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Teamsters for a Democratic Union
(313) 842-2600 l
Spring 2017 l Issue #298

Teamster members take aim
at contract givebacks, pension
cuts, and corruption.
Teamsters shocked Hoffa and the history. Their pensions are still at risk Teamsters United Corruption Probe Update
employers when a majority of mem- but they arent quitting. They are Fred Zuckerman reveals the next Top Hoffa officials have been busted.
ber across the United States voted organizing for legislation to protect steps for Teamsters United. Page 6 Why their apologists denounce TDU,
against Hoffa in the International their pensions and the pensions of instead of corruption. Page 3
Union election. millions of Americans.
Its a new day in the Teamsters. Contract negotiations are coming When I was a local union officer, none of
Fed up with stagnation and up at UPS, UPS Freight, and in the the officials talked about making our union
decline, members are coming togeth- freight industry, and the lesson is more democratic. But to make the Teamsters
er to beat contract givebacks, fight clear. Even when our International stronger, we need to get more members
benefit cuts, and organize for change. Union leadership is out of touch or involved. Thats why I joined TDU.
We can win if we get involved. selling us out, we can fight back and
Sandra Shoemaker
winif we get involved and get Local 142, Retired Trustee
Six thousand carhaul Teamsters
organized. Gary, Indiana
showed us the power thats in our
hands. When the Hoffa-Hall adminis- Thousands of members are step-
ping up and getting involved in
tration negotiated a sellout contract,
they Voted No, not once but twice. By contract campaigns and local union
organizing, they defeated wage cuts, elections. Were fighting anti-labor
legislation and taking on corruption TDU MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
won job security protections, and
landed a better contract. in our own union, too. Name ________________________________________ Local__________________
Teamster pension activists are also TDU stands with Teamsters Address______________________________________________________________
showing the way. They defeated a United and with members who are
City _____________________________________State ______ ZIP _____________
plan by the Central States Fund for organizing for change. Were not giv-
Phone ________________________________________ Company ______________
the worst pension cuts in Teamster ing in to givebacks. How about you?
E-mail _______________________________________________________________
q City q Road q Dock q Clerical q Warehouse q Construction q Production

Other ___________________
___ $40 one-year membership & subscription to Teamster Voice
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How to Beat Givebacks Fighting Anti-Labor Laws
Return to: TDU, P.O. Box 10128, Detroit, Mich. 48210
Getting organized to beat givebacks Will our union step up and fight these TDU membership is kept confidential. TDU solicits and accepts membership applications and donations only
and win fair contracts. Pages 4-5 & 8 threats to workers rights? Page 10 from Teamsters, retired Teamsters and spouses who are not employers.

Why I Went From Backing P.O. Box 10128, Detroit, Mich., 48210.
Phone: (313) 842-2600 - Fax: (313) 842-0227

Hoffa-Aloise to Joining TDU Website:

NY Office: 104 Montgomery St.,
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11225.
Phone: (718) 287-3283 - Fax: (718) 287-3287

I was a supporter of I reached out to the IBT TDU INTERNATIONAL

Hoffa-Hall at the Teamster Legal Department, regional STEERING
Convention last year. But VPs, even the Womens COMMITTEE
support wasnt enough. Conference leader on the Co-Chairs:
Dan Campbell, Milwaukee Local 200
Rome Aloise wants total Hoffa-Hall slate. I got zero Frank Halstead, Los Angeles Local 572
Michael Savwoir, Kansas City Local 41
control of every officer in help! So I reached out to Julian Tysh, New York Local 814
this area. TDU, and I found hope and Organizer:
Ken Paff, Detroit
When our Secretary- help. TDU is about solidarity, Trustees:
Gina Alvarez, Chicago Local 743
Treasurer Bob Blanchet After years of supporting and Teamsters helping Willie Hardy, Memphis Local 667
Nick Perry, Columbus Local 413
was dying of cancer, Aloise them, I learned that Hoffa- Teamstersand thats why
made a power grab on Hall didnt care one bit Ive joined TDU. Dave Bernt, Chicago Local 705
Kioma Forero, New York Local 804
Local 287. First came a about me as a Teamster. Dan Ginsberg-Jaeckle, Chicago Local 705
Merrilee Zerrougui Tim Hill, Spokane Local 690
Personal Rep. Next, he They only care about Joan-Elaine Miller, Philadelphia Local 623
moved to install a new prin- protecting the power bro- Business Agent John Palmer, San Antonio Local 657
Brooke Reeves, Rhode Island Local 251
cipal officer that answered kers, no matter how Local 287, San Jose
to him. We want our local corrupt they are. Zach Pfeiffer, Louisville Local 89
Stefan Ostrach, Oregon Local 206
leaders to answer to the Paul Kubal, Detroit Local 299
Copyright 2016 by Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
members. Contents may be reprinted by labor unions or rank and
file organizations for use in the promotion of union
democracy. Employers and all others may not use these
materials without the specific, written permission of
Teamsters for a Democratic Union. If material is used, its
source, TDU Teamster Voice, must be cited.


