Do you think our union is headed in the wrong direction?
Teamsters for a Democratic Union is made up of thousands of working Teamsters who are doing something about it.
Our movement is growing because members like you are doing their part to turn our union around.
You can help. Join TDU today.
Make UPS Deliver Full-Time Jobs
“I was on the picket line every day in 1997 holding a sign that said ‘Part Time America Won’t Work.’ I never dreamed the company would force me back to part-time. But it’s happened to me and many other Teamsters.
“Now we’re getting involved to make UPS create every full-time job they owe us under the contract.
“We organized a meeting with a TDU organizer that got members informed and united. We’re following up by joining the national petition drive to tell Hoffa that it’s time to enforce the contract.
“Union members need to stand up, make our voices heard and take our union back.”
Sandy Gustafson, UPS
Local 767 Shop Steward, Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport
Keep Union Principles Strong
“I found out about TDU from a buddy who said he thought TDU saved the Teamsters. I just recently began to get involved in the labor movement, and I was excited to learn more about what can be done in our union.
“I joined TDU to keep the core purpose of unionism alive.”
Cory Lucas, Allied Waste
Local 50, Belleville, Ill.
Time to Get Respect on the Job
“I’m tired of management doing whatever they want to do—and getting away with it. They don’t respect our contract or our rights.
“I joined TDU because I saw other TDU members in my local who were getting together and making management show them respect. That’s what can happen when we get informed and come together.”
Jose de la Torre, BFI
Local 396, Los Angeles
February 20, 2009: Teamster members are reaching out to other Teamsters to work together to build a stronger union.
Members are talking Teamster-to-Teamster, getting petition signatures, distributing Convoy, and asking members to get involved in our movement for change.
Here’s what some members are doing to put our union back on the right track.
Responding to the Crisis in Freight and Our Union
I took two days off work to pass out Convoys at freight terminals and at UPS here in south Florida.
At UPS, we asked members to sign the petition to create more full-time jobs. Almost every member I saw signed the petition. Part-timers want more full-time job opportunities. And full-timers remember what our union won when we stuck together in the 1997 strike.
I work at Roadway—not UPS. But I know that our union is stronger when we all stick together and do our part.
Mike Schaffer, Roadway
Local 769, Miami
Spreading the Word
I went out to USF Holland and passed out the most recent issue of Convoy. Members were really positive to get the information—and concerned about the direction our union.
Freight members in Milwaukee have always been on top of the issues. We have a local union election this year. Now’s the time to get the word out.
Paul Host, ABF
Local 200, Milwaukee
If You’re Fed Up with Hoffa, Join TDU
I took off on Monday and met Teamsters at Yellow freight in the morning, some car rental locations in the afternoon, and UPS in the evening.
I think if more members do this, it will gain momentum. I met a lot of Teamsters who are fed up with Hoffa—and he’s up for re-election in 2011. If you want change in two and a half years, now is the time to get off your butt and get involved.
Amadeo Bianchi, Roadway
Local 769, Miami
You can help build our movement and reach other Teamster members. Here’s how.
Click here to find out more about the campaign to make UPS deliver more full-time jobs and to download the petition.
Click here to join TDU.
Want to help spread the word? Click here to order copies of Convoy Dispatch, TDU’s newspaper.
Do you have an idea about what TDU should be doing to build a movement for change in our union? Click here and let us know what you think.
Concerned Teamsters are hitting the road with the latest issue of Convoy Dispatch and getting the word out about how we can turn our union around.
|“We got an overwhelmingly positive response. Members want the information you can get in Convoy.” |
David Manolis, Local 391
Tens of thousands of Teamsters already read Convoy, TDU’s national newspaper, thanks to Teamster members who get bundles of the newspaper and distribute it where they work and beyond.
“Earlier this week, I went on the road to pass out Convoys to UPS and Yellow Freight Teamsters in Charlotte, and Roadway Teamsters in Kernersville,” said David Manolis, a package car driver out of Local 391 in North Carolina.
