2016 IBT Convention Resolution
WHEREAS, there will be an election for U.S. president in 2016; and
WHEREAS, there are crucial elections at local, state and federal levels in 2016; and
WHEREAS, the votes of Teamster members, retirees and their families are necessary to elect pro-worker candidates; and
WHEREAS, anti-worker candidates and outside groups will spend billions to advance their agenda on behalf of the richest 1% of Americans; and
WHEREAS, grassroots political action on behalf of pro-worker candidates can counter the campaign contributions made by billionaires; and
WHEREAS, the active participation of Teamster Joint Councils and Local Unions is essential to generating this grassroots activity; and
WHEREAS, the future of the American labor movement and a healthy middle class are at stake in the 2016 elections; and
WHEREAS, a strong middle class is necessary for a strong country, and a strong labor movement is the link between the two; and
WHEREAS, nearly every federal, state and local election has implications for the Teamsters Union and Teamster members.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that every Joint Council and Local Union commit to registering their members to vote, educating their members about the issues at stake in the 2016 elections, and ensuring that their members cast their ballots for Teamster-endorsed candidates; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all Local Unions and Joint Councils will have candidates for federal, state and local office submit candidate questionnaires as a condition of endorsements or financial support; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Joint Councils and Local Unions will designate political coordinators to manage member-to-member campaigns, build relationships with candidates and elected officials, and hold politicians accountable for their actions once in office; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that this commitment will give our union the political strength it needs to improve the lives of Teamster members and their families and to preserve collective bargaining rights, and all the benefits they bring, for this and future generations of American workers.
WHEREAS, 80,000 Teamster airline members are a key part of the transportation industry and the global supply chain; and
WHEREAS, the union has a significant number of air cargo pilots and has recently organized airline pilots at Allegiant Air, OneSky Flight, Travel Management Company and Kalitta Charters; and
WHEREAS, the IBT worked with the Communications Workers of America to organize the passenger service agents of American Airlines after it merged with US Airways, protecting 2,000 Teamster jobs and adding 1,200 more; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters are a major airline mechanics union, and the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition represents aviation mechanics at United, ExpressJet, Frontier, Horizon Air, NetJets, Piedmont Airlines and UPS and is a major voice in the industry; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters are currently in the process of working with Spirit Airline mechanics in an organizing campaign to bring them Teamster representation.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters will continue to seek opportunities to organize more airline workers, such as the mechanics at Spirit Airlines, and grow power for our members and all who work in this vital industry.
BUILDING POWER IN PUBLIC SECTOR THROUGH ORGANIZING
WHEREAS, public sector unions in certain states have lost bargaining rights through legislative and executive actions; and
WHEREAS, a disproportionate percentage of fair-share public employees undermines the effectiveness of public unions at the bargaining table and in dealings with elected officials at various levels of government; and
WHEREAS, public sector workers are increasingly reaching out to the Teamsters as they seek a strong union to protect their contracts and jobs.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters will continue to build power in the public sector through traditional organizing and affiliations with independent associations/unions; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that all Teamster Local Unions implement plans to engage in ongoing internal organizing aimed at converting all fair-share payers to full membership.
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have developed a working relationship with UNITE HERE, to build dignity and power for workers in this highly profitable business; and
WHEREAS, our joint organizing efforts are focused now on the Hard Rock Casino, The Palms and Stations casinos; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have already achieved many key victories at casino properties that have effectively raised standards in the valet parking industry and other traditional Teamster crafts; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters are raising standards in the parking industry in the city of Las Vegas, the state of Nevada and nationwide; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters recognize the stability and long-term growth potential that this industry has in the city of Las Vegas.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters commit to organizing the hotels and casino industry in Las Vegas in partnership with UNITE HERE and raise standards for all workers in the city.
WHEREAS, Teamster industries are consolidating at rates never experienced before; and
WHEREAS, in industries where Teamster employers are consolidating, Teamster strength is best achieved through a national “master” contract at a particular company or across an industry; and
WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions increasingly bargain with large multinational or national corporations that have grown significantly through acquisitions and consolidation; and
WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions have formed national bargaining units at a dozen major companies to negotiate in a coordinated manner on behalf of the individual Local Unions in an effort to best represent the membership; and
WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions have formed regional bargaining units at dozens of other companies to negotiate in a coordinated manner on a regional basis in an effort to best represent the membership; and
WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions represent nearly 175,000 members at nearly 50 companies where 10 or more Teamster Local Unions represent at least 1,000 members at that employer but do NOT participate in coordinated bargaining; and
WHEREAS, at those same 50 companies there are over 1 million unorganized workers and those employers actively and aggressively oppose unionization when faced with a Teamster organizing drive; and
WHEREAS, these corporations engage in centralized, sophisticated union-busting activities and attacks on union contracts and members; and
WHEREAS, these corporations take advantage of multiple individual bargaining units and white paper contracts to bring down industry standards or shift work to competing lower-wage, non-union facilities; and
WHEREAS, local union collaboration through regional and national bargaining is key to maintaining unity and upholding strong contracts and industry standards; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have a long and successful tradition of skillfully bargaining contracts that set industry standards and also establish a fair representation process for unorganized units at the same employer; and
WHEREAS, coordinated bargaining respects the proud tradition of local union autonomy while increasing bargaining and organizing capacity of local unions through national planning and action.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that all appropriate Trade Divisions and Conferences identify key companies in their industries and initiate a plan to engage in coordinated bargaining; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all Local Unions understand the benefits of coordinated regional or national contract negotiations and embrace coordinated bargaining initiatives at major Teamster employers or companies in a core industry; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that such initiatives will require Local Unions to act in a coordinated manner and, among other things, provide proper notice to employers of Division/Conference approval of CBAs, understand the strategic value of working under expired contracts, and understand the importance of protection of rights language; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the IBT through its Conferences and Trade Divisions and department structures will assist Local Unions in educating their members about the reasons for, and the benefits of, coordinated bargaining; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the power of Local Unions nationwide should be brought to bear in efforts to bargain for organizing rights at common employers.