eamsters for a Democratic Union is a grassroots
T organization of thousands of members across North
America, working together to rebuild Teamster Power.
Protecting Our Benefits
TDUmobilized members to
Fighting Corruption
TDU takes on Teamster
win 25-and-out pensions officials who abuse members
Were truck drivers, dock workers, warehouse
and record pension increases trust by using our union to
workers, clericalsevery kind of Teamster, and retirees
in the 1990s. Now were advance themselves, not
and spouses, too.
fighting to protect those the membership.
We fight for good contracts and oppose concessions benefits from pension cuts.
and benefit cuts. We need to root out corrupt
Uniting Teamsters to protect officials, not make heroes of
We bring Teamsters together to enforce our rights our benefits and healthcare them or spend millions of
and to hold union officials accountable to the members. and win quality benefits for all Teamstersis a top dues dollars defending them instead of organizing for
TDU is run by Teamsters for Teamsters. Our leadership priority of TDU. Teamster power.
body, the International Steering Committee, is elected
each year at our TDU Convention. Education for Union Power A New Direction for Our Union
Not controlled by any official and answerable only Information is power. TDU is in full support of
to the rank and file, we are an independent voice for TDU sponsors educational Teamsters United to elect
working Teamsters. workshops to train Teamsters new leadership to end
For more than 40 years, TDU has been uniting how to overcome apathy, concessions, organize for
Teamsters to put our union to work for the members. involve members, enforce Teamster Power and respect
Find out what weve won and where we stand. their rights and develop as all members.
If you believe in rebuilding Teamster Power by union leaders. We are proud that six new
getting members informed and involved, then Teamsters International VPs won office,
for a Democratic Union may just be the group for you. and we are proud to partner with the Teamsters United
coalition to bring a new direction to our union.

Corruption Weakens Our Union

charges. They cant. The evidence is
Corrupt officials like Rome Aloise weaken our union overwhelming.
and so do the blind followers who apologize for his Instead, the Hoffa crowd trots out
corruption. the same old tired attacks, TDU
sucks. TDU is Teamsters Dividing
Teamster Viewpoint these favors during contract Yeah, right.
negotiations when he was supposed to Rome Aloise divided the union
By Frank Halstead be looking out for the members, not when he sided with the employers over
himself. the members.
As a shop steward, I work hard He broke the law to help a Hoffa- Romes apologists divide the union
every day to unite members and main- Aloise campaign donor cheat in a local when they side with a corrupt official
tain their belief in our union. Its a union election. who betrayed the members to line his
daily challenge. Rome negotiated a sham contract to own pockets.
Everywhere you look, unions are help an employer friend and golfing
under attack by corporations, by anti- buddy of Hoffas become a Teamster Your Day in Court
union politicians and in the media. so he could make money off of rigged Does every Teamster deserve a hear- The sell-out officials who make
I expect corporations to attack us. deals with Teamster benefit funds. ing on the charges against them? excuses for corruption betray our union
They are driven by profit and greed. Absolutely, and they get it tooas every bit as much as Rome Aloise did.
Corruption Helps soon as they stop their stall tactics. Hoffa wont act against corruption
Employers exploit workers to benefit
themselves. the Union-Busters Rome Aloise could have cleared his because he counts on power brokers
Its Teamster officials who rip off Corruption like this is pure gold to name a long time ago. Instead, he like Rome Aloise to deliver him votes
the members that infuriate me. Those the union-busters. They use these scan- stonewalled and delayed his hearing and campaign contributions.
officials are supposed to be on our side, dals to attack our union in organizing for over a year so he could keep Its up to the rest of us to defend
fighting with us, not selling us out. drives. collecting his multiple salariesall our union by rooting out corruption
Corruption undermines members three of them. whenever it raises its ugly head.
Documented Corruption support for our unionweakening the The Independent Investigations If you want to scam workers and
Its been over a year since Rome very foundation of Teamster power. Officer was appointed to the line your pockets, go work for the
Aloises corruption was exposed. The Thats why every honest Teamster Independent Review Board by Hoffa. employers. Let the truly honest, hard-
facts are documented in exhaustive denounces corruption without They picked their own prosecutor! working men and women run the
detail in a 122-page corruption report. exception. Every defendant would take that deal. Teamsters Union.
Aloise strong-armed members into But not the Hoffa crowd. Instead of Frank Halstead is a warehouse worker
accepting a substandard contract denouncing Rome Aloises crimes, Flunking the Corruption Test
and Local 572 shop steward at Ralphs.
offerand then he took gifts from the they attack the members who fight The Teamsters Union has 1.2 He is an elected co-chair of Teamsters
corporate executives he had just sold corruption. million members. In any organization for a Democratic Union (TDU).
out to. of this size, theres bound to be some
Rome pressured executives at Phony Anti-TDU Attacks corruption.
Costco, Southern Wine & Spirits, and Romes apologists dont bother The test comes when that corruption
UPS to hire his relatives. He sought trying to answer the corruption is exposed.


