Are you concerned about our union's future and ready to get involved to make a difference? The TDU Convention is the place for you.
This year it will take place from Oct. 24-26 at the Cleveland Airport Sheraton.
Meet Teamsters from across North America who are enforcing our contracts and defending our benefits, getting members involved to protect our rights, and rebuilding Teamster Power.
Click here to register today.
Hope for Our Union's Future
“The members of Local 743 are turning our union around. It’s a big job and it won’t happen overnight. We’ve got to replace apathy with hope that by working together we can make things better.
“I found renewed hope last year at the TDU Convention. That’s where you go if you want to turn our union around. We have a lot of new people getting involved in our union, and we’ll be bringing them to the Convention this October.”
Larry S. Davis
Local 743 Vice President
Feeling Isolated? You're Not Alone
“I feel like I’ve been taking on UPS on my own for a long time-and I felt all alone fighting my own battles.
“Last year I went to my first TDU convention, and I absolutely loved it. I saw that I’m not alone—everybody was coming together with a common cause.
“When I came home I told the guys they have to come this year. See you in Cleveland.”
UPS Package Car Driver
Local 957, Dayton, Ohio
Teamster Education & Meetings
Workshops on Legal Rights on the Job | Pension Rights | Winning Strong Contracts | Strategic Grievance Handling | Safety | Proving Your Case for Arbitrators and Panels | Running for Office | and many more....
Plus special meetings for UPS, freight, carhaul, DHL, and other Teamsters.
Guest Speaker Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of the best-selling book Nickel and Dimed.
Barbara worked minimum-wage jobs as a waitress, hotel housecleaner, and Wal-Mart employee to research her book.
Members are lining up their vacation days now to attend the 2008 convention, Oct. 24-26 in Cleveland.
Click here to register for the Convention.
Contact TDU to find out more. Click here to send a message, or call (313) 842-2600.
Do you want to know more about how Teamster members can win strong contracts, protect our pensions and build union power?
Then register for the Working Teamsters Education Conference, Sunday, April 6 in New York City.
Workshops to include:
- Teamster Reform History and the Future of Teamster Power
- Strategic Bargaining Tactics and Contract Campaigns
- Teamster Pensions and the Pension Protection Act
- Ken Paff, TDU National Organizer
- Sandy Pope, President, Teamsters Local 805
- Ann Thompson, Pension Attorney
- Working Teamsters who have been mobilizing to win strong contracts, protect their pensions, and rebuild Teamster Power.
Register Today and Save
The Working Teamsters Education Conference will be held at the Borough of Manhattan Community College from 9:30 am to 1 pm on Sunday, April 6.
BMCC is located at 199 Chambers Street, one block east of the West Side Hwy. Click here for directions.
The conference is sponsored by the NY-NJ Chapter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
Registration is required, and will take place starting at 9:30 AM in BMCC Room S106. Register by March 28 and get complete conference registration, including lunch, for just $10. The walk-in registration fee is $20.
Click here to register online.
Click here to download a leaflet and registration form.
For more information, call 718-287-3283 or click here to send us a question.
For directions to the Borough of Manhattan Community College, click here.
Why did TDU get involved with this DHL contract?
Like many Teamsters, the members of Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) are concerned about the decline in our national contracts that we are seeing in the 2008 bargaining round.
Many times when contracts have been negotiated, including some previous DHL and Airborne contracts, TDU has not taken a position one way or the other. But the 2008 national bargaining round is very different: the Teamster leadership is giving back decades of Teamster gains.
Against the wishes of the IBT Freight Division, DHL bargaining was taken from the Division and handed over to Brad Slawson to give the corporation major concessions.
It’s not just DHL. At UPS, the International gave up the key gains of the historic 1997 strike victory when our union won new full-time jobs, stopped a company takeover of Teamster pensions and won record pension increases. This year, our negotiators let UPS eliminate the language that made the company create 10,000 full-time jobs every contract by combining part-time jobs—and they let UPS split apart the Central States Pension Plan which covered 44,000 UPSers in 25 states.