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters maintains a political action committee named “DRIVE” for Democrat, Republican and Independent Voter Education, and as the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers maintains a PAC called BLET PAC; and
WHEREAS, DRIVE is funded entirely through voluntary contributions from Teamster members; and
WHEREAS, General Treasury funds may not be used for contributions to candidates for federal office and most candidates for state and local office; and
WHEREAS, DRIVE is the only permissible source available to the Teamsters union for most campaign contributions; and
WHEREAS, big business, billionaires and anti-worker super PACs have virtually unlimited funds to spend on politics; and
WHEREAS, United States Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission have opened the door to unlimited, unaccountable corporate spending to influence elections; and
WHEREAS, the cost of winning elections is growing ever higher; and
WHEREAS, legislative threats to American workers and the right to collectively bargain have never been greater; and
WHEREAS, threats to Teamster members, working families and America’s labor movement are now appearing at all levels of government; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that all Teamster Joint Councils and Local Unions participate vigorously and in a coordinated effort with each other and with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ DRIVE program in order to protect members’ rights and interests; and
WHEREAS, the staff of DRIVE field representatives are most effective when working with Local Unions that are committed to the DRIVE program; and
WHEREAS, DRIVE field representatives can most effectively increase member participation in DRIVE when Local Union officers, agents, stewards and staff are actively engaged in the DRIVE campaign.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that every Joint Council and Local Union commit to increasing member participation in DRIVE; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Local Unions will work with DRIVE field representatives to increase average weekly DRIVE contributions from Teamster members to reflect the increasing cost of elections; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Local Unions commit to engaging their officers, agents, stewards and staff in DRIVE campaigns when a field representative is working in the Local; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Local Unions will make every effort to negotiate DRIVE payroll deduction language into every contract; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that this commitment will ensure that the voices of Teamster members will continue to be heard in the political arena no matter how hard anti-worker politicians try to silence us.
EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION/CAPITAL STRATEGIES
WHEREAS, corporate boards of directors continue to lavish top executives with excessive compensation packages that drain corporate resources, incentivize high- risk, short-term business strategies and widen income inequality; and
WHEREAS, CEO compensation has increased 997% since 1978, with many CEOs getting paid more than 300 times that of the average worker; and
WHEREAS, CEOs of the S&P 500 received nearly $7 billion in wages and bonuses in 2014 alone; and
WHEREAS, just 100 CEOs have as much in their company’s retirement assets as the entire retirement savings of 50 million American families, or 41% of all families in the United States; and
WHEREAS, deep-pocketed corporate and political interests have aligned to attack good jobs, affordable health care, pension security and investor protections; and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision opened the floodgates to corporations funneling unlimited sums of money to front groups that lobby against the interests of our union, members and affiliated funds; and
WHEREAS, 95% of corporate earnings are distributed back to shareowners through dividends and share buybacks rather than reinvested back into the companies’ operations or workforces; and
WHEREAS, companies are exploiting offshore tax havens which have increased financial burdens on working families; and
WHEREAS, Teamster core industries have changed significantly due to rapid consolidation, globalization and the increasing influence of activist investors; and
WHEREAS, Teamster-affiliated pension and benefit funds have more than $100 billion invested in capital markets, providing Teamsters a voice in corporate governance, mergers and transactions, executive pay and human capital management.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters Union supports the ongoing work of the IBT’s Capital Strategies Department and its efforts to:
•Reform corporate executive pay structures to better align CEO pay with the long-term interests of the company’s stakeholders;
•Make corporate boards more accountable by reforming director elections, addressing board independence, diversity and conflicts of interest;
•Broaden the network of investor allies around the world to promote better human capital management, including the protection of workers’ rights and fair pay throughout companies’ supply chains;
•Demand increased transparency and accountability for corporate political and lobbying expenditures from the companies in which we invest and that manage Teamster assets;
•Engage Wall Street analysts, investors and regulators to provide the Teamsters’ front-line perspective on corporate transactions and strategies;
•Promote the benefits of project labor agreements and employing unionized building and construction workers with infrastructure investors;
•Investigate corporate welfare schemes to ensure that tax dollars are not being used to destroy good Teamster jobs and hard-fought standards;
•Provide ongoing education and support for Teamster trustees and member shareholders on key proxy fights, corporate transactions and contested director elections;
•Monitor and engage private equity owners and their limited partners about the management of portfolio companies; and
•Secure legislative and regulatory reforms that protect Teamster funds, investments and retirement security.
FAIR PAY AND SAFE WORKPLACES
WHEREAS, the federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the nation, including in core Teamster industries such as transportation and warehousing; and
WHEREAS, many of the employers who receive taxpayers’ money through federal contracts fail to respect their workers’ rights under federal law, including the rights to organize without retaliation, to be paid fairly, and to be protected from injury; and
WHEREAS, many employers in the transportation industry, including major federal contractors, violate their workers’ labor rights by misclassifying these workers as independent contractors; and
WHEREAS, President Obama has issued an Executive Order on “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” which will for the first time ensure that contractors with severe labor violations are held accountable for their actions; and
WHEREAS, the contracting lobby has mobilized against this federal Executive Order and persuaded its Republican allies in Congress to introduce legislation depriving the millions of workers who are employed by Defense Department contracts from coverage by the Order.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters are committed to fighting for full implementation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and for the fundamental principle that employers who receive federal taxpayers’ money should comply with federal labor law; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the IBT will work with its allies in Congress to push back against the Republican caucus’s attack on the Fair Pay Order; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that this Union will investigate and publicize labor law violations committed by federal contractors wherever such violations injure the rights of workers in IBT industries.
WHEREAS, we have not forgotten the lessons of the 2008 Wall Street financial crisis that created the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, which is why we supported the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that was designed to curb abusive and speculative activity by Wall Street; and
WHEREAS, excessive speculation in the financial markets continues to impede a broad-based prosperity that depends on long-term investment, not risky, high-speed trading and the casino-capitalism that has become too prevalent in our capital markets; and
WHEREAS, restructuring and downsizing the largest Wall Street financial institutions – finally breaking up the “too-big-too-fail” banks – will benefit the middle class and help reverse the corporate agenda that has increased income inequality; and
WHEREAS, executive compensation has been skyrocketing for a decade and is a symptom and important metric of income inequality; and
WHEREAS, new revenues from progressive tax and finance reform will allow America to pay for the infrastructure investments that will translate into good jobs and higher wages.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that we call on Congress to close the carried interest loophole, whereby hedge fund and private equity managers are taxed at a lower rate (the capital gains rather than ordinary income rate) on profits generated by the investments that they manage of other peoples’ money; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED we call on Congress to close the performance pay loophole and put an end to unlimited tax write-offs on performance-based executive pay; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED we support a small tax on sales of stocks, bonds and complex financial instruments that will provide a new revenue stream for infrastructure projects or other labor priorities while discouraging the high-speed speculative trading that contributed to the financial crisis; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED we call on Congress to enact a new Glass-Steagall Act to reestablish the bankers’ proper role in our economy and end our country’s disastrous experiment with financial deregulation, which has resulted in historic income inequality and stagnant economic growth, and return to the historically more stable separation of commercial banking from riskier investment and trading business; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that we will continue to advocate, both individually and in coalition, to protect the systemic improvements that are a legacy of Dodd-Frank.
WHEREAS, the Teamsters are in a unique position in the global supply chain and transportation industries and are committed to continuing to organize in our core freight industry; and
WHEREAS, XPO is now the second largest logistics company in North America after UPS, and FedEx Freight continues its extreme anti-union posture and threatens our members at other companies; and
WHEREAS, freight operators like XPO/Con-way and FedEx Freight continue to shortchange their workers when it comes to salary and benefits and often engage in worker misclassification; and
WHEREAS, XPO/Con-way and FedEx Freight are using more and more brokers to move freight, creating unease among their drivers; and
WHEREAS, the IBT Organizing Department has built a national network of activists at both XPO/Con-way and FedEx Freight; and
WHEREAS, Teamster members are the best agents to carry the message to non- union workers, and the IBT Organizing Department has trained hundreds of freight members at dozens of Local Unions how to talk to XPO/Con-way and FedEx Freight drivers about the Teamster message; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have been able to organize XPO/Con-way and FedEx Freight workers through terminal-by-terminal elections that have exposed bad behavior, raised standards for drivers at both companies and cost them millions of dollars so that it’s harder for them to underbid Teamster companies; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters are fully committed to organize these two companies.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Union should continue to build and expand the national network of activists at both companies; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Union fully involve Teamster freight members in the fight and that Teamster Locals should take advantage of the training available from the IBT’s Organizing Department to involve their freight members in the fight; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters should work with all of our global partners to bring pressure on XPO and FedEx Freight wherever they operate.
GET UPS OUT OF ALEC
WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC is a destructive organization that works with its corporate backers to write and promote model legislation that is designed to undermine worker protections while enriching companies, like so-called paycheck protection and so-called right-to-work legislation; and
WHEREAS, state legislators that are members of ALEC introduce these destructive bills across the country, furthering an anti-union, anti-worker corporate agenda; and
WHEREAS, ALEC promotes an extreme agenda that includes denying the science of climate change, defunding public services and supporting worker misclassification; and
WHEREAS, as of December 2015, more than 108 corporations such as Coca- Cola, Pepsi, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com and General Electric have cut ties with ALEC; and
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents more than 250,000 members at UPS and UPS Freight, along with environmental groups and thousands of UPS employees have called on UPS leadership to leave ALEC; and
WHEREAS, UPS remains a member of ALEC despite corporate ideological conflicts with the group and repeated requests from its workers to end its relationship.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that we pledge to continue to demand that UPS end its membership with ALEC and by extension, cease its support for the group’s anti-worker and anti-union agenda; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters Union will continue to commit the necessary resources to pressure UPS to join other major global corporations and end its association with ALEC.