Rome Aloise Willie Smith Charles Bertucio

The hearing on the charges against Rome Aloise, Hoffas Executive Assistant Willie Smith is New corruption investigations swirl around the
International VP was concluded on March 14. charged with accepting an illegal employer gift in Teamster connections of investment fund owner
The judge, Independent Review Officer (IRO) the form of tickets to an exclusive Playboy Party Charles Bertucio. Rome Aloise negotiated a sham
Barbara S. Jones, will decide Aloises fate. Aloise at the Super Bowl. The tickets were obtained contract to make Bertucio a Teamster. Bertucio
faces expulsion from the union for signing a from SWS executives by Rome Aloise. The case bought access to Hoffa and top Teamster officials
sham contract, taking gifts from Teamster will go from the IBT to the Independent Review by taking them on golf trips to Europe, flying
employers and rigging a local union election. Officer, Judge Barbara Jones. Smith will likely be them on private jets, and giving them tickets to
Aloise also faces a federal criminal probe. ousted from the union soon. the World Series and the NBA Finals. Later, he
landed a lucrative health-care contract from a
board of IBT officials, even though he had
submitted the highest bid.

How We Can Win a Strong UPS Contract

UPS contract negotiations will begin later this Inform and Involve the Members
year. UPS Teamsters are preparing now to beat
I got involved with Teamsters
givebacks and win the contract we deserve.
United because I saw Fred
Zuckerman standing in the trenches
UPS is making billions. But in Strengthening with the members during the last
the last contract, Hoffa stuck mem- the Supplements contract fight while my officers
bers with contract concessions and
healthcare cuts. Members are focusing on were passing out propaganda on
Management is walking all over national contract languageand how good the contract was.
the contract. Harassment has never on the contract supplements, too. Through Teamsters United and
been worse. Every UPS Teamster is covered TDU, we can build a campaign for a strong contract at
Thats why 70 percent of UPS by the national contract and a local
or regional supplement. Some
UPS. I learned from the IBT election, when you talk to
Teamsters voted for Fred members at the gates, they want to know what's going
Zuckerman and Teamsters United UPSers even work under a third
in the InternationalUnion election. contract, called a local rider. on and get involved.
Working conditions and
Our numbers give us leverage to
Teamster rights can differ widely
Mike Stewart, Local 20, Toledo
defeat givebacks and win a better
contractbut only if were organ- under the supplements.
ized. For example, in some supple-
ments UPS can put any driver on a Ready to Reject a Bad Contract
The Power of No Tuesday to Saturday work sched-
In the past, the company has ule. But in the Western Region
supplement, only drivers hired Last time, we voted down our
been able to rely on Hoffa and Hall
after July 31, 2011 can be forced to supplement in Philadelphia but
to push through weak contracts.
But now it is clear that UPS work Tuesday to Saturday. Hoffa-Hall and Sean OBrien sided
Teamsters have the numbers to Were putting together a com- with the company and imposed the
reject another bad contract. parison of key contract language in supplement.
Any proposed contract has to be the supplements, so members can
This time, Hoffa and the
voted on by the members. push for improvements based on
language our union has already company need to see that UPSers
Members can make UPS deliver
won in other supplements, said are ready to vote down the whole
a contract that has improvements,
not concessions, or vote the con- Mike Prete, a Local 705 member national contract if necessary. That will give us the
tract down until the company gets and Chicago Teamsters United power to defeat givebacks and win the improvements
it right. Coordinator. we deserve.
Setting Bargaining Goals Contract Network Richard Hooker, Local 623, Philadelphia
Teamsters United has launched The problems that UPS
a UPS contract network to bring Teamsters face are very realrun-
together members, stewards and away harassment, ruthless man-
agement and sell-out International
local officers to set contract goals.
Hoffa and Sean OBrien are Union leaders, to name a few. Join the UPS Contract Campaign
not going to dictate to UPS But our power is real too. Become a contract campaign volunteer. Help
Teamsters what should be in the During the election, we built a
campaign network that got 70 per-
spread the word to every center in every local.
contract, said Teamsters United
coalition leader Fred Zuckerman. cent of UPS Teamsters to vote for u Sign up for contract updates so youre in the
This time, its the members change.
Now, our job is to build a con-
loop, not in the dark.
who have to live under the contract
who are going to set the bargaining tract network that can inform and u Send in your ideas for contract proposals so
unite UPS Teamsters in every
agenda, Zuckerman said.
local. Thats how well beat give-
members have a voice in negotiations this time.
Teamsters United and TDU are
organizing face-to-face meetings backs and win a good contract. u Become a contract campaign volunteer. Help
and conference calls of UPS spread the word to every barn in every local.
Teamsters to talk about problems
at UPS and the contract changes
we need.

Taking on Harassment & Unfair Discipline

Harassment and unfair discipline are out of control. Make UPS Pay for Harassment
It wont change unless we win tougher contract language
and grievance procedure reform in the next contract. I filed a harassment grievance
against a manager who tried to assault
Make UPS Pay Speed Up the me right in the center. I won, but all
that came of it was the company say-
for Harassment Grievance Panels ing they would abide by Article 37. If
Article 37 requires management At most grievance panels, if man- I had been the one threatening and
to treat employees with respect and agement and the union cant agree
attacking a supervisor, I'd be out of a
dignity and says that management on a disciplinary case, it gets moved
shall not in any way intimidate, on to another panel while the mem- job. The next contract needs to put
harass, coerce or overly supervise ber waits. teeth into Article 37 by making management pay for harassing
any employee. Its a lousy system that causes members.
But the language is toothless delays, encourages horse-trading
because the contract imposes no and bullies many members into Omar Moreno, Local 572, Gardena, Calif.
penalties for management viola- accepting unfair discipline because
tions. they cant afford to wait on a broken deadlock. Instead, when a case deadlocks,
Until that changes, harassment grievance procedure. This system is already in place in an impartial arbitrator breaks the tie
will continue to get worse. Theres a better way. Chicago Local 705, New York Local right then and there by issuing a
The new contract should spell out In discharge and suspension 804 and the Atlantic Area decision right from the bench. No
clear and escalating financial penal- cases, an impartial arbitrator should Supplementand it helps. briefs and no delays.
ties to make management pay for hear the case alongside the UPS and Management cant use the threat No single change can fix our bro-
harassment and retaliation. Teamster Panel members and cast of deadlocking to force a Teamster ken grievance procedure, but this
the deciding vote in the event of a with a good case into accepting a change is a no-brainer.
weak settlement.

Put Teeth in the 9.5 Language

If the International Union cant enforce the 9.5 9.5 Language that We Can Enforce
language, then what chance does a member have?
Were getting the message out
Ken Hall and Sean OBrien said filed multiple grievances with no to all the drivers in our center that
the last contract would be a break- results. they shouldnt be afraid to get on
through on 9.5 rights. Sure enough, Hall settled the
They mailed every UPS Teamster grievancesbut he settled short. the 9.5 list, and to enforce their 9.5
a summary of contract highlights When the grievance checks arrived, rights. But when even the
that promised: drivers got as little as dimes on the International Union settles short
l 9.5 penalties will be paid on dollar for penalty pay. on 9.5, its hard for members to
the first violation; Routes were not adjusted and
believe in the process.
l UPS is prohibited from piling drivers continued to be routinely
on extra work on the two days dispatched over 9.5 Sean Williams, Local 71, Charlotte
not covered by 9.5; and, Drivers stuck to their guns and
l the union can challenge under- continued to file grievances. Finally,
staffing in centers where 9.5 the center manager was replaced. Fight for Part-Timers
grievances are deadlocked. His replacement worked with the
drivers who continued to file griev-
Despite the promises, 9.5 viola- Part-timers need higher pay and
tions are worse than ever. Even Ken ances to adjust their routes.
Solidarity and persistence by the more full-time jobs. Members need
Hall cant get the 9.5 language
enforced. members accomplished what the to unite to make UPS deliver a fair
Last fall, Ken Hall made a sur- International Union could not. contract for every UPS Teamster.
prise visit to the UPS hub in Were getting the message out to
all the drivers in our center that they Tom Schlutow, Local 294
Charlotte to make a show of force
right before the Local 71 election. shouldnt be afraid to get on the 9.5 Albany, NY
Our Local President told us Hall list, and to enforce their 9.5 rights,
came here to deal with our 9.5 griev- Williams said. But when even the cial at UPS cant get the 9.5 lined and the loopholes are closed,
ances once and for all, said Sean International Union settles short on language enforced, that tells you the management will continue to over-
Williams, a package driver. 9.5, its hard for members to believe language is broken and needs to be dispatch drivers and walk all over
The 9.5 grievances had piled up in the process. rewritten. the contract.
for months. Many drivers had each When even the top Teamster offi- Until the 9.5 language is stream-


An Action Plan for Teamsters United
Guest Column by Fred Zuckerman
under the national contracts voted for Teamsters Teamsters United is also helping members
United, including UPS, freight, carhaul, United who are running for office in local union
Airline mechanics and rail Teamsters in the elections.
We didnt form Teamsters United just to win BLET and the BMWED. The IBT election showed that many local
a union election. I am not backing down and abandoning these officers were out of touch with the members.
Our goal was to unite and mobilize Teamster members. These officers face a choice: they can stand
members to rebuild our unions power. That When the International Union is taking on with their members or they can find themselves
remains unfinished business. employers and corporate politicians, I will be replaced by new leaders who will.
Teamsters United is continuing the fight. all-in to help that fight. Teamsters United is about more than any
Hoffa may have been sworn in for another But Ive known Hoffa too long to fall for candidate, slate or election. Its a movement of
term as General Presidentbut members have empty promises and phony calls for unity. I will Teamsters like you working together to save our
made it clear that he is not our leader and we not line up behind corruption or concessions. unionand we are just getting started.
dont trust him to negotiate our contracts or Thats not unity. Thats selling out.
Fred Zuckerman is the President of Teamsters
protect our benefits. Teamsters United is making new action plans Local 89 in Louisville, one of the largest and
Most Teamsters in the U.S. voted against to fight for working Teamsters. most powerful locals in the Teamsters, and the
Hoffa and it was an absolute landslide among We are broadening our coalition. We are unit- leader of Teamsters United.
members whose contracts and benefits are ing members to oppose contract givebacks, take
negotiated by the International Union. on corruption, and defend our healthcare and
More than 70% of Teamsters who work pensions.

