Building a Stronger Union From the Bottom Up

Fed up with the status quo, Teamsters in Round Rock, Texas stand up for stronger contract enforcement.

Local 657 members Brad Wilburn and Will Black didn’t stop organizing after the contract campaign. Now they’ve been elected as stewards by their coworkers.

Teamsters Local 657 represents 5,000 Teamsters across large parts of Texas, including Round Rock. With a new contract to enforce, Will Black and Brad Wilburn decided to petition for an election and run together as chief steward and alternate.

They asked other members to help them spread the word and collect petition signatures requesting the election.

“Members were tired of the lack of representation and education in our center,” said new alternate steward and TDU member Brad Wilburn. “They were ready to change the status quo and elect shop stewards who would fight for them and treat them with respect.”

Using materials from TDU’s UPSTeamsters United campaign, Black and Wilburn handed out leaflets about how members can protect themselves on OJS rides and if they get called into the office.

The message of member involvement, along with their examples of it in action, resonated with members.

With the election over, Black and Wilburn are looking ahead to educating members about the new contract and mobilizing to enforce it.

“We’re going to stay involved with TDU to share strategies with other Teamsters and get the resources we need to be effective stewards and help members enforce our contract,” Black said.

Many locals allow for election of shop stewards in their bylaws. Other locals will schedule a shop steward election if the majority of members petition for one.

Want to run for shop steward or sharpen your contract enforcement and grievance handling skills? Contact TDU for organizing and legal advice.

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