GLOBAL PARTNERING WITH OTHER UNIONS
WHEREAS, the Teamsters practice global labor solidarity and have done so throughout our history. In 1995, the Teamsters launched an international strategic campaign against Royal Ahold; in 1997, we initiated a council for UPS unions worldwide that added pressure for a fair settlement; in December 1999 in Seattle, the Teamsters were at the forefront of a global labor protest against WTO trade rules so behemoth corporations would not exploit countries with weak labor laws and environmental standards; and
WHEREAS, in 2002, a Blue Ribbon Commission of Teamster leadership set out a new vision to build Teamster power that identified the importance of global outreach. In 2005, a Global Strategies office was established in the Strategic Research and Campaigns Department. Over the last 11 years we have greatly expanded our alliances with unions representing Teamster employers around the world; and
WHEREAS, we are active participants in international union alliances with key Teamster employers across our sectors of the economy like global delivery (UPS, FedEx, DHL, XPO); beverage production and distribution (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, AB-InBev, SABMiller); construction/cement (Holcim/Lafarge, Heidelberg/Italcementi, Oldcastle); airlines and catering (United, American, Gate Gourmet); port trucking (Toll, Maersk); school and transit busing (First Group, National Express, STA); warehouse (IKEA) and food and dairy production (Nestle, Kraft, DFA, Dannon, Bimbo and Saputo). These growing global alliances create power in organizing and at the bargaining table for Teamster Locals and sister unions overseas. These relationships enhance our unique position in the global supply chain such as the port drivers organizing. We are fighting corporate-driven globalization with global union solidarity; and
WHEREAS, China continues to be a key source of production for multinational companies. Following a ground-breaking delegation to China led by General President Hoffa in 2007, Change to Win signed a protocol with the All China Federation of Trade Unions to expand and deepen information exchange in 2009. Teamsters Joint Council 25 signed a protocol with the Shandong Federation of Workers for ongoing interchange in 2010 that continues today. Exchanges have focused on industries of importance to the Teamsters, including motion picture and beverage production. Current dialog is happening with Chinese multinational companies expanding in the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, large foreign multinationals are acquiring subsidiaries in the United States. The European firms are embracing anti-union tactics they reject in their home countries where unions often have legal recognition, employer respect and political influence. Strong Teamster friendship with unions in Europe is creating new opportunities to join with home-country unions to demand neutrality during organizing drives and fairness at the bargaining table. The solidarity shown by the British union Unite was an essential factor in achieving neutrality with First Group that led to the organizing of tens of thousands of bus drivers into the Teamsters and ultimately a National Master Agreement with First Student; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters are affiliated with six global union federations that unite unions globally by sector: International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), International Union of Food Workers (IUF), Public Services International (PSI), Union Network International (UNI), Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) and IndustriALL (manufacturing workers). These organizations greatly assist in building common-company union alliances and solidarity; and
WHEREAS, International Transport Workers’ Federation recently invoked, for the first time, its “Charter for Corporate Bad Behavior” due to the persistent anti-union actions of Durham School Services, a subsidiary of the British multinational corporation National Express. ITF is now working with all its affiliates with membership in National Express to force a change in company policy in the U.S. This international solidarity is anchored by the unions that represent National Express workers in the United Kingdom – Unite the Union, RMT (rail, maritime and transport), TSSA (professional and technical) and ASLEF (locomotive engineers); and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters act in solidarity by pressuring employers and foreign governments to respect worker rights. And we are increasingly requested to intervene with Teamster employers to respect worker rights in their operations overseas. For example, the Teamster Parcel Division played the key role in a dispute in Turkey that eventually led to union recognition and collective bargaining for workers throughout the parcel delivery industry in that country; and
WHEREAS, unions overseas are increasingly concerned with U.S.-style management interference making inroads in Europe and worldwide. Some U.S.-based anti-union consultants are opening offices in Europe. The Teamsters have vast experience fighting union busters and are sharing our expertise with global union partners; and
WHEREAS, corporate-driven globalization is producing slow economic growth and growing inequality. Corporations are creating social responsibility codes, fair trade standards and social auditing mechanisms to present an image to shareholders and consumers of fair treatment to employees while continuing to threaten workers who organize. The only long-term strategy for assuring labor rights at the workplace is a union chosen by the workers that successfully negotiates a collective bargaining agreement.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters recognize that the future of working people and the future of our great Union depend on our ability to organize the unorganized and to build alliances with workers throughout the world. We will particularly focus on the global supply chains where we are uniquely positioned to build Teamster power; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Teamsters will bolster our participation in the global union federations and our bi-lateral union relations with key partner unions. We will support mutual solidarity through union networks linking organizers and negotiators for specific employers and supply chains; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that we will continue to oppose global and national policies that increase violence against trade unions.
HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has fought for, and presently sustains, some of the most generous health and welfare benefits in the United States through collective bargaining; and
WHEREAS, Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds make up one of the largest purchasers and providers of health care benefits in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Teamster employers are constantly pushing for health and welfare benefits reductions and for shifting the cost of those benefits onto our members, and may attempt to drop health care coverage completely and shift their responsibility for such coverage onto the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care exchanges; and
WHEREAS, the cost of health care benefits, including prescription drugs (particularly specialty pharmacy) and retiree medical care, continues to increase faster than the general inflation rate, even with the passage of the ACA; and
WHEREAS, over the past 20 years, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has attempted to defray the cost of health care and related benefits by offering various voluntary and group purchasing plans such as TeamsteRx, TeamVision, the Teamster Medical Stop Loss program, the Teamster retiree medical program and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Medicare Part D prescription drug plan; and
WHEREAS, although the ACA has had some success in reducing health care costs and increasing the availability of health care coverage in the long term, certain ACA requirements are likely to increase the costs of providing health care in the short term for many Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters strongly encourage the officers and staff of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to continue to communicate to Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds and Teamster negotiators about relevant legislative, regulatory and lobbying efforts aimed at preserving and protecting collectively- bargained Teamster health and welfare plans, including enhancements made to Teamster group purchasing programs, upcoming trustee education programs and, in particular, the continuance and enhancement of the IBT national medical Stop- Loss Health Insurance program, which will reduce costs to Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds by spreading the risk of large catastrophic medical claims among a large number of Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters strongly encourage all Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds and Teamster negotiators to support these collective efforts, to share information and to work together to develop cost- saving strategies such as purchasing coalitions, retiree health initiatives, benefit bargaining strategies and new innovative benefit programs to preserve our strong tradition of providing meaningful health and welfare benefits to our members and their families.
HEALTH CARE FOR AMERICA
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has historically been on the forefront on health care issues, and continues to be so today; and
WHEREAS, Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds have provided good, affordable health care benefits to Teamster members and their families for seven decades, and continue to do so today; and
WHEREAS, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded health care coverage and access to 20 million previously uninsured and underinsured Americans through the creation of the federally-sponsored and state-sponsored health care exchanges, through Medicaid expansion, extended health coverage to most Americans under age 26 and required coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions; and has reduced waiting periods for coverage, has eliminated annual and lifetime limits on individual health care claims in order to prevent bankruptcy as a result of unsustainable medical costs and; has enhanced the ability of employees to leave their employer’s health care plan if they have a pre-existing condition covered by that employer’s health plan; and
WHEREAS, the ACA has reduced health care cost-shifting from the uninsured to individual and group purchasers of health insurance and has reduced the financial pressure on medical providers who are now paid more quickly and reliably and with less uncompensated care; and
WHEREAS, notwithstanding all of the achievements and potential achievements of the ACA as described above, certain provisions of the ACA – including some which still remain unclear and others which have yet to be implemented – have the potential to adversely affect the ability of Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds to maintain the level of health care coverage they provide to Teamster members and their families such as employers’ incentive to drop health coverage since the ACA employer penalties for not providing coverage are too low; and
WHEREAS, some features of the ACA which could potentially have a negative impact on Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds and their participants, including the so-called “Cadillac Tax” to be assessed upon allegedly “high cost” health benefit plans beginning in 2020; the rules for classification of “full time” employment for purposes of the ACA; the identification of what health benefits must be provided; the definition of an “affordable” health benefit for employees and dependents; the provision of the “lookback” waiting period for health plan eligibility and many other complicated and uncertain requirements of the ACA.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters reaffirms its general support both for the goals of the ACA and for many of its provisions, including improving the quality of health care, and its general support for the continued implementation of the ACA; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters firmly opposes taxing working Americans on their employer-sponsored health benefits through the so-called “Cadillac Tax” and encourages the officers and staff of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and all Teamster Local Unions and other affiliates to support legislative efforts to completely repeal the so-called “Cadillac Tax”; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters encourages all Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds and Teamster Local Unions to support legislative and regulatory efforts to implement the ACA in a manner that preserves and protects Teamster-affiliated health and welfare funds, such as increasing employer penalties for not providing health coverage and removing incentives for employers to provide harmful high deductible and limited medical network options that undermine current Teamster benefit levels, and better defines coverage and affordability, creates innovative health care methodologies that will contain health care costs and improve the health of Teamster members and their families, and generates opportunities for this Union to grow and provide our members and their families with access to affordable, high quality health care.
HUMAN RIGHTS & DIVERSITY
WHEREAS, the Diversity Committee is a standing committee responsible for establishing goals and timelines for accomplishing the inclusion and diversity initiatives, monitoring the progress on the initiatives, issuing quarterly reports to the affiliates on such progress, and developing the Teamsters National Strategic Inclusion and Diversity Plan; and
WHEREAS, the Human Rights Commission is an International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Department which actively works to involve all members, to increase opportunities for participation in all aspects of our Union, to fight the discrimination that weakens our Union, and to assist with implementing the Teamsters National Strategic Inclusion and Diversity Plan; and
WHEREAS, over the past five years, there has been substantial overlap in membership, mission and responsibilities of the Human Rights Commission and Diversity Committee, which are both led by the Director of the Human Rights Commission; and
WHEREAS, in order to strengthen our cause and use our resources more efficiently and effectively to ensure that we create a powerful voice to advocate dignity and justice on the job, and to ensure that ideas, perspectives and involvement in policymaking and leadership roles by all members are encouraged, regardless of their race, age, ethnicity, culture, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, faith, or religion.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that we should combine the Human Rights Commission and the Diversity Committee into one department named the Human Rights and Diversity Commission led by a Director, Deputy Director and Regional Representatives; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Human Rights and Diversity Commission will continue to act as a standing committee, which meets quarterly and at the Convention and will be responsible for implementing and developing the Teamsters National Strategic Inclusion and Diversity Plan; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that in order to maintain a strong foundation, we must continue to be inclusive and protect the rights of members from all walks of life, and to bring awareness to issues affecting those who face persistent inequality and adversity resulting from discrimination, social stigma and stereotypes.