Teamsters United International Union Vice-Presidents

Voice of the Members, Not a Rubber Stamp

Members who arent in lockstep Teamsters who are fed up with

with Hoffa finally have a voice corruption, concessions and pen- IBT Election Protest Update
in our International Union sion cuts made their voices heard In mid-February the Election Supervisor rejected the post-election
leadership. at the ballot box, and now their protests of Teamsters United and Teamsters for Democratic Union. TU
Six Teamsters United leaders voices should be heard at the and TDU then appealed to the Election Appeals Master (EAM).
have been sworn in as the IBT General Executive Board. One key issue is the huge sum of dues money that the Hoffa
Vice Presidents for the Central and Our job is to be the voice of administration used to delay the corruption investigations, to benefit the
Hoffa-Hall slate.
Southern Regions. the members and to report back to
On March 28, the EAM remanded that issue back to the Election
Hoffa still controls 18 of the 24 them, said Kim Schultz. Supervisor for further review.
seats on the General Executive Members want communication Teamsters United is moving ahead by organizing to win good con-
Board, and the three International and transparencyand thats what tracts, defend members benefits and pensions, and help members run
Union Trustees. they can expect from us. for local union office.
Watch for updated information.

Education for Union Power

Teamsters United and TDU are teaming up to hold educational
trainings for Teamster members.
Featured workshops include grievance handling, dealing with
difficult supervisors, beating apathy and getting members
involved, organizing to defend our contracts and benefits, and
Upcoming trainings are being held in Los Angeles, New York,
and New England.
For more information, or to set up a training in your area,
contact Teamsters for a Democratic Union at 313-842-2600.

A strong union starts with stewards and members who know our rights and how
to enforce them. At these workshops, you get training from experts who know the
ropes and you get to share strategies with Teamsters who face the same problems.
Kioma Forero, UPS, Local 804, New York

Fight for the Contracts We Deserve Hope for the Future

Over 70% of UPS Teamsters Hoffa has given up on freight
voted for Teamsters United. Teamsters. Teamsters United
We need to mobilize those gives me hope for the future.
numbers to oppose givebacks Were bringing Teamsters
and fight for the contract we together to fight for our contract
deserve. and pension and rebuild union
Daniel Jaeckle-Ginsberg standards in our industry.
UPS, Chicago, Local 705 Kevin Koubeck, ABF
Local 407, Cleveland

Support the Teamsters United Raffle

Send Hoffa a message that members will continue to Tickets are
fight corruption and contract givebacks. sold in books of
Teamsters United is launching new campaigns to five. Five tickets
defeat givebacks, win strong contracts, and help mem- cost $20.
bers run for local union office. Individual tickets
Members are holding a raffle to fund Teamsters cost $10.
United and these campaigns. The drawing will be held on Sunday, June 25.
First prize is $1,000 or a 55 LED HD Smart TV. You can buy a ticket online at
Second prize is $500 or a leather Teamster jacket.
Third prize is $100 or a Teamster watch. Or order books of tickets to sell at

Carhaul Teamsters Show How to Win:

A Guide for Freight, UPS, and UPS-Freight Teamsters
In March, carhaulers voted on their national contract for the third time, reports from carhauler leaders such as Fred Zuckerman, John Thyer of St.
and they have passed on a valuable lesson to some 300,000 Teamsters Louis Local 604 and Bill Frisky of Cleveland Local 964, and ask ques-
under the UPS, Freight and UPS Freight contracts. tions and discuss contract issues. A national network, involving members
In the first vote, carhaulers voted NO by 87%, and in doing so they from all carhual locals, worked together.
defeated big wage concessions. In the second vote, carhaulers voted NO National coordination was key to focusing on the major issues, uniting
by a lesser margin, and improved job security language. Two big wins. the rank and file, and standing up to lies. Each time, the Hoffa adminis-
tration announced that a NO vote meant a strike. That lie didnt work,
How Did They Do it? because members were informed and united.
They won a better contract despite having a national bargaining com- The members have the powerand if we are organized we can use it.
mittee that was completely out of touch with the rank and file. The rank Plans for UPS, UPS Freight and Freight are being made now, so get in
and filewith the leadership of Teamsters Unitedtook control. touch to get involved. Call 313-842-2600 or email
They held national conference calls of up to 1000 carhaulers to hear

Freight Members are Ready to Fight

The votes on the last freight contract showed members are ready to fight.
We need to build off of those votes with a plan to win. That starts with
enforcing contract language and winning grievances at the panels. It also
means taking a stand for no more givebacks. We need to demand action from
the International for a contract campaign that shows ABF and YRC manage-
ment that our union is gearing up to win what we deserve.
Marcus Bias, YRC
Local 705, Chicago

Carhaul Beat ConcessionsYou Can Do it Too

The carhaul contract isnt what we deserve, but its far better than the first
two deals we rejected. With nobody standing up for us on the Hoffa negotiat-
ing committee, we built a solid majority against concessions. We did it with
one-on-one conversations, conference calls, and using social media. It was
the working Teamsters who won a decent contract and thats the important
lesson to learnyou can do it too!
Paul Kubal, Jack Cooper Transport
Local 299, Detroit

UPS Freight: Lets Get Organized to Beat Givebacks

Were a little over a year out from our next contract. We need to learn
from what was accomplished in carhaul. They got organized nationally to
beat back givebacks. Nows the time to get that kind of networking and
communication going at UPS Freight.
Frank Gunderman, UPS Freight
Local 728, Marrieta, Ga.



