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September 02, 2014
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PRESIDENTS MESSAGE

 

By James DeMartino, President Local 177

 Recently, as most of you know, there has been an assault on the working class people in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

  These states are battling to keep their Collective Bargaining Rights which were fought for, and won over a century ago, thanks to the sacrifices of those men and women who had horrific working conditions and wages below poverty level. Teamsters everywhere owe their success and gratitude to these Brothers and Sisters. These men and women realized that if they stood together as one, the rich would have no choice but to come to the bargaining table and bargain in good faith.

  Big Business has been rewarded with huge tax cuts and bail outs,while some corporations pay no taxes at all, despite creating many of our economic problems. But the average worker has been given the bill and the blame.

  For example, in his fight against teachers and other public employee unions, Gov. Christie has told teachers that lay-offs and larger classrooms are their fault. Christie goes as far as to lay blame on our State's fiscal crisis solely on the behavior of Union leaders he called "Thugs", even though every Union Contract with the state was negotiated by both parties in good faith, and the State accepted and agreed to each contract.

  The Govenor has previously claimed that teachers have used students like "drug mules". Such insults and disrespect should be kept in mind when the same Govenor Chrisite simultaneously expresses a "love" for Collective Bargaining. Whether his true desire is to get on the road to a balanced budget for the state or to a new address for himself in Washington, DC, Union bashing is clearly the vehicle he's using to get there.

  In either case, the demonizing of Unions is both unproductive and dangerous for all workers and all Unions, public or private. If Gov. Christie can somehow convince New Jersey that a 3rd grade teacher is the biggest threat to the state, his attempts to steam roll all workers and residents of New Jersey will continue. The definition of Collective Bargaining marks agreements as it's end goal, and that agreement is predicated on good-faith. The posture and course of Gov. Christie's efforts reflect neither.

Christie has claimed that the Unions are trying to break the Middle Class. The Unions helped establish and still are the Middle Class. In fact, historically, the rise and decline of the middle class have mirrored the rise and decline of Unionization. Christie knows this. The picture he paints is not reality, but one that Big Business and Republican donors want painted. Despite the break from reality, the persistence of the message and its tie to finding the next "big thing" to run for President, creates a captivated audience.

  In other words, his plan is working. It's the oldest play in the book. Divide and conquer.Invent an enemy to distract you from the real threat. While the State and the Nation are presented with real problems and challenges, there is an effort to blame the people most affected by the problems. And so the strategy rolls on: pit friend and neighbor against each other. Worker against worker. Public against Private. Those words and efforts by the Govenor sound less like a leader interested in agreement and progress, and more like a dictator bent on division and chaos.

  We must look for the silver lining in these tough tmes and, needless to say, they have poked the bear, 1.4 million members strong, called the Teamsters!

  This has to be a wake-up call to all Unions and their families. Now is the time for all Unions to come together as one and recall their politicians. As you know, the Union has consisitently asked that all of our members participate in D.R.I.V.E. (Democratic, Republican, Independent, Voter, Education). This is to assure that the elected candidates in public office are friendly to the interests of Teamster and Union members.

  You have the power to stop this relentless assault on Unions and working families: VOTE THEM OUT!

 

 




Page Last Updated: Jun 23, 2011 (10:24:29)
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Contact Teamsters Local 177 at:

(973)923-7070

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  • Teamsters are standing together to protect good jobs as Sysco, the country’s largest foodservice provider, attempts to purchase its only national competitor, US Foods. Join our campaign to demand that Sysco and US Foods honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and protect the livelihoods of the men and women who make these companies leaders in the industry. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Taylor Farms workers in Tracy, California are standing up against poverty wages, disrespect and severe violations of their most basic rights. These 900 food processing workers in the Central Valley cut, wash and package salads and other products for the largest supplier of fresh-cut produce in the country. They feed the customers of major grocers, retailers and restaurant chains, including Walmart and McDonald’s.

    With a revenue of $1.8 billion in 2012, Taylor Farms can afford to treat its workers in Tracy with dignity and pay fair wages, just like their Teamster coworkers have at Taylor Farms’ facilities in Salinas, California. But when workers came together to organize with Teamsters Local 601, the company responded mercilessly. It fired, harassed, and punished workers for supporting the union. The company threatened immigrant workers with deportation, hiring an army of union-busters to run a non-stop fear campaign. During an NLRB election for union representation, Taylor Farms deployed a goon squad of supervisors to intimidate workers. The company’s violations were so egregious that the Labor Board impounded ballots while it investigates hundreds of Unfair Labor Practice charges.

    Workers in Tracy, following in the footsteps of labor leader and civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, are taking their fight to the public. The workers’ struggle for a better life for their families is supported by Teamsters in California and nationwide. We are building a movement for respect for the workers who feed America.

    ¡Si Se Puede!

  • The 2014 elections are right around the corner and this is your headquarters for the Teamsters Vote 2014 program. The page provides information on registering to vote, news about the Teamsters Vote 2014 campaign and a legislative scorecard that shows how your Member of Congress and Senators voted on the issues that matter to Teamster members and America’s working families.

  • Taxi drivers in Washington, D.C. are fed up!

    After years of unfair regulations and lack of respect, we are fighting back by forming the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association. Our association will be backed by Teamsters Local 922 and the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • 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.

  • 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.

 
 
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