Local 710’s “Vote My Way” Approach

October 7, 2009: Some 1,140 Chicago Local 710 YRC Teamsters are voting again on concessions that they rejected, but we haven’t found any Teamster yet who regards the voting method as legitimate.

In early August, Local 710 YRC Teamsters rejected the concessions, by a vote of 471-321 in the dock contract, 57-48 in the office contract, and 10-4 by the mechanics.

The re-vote will be counted on Oct. 15.

But will it be a real vote? Consider these facts:

  • The ballots are returned to the union hall, not to a secure post office box.
  • There are no names on the return envelopes, no secret ballot envelope inside, and the directions say do not put your name on the envelope. Anyone with extra ballots can mail them and they will all be counted, with no verification.
  • Many Teamsters report not getting a ballot, and it is nearly impossible to get a replacement ballot.
  • There were no observers at the printing or mailing of these unlabeled and unsecured ballots, every one of which can count, no matter who mails it.

Local 710 Teamsters are protesting this procedure and demanding a fair vote. Whether you are for the proposal or against it, we can all agree that our union needs democratic procedures we can have confidence in.

Teamsters were also mailed a letter from Local 710 secretary treasurer Pat Flynn with a bushel of misleading information. Check this bit: “The nonpermanent pension contributions and deferral on contributions to the pension fund from July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 is no longer a factor for consideration as the Pension Trustees have already acted on this issue.”

Say what?! YRC is going to cut its $7 per hour contributions to zero, but it is “no longer a factor?” It is illegal for the officials to amend the contract to concede the pension contributions without an affirmative vote of the members. Click here to read Flynn’s letter.

One bit of truth in the letter: it informs Teamsters that by rejecting the first offer, the additional 5 percent wage cut would not take effect until October 18, saving each member about $500 in lost wages.

Click here to see a copy of the Local 710 ballot materials.

What do you think? Click here to send your comments to the TDU Freight Committee.

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