLET Div. 22, Vice Local Chair, El Paso, Texas


The Teamsters’ Last Chance?

Please take a minute to think about how important your decision in this election will be and how it will affect you and your family’s lives forever. This could very well be the absolute last chance we will ever have in our lifetime to return our union, not theirs, back into the hands of the members. Hoffa’s name is in our union’s history and that is exactly where it belongs! But our future is in serious jeopardy of returning to the Old Guard days of the past, where the members have no say, and the fat cats play at our expense. Example: record dues increase without a member vote; record health increases; major pension cuts; and working longer for less. It’s now or never for positive new leadership. Let’s give the Tom Leedham Slate the opportunity we deserve to prove themselves as leaders for a brighter and more prosperous future for us all.

Wayne Sharp, Local 89, Retired, Louisville, Ky.


Health & Welfare Is the Issue

I am a proud Teamster. The health and welfare issue is a potential election buster for Mr. Hoffa. Being a package car driver is wearing out my body. I fervently pray that I can retire at age 57 with 25 years in if I make it. I’m 44 years old with a bad back from my job. I hope the powers that be realize that we need to retire after 25 years as this is a physical, debilitating career and we deserve a decent retirement package. I point no fingers as I realize the trouble the fund was in so please resolve this issue regardless of who our next elected leader is. Remember, it’s not the situation itself but how we react to it that counts!

Rob Shulin, Local 407, DHL, Cleveland, Ohio


Member Won’t Retire from TDU

I retired from UPS in 1999, but I did not retire from TDU. I need TDU now more than when I was working. I urge everyone who retires to stay in TDU. We need protection in our retirement years for our pensions now more than ever.

Charles R. Miller, Local 79, Retired, Tampa, Fla.

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