The union did all the giving—settling early and short. In freight, the Hoffa administration agreed to the most concessionary NMFA in Teamster history. In carhaul, the top union officials helped billionaire Ron Burkle take over the largest carhaul carrier and slash Teamster wages by 17.5 percent, breaking up the national agreement.
TDU members believe that our union needs to defend the national agreements that are at the heart of Teamster power.
So when TDU obtained Slawson’s first secret sell-out deal with DHL last summer, we immediately made it available to the members. TDU members at DHL began to spread the word, and a network of DHL Teamsters sprang up. Hundreds of DHLers have contacted TDU to get on our DHL e-list, share info, and make their voice heard. Since then, a growing number of DHLers have joined TDU.
How does TDU work with DHL Teamsters?
Teamsters for a Democratic Union has worked to provide information, a national network, legal resources and organizational help to DHL Teamsters who care about our contract and our union’s future. In February, for example, we obtained and made available the language of Slawson’s proposed deal that would allow DHL in the future to become a majority low-wage part-time operation. We have provided informational leaflets: some were issued by TDU, some were prepared by DHL members and then TDU helped design them and make them more widely available.
TDU has held educational meetings, defended DHLers who have been harassed by the company, and protected the right to a fair and informed vote on the contract. DHL Teamsters have access to see all the various supplements because of a court case won by TDU.
TDU is a resource for active and concerned Teamsters.
What about all those charges: TDU is communist, employer funded, etc.
Some Teamster officials have been saying those things for 30 years, and never once have they been backed up by fact.
Take one lie for example: “TDU is employer funded.” Accepting employer funding would be highly illegal, and the Teamsters Union has a large stable of attorneys to go after any such wrong-doing. They have made this bogus charge each and every election cycle from 1991 to 2006. What has been the result?
Each and every Election Officer—after thorough investigations with forensic accountants—has dismissed the charge in its entirety. The Labor Department has done the same.
It is not TDU leaders who golf with employers! In fact, in over 30 years of existence, TDU has never been implicated in any corruption. Our proud record stands in contrast to our detractors—many of whom ended up being charged with corruption, banned from the union, and/or indicted.
Some of the lies are just plain wacky. In February a DHL business agent in California posted this one: “TDU's true mission: to take control of the Teamsters and hand control over to the Flag Burning, Criminal Rights NOT Victims' Rights, Socialist/Communist wing of the Democratic party and ultimately merge the Teamsters into a larger Communist Labor group.” Wow. Was TDU behind the 9-11 attacks and global warming, too?!
Why do they fear TDU so much?
Because without TDU, Teamster members would have nowhere to turn for help. You could complain, but without a national network, organization, and legal resources, you would never be effective.
The DHL contract negotiations are a perfect example. Without TDU, DHL Teamsters would have never been made aware of the concessionary deal that Brad Slawson secretly negotiated behind the backs of the membership and even local union officials. TDU armed DHL Teamsters with the facts, helped members spread information across the country, secured the right for observers at the vote count, and more. In short, we secured a fair and informed vote—something that is not popular with the top officials who were trying to sneak through secret concessions.
TDU has a proven track record of uniting Teamsters to win positive changes—including the Right to Vote for International Union officers, majority rule on contracts and the Right to Vote on contract supplements, among many other reforms. We’ve organized Teamsters to win strong contracts and defeat givebacks, vote down pension cuts and win improvements, run for union office and oust corrupt officials.
Teamster officials who lie about TDU do it to avoid debating the issues and they try to demonize TDU because they want to keep rank-and-file Teamsters from joining together to push for changes in our union.
TDU is 100 percent pro-union and committed to winning strong contracts and building Teamster Power by informing and uniting the membership. Union officials have nothing to fear from a pro-union rank-and-file watchdog unless they have something to hide.
What does it mean to Join Teamsters for a Democratic Union?
It means you are willing to donate $40 to help sustain and build a movement of Teamsters for the future of our union. That is what it costs for a one-year membership. If later you don’t feel it was worth it, you didn’t lose much. But the vast majority who join renew the next year and the year after, because they see the need for an independent watchdog and information source in our union.
