Who Are The Teamsters?
We are Working People -- Just Like You
The Teamsters: Fighting For Good Jobs and A Better Future
The Teamsters Union is the most powerful Union in North America, made up of working men and women just like you -- 1.4 million of us from all across the United States and Canada. We are truck drivers, public employees, school bus drivers, mechanics, firefighters, nurses, police officers and food workers and literally hundreds of other occupations.
We speak many languages. We come in all races and nationalities. We join together in a common goal-- to build a better future for ourselves, for our families, and for our country.
What Makes Teamsters Different From You?
We are organized. We join together to negotiate with our employers. That makes our voice stronger.
We have legally binding contracts with our employers. We decide what to negotiate in our contracts and we win better wages and benefits and improved working conditions. We win respect and dignity on the job. We gain protections against unfair treatment by our employers.
We run our union as a democracy -- from top to bottom. We elect our negotiating committee, our local union officers and our national union president. They work for us and with us to win a better deal for Teamster working men and women.
How Can the Teamsters Help You?
As Teamsters, we have power and a voice on the job. Voting to become a Teamster is the first step in winning a legally binding union contract. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Report for 2008, union workers in private industry make 39 percent more than nonunion workers and receive 55 percent more in benefits.
We participate by:
- Working with our fellow employees to find out what issues should be addressed in the first contract.
- Electing a negotiating committee to represent and assist the union in negotiations with the employer.
- Secret ballot voting on the terms of a first contract.
- We decide what should be in our contract and we vote on it.
Our Local Union and our national Teamsters Union team back us up with independent research on our employer and our industry, with lawyers when necessary, to assist in negotiations and to represent us in the workplace and with expert assistance on health and safety issues.
Plus, we'll have the help of 1.4 million working men and women just like us -- fighting to protect our jobs and our families' futures and fighting to build an America that works for working people -- not just for the special interests.
Are you satisfied with the way things are? Do you need the better wages and benefits, the job security, and the respect on the job that a Teamster contract can bring?
Join Teamsters Local 1205
246 Conklin Street
Farmingdale, New York 11735
or send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All correspondence will be kept confidential!
Basic Labor Law
The government protects the right of workers to organize in order to address issues of wages, benefits, and working conditions. The body of laws that protect this right is known as the National Labor Relations Act, sometimes referred to as the Wagner act. Of course, you may have many questions regarding labor law , but the following is a list of the basics:
- Any group of workers can organize or help organize a union, except managers (supervisors) and security guards. (security guards can form their own union - they just can't be in a union with other employees.)
- Workers have the right to strike. (At Local 1205 it is only by secret ballot and a majority vote.)
- Workers have the right to join a union.
The Wagner Act prohibits the employer from certain acts, known as unfair labor practices. If you feel you are the victim of an unfair labor practice, contact us, or the NLRB, which will assign an agent to look into your case or consult a lawyer.
Unfair labor practices include management:
- Threatening to fire a worker for union activity.
- Threatening a worker in any way, implicitly or explicitly, because of union activities. This can include demotions, reprimands, etc.
- Asking workers about union activities.
- Threatening cuts in pay or benefits.
- Promising increases in pay or benefits, beyond those normally scheduled. (Of course, this only applies until the election.)
- Spying on union activity.
Also of interest: management can be held accountable for anyone acting as an agent, even if management didn't know about or approve of the agent's actions. In other words, if an anti-union worker threatens you ("You'll lose your job if you vote yes.") management can be held accountable for that threat. This is to prevent management from using workers to deliver threats and thereby get around the law.
Companies do have the right to make predictions as to what will happen if a union wins. It becomes a threat, however, anytime the "prediction" is something that can be controlled by the employer. For example, saying that a major client might withdraw its contracts with the employer if a union wins is within the bounds of free speech. The employer has little or no control over what the client chooses to do. However, saying that a union would be too expensive and that the employer would have to cut its labor force to compensate is a threat, as the employer has complete control over the size of its work force.
During the entire campaign and negotiations, the employer must maintain the status quo with regards to pay, benefits, and working conditions. It cannot suddenly grant pay raises or cut pay, although regularly scheduled pay raises must be given on time. Failure to do so is an unfair labor practice.
The NLRB uses a doctrine known as "the totality of conduct" when determining unfair labor practices. This means it looks at the employer's conduct throughout the entire campaign to determine if the law has been broken. In other words, an employer doesn't have to blatantly flaunt labor law to be reprimanded. If the employer constantly bends the law, or commits many minor infractions, the NLRB may find the employer in violation. It therefore behooves all employees to write down all infractions, no matter how minor. Write down the date, who was involved, the time of day, and any witnesses. Good documentation can be critical in winning a favorable ruling from the NLRB.
Page Last Updated: Apr 21, 2022 (10:43:56)