LET’S GET AMERICA WORKING CAMPAIGN
WHEREAS, the recovery of the U.S. economy since the Great Recession and 2008 collapse of the U.S. financial system is not being felt equally by Americans, especially hard working middle-class families, and massive structural inequities must be addressed to both grow middle-class jobs and rebuild the economic foundations of our nation; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union recognizes that we must push our nation’s elected leaders to take action on a comprehensive program to address these inequities and immediately invest in the U.S. middle class; and
WHEREAS, international trade agreements based on the framework of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have resulted in nearly 2 million job losses and the overall erosion of the U.S. middle class; and
WHEREAS, since the enactment of NAFTA, the U.S. trade deficit has increased to over $700 billion; and the pending trade agreements with the 11 other countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the European Union in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will continue this trend; and
WHEREAS, our nation’s roads, bridges, ports, airports, railroads and mass transit systems are crumbling and major investment in infrastructure is not only a national obligation, but one that can also get Americans back to work in good, family sustaining, middle-class jobs; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union is America’s strongest transportation union with hundreds of thousands of members working in every transportation industry from freight to package delivery to rail to aviation, and there is no union in America for whom investment in our nation’s infrastructure is more vital to the safety, reliability and efficiency of the work performed by its members every day; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union supported the multi-year highway bill passed by the U.S. Congress which set a steady stream of funding for the next five years, yet fell woefully short of the transformative investments needed to rebuild our entire nation’s infrastructure, and our national political leaders have shown a chronic inability to tackle this challenge; and
WHEREAS, massive new public investments in U.S. energy infrastructure will ensure the U.S. is able to compete in a global marketplace by becoming less vulnerable to the dangerous volatility of global energy markets, while also being able to create millions of jobs for highly-trained workers; and
WHEREAS, our elected representatives must protect the quality of all jobs created by public investments in U.S. transportation and energy infrastructure by continuing to support the application of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage provisions to federally financed construction projects, while also addressing the growing problem of worker misclassification and robustly enforcing our existing safety and wage laws so that no worker is unlawfully taken advantage of; and
WHEREAS, the right of workers to collectively bargain has been the primary way by which workers have been able to access fair retirement and other work benefits in the past, and is the only way to ensure that these benefits continue as the standard for workers in the future; and
WHEREAS, the future of work in this country will require that workers be trained with cutting edge skills, and our education system must reflect the changing needs of our economy and the variety of skilled workers it will necessitate, and this means that Congress must do more to ensure students can better afford all post-secondary schooling, including traditional four- year college degrees as well as vocational training to ensure that young adults enter the workforce with job-ready skills.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters Union shall embark on a national campaign called “Let’s Get America Working” that will call on Congress to take action on a comprehensive policy program to address massive structural inequalities, grow middle-class jobs and rebuild the economic foundations of our nation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that for this policy program to be truly impactful, such a program must include the following policy priorities: robust investment in U.S. transportation and energy infrastructure needs that also protects the safety of transportation and infrastructure workers; protection for earned pension and other retirement benefits including social security; support for the right to collectively bargain for fair wages, benefits and workplace labor standards; pursuit of truly fair trade agreements that promote prosperity for all and not just the privileged few; and increased access to job training and college affordability for workers across the nation; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters will work to educate elected officials and candidates for elected office of the importance of these policies and their role in developing a stronger future for our nation and our Union.
MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE
WHEREAS, mental health issues can have a huge effect on every aspect of a person's life, including the workplace; and
WHEREAS, even in some workplaces with mental health support, there is still a stigma associated with opening up about mental health issues; and
WHEREAS, the cost of mental illness in Canada each year is $51 billion and $2.5 trillion in the United States, including absenteeism, medication and healthcare; and
WHEREAS, one in five North Americans will experience a mental health issue in their lives; and
WHEREAS, now is the time to speak up, make noise and affect positive changes to bring support for mental health in all workplaces; and
WHEREAS, in September 2015, Teamsters Canada launched an online campaign called “Make it Mandatory” to raise awareness around mental health, which asks governments, political leaders and employers to stop the stigma around mental health issues and to make mental health support mandatory in every workplace, creating a healthier and safer workforce.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that we recognize the stigma associated with mental health and personally commit to affect positive change; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will take the opportunity of this Convention to strengthen the unity and solidarity within our ranks and with all those who are committed to improve safety at work and a quality of life for all, to pursue the “Make it Mandatory” campaign to make support for mental health in the workplace mandatory.
NYC HORSE CARRIAGE CAMPAIGN
WHEREAS, in December 2008, the Teamsters recognized the need to organize the New York City carriage industry in order to provide fair wages, political representation and to secure the long-term future of the industry; and
WHEREAS, in March 2010, Intro 35A was passed in the NYC City Council, creating higher standards in horse care throughout the industry while also providing the industry with its first wage increase in 21 years; and
WHEREAS, simultaneously, the Teamsters were able to neutralize Intro 86 and Intro 92, both of which called for a ban on the industry; and
WHEREAS, the election of Bill de Blasio as Mayor of the City of New York posed an immediate threat to the survival of the industry and as a result the IBT, Joint Council 16 and Local 553 collectively made the carriage industry issue a top priority; and
WHEREAS, the Teamster Campaign to Save the NYC Carriage Industry consisted of four sections: lobbying, media, organizing and grassroots; and
WHEREAS, the Teamster lobbying campaign consisted of:
•Screening all current and future city and state politicians on their views of the carriage industry;
•Forming internal political action committees;
•Attending and hosting political networking events with different city and state politicians; and
•Negotiating in good faith with the city to preserve the long- term future of the carriage industry; and
WHEREAS, the Teamster media campaign consisted of press releases, press conferences, international and national TV and radio shows, a letter writing campaign; and attending public events like parades and political rallies; and
WHEREAS, the Teamster organizing campaign consisted of:
•Aligning with different labor unions;
•Partnering with community groups and organizations; and
•Uniting with different equine and veterinarian associations; and
WHEREAS, Teamster grassroots campaign consisted of:
•Leveraging social media;
•Positive outreach within communities; and
•Building an international support base; and
WHEREAS, all four campaigns successfully promoted the high standards of horsemanship which the Teamsters have always valued and highlighted the hard working brothers and sisters of Local 553; and
WHEREAS, after successfully campaigning for numerous years in support of the NYC carriage industry, the Teamsters have earned the support of the NYC Council and the public, and as a result, the efforts to ban or negatively impact the industry have been defeated.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that all Teamsters should use all of its partners to continue to support our efforts to preserve and protect the NYC carriage industry; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the IBT renew the commitment it made at the 1916 Convention that the horse should always be the heart of the Union. May it be so for the next 100 years as well!
