President Hahs speaks at IBT conference on organizing

Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa kicked off the Union's first-ever conference devoted to recruiting new members and growing the union on May 12. The conference was titled "Changing to Grow: The Future of the Teamsters Union."

"The Teamsters must focus all of our energy on organizing," said General President Hoffa. "When we have a high percentage of workers in an industry - we get good contracts. The equation is simple - more members equals better contracts."

More than 1,400 union leaders and activists from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico joined Hoffa, General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Keegel at the opening session.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) President Don Hahs, First Vice-President Ed Rodzwicz and General Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert attended, along with several IBT General Executive Board members.

President Hahs addressed the large crowd regarding the proposed merger between the BLE and IBT. The BLE and Teamsters are currently finalizing merger talks, with more than 35,000 BLE members expected to vote on the merger in the near future (see page 1 for details on the proposed merger).

The Teamsters, like all of American labor, continues to battle the downturn in the economy and a recent spate of corporate bankruptcies and plant closures due to unfair trade agreements.

(From the Teamsters.)



© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers