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January 20, 2017
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Teamsters Local 455 Member Shop Steward Go Fund Me

Please consider helping the Holmburg family during this difficult time. Mike Holmburg is a Shop Steward and member of Teamsters Local 455.  Click link for more information. https://www.gofundme.


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Steven P. Vairma

Steve Vairma's Column:

It's Trump time, no more platitudes

As election night moved slowly toward midnight on November 8, it became clear that a huge percentage of the nation's working class was rejecting what for many years they had considered the lesser of two evils.

Post electon statistics reveal that union voters split almost evenly between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, which indicates that a sizable number rank and file workers believed a change in the political landscape was absolutely necessary.

President elect Trump has not yet been inaugurated so it's too early to tell if the change workers want is the change they'll get, but we try to be hopeful.  We will give the new president a fair opportunity to deliver on his promises to uplift the working class.

The Democratic Party has been considered an ally of working men and women since the Great Depression when President Franklin Roosevelt pushed his New Deal legislative program through Congress.  But the alliance has become less clear over time.  In the last 30 years, the Democrats' congressional record on labor issues has been inconsistent and sometimes harmful to working men and women.

For example, Democrats provided the key votes in 1992 to pass President Bill Clinton's North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) the first of several Democratically supported global trade pacts that are harmful to working men and women.  The U.S. position has been that such agreements create export growth.  But in fact they impact a lot more than exports - they increase imports and encourage outsourcing, which has cost millions of American jobs.

Democratic lawmakers were also instrumental in the defeat of anti-strikebreaker legislation that would have prohibited strikebound companies from hiring scab replacement workers.  And their failure in 2010 to adequately support the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have lowered barriers to organizing, ensured the legislation's demise.

Since NAFTA was passed, factories, mostly in Midwestern manufacturing states, have been shuttered and unemployment is high, wages have stagnated for all workers and their standard of living has taken a nosedive.

So, is it any surprise that many working men and women are disenchanted with the Democratic Party?  Much the estrangement of workers with the Democrats has occurred since NAFTA was passed as, simultaneously, the gap between rich and poor has widened and union density has diminished from 25 to eight percent of the nation's workforce.

In order to bring lost jobs back to the United States, Trump has vowed to dump the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and renegotiate old global trade pacts, such as NAFTA and others.

But it will be tough.  We believe his goal in limiting U.S. participation in world trade would be opposed not only by most Republicans in Congress, but also by influential corporate entities that support them.

Another of Trump's promises during the campaign was to embark on a massive program to rebuild America's infrastructure, the crumbling roads, bridges and other public structures that have been deteriorating for many years.

Such a venture might cost trillions of dollars, which could be funded by new taxes paid by the thousands of workers employed by the projects.  This, of course, does not follow the Republican congressional agenda, which includes a pay as you go balanced budget.

In the past, infrastructure projects were mostly built by union members working under prevailing wage laws.  We would expect the new administration to continue to value the expert workmanship and experience of union workers in the future.

President elect Trump said he would make America great again.  That will require more than the tiresome platitudes he expressed in the campaign, and it won't be done without support from the workers who voted for him.

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Current Campaigns
  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Negotiations for the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) are under way. On Wednesday, June 3, 2015 representatives from carhaul local unions met in Detroit to approve the contract proposals and the next day, Thursday, June 4, 2015 the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) exchanged the contract proposals with the employer group.

    The committee will work hard to protect members’ health, welfare and pension benefits, protect job security and other address other top priorities

    The National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) and its supplements expire on August 31, 2015. The national contract covers almost 6,000 Teamster carhaulers.

    In addition to protecting benefits and job security, other top priorities are wages, the grievance procedures and safety and health issues.

  • The IBT-Airline Division has established this page as a place to get up-to-date information about the Republic Airways Holdings (RAH) bankruptcy.  Please check here for the latest information about the bankruptcy.

  • 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 Teamsters Union represents more than 250,000 members at UPS and UPS Freight. UPS remains an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) despite the organization’s anti-worker and anti-union agenda that seeks to undermine and weaken worker protections.

  • This web page provides information on our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

  • Workers across the country at FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight are standing shoulder to shoulder to form their unions with the Teamsters to win a more secure future. Momentum is building with a first wave of victories with many more to come.

    There is growing worker resentment toward the companies after years of being treated unfairly. While the companies have suddenly made improvements since workers began to organize, workers know that without a legally binding contract the company can take these things away at any time.

    The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.

    But now workers are taking action and standing up for themselves by forming their union. It's a different era now. It's Teamster Time! LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Teamsters are been standing together to protect good jobs at Sysco and US Foods. Our solidarity on many fronts helped to defeat the mega-merger of the two companies, which would have put thousands of jobs at risk. But challenges remain as both companies refine their plans. Join our campaign to ensure these foodservice giants honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and help us bring more Sysco and US Foods workers into the Teamster family. LIKE our Facebook page, here.


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