There is a reason TDU is the most durable rank and file movement in the history of US labor. We stand on principle and we’re non-corruptible.
TDU membership is confidential. We never reveal who is a member. Even some of Hoffa’s International Reps have quietly joined. Some of them see a direction they don’t like; and some of them just want to be sure to get TDU materials sent to them.
Most TDU members help spread the word where they work. That choice is yours.
To Join TDU, click here.
To find out more about TDU, click here and a TDU organizer will contact you.
Join Teamsters from across the country for the annual Teamsters for a Democratic Union Convention, Oct. 24-26 in Cleveland.
The convention will feature over 20 workshops for Teamsters who want to learn more about winning grievances, bargaining strong contracts, and protecting our benefits.
“TDU has the best workshops for Teamsters who want to turn our union around.”
Bill Zimmerman, President Local 206, Portland, Ore.
Workshops will include:
- Legal Rights on the Job
- Pension Rights
- Winning Strong Contracts
- Strategic Grievance Handling
- Safety on the Job
- Proving Your Case for Arbitrators and Panels
- Running for Office
- And many more
Many Teamsters are setting aside vacation time and making their plans to attend today.
Click here to download a leaflet about the convention.
Want to find out more about the convention? Click here to send a message to TDU, or call TDU at (313) 842-2600.
Teamsters are setting aside vacation time now to attend the TDU Convention this year in Cleveland, October 24 - 26.
“I attended my first TDU Convention last fall and I will definitely be back this year. At the TDU Convention you get a chance to meet rank-and-file members who are truly concerned about their fellow Teamsters and are willing to roll up their sleeves and work together to build up our union. The TDU Convention is the place to be if you’re a steward or active Teamster who wants to hear straight talk and learn proven strategies for taking on the problems we face in the trenches at UPS.”
Matthew Higdon, Local 728 Shop Steward UPS Package Car Driver, Dalton, Ga.
Make your plans to attend the Convention today.
Want to learn more about the Convention? Click here to send a question, or call TDU at (313) 842-2600.
When you have a problem at work or in our union, a little education can go a long way in finding a solution.
Our union is stronger when members know their rights and how to use them.
For over 30 years, TDU members have been setting up educational workshops and training Teamsters to know their rights, solve workplace problems, and build stronger locals.
“When members of our local tried to call our BA about a problem we were having, he took his phone off the hook. We decided to hold a rank-and-file workshop to discuss how we could solve the problem ourselves. We brought in a TDU organizer, and we put together a plan to make UPS honor our contract. Now we’ve won a promise from the company that the problem will be solved.”
Doug Carpenter , UPS Feeder Driver Local 29, Staunton, Va.
“Last year I attended the TDU Convention for the first time, and I was really impressed with all the workshops that are available. TDU is the place to go if you want to learn how to win more grievances or win a better contract. Now I’m bringing that knowledge back to the members in my local.”
Isidro Valdivia, Waste Management Local 396, Los Angeles, Calif.
New Pension Workshops Available from TDU:
The Teamster Pension Divide
A study of Teamster pension plans shows a growing “Pension Divide” with the new UPS Pension Plan paying the worst benefits in the country. What does this mean for you and your pension and what can Teamster members do about it?
Central States—After the UPS Pullout
What will the UPS Pullout mean for the tens of thousands of Teamsters who remain in the Central States Pension Fund? What can members and our union do to protect our retirement security?
Protecting Your Pension in the Age of the Red Zone
The Pension Protection Act is now in effect. What does it mean for you and your pension?
Click here to contact TDU about setting up a pension workshop in your area.
Other Workshops Available from TDU
Enforcing the UPS Contract
Find out how to use the new contract language and hear successful strategies for enforcing the agreement.
Organizing to Win a Strong Contract
Learn tactics that can unite members, increase your bargaining leverage, and help you win a stronger contract.
Legal Rights on the Job and in the Union
Use real-life scenarios to learn more about the ins and outs of your legal rights on the job and in the union.