OPIATE PAINKILLER EPIDEMIC
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union has long been at the forefront of many of the most important issues facing society; and
WHEREAS, the over-prescribing of opiate pain medicines has harmed millions of pain patients and led to sharp increases in addiction, heroin use and overdose deaths; and
WHEREAS, this epidemic is having a significant impact on IBT members and their families and is placing a tremendous strain on the health care system, the U.S. Veterans Administration, workplaces across the country and communities as a whole; and
WHEREAS, prescription pain killers are the most abused drugs in the United States, with more than three times as many Americans dying from them than illegal drugs.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters acknowledge the toll opiate painkillers are taking on both Teamster families and America at large; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Teamsters call for greater education and outreach related to prescription drug addiction; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that groups like “Breaking Barriers – Hope Is Alive,” an Akron, Ohio non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded by Local 24 President Travis Bornstein and his family in loving memory of his (their) son, Tyler Bornstein, who at the age of 23 died of a heroin/fentanyl overdose in September 2014, play a profound role in expanding awareness and education of addiction issues; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters encourage government at every level to increase treatment options for all those afflicted by the disease of addiction.
WHEREAS, the Teamsters are widely recognized as one of the leading organizing unions in North America; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have organized 100,000 workers since the last convention; and
WHEREAS, the IBT has won organizing victories in freight, the public sector, parking, casinos, ports, bus and transit, solid waste and recycling, airlines and other industries; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have won by establishing strong member organizer programs and involving members in our organizing campaigns because Teamsters in the same industry are most effective at carrying the Teamster message; and
WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions have embraced the Teamster organizing model, have established organizing committees, hired organizers and engaged in other activities aimed at building organizing capacity; and
WHEREAS, this union has strategically embraced organizing opportunities as they present themselves, having the flexibility and capacity to react swiftly to secure new members when workers reach out for a strong union; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have strategically selected targets and won by fighting for and winning organizing rights, avoiding drawn out battles with management for workers’ rights when we can; and
WHEREAS, the IBT has in addition, when necessary, persevered for the long haul, fighting to win breakthroughs that can change the workforce at an entire company or an entire industry; and
WHEREAS, all segments of the union – the departments of the International, industry Divisions, Conferences, Joint Councils, Local Unions and affiliates – have worked together to bring the resources to bear needed to raise up workers into the middle class.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that as trade unionists and as Teamsters, we have an exceptional duty to organize the unorganized and raise workers into the middle class; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Union is committed to working together at all levels, across Divisions, industries and regions to organize workers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Teamsters will continue to fight for as long as necessary to win, whether that is weeks, months, years or decades; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we will continue to build a mighty army and all members must be organizers, spreading the Teamster message to all unorganized workers; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that this Union will look for and respond to strategic opportunities to organize as they appear.
PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
WHEREAS, nearly all workers need to take time away from work at some point to deal with a serious personal or family illness or to care for a new child; and
WHEREAS, laws providing paid family and medical leave allow workers to meet those needs without jeopardizing their economic security; and
WHEREAS, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides unpaid family and medical leave, but most U.S. workers cannot fully access FMLA because they cannot afford to take unpaid leave from work; and
WHEREAS, the percentage of women working full-time and acting as the sole or primary earner in their household has increased exponentially; and the percentage of men desiring paternity leave, time to bond with their newborn child and to play an active and equal role in their child’s care has also increased; and
WHEREAS, despite these changes in traditional gender roles, care work for children and ailing parents and other family members still falls disproportionately on the shoulders of women; and
WHEREAS, the United States is the only industrialized nation that does not provide paid maternity leave to its citizens; and
WHEREAS, women will never be fully equal in the workplace until we normalize pregnancy and family care work, prioritize work/life balance and provide subsequent support and accommodation; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union as a representative of the broader movement in support of the rights of all workers believes it is right to set standards in federal and state law to ensure a basic level of fairness and dignity for all work and workers.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will support federal legislation like the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act which mandates paid family leave for U.S. workers.
WHEREAS, workers in the parking industry need and deserve respect, dignity and a living wage with other benefits; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have organized virtually the entire parking industry in the city of Boston in a strategic, market-wide campaign; and
WHEREAS, the success of the Boston parking campaign has resulted in raised standards for all parking workers in the region, with substantial increases in pay and previously unknown benefits; and
WHEREAS, we have had success organizing Las Vegas valet parking workers by building a city-wide movement as we did in Boston.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that because of the success in Boston and Las Vegas, the Teamsters will look for other opportunities to build market-wide campaigns in this industry — whether it be parking lot workers as in Boston or valet workers as in Las Vegas and other cities; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters will build on its experience to build workers’ movements across companies and raise standards for all.