“Working Teamsters are dealing with some very serious issues right now: pensions, concessions, the change of operations in freight. But they feel left in the dark by their officers. The reaction we got was overwhelmingly positive. Members want the information you can get in Convoy.”
“I went to Yellow to pass out Convoys with another member from our Minnesota TDU Chapter,” said David Kremer, a TDU member in Local 320 in Minneapolis.
“Members were really happy to see us standing out there in 2 below weather to get them the information you can only find in Convoy.”
This year, TDU has set a goal of reaching 25 percent more Teamsters with Convoy. Can you help?
Click here to order a monthly bundle of Convoys that you can distribute with other Teamsters in your area.
Want to set up a time to distribute Convoy with other Teamsters in your area? Click here to send a message to TDU, or call (313) 842-2600.
January 29, 2009: TDU’s elected leaders met last week to make our plans to educate Teamster members and build the movement to take back our union.
The day-long meeting of the TDU International Steering Committee was held on Jan. 17 in Detroit.
“Many Teamsters who supported Hoffa in the past now realize he is a failure,” said Frank Halstead, a member of the ISC from Los Angeles Local 572.
“TDU is out there giving members hope that we can turn our union around, and a plan to make it happen. If you want to make a difference, now is the time to get involved.”
|“If you want to make a difference, now is the time to get involved.” |
Frank Halstead, Ralphs, Local 572, Los Angeles
Getting the word out. Tens of thousands of Teamsters already read Convoy, TDU’s national newspaper.
TDU members and leaders are taking our newspaper out on the road to meet new Teamsters and expand TDU’s reach. Our goal: increase Convoy circulation by 25 percent this year.
“This week I went out to Yellow to pass out Convoys with another member from our Minnesota TDU Chapter,” said David Kremer, a member of the TDU ISC from Local 320.
“Members were really happy to see us standing out there in 2 below weather to get them the information you can only find in Convoy.”
Teamster education. TDU’s educational workshops and meetings provide Teamsters with the hands-on skills they need to get results in our union.
Teamsters are setting up meetings for members in freight and UPS and workshops on running for local union office, contract enforcement, and the future of Teamster pensions.
The Steering Committee also set the date for the premier Teamster educational event of 2009: the TDU Convention, Nov. 6-8 at the Cleveland Airport Sheraton.
Recruiting to Teamsters for a Democratic Union. Teamsters are joining TDU because they to be a part of a movement that is making a difference in our union. ISC members discussed how to expand TDU recruitment in the new year—and make our movement even more powerful.
“Many members are facing concessions and they aren’t seeing real leadership from our International Union—and many of them are joining TDU,” Kremer said. “Our job as TDU members is to talk to members, ask them to join TDU, and build our movement.”
TDU’s International Steering Committee is made up of Teamster members elected at our annual Convention.
Want to find out more about plans in 2009, and how you can help? Click here to contact Teamsters for a Democratic Union, or call (313) 842-2600.
Do you want to help turn our union around in 2009? Here’s how you can help:
- Get the word out with Convoy. Click here to get a bundle to distribute in your area.
- Hold a meeting. Click here to contact a TDU organizer about having a meeting in your area. Be sure to include your phone number.
- Join TDU. Not a TDU member? Click here to join today. Already a member? Click here to order TDU membership cards you can use to ask other Teamsters to join.
Diana Kilmury went from being the first woman heavy equipment operator in British Columbia Local 213, to the first woman Vice President of the Teamsters Union.
Her story was made into an award-winning 1996 movie.
Watch her story and find out how Diana helped build TDU in its early years, spoke up for members on the Teamster Convention floor, helped win the Right to Vote, and changed our union for the better.
DVD Video: $10; includes shipping.
Click here to order your copy.
Celebrate the life and work of Ron Carey, Saturday, February 28 in New York.
Join family members, friends, Teamsters who served with Ron, labor leaders, journalists, and Local 804 members for a celebration of the life and work of Ron Carey, the first democratically elected General President in Teamster history.