Shop Stewards’ Rights and Strategies
Legal rights and effective strategies that active members can use to enforce the contract and defend members from discipline.
Putting Teeth in the Grievance Procedure
Don’t let management bog you down in the grievance procedure. How to choose your battles and use grievances to combat apathy and build unity.
Running for Local Union Office
Common mistakes and proven strategies from winning campaigns on how to run for office and win by planning a reform campaign.
Click here to contact TDU about setting up a workshop in your area. Be sure to include your phone number so a TDU organizer can contact you.
January 31, 2008: Numerous Teamsters have contacted TDU to complain about the fact that their social security number was printed on the mailing label of the Teamster magazine this month.
The International Union no doubt has been flooded with complaints over this blunder.
The IBT’s response is that this was a one-time mistake, and they have taken steps to insure that it will not happen again. We hope and trust that is accurate.
Building a Union That Fights for All Teamsters
“TDU members are leading the way to build a union that fights for all our members. It’s time for a union leadership that looks like our union’s membership. TDU’s Black Caucus is a place for African American Teamsters to talk about how we can get that done.”
Willie Hardy, TDU Trustee, Local 667, Memphis, Tenn.
Click here to send a question or a comment to TDU’s Black Caucus.
Want to get involved in the TDU Black Caucus? Click here to contact us form and a TDU member will contact you.
News from the TDU Black Caucus
November 5, 2007: Defending our contracts and saving our union was the theme this weekend at the 32nd annual TDU Convention.
Teamster members came to Chicago from across the country to discuss strategies and make plans for building a stronger union in the coming year. They were able to learn from experts and each other at 20 workshops.
UPS activists met to discuss turning out the vote in the contract vote going on right now and organize for the future. And freight Teamsters discussed how the rank and file can make its voice heard in the early freight talks. TDU’s National Rail Chapter and other groups were able to meet during the Convention.
The Convention also celebrated the recent election of Chicagoan Richard Berg and the Local 743 New Leadership Slate. Berg, a TDU member for nearly 20 years, will take office as president of the 12,000 member Chicago local on Jan. 1.
“The members of my local wouldn’t have a new leadership without TDU,” Berg told the convention.
TDU members elected TDU’s International Steering Committee this weekend. The ISC will serve as the board of TDU for the coming year.
TDU members and supporters donated over $29,500 to keep the Teamster reform movement going strong over the next year. If you weren’t at the Convention, you can donate by clicking here, or call (313) 842-2600.
The date and location of the 2008 TDU Convention have not yet been chosen.
"Enforcing our contract, reforming our bylaws, running for office: we learned it at the TDU Convention.”
Local 726, City of Chicago
The TDU Convention brings together concerned Teamsters who are building a rank-and-file movement to defend our contracts and benefits and rebuild Teamster Power at the local and International Union levels.
The Attack on Teamster Benefits
This year’s Convention will focus on what Teamsters can do about the attack on our benefits:
Protecting Our Pensions: Employers are trying to cut our pensions and even break out of Teamster funds. Teamsters and pension experts will look at the latest changes in our funds and pension legislation—and talk about what it will take to win this fight.
Winning Affordable Healthcare: Learn successful strategies from Teamsters who are bargaining strong benefits, winning affordable retiree healthcare and organizing for healthcare reform.
Meet and Strategize with Teamsters from Your Industry
“I’ve met some many great UPS activists by coming to the TDU Convention. It’s our place to network, meet new people and learn from other UPSers. I’ll definitely be there this year.”
UPS Package Car Steward
Local 243, Detroit
“Freight Can’t wait until 2008. Be in Chicago and help draw up the plans to strengthen and protect our contract.”
Tim Pagel, Yellow Freight
Local 988, Houston
The TDU Convention is the place to meet with Teamsters in your industry to strategize about contracts and contract enforcement
Special sessions will be held for Teamsters from:
- Public Sector
- Trade show
- And more!
Caucus meetings will also be held for African American, Latino and women Teamsters.
Click here to register online.
For more information or to register by phone, call the TDU office at (313)842-2600.