Over the past three years, the Teamster pension protection movement has
done a tremendous job: this grassroots movement stopped the Central States
from slashing pensions, caused an investigation of the fund, and built political
support far and wide. But can we win real pension protection?
We think we can.

We can win because the pension protection move- the so-called orphan pensions; that is, pension getting more activethey took an aggressive stand
ment is not just about Teamsters. Its about the nearly credits owed from companies that ran off-shore, went on the recent health care bill to defend Medicare and
two million American retirees currently in serious nonunion or bankrupt. In 2017, other legislation will oppose the threatened cuts to seniors.
danger of losing their pensions. Its about threats to be considered. The other element of every successful grassroots
other pensions, and to social security and Medicare. The NUCPP, led by Mike Walden, is in the midst movement, from the civil rights movement to the
And the threat of a financial crisis if millions of fam- of a range of talks with allies and Congressional rep- fight for a decent minimum wage, is a cause that is
ilies lose their buying power. resentatives and staff, as well as other stakeholders, just, that fair-minded people will support.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that with the goal of leading to real funding solutions that We need to take our cause to the American people:
the average household income of an American age 75 would protect participants from the attacks we face we are not asking for a bailout, we are asking for
is $34,097 and the average expenses exceed that, at from the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act what we earned and deserve.
$34,382. If those figures get worse, we will face a (MPRA) of 2014.
mega crisis: foreclosures, old-age homelessness, and The problem is that with the current make-up of A Winning Strategy
health care costs exploding. Congress and the presidency, a renewed KOPPA or First, put the blame where it belongs. Hard work-
We can win, with allies and with a smart strategy. any other proposed legislation may have a tough time ing truck drivers and trades workers and teachers
finding a majority and passage. who earned and were promised a pension are not the
Our Pension Movement problem. Wall Street and runaway corporations
Its important to remember that our fight started How Can We Win? caused the problem.
when a carload of retired and active Teamsters trav- First, we need to keep building our movement. And averting a pension crisis will help protect our
elled to Washington in late 2013, to attend a hearing Pension Protection Committees need to continue to economy for all Americans. We cannot afford anoth-
where Tom Nyhan told members of Congress that meet, grow, and organize actions or events. The er 2008 collapse.
Central States would go broke within ten years and NUCPP is committed to continue to help network Second, propose real solutions that broadly benefit
needed new laws to allow the fund to slash pensions. these committees and be the voice for finding a real not just Teamsters but all seniors and all of society.
Brother Alex Adams, retired from Cleveland solution that prioritizes working and retired l Make the Pension Benefit Guaranty
Local 407, spoke to the media there. Teamsters as well as all others facing pension cuts. Corporation (PBGC) a real protection, just as potent
TDU called meetings in Cleveland-Akron and These committees are reaching out to active as the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)
Milwaukee in early 2014, then encouraged the for- Teamsters and local unions to stand behind the pen- is for folks with millions in the bank. The FDIC is
mation of independent and broad-based efforts that sion fight and make resources available for the fight. backed up by the US treasury, but the PBGC is not.
grew into a network of over 60 committees that last A quarter million current Teamster retirees are That disparity between insurance protection for the
year formed the National United Committee to threatened with cuts. The Central States Fund has wealthy but not for workers must end.
Protect Pensions (NUCPP). 200,000, but Upstate New York and NY Local 707 l Go on the offense. Social Security should not
These committees became the backbone for turn- are also in this fight, and no one is safe. The New only be defended, but improved. Raise the FICA cap
ing out hundreds and then thousands for meetings England Fund has no cuts on the horizon, but its to require the wealthy to pay their fair share into the
with Ken Feinberg and the U.S. Treasury reps. endangered too. social security fund to protect its future. Increase
Pension activist leaders like Mike Walden from Ohio, The June 2016 IBT Convention passed a resolu- benefits and protect the cost of living protection.
Sherman Liimatainen from Minnesota, Bob Amsden tion in support of the pension fight. Nine months And fight to improve and expand Medicare.
and Bernie Anderson from Milwaukee and so many later, its hard to see what the Hoffa administration The Teamster pension protection movement needs
more all across the Central and Southern regions, has done to implement that resolution. We need to keep on keepin on. Keep doing outreach. Keep the
have made Congress, the IBT and companies like Hoffa and the IBT to get fully on board with support pressure on Congress. Andjust as important
UPS sit up and take notice. for the movement. keep looking for allies to broaden our support.
That small carload from northeast Ohio morphed We need to reach out to our allies. Every success- It may be a tough road in the short run, but all suc-
into a movement of thousands that beat back the ful grassroots movement wins by broadening sup- cessful movements have a third ingredient: they stick
Central States Funds drastic cuts. port, and winning enough allies to have real power. with it, they dont give up and they dont back down.
The Pension Rights Center has helped us build ties Teamsters are known for those qualities. Thats how
Finding Solutions with other unions like the Mineworkers and we can win.
The Keep Our Pension Promises Act (KOPPA) Machinists and other important allies like the AARP.
pointed the way: provide real PBGC protection for The AARP is critical in this fight. And they are