This special event is being organized by supporters and friends of Ron Carey in conjunction with the Carey family.
Click here to download a leaflet with more information about the event.
Speakers will share their memories of the labor leader and union reformer who changed the course of the Teamsters Union and the U.S. labor movement and led the victorious 1997 UPS strike.
Save the Date:
Saturday, February 28
Sheraton LaGuardia East
135-20 39th Avenue
Flushing, New York
Event Co-Chairs: Daniel Carey, Ken Crowe, Diana Kilmury, Bob Muehlenkamp, Ken Paff, Pat Pagnanella, Tim Sylvester
Click here to download a leaflet with more information about the event, including directions and a list of event sponsors.
For more information or to RSVP, contact RememberingRonCarey [at] gmail.com
Note: A limited number of guest rooms will be available at a discounted rate for out-of-town participants. Call the Sheraton LaGuardia East and mention the Ron Carey Memorial Meeting to get the discounted rate of $129 + tax for a limited time. Call 718-460-6666 to reserve your room.
Send Your Remembrances & Photos of Ron
The Event Co-Chairs are collecting remembrances and photos of Ron to create displays for the Memorial Meeting and to produce a commemorative book for the Carey family.
Please participate by sending a few words about Ron and/or your favorite photo of him. You can send your words or photos via email to RememberingRonCarey [at] gmail.com or mail them to:
1773 E. 33rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Send a copy of the photo; originals cannot be returned.
Are you concerned about where our union is headed? Then this year’s TDU Convention is for you.
Join us Nov. 6-8 at the Cleveland Airport Sheraton.
- Meet Teamsters who are making a difference by enforcing our contracts, protecting Teamster standards, and running for local union office.
- Arm yourself with knowledge in over a dozen workshops led by Teamster officers, active members, attorneys, and union experts.
- Help shape our movement’s strategy and get involved in the movement to Dump Hoffa in 2011.
Make your plans now to join Teamsters from across our union. Click here or call (313) 842-2600 to register.
“The workshops at the TDU Convention give you real-life advice on how to protect your rights, win more grievances, and look out for your benefits.”
Chuck Deaver, YRC
Local 174, Seattle
“With all the bad news in the union, it’s no wonder some members get discouraged. I keep coming back to the Convention because I get to meet other Teamsters who are working to make our union better—and are in it for the long-haul.”
Katie Brutcher, Anheuser-Busch
Local 1149, Baldwinsville, N.Y.
- Bargaining in Tough Times
- Winning Grievances and Arbitrations
- Protecting Pensions and Benefits
- Running for Local Union Office
- Teamster History
- Legal Rights on the Job and in the Union
- And much more, including special meetings for UPS, freight, rail, waste, UPS Freight, movers, and African-American, Latino, and women Teamsters.
Click here or call (313) 842-2600 to register.
Are you concerned about the direction our union is headed in 2009? You’re not alone.
Teamsters across our union are concerned and angry about pension cuts, givebacks, and Teamster leaders who are missing in action.
Let’s make 2009 our year to set our union on a positive course. You can help. Here’s how:
Join Teamsters for a Democratic Union. We’re a grassroots group made up of members like you. Click here to join and become a part of our movement.
Get the word out. Convoy can help you keep members informed about what's going on in our union. Click here to get a bundle of each issue, or call TDU at (313) 842-2600.
Set up a TDU meeting. Get together with a TDU organizer and members in your area to talk about what we can do strengthen our union. Click here to contact TDU about meetings in your area.
Time to Get Organized in Freight
“Freight Teamsters have seen nothing but decline in our wages and working conditions over the past 25 years. 2009 could mean more of the same if we don’t turn this union around.
“Let’s use this crisis as an opportunity to fight for what we deserve. It’s time to stop belly aching and get organized. Call TDU and set up a meeting in your area. That’s what I plan to do.”
Frank Rogers, Yellow Roadway
Local 41, Kansas City
We’re Turning Our Local Around
“We used to have officials who kept us in the dark. Now our members are out on the front lines, taking on management and winning stronger contracts.
