November 18, 2011: Our campaign to elect new leadership didn't succeed. But we can be proud of what we accomplished.
We put forward a positive program. We gave members hope for the future. And we got members involved in turning our union around. These are all things to build on for the future.
We put forward a positive program. Members are the heart and soul of Teamster Power. But too many of them have given up on our union.
Our campaign put forward a positive program for involving Teamsters and rebuilding our union's power:
- Close the concessions stand and fight for strong contracts by mobilizing the members, not closed-door bargaining.
- Enforce our contracts and defend our standards. We can't build for the future if we don't protect the foundation of our union.
- Stop writing blank checks to politicians. We've got to mobilize members on our issues and hold politicians' feet to the fire.
- Build stronger local unions by directing IBT resources and staff to assist local organizing and contract fights. Help locals coordinate contract fights and organizing drives by industry and market area.
- Build Teamster Power by involving Teamster members and local leaders. Hold meetings of UPS and the Freight Division, and local Teamster Power conferences for members. And develop new educational programs for members and reps.
These are good union-building ideas. Hopefully the Hoffa administration will adopt the best of these ideas. We will push in that direction.
We got members involved—and it made a difference. In areas where Sandy Pope supporters passed out leaflets and made phone calls, voter turnout was higher, the majority of Teamsters voted for change, and our campaign vote was much higher.
Just look at New York and New Jersey. Our campaign targeted 13 locals totaling 40,000 Teamsters in brewery, school bus drivers, grocery, UPS, freight, and more. And we won the overall vote in these locals thanks to a very active campaign!
Sandy Pope visited 29 local union areas in the Central Region, covering 150,000 Teamsters. In these locals, the majority of members voted for change.
Where our campaign organization on the ground was weaker, Hoffa did better, and the anti-Hoffa vote gravitated to Gegare's slate box. But where members were active, we often won, in locals in Memphis, Nashville, Cincinnati, Akron, Norther California, St. Louis, Charlotte, Spokane, Portland, Iowa, New YOrk, New Jersey and others.
We have work to do. It's natural to be disappointed in the results. But we can't let disappointment to become discouragement—there's too much of that in our union.
The labor movement and the country are at a turning point. Corporate America is coming after our benefits, our jobs, and our rights.
Our campaign talked about what we need to do to meet the challenge. It all starts with involving and uniting Teamster members. That's what we've been doing for the last year. Let's keep working together to fight for Teamster members and all working people.
Send a Message to Sandy Pope
This campaign has been powered by your ideas, comments, and suggestions. And we still need your ideas to fight for the future of our union. Click here to send a message to Sandy Pope.