Teamsters understand the value in union membership. Higher pay, better benefits, and a greater voice in the workplace are standards set by union members that won’t be given up without a fight, even after the Supreme Court’s decision in the “Janus v. AFSCME” case.
While it is true that this ruling may create temporary roadblocks, public employees throughout the United States need to remain unified. We cannot allow the progress working people have made in union to be slowed down because of lawsuits that disregard the value of public employees.
The Janus decision came about because anti-employee forces spent millions of dollars on lobbying and court challenges for over 40 years. Attacks from these outside groups, backed by secret donors, seek to eliminate the freedom of public employees to negotiate with their employer over the value of their work.
Many Teamster members around the country have held conversations with their co-workers about the impact of the Supreme Court decision to reinforce the value of remaining unified. Whether at the worksite or at the ballot box, members are fighting back against these attacks.
Public sector Teamsters have made it their career to serve their country and community, and any attempt to take away their freedom to join together is an attack on those who are the foundation of America.
Our middle class was built by everyday working people, standing together in union. The Teamsters honor that history by continuing the fight to give working people the promise of the American dream.
That won’t end with the Janus decision. The Teamsters will continue to organize, mobilize, and do whatever is necessary to achieve prosperity through collective action.
XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics.
This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes. Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.
XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.
Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”
Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!
Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!
The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.
This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office. Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill, a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.
This web page provides information on the ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since 1994, NAFTA has devastated working families, putting corporate profits ahead of people. What’s worse is that NAFTA has become the blueprint for all other trade agreements, from the way that it was negotiated in secret, to the bad provisions that have made their way into every agreement that has been signed since then. Now, NAFTA is being renegotiated and we demand that it be reframed to work for workers instead of corporate interests.
The Teamsters have stood in solidarity with worker struggles in other countries since our founding. With economic globalization, our ability to organize increasingly depends on our ability to build alliances with workers on a global scale.
More than ever, Teamsters are organizing and bargaining with multi-national companies. A key objective of our Global Strategies Campaign is to build strong alliances with unions around the globe who organize and bargain with common employers. Our focus is on workers in the emerging global supply chains – the infrastructure of globalization.
Globalization creates new opportunities for international worker solidarity. We seek common cause with workers around the world to build social justice for all workers and the communities in which they live.
The 19th-century robber baron Jay Gould once said, "I can hire half the working class to shoot the other half."Gould's vision of class warfare is being played out today in the shameful attacks on public employees. These attacks are secretly financed and planned by modern-day Jay Goulds who aim to keep their own taxes low. Some vastly powerful corporations and billionaires want to cripple all unions and turn America into a low-wage banana republic.
They're succeeding. Across the country, new governors and new legislatures are demanding cuts to jobs, pensions and concessions from public employee unions. Their demands are nothing more than payback for the billions of dollars that the ultra-rich have poured into political campaigns.
Scapegoating public employees has almost become a sport. In New York City, a city councilman accused sanitation workers of a deliberate slowdown in removing snow during the Christmas blizzard. It turned out that slow snow removal was actually caused by the layoffs of 400 workers and the failure to call a snow emergency quickly enough. (That's why actress Julianna Margulies thanked the Teamsters for digging out New York in her acceptance speech for a SAG award.) In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich wants to ban collective bargaining for public employee unions and get rid of the prevailing wage. In Wisconsin, Scott Walker suggests banishing unions for government workers. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he won cooperation from unions because he threatened "to take a bat out and hit you."
Christie's threat isn't funny to anyone who remembers the Memphis sanitation strike in 1968. All the workers wanted was to earn above-starvation wages and to be respected as human beings. Peaceful workers were gassed, dragged, arrested and threatened by armed National Guardsmen in tanks.
Only after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed while in Memphis supporting the struggle did city officials come to their senses and recognize Local 1733 of AFSCME as the bargaining representative for the sanitation workers. Just think where those workers would be today without a union.
It's time for a reality check. Government employees did not blow a hole in any state budget, including Michigan. Economist Dean Baker points out that shortfalls were almost entirely caused by the recession. "If revenue had increased in step with normal growth (2.4 percent real growth, plus inflation), state and local governments would have had an additional $290 billion since the start of the downturn," Baker notes.
Public employees didn't create a huge housing bubble. Wall Street did that. And public employees didn't cause the Great Recession through reckless speculation. Wall Street did that, too.
State governments didn't get $3 trillion dollars in loans from the Federal Reserve and profit from those loans by relending them. Again, that was Wall Street.
It's also important to remember, as economist Robert Reich points out, that the typical public employee's pension is only $19,000 a year.
These attacks on working families and government workers are nothing more than divide-and-conquer tactics aimed at weakening or eliminating all unions.
I hope my brothers and sisters in private-sector unions don't fall for them. Because after they've finished with government workers, they'll be coming after you, too.
James P. Hoffa is president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org