MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY-TREASURER
Steven P. Vairma
Steve Vairma's Column:
Supreme Court may be arbiter of workers' future
If American workers think of the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) as an esoteric body dedicated to the commonweal, they might want to think again.
As the court is the final arbiter for the most important of our nation's legal disputes, we should all be aware that its decisions can have momentous effects on American workers, both union and nonunion.
Past decisions on workplace issues have mostly been - but not always - made along party lines. Essentially, though, the political party with the majority almost always dictates the outcome.
In 1964 the Supreme Court majority opinion in Reynolds v. Sims (1964) ruled that state legislatures needed to redistrict in order to have congressional districts with roughly equal represented populations, a decision that organized labor had long sought. Unfortunately, recent decisions have not been so kind to working men and women, union and nonunion.
In 2010, Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit organization, won a Supreme Court case known as Citizens United v. FEC, which tossed out the corporate and union ban on making independent expenditures and financing electioneering communications.
It gave corporations and unions the right to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates.
The inclusion of unions in the ruling is irrelevant because - as those who supported Citizens united knew - unions have a finite amount of money for political contributions, while corporations have no such limitations.
In addition, unions are made up of people; corporations are not, but they received people status under the Constitution when the court ruled for Citizens United. So the corporations got the best of both worlds.
Before Citizens United, corporations outspent the unions in political contributions by about 5 to 1. Now according to analysts, they are now outspending labor by a 12 to 1 margin. The Koch Brothers alone outspent all unions by 3 to 1.
Another daunting decision was made recently by the Trump Supreme Court, which ruled that public sector workers - such as teachers, firemen, policemen and others - can give up union membership, stop paying union dues, and continue to enjoy the benefits provided by the union.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court did what anti-worker lawmakers and big business have sought to do for years - undermine the strength of the labor movement.
Because President Trump will soon make his second lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, it could be many years later before another justice is appointed. The two new justices giving the anti-worker element a 5 to 4 margin on the court.
And that portends a long and rough legal road for organized labor in any future cases before SCOTUS.
It could very well mean that if the anti-workers' element is allowed to maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November elections, the union busters will pass a national right-to-work law. The court would approve it in a nanosecond, immediately lowering workers' wages and benefits and gutting working conditions.
Be sure to register and vote.
TEAMSTERS MILITARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM - TMAP Click here for brochure information.
SOLDIERS AND FAMILIES ENJOYING TMAP BBQ DAY
Member Login Current Campaigns
This Web page provides the latest updates for the national contract, riders and supplements that cover about 3,500 Teamsters at DHL Express.
We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed
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!
This page provides the latest contract information to the 7,500 Teamsters—drivers, dockworkers and office staff—employed by ABF Freight System, Inc.
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 contributions of black members to the success of the Teamsters Union are numerous, varied and as old as the union itself. This month, the Teamsters Union spotlights some of those contributions.
- Connection Failure: This usually happens when the news feed URL is entered incorrectly.