This is what we should be talking about "Organizing"
Posted September 01 2011 - 06:33 PM
Imagine if every Teamster member walked over to a Fed Ex driver and shook their hand congratulating and welcoming them. Then saying something positive about their organization and the collective bargaining process.
Imagine if every Teamster could explain to a non union worker how they don't have to work in fear.
Imagine if non union workers knew that a vast majority of our members are eligible to retire, in their 50s, on thousands of dollars per month, with medical.
Imagine if we refocused all our destructive energy, stopped the bashing on the Internet and collectively campaigned helping workers to organize.......
How many members would we be able to organize?
Posted September 02 2011 - 07:07 AM
Posted September 02 2011 - 09:46 AM
Every member has benefited from collective bargaining. Some more than others.
As we sit here under attack from all directions there is one point most miss. The fact that union density has been hovering around 7% for almost 17 years and we still have great contracts with some of our members making more than twice their non-union counterpart. This shows the power of collective bargaining and even though we have been getting beat up we still produce.
The process is amazingly powerful for workers and we all need to make more pride in it. Help expand, help educate, help mobilize and grow.
Our next Training is October 15th. We look forward to the challenges ahead.
Posted September 02 2011 - 09:49 AM
Posted September 02 2011 - 09:54 AM
I want to know how to organize the unorganized. I want us to stay united as Teamsters after us rank-and-filer have chose our candidates.
Most of all I want us stronger than ever come the next convention!!
Posted September 02 2011 - 10:05 AM
I'm very interested in how the internet can be used to help us organize into the 21st c.
Thanks, brothers and sisters.
BTW: My apologies to Ms. Pope. May the best man or woman win!
Posted September 02 2011 - 01:06 PM
"Those who come out of intellectual curiosity may get a glimpse, but never a full comprehension of the ineffable bliss. It seems, with rare exception, that being willing to risk everything is prerequisite to the direct personal experience of bliss. The merely curious, or even ardently curious, never get off the emotional roller coaster, unless and until they just have to satisfy the inner itch and go full tilt into the mystic."
Posted September 02 2011 - 01:19 PM
It`s great that you want to get involved in Organizing. As a union member we sometimes forget what our brothers and sisters before us went through in order for us to have a contract. Now it is our duty to empower non union workers and give them the tools they need to get a contract. It is a very difficult, but rewarding process.
Regardless of who you are going to vote for in the IBT election, we cannot deny that James R Hoffa was one of the greatest organizers in the history of the labor movement. With that, I recommend watching the movie Hoffa by Danny DeVito. I would also recommend reading the book Hoffas Man written by Joseph Franco. Both the movie and book show an insight to Organizing. Do remember that the book and movie take place in the 30s - 60s, it was a different time. But they show the basics of Organizing.
I have organized with UCLA graduates and other folks who have read many books on Organizing, they thought they were experts. I could read a book on how to throw a baseball, but until I get a baseball and practice throwing it, all the reading doesn`t do me any good. Get invovled with your Local Organizer and volunteer some time with them, they`ll be happy to teach you the Organizing process.
Posted September 02 2011 - 04:59 PM
The Labor Wars: From the Molly Maguires to the Sit-Downs by Sidney Lens
American Labor Struggles 1877-1934 by Samuel Yellen
History of the Labor Movement in the United States (multi-volume set) by Philip Foner
The Enemy Within by Robert F Kennedy
Rebels, Reformers & Racketeers: How Insurgents Transformed the Labor Movement by Herman Benson
Mobsters, Unions and Feds: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement by James B Jacobs
The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor: Birth of a New Workers' Movement or Death Throes of the Old? by Steve Early
The Hoffa Wars: Teamsters, Rebels, Politicians and the Mob by Dan Moldea
The Teamsters by Steve Brill
Teamster Rebellion by Farrell Dobbs
Teamster Power by Farrell Dobbs
Labor Resource Books:
The Rights of Emploees and Union Members by Wayne Outten, Robert Rabin, Lisa Lipman
The Rights of Union Stewards by Robert Schwartz
FMLA Handbook by Robert Schwartz
The Labor Law Source Book: Texts of Federal Labor Laws edited by Robert Schwartz
Posted September 02 2011 - 10:12 PM
Sorry but TDU has educated far more non union workers on why not to be part of the Teamsters than they have helped Teamsters themselves. I have seen it first hand. I am glad you have had a good experience with them however, working in the trenches and organizing for the last 17 years I have seen them do more damage than a lot of union busters. I can't count how many workers I have struggled with while working various campaigns. False information and/or lack of correct information has fallen into the hands of organizing workers via TDU and I have witnessed with my own eyes how deadly it is.
Besides, some of us do what they preach and they are nowhere to be found while we educate and mobilize. I would love to see them work towards a positive goal for all workers, not just the ones they agree with politically. I have always welcomed them and always will.
It's about getting out there and actually helping not throwing stones.
Posted September 03 2011 - 05:37 AM
Posted September 03 2011 - 05:43 AM
Dedicated251, thank you for your ideas. I will check out the Labor Resource Books.
Posted September 04 2011 - 08:32 AM
Posted September 04 2011 - 06:03 PM
I know what the busters say about our dues. I never feel this way about dues. I make $7.00 an hour more than my relatives at Frito Lay and Bemis. The difference in pay vs. dues is one shift for me. Who am I to complain? Foolish.
****, I know there are problems with all unions just like there are problems in marriage or in government. I am not going to get a divorce or give away my rights as a citizen. My union membership is worth its weight in gold. I used to work in a warehouse for $12.00 an hour, after 8 years with terrible benefits. I never talked to my coworkers. We didn't have events. I never sat with my coworkers at a barbeque. Management won't encourage us to get together. Do you think in a nonunion shop they can talk openly about problems with pay and working conditions without fear? Do you think one of their best and brightest could sit across from management and negotiate for their fellow workers and win?
It feels good to be a Teamster. You'd have to pry my union card from my cold dead hand
Posted September 05 2011 - 12:46 AM
You combine the lack of organizing with the full on assult on unions in the media, deregulation, free trade, Corporations controlling the laws and their outright disrespect of it. now you have what you have.
The message in your post has been lost by most and every member should speak of their union the way you just described it.
In the 50s union density was at it's peak with 36% and the next generation inherited large organizations with a ton of power that took decades to build. Organizing and the strategies that promote it were not as much of a priority thru the following decades and unions as a whole did not do a good job of promoting our success. We assumed everyone still believed unions were as great as they are.
Some scandles of corruption, lack of a public prensence and the assault from big business(in the media) and the republican party for 30+ years has put us where we are now. An image that is far from the truth for most working people.
We all hear our own members tear us apart when the facts are as you state. We need to retool our culture to take great pride in what we have and when we disagree, do it respectfully not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Unions foster hope, courage, equality, power thru collective action with the worker almost always prevailing. Our tarnished image is undeserved and we need to fight to fix it. How many laws have we passed that millions of workers benefit from everyday, yet we fail to remind the world how we helped that industry, community or group of workers.
If every one of our members said what you said in your post everyday to non union workers, we would have the foundation that breads organizing. Keep up the great message and share it, engage in conversation and positive always follows.
Posted September 05 2011 - 07:37 PM
I agree, organizing is key.
Thanks again for steering the conversation to something that will actually help build our union.
Posted September 05 2011 - 07:55 PM
Posted September 05 2011 - 10:14 PM
What would this look like in the 21st c? I met a BA who said anytime he sees a worker who is being mistreated, is in slum conditions or makes a poor wage he gives him or her his card and lets them know they deserve better, have rights and can contact the Teamsters.
Posted September 06 2011 - 09:53 AM
Posted September 28 2011 - 10:56 AM