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has been in the forefront of promoting and protecting the retirement security of American workers, retirees and their families; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union and Teamster affiliated pension funds have provided good benefits that have enabled Teamsters to live in retirement with dignity and financial security; and
WHEREAS, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted to provide assurances that plan sponsors could not simply renege on pension promises made to plan participants and beneficiaries; and
WHEREAS, for more than 40 years the law prevented ongoing pension plans from unilaterally cutting retiree’s promised benefits; and
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters believes the federal government, including the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, has an obligation to protect the retirement security of workers covered by defined benefit plans under ERISA; and
WHEREAS, it was failures in government regulation and oversight that paved the way for two severe financial market collapses (2000 and 2008) that devastated the assets of many pension plans including the Central States Pension Fund; and
WHEREAS, Congress, in the dead of night, without vetting and without debate, passed the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA) as part of a massive omnibus spending bill, which eliminated ERISA’s core protections against forfeiture and reductions of accrued benefits; and
WHEREAS, amending ERISA to eviscerate the promise of a defined benefit pension is a dramatic assault by the federal government on America’s middle class; and
WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of Teamster members are participants in plans that could be affected by draconian cuts permitted by MPRA; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union believes that promises made to millions of workers and dependents should not be violated because of a funding crisis that in large part is the result of failed federal policy; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union vigorously opposed, and continues to oppose, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act; and
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters called for the rejection of the Central States Pension Fund application to U.S. Department of the Treasury to cut retiree benefits, and has to the fullest extent, participated in Treasury’s comment and review process, filing comments and testifying at hearings, and has conducted extensive education activities for Congress about the real life ramifications of the proposed benefit cuts on retirees and the serious flaws and deficiencies in the Central States Pension Fund application and has urged members of Congress to call on Treasury to reject the application; and
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters opposes the reduction of retiree pension benefits and the cutting of accrued normal retirement benefits of active members; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union understands that any federal legislative effort to aid troubled multiemployer pension plans requires the participation and support of members and retirees. Therefore, local unions are encouraged to keep their members and retirees informed and educated about the funding crisis that confronts multiemployer pension plans and the reasons for such crisis; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union has worked to build support for and pass the Keep Our Pension Promises Act and the Pension Accountability Act that would provide alternative solutions to cutting promised benefits to Teamster members and retirees; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union is exploring creative concepts that would open up sources of capital from the private sector to fund troubled pension plans; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union is building political and financial support for new approaches to address the funding crises affecting both multi-employer and single- employer pension funds.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th Convention of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that the Union will continue its work to:
•Protect the retirement security of Teamster members and retirees;
•Engage political leaders, financial institutions and regulatory agencies to find creative and enduring solutions that strengthen Teamster affiliated pension funds;
•Repeal the provisions of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act which confer unprecedented power to “suspend” (i.e. permanently reduce) pension benefits of plan participants;
•Pass the Keep Our Pension Promises Act;
•Pass the Pension Accountability Act; and
•Resolve the retirement security crisis in America
WHEREAS, port drivers are a key component of the global supply chain and transportation industry, and the drivers were overwhelmingly Teamsters before de- regulation; and
WHEREAS, the two-pronged strategy of strikes and lawsuits is crumbling the foundation of the misclassified “independent contractor” model and has led to breakthroughs at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California; and
WHEREAS, this progress has led to organizing and negotiating collective bargaining agreements that cover more than 500 drivers at drayage firms including at Eco Flow Transportation, Toll Group and Shippers Transport Express into the Teamsters; and
WHEREAS, this union is committed to continuing this fight for the long term, ramping up pressure to attack wage theft and illegal misclassification.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters will fight to continue raising standards in the port trucking industry by committing to organize all the companies in a market, starting at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Teamsters will continue supporting port drivers, to achieve justice through a two-pronged strategy of strikes and litigation to force every port trucking company to stop breaking the law by stealing drivers’ rights and wages that gets companies to agree to be neutral regarding drivers’ rights to organize and join the Teamsters; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the union will continue to seek a declaration from the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach that there is a need for “labor peace” at the ports; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters recognize that victory in this campaign could be completely game changing over the long haul, in effect establishing new regulations for the trucking industry and strengthening the Teamsters position in freight and drayage nationwide.
WHEREAS, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Division (BMWED) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division (BLET) of the Teamsters Rail Conference represent over 70,000 railroad workers; and
WHEREAS, the work performed by BMWED and BLET members is critical to the safety and profitability of the railroad industry and the strength of the U.S. economy; and
WHEREAS, the work performed by BMWED and BLET members is inherently dangerous; and
WHEREAS, BMWED and BLET work closely together in the regulatory and legislative arenas to further railroad safety for the benefit of their members, the industry and the public-at-large; and
WHEREAS, BMWED and BLET are leading the way in all areas of railroad safety.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that delegates go on record in support of the Rail Conference unions’ efforts to improve railroad safety by calling upon the Federal Railroad Administration to adopt federal standards strengthening requirements for two-person train crews on all trains, mandating emergency escape breathing apparatus for train crews hauling toxic-by-inhalation and poisonous-by-inhalation materials, and affording protection to crews involved with the shipment of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention go on record in support of the Rail Conference unions’ efforts to improve standards for track safety, bridge safety and rail integrity; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Convention go on record in support of full and timely implementation of positive train control (PTC) technology to prevent train-to-train collisions, prevent over-speed derailments, and prevent incursions into established work zones limits; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Convention go on record in support of the Rail Conference unions’ efforts to mitigate and address fatigue through a combination of predictable scheduling, increased manpower, reduced travel territories and the furnishing of clean and sanitary single-occupancy rest accommodations, nutritious meals, and appropriate away-from-home travel and meal allowances; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Convention go on record supporting closer cooperation between the Federal Railroad Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to address any gaps in regulatory coverage to protect railroad workers from all occupational hazards that exist in the railroad industry.
SCHOOL BUS AND TRANSIT ORGANIZING
WHEREAS, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the “Driving Up Standards” campaign; and
WHEