A message from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa
The Teamsters Union and our partners in the Change to Win Coalition are working to give workers a stronger voice in the workplace. This group of seven growing unions was created to be an agent of change that will work to strengthen the power of working Americans. We can no longer afford to conduct business as usual while anti-union forces grow more powerful. We are planning new, coordinated organizing campaigns to empower working men and women and grow the labor movement.
The members of the Teamsters Rail Conference are an important part of our organizing plans. You are on the front lines working alongside men and women who would benefit from being Teamsters. This is especially true of the many unorganized workers on short lines. With hundreds of nonunion short lines crisscrossing the United States, we have a huge opportunity to bring better wages, safer working conditions and stronger representation to our brother and sister rail workers.
Since the establishment of the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition, the rail carriers are taking notice of rail labor's new strength. Since January, the Coalition has been meeting regularly with rail carriers for negotiations with the Class 1 rail lines. Teamsters Rail Conference members (BMWED and BLET) along with the Signalmen, Firemen and Oilers, Sheet Metal Workers, Train Dispatchers and Boilermakers have stood as a united front in the Coalition. This shows the rail carriers that there is renewed strength in rail labor representation.
Teamsters Helping Teamsters
Our brothers and sisters in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are in need of our help and financial assistance. The hurricane took not only their homes and possessions but also ruined many places of employment. Countless local unions, divisions and lodges have offered up support for the displaced families, and I am proud of their efforts. The Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund, established in 1991, is collecting all donations on behalf of our union and the outpouring of support has been tremendous.
Our offices in Washington, D.C., have been coordinating the distribution of Teamster-donated supplies. It is heartening to see the union movement come together and support those in need. It will be a long road ahead for the evacuees and their families and we are doing everything in our power to help and support them in their hour of need.
© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen