What’s going on in the union – December

Hello fellow teamsters,

Hell of a time living through coronavirus, kind of upending the year we expected. All the same, here’s some news on what’s going on in 695 and with the IBT:

  1. Membership meetings – Teamsters 695 has not held any membership meetings since the beginning of the pandemic. Usually these are held the third Tuesday of the month, with a break for the summer. Every meeting has been cancelled. Other unions have been holding meetings through Zoom or other online things to keep members involved — a quick check through the IBT constitution suggests that there’s no rule against this, so its something our local could do. The major consequence is that the set of bylaws Rebuild 695 put forward for regular steward elections, directly-elected bargaining committees, and just cause removal to end “gag orders” has been put on hold indefinitely. Soon as we know there will be a new meeting, we’ll put something out.
  2. IBT General Election – All Teamsters will get a direct vote for the Teamster international union top offices in the fall of 2021. Jimmy Hoffa Jr. is retiring, and there are a couple of big slates contending: Teamsters United (O’Brien/Zuckerman) and Teamster Power (Vairma). Why does this matter? It sets the general direction of the union: how the Teamsters union will deal with national contracts (UPS, UPS freight, YRC, etc), officer salaries, pension plans, politics, and organizing efforts.
  3. 695 Convention Delegate Elections – Every Teamster local gets a number of delegates for the IBT Convention in July in Las Vegas. The Convention formally nominates officer, but more importantly deals with the IBT Constitution — rules that bind the union and every local. The big thing that’ll get fought over this year at the Convention is the “2/3’s” rule, where even though the majority of UPS Teamster voted “No” on their national contract, the IBT ratified the contract anyway saying that it needed 2/3’s to vote it down.

    Delegates could also introduce items to the convention – for instance, lots of part-timers are sour that they pay the same dues as full-timers: that’s set in the constitution, so locals can’t change that on their own.

    These are elected positions, so 695 members will get to vote on who we want to send to the IBT Convention.

More updates soon.