STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT THE TEAMSTERS
In a recent article in the UTU news, International President Thompson
advised all members that the BLE/Teamsters have begun an all-out “nationwide
raid” of the UTU.
As recently as July 14, the BLE/Teamsters issued fliers to the homes of
UTU members touting the benefits of joining the BLE/Teamsters.
Some of the so-called “benefits” follow:
Alleged benefit: “A
tradition of successful representation of transportation industry workers.”
of us on the Union Pacific have only to look at the UP Corporation’s 2002
annual report to see how successful the Teamsters were when negotiating with a
railroad entity. That report
states, “The Teamsters’ eight-year campaign to organize OTC’s (Overnight
Trucking Company) service centers has become almost dormant, and since October
2002, the Teamsters have lost rights to represent 41% of the approximately 2,100
employees they had organized. The Teamster had become the bargaining
representative of the employees at 26 of OTC’s 170 service centers, but
employees at 17 of these locations have voted to decertify the Teamsters, and
the NLRB has officially approved the votes in 14 of those locations.
Decertification petitions are pending at four other service centers.
Only a single representation petition currently is pending, but due to
strike violence charges pending against the Teamsters, the NLRB has blocked the
Teamsters’ efforts to precipitate an election.”
Efforts by the Teamsters since have all but gone away.
Another “successful representation” effort that the Teamsters do not
talk about is the “success” they had negotiating a contract for the flight
attendants on Northwest Airlines, who recently disaffiliated with the Teamsters.
Alleged benefit: Current
UTU members can “obtain the same level of job insurance” with LMPCA and BRCF
While the coverage might look the same as the UTUIA, coverage is only
good if the Company “pays off” at the time of need.
One good example of how the BRCF treats its members is the case of a UTU
member who was fired by the Carrier several years ago for sleeping, even though
the Carrier officer admitted at the investigation that Claimant was standing up
and, in fact, opened the door when approached.
Even when presented with the clear-cut testimony that the Claimant was
not sleeping, the BRCF denied the claim, stating that they do not pay for
sleeping. Luckily for the member, UTUIA did pay him and subsequently,
this Committee won his case in a PLB with full back pay.
Alleged benefit: “If
BLET-Teamsters is chosen as the certified representative of the Conductor or
Trainman craft on any railroad, all Trainmen agreements will be preserved.” Truth:
History shows that the BLE’s word cannot be trusted.
Former conductors on the Via Rail in Canada have been awarded as much as
$230,000 (Canadian) each as a result of the BLE being found guilty of “unfair
labor practices” after promises made to those conductors, prior to a
representation vote, were not kept. In
defense, the BLE denied making “promises” but rather “campaign rhetoric”
and that they (BLE) “cannot be held accountable for what was said during a
campaign and there can be no reasonable expectation on the part of UTU members
that they would obtain all that had been promised.”
The same sad scenario also happened to conductors on the former SOO line.
In both cases, the promises made by the BLE then, are the same promises
that the BLET/Teamsters are promising now.
While the BLET hierarchy glorifies the benefits of joining with the
Teamsters in their mailing, “Why BLET/TALKING POINTS AND ‘YEAH BUTS,’”
the information given out, as usual, is very slanted and deceptive.
While they state that the IBT is not broke, but has “a $140 million
annual budget which gives them the resources to be in the ball game,” the truth
of the matter is while they might budget $140 million annually to spend,
according to the 2003 LM-2 report filed by the Teamsters, at the end of 2003
they had (negative) -$7,823,351 in assets.
Likewise, when the BLET brags that the Teamsters are great organizers,
according to the Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), since President Hoffa
took over in 1999, the Teamsters have lost over 100,000 members and since had to
raise dues and seek out mergers with non-trucker unions to bolster their
membership. And while the Teamsters try to promote the idea that they
have changed from doing business the “old way,” articles found on the
TDU.org web site suggest otherwise.
Teamsters have already broken the Central States Pension Fund, cutting benefits
to their retired members, and are now looking at ways to replenish the pension
fund by any means possible. Brothers
and Sisters, do not be fooled; this is not the same battle that has been waged
over the years between the BLE and UTU. This
is a battle between a non-rail union (Teamsters) and all rail unions to obtain
and keep control to the coffers which belong to the railroad workers and their
This office urges you to enlighten your fellow employees to the dangers
of letting this piranha into the pool. Don’t
just take our word for it: go to www.tdu.org,
do the research, and see what honest and good members of the Teamsters are
saying and doing to try and clean up their union.
It’s not too late; according to Article 6.26 of the BLE/Teamsters
Merger Agreement, either Union may withdraw from the merger at any time before
December 31, 2005. The time is now
to put the truckers back on the highways. Talk
to your fellow railroader!