Fighting Anti-Worker Laws

Employers and corporate politicians are pushing anti-labor legislation from another chance to implement right to work across
the entire public sector.
State Legislatures to Capitol Hill. Teamster members and our union need to
be ready to take action to meet these growing threats. Prevailing Wages
Anti-worker politicians at both the national and
Although national right-to-work legislation may state level are taking aim at Teamsters and other
Right to Work For Less
pass the House, it is seen as dead-on-arrival in the construction workers by attacking prevailing wage
Bills have been introduced in both houses of laws.
Senate because a filibuster by opponents will keep
Congress to amend the National Labor Relations A bill has been introduced in Congress that would
the bill from ever coming to a vote.
Act to enact Right-to-Work nationwide in the repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires the
The proposed legislation is a menace, but at the
private sector. prevailing wage rate be paid to workers on
federal level its a political move to promote its
It would also apply to over 100,000 Teamster rail federally-funded and federally-assisted construction
passage in more states.
and airline workers covered by the Railway Labor projects and public works.
Act. Public Sector Right to Work A prevailing wage is the hourly wage paid to a
Right to work allows some employees to be majority of workers in a specific area for a given
The public sector is a different story. There, right
freeloaders and take all the benefits of union trade or occupation. Prevailing wages typically
to work is likely to be instituted nationwide via the
representation without paying for them. include benefits and overtime pay.
Unions still have to represent and bargain con- Studies show that eliminating prevailing wages
Last spring the Supreme Court was poised to use
tracts for members and non-members alike. But cuts construction pay by ten percent.
the Friedrichs case to overturn long-standing
under right to work, non-members dont have to pay Anti-labor politicians want to make overturning
precedent and eliminate the right of public sector
any fees for union representation. Davis-Bacon a condition of their support for federal
unions to collect agency feesa fee charged to non-
Employers and anti-labor politicians promote infrastructure spending.
members for the cost of representing them and
right to work under the guise of freedom and choice. The fight against the Davis-Bacon Repeal Act
negotiating their contracts.
But the real goal is reducing the power of unions by will again come down to the Senate and to the state
But after Justice Antonin Scalia died, the remain-
gutting labors finances. level where employers and anti-labor politicians are
ing justices deadlocked.
The law should really be called Right-to-Work- teaming up to strike down prevailing wage laws for
Now, cases similar to Friedrichs are making their
for-Less. Average wages are lower in the 28 states state-funded projects.
way through the court. The Supreme Court will have
that have enacted it.
Raising the Minimum Wage
Organizing Against Right-to-Work Income inequality is on the rise and so is support
for raising the minimum wage.
The International Union needs to take on the right-to-work Much of the fight has taken place at the state and
threat and to support locals where right-to-work is already a reali- municipal level. Seven states and 18 cities passed
ty. In Iowa, weve dealt with right-to-work for years. You need to minimum wage hikes in 2016ranging from
get the local and stewards to have a plan for talking with each $10.10 to $15 an hour.
new-hire about the role of the union. Its not easy but a conversa- The federal minimum wage is a miserable $7.25.
tion or two usually gets it done. At UPS, we have a great track Employer groups have pushed through legislation
record with getting package drivers on board. in several states to ban cities from raising the mini-
mum wage above the state level.
Todd Hartsell, UPS Steward, Local 90, Des Moines Unions and community groups are campaigning
for minimum wage increases and laws to require
Business As Usual Wont Cut It paid sick leave, fair scheduling and paid paternity
Corporate politicians are attacking Teamsters and workers rights. Starting pay under the Teamsters largest contract
Hoffa and the IBT need to wake up and get going. Lip service and is just $10 for UPS part-timers. With fast food work-
business-as-usual wont cut it. Our union needs to be doing a lot ers winning $15 an hour, its time for our union to
more to mobilize the ranks and put pressure on our elected repre- Fight for 15 and higher wages for every part-timer at
sentatives. The pension fight has shown what real grassroots UPS and for all low-paid Teamsters.
organizing looks like. Taking Aim at Organizing Drives
Al Wilkins, YRC (Retired), Local 480, Nashville A new bill proposed in Congress would make it
easier for employers to fire union supporters.
Called the Truth in Employment Acta name
Teamsters Need to Take a Stand right out of George Orwells book 1984the law
would allow employers to discriminate against pro-
Hoffa and the IBT need to take a stand for construction union employees, called salts, who take a job with
Teamsters for a changeand the attack on Davis-Bacon and the goal of helping workers organize a union.
prevailing wage laws in the states is a place to start. This is a New appointees to the National Labor Relations
chance to rally working Teamsters in our industry and fight back Board are expected to revisit changes made to
for a part of our union that doesnt get the support we need. NLRB rules that sped up union elections and made
it harder for employers to delay elections while they
Carl LeDonne, Construction, Local 341, Pittsburgh mount union-busting campaigns.


How you present your grievance can mean the difference between winning or losing.
Youve filed a good grievancebut the work needed to be done to win it has
just begun. Just having the facts and knowing
How you present your grievance can mean the difference between winning or a violation took place isnt enough.
losing. Put yourself in managements shoes
The timing and kind of grievance meeting you have will depend on your con-
tract. The contract also determines who in management you will be dealing with.
when youre getting ready to present
But the skills used around presenting grievances are universal. your grievance. What are the
Whether youre a steward or a member with a grievance, the following tips strongest arguments they could
will help you prepare to meet with management. make? Are there holes in your case
Preparation Checklist they might to use to trip you up?
Be prepared before you go into the office with management. Here are some of Jose Lizarraga, Republic Services
the things to consider: Local 396, Los Angeles
l Have you documented your case? You may do this yourself or involve the
steward, other members or the business agent, depending on the grievance.
l Management presents new evidence or claims to have evidence but
l Have you made an evidence list, including names of witnesses? wont present it. This is why information requests are so important
l Have you gotten statements in writing from witnesses? we dont want surprises.
l Have you or the union made a formal information request, in writing?
l Have you gotten managements side of the story? What evidence do they Tips for Grievance Meetings
have? If you were management, what would the best argument against the
1. Set Ground Rules.
union be?
Union ground rules: A good steward or business agent should agree to some
l What are the weak points, if any, in your case. Dont wait for management ground rules. A common one is: never contradict what another union person says
to point them out. Be prepared.
or agree to a management proposal without stopping for a caucus (a private
Roadmap for Presenting a Case meeting among just the union people).
Groundrules for the meeting: the union has the right to bargain over how the
Review the issues, facts and arguments that you think will be most helpful to meeting is conducted, where it takes place and other details. This is important if
your case. management is trying to gang up on a member or otherwise set the tone for the
l Problems. What are the main problems that the grievance is trying to meeting.
address? In what order will you present these problems? 2. Ask Questions and Get Information.
l Facts. Who are your witnesses? What documents do you have? Are there Part of your job in a hearing is to find out what management is up toand
pictures or diagrams that would be helpful? what their arguments are. This is especially important with grievances that may
l Chronology. Write out the dates of events, in order, and of documents that end up at the panel or in arbitration.
relate to the case. 3. Get Agreements In Writing.
l Arguments. Write them out. Put them in the order you will want to present You may not do this for every little grievance, but definitely do it with disci-
them. pline cases and contract interpretation issues. If management refuses to sign-off
l Remedies. Be prepared to discuss remedies that will solve the grievance. on an agreement, write your own understanding of the terms and give or send it
to them.
Common Problems and Surprises 4. Take Control.
Management will try to trip you up. If youre representing a member, Your goal should be to control the tone, direction and outcome of a grievance
sometimes stories can change. If youre being represented by a steward or rep, meeting. Here are some basic suggestions:
sometimes weak ones will lose their backbone in the meeting. Ask questions. One strategy is to get management talking and keep them
You have the right to call a caucus so that the member, steward and Union Rep talking. Force them to explain actions. Take note of lies or discrepancies.
can step outside the office and get on the same page. Take your time. Set the pace. Management likely considers grievance
Anticipate obstacles and use the caucus to stay focused on your arguments. meetings a waste of time. Take the time needed to address everything.
l Changing stories. A witness tells the story as they first told it to youthen Dont get angry. Being aggressive and firm is good. But do not let manage-
adds something or tells another part of the story that you have never heard! ment make you lose control when you dont want to.
What can you do? Call for a caucus. The time out will give you a chance to Do get angry. Stewards have the right to go head to head with management
regroup. and argue aggressively.
l Agreeing with management on certain pointsor suddenly accepting If the contract is helpful, make management read the contract language out
an inferior offer to settle the grievance. Stay away from agreeing to any- loud or read it to them.
thing management says, unless you have caucused and decided what kind Take notes. Someone should be prepared to take written notes. Initial meet-
of settlement would be acceptable. ings are often used to find out where management stands, what evidence they
l The steward or union representative will not stand up to management. have and so on. Write down key management statements. After the meeting take
In the short-term, ask for a caucus and take them on the side to discuss the a minute to jot down anything you may have missed. Make a note of the date and
problem. Over the long term, you may need to organize to replace time and who was present.
ineffective representatives.
October 27 - 29 u Chicago

Ill be at the 2017 Convention!

I have attended two TDU conventions and was very
impressed by speakers and workshop presenters. I left the
conventions with new tools to better assist the members.
The TDU convention is a great way to meet new people
and share ideas.

Kim Schultz, Teamster Vice President, Southern Region

Steward Education u Expert Attorneys u New Workshops

Organizing Skills u Meet Teamster Leaders and Activists
Share Ideas u Build Solidarity
REGISTER EARLY AND SAVE! If you register by Sept. 1 you can save $25 off your registration.
Other discounts apply. Go to
Call TDU at 313-842-2600 or email for more information.