“I’m proud to be getting involved in turning my local around. Our members have made enormous progress in the last year.
“TDU can give you the tools to turn around your local too—get involved.”
Katherine DeSantiago, RotaDyne
Local 743, Chicago
Organizing to Beat Pension Cuts
“My local union is dealing with a serious crisis. Our pensions are frozen. Our officials are missing in action. And members feel forgotten.
“Last year another TDU member asked me to get involved in turning my local around. I found out that TDU is a great source of information and education. TDU members helped me learn what’s going on in our union—and how we can enforce our contract and fight for new pension rights.
“We’re making that happen here.”
Norman Garbarino, UPS
Local 355, Baltimore
Laying the Foundation For Change
The upcoming international election is only two years away. It’s none too soon to lay the initial foundation for the campaign.
We need to educate every member with cold, hard facts that the International cannot deny. Getting vital information to the membership—particularly newer, younger members—is very important.
We can put Hoffa and his cronies out to pasture. It will take hard work, long hours, serious fundraising, and other challenges along the way—but just think of what is at stake: a strong union that guarantees our job security and our future.
I had the honor of working in the beginning stages of Ron Carey’s presidential campaign in North Carolina. I am aware that things have changed since 1991, but the need for fair and honest representation, open dialogue with the rank and file, and the pride that goes with the Teamster name has not changed a bit.
Consolidated Freight, Retired
Local 71, Charlotte, N.C.
Local 804 members beat concessions and pension cuts, won new rights in their local bylaws, and organized to rebuild union power.
Local 804 members got an early start on building Teamster Power in 2008—by defeating concessions and pension cuts in December 2007.
Members held a series of rank-and-file meetings and launched a Vote No campaign—after UPS and Local 804 negotiators cut a concessionary contract deal that included pension cuts.
Members voted the contract down by three to one and UPS was forced to take the concessions off the table—including its demand to eliminate 25 & Out pensions for new Teamsters.
Winning New Rights
Members could have gone back to business as usual then, but they didn’t. Instead, they formed a rank-and-file committee called Local 804 Members United.
“We wanted to get to the root of the problem, one of which is the lack of information members were getting from our union,” said Jim Reynolds, an alternate steward and a founding member of Local 804 Members United.
Local 804 Members United launched a petition drive to change the Local 804 bylaws to require officers to keep members informed during bargaining and to report on the pension and health funds at every membership meeting.
They collected over 2,000 signatures on a petition to change the Local 804 bylaws and voted through the changes by a more than 90 percent.
Local 804 Members United have monitored the local’s benefit funds—and exposed serious problems to the membership.
An investigation by the group uncovered that the Local 804 Health Fund had lost $18 million in assets in just four years—and that Local 804 officials had diverted millions of dollars in contributions from the Health Fund to the Pension Fund without ever telling the members.
Using their rights under the Pension Protection Act, members have forced UPS and Local 804 to turn over financial documents that they had mismanaged the Pension Fund’s assets for years—putting members’ benefits at risk.
“The last couple of years have been a real wake-up call as far as our pension is concerned,” said Bill Reynolds, a package car driver on Long Island and one of the members who pressed the fund to release the documents.
Looking Ahead to 2009
“We all have a responsibility to leave our union stronger than it was when we got here. That’s what Local 804 Members United is all about,” said Tim Sylvester, a 29-year Teamster and Local 804 shop steward.
“Brown can’t move a package in New York City without a Local 804 Teamster: that gives us power. Our local used to use it to win top contracts and pensions.”
“Local 804 members used to feel that power. We want to bring the pride and the power back,” Sylvester said.
Working together, the members of Local 804 Members United are on the road to doing just that.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union is running a series of stories about Teamster members who made a difference in 2008. Click here to read more stories in our series.
You can help make a positive difference in our union in 2009. Click here to join Teamsters for a Democratic Union and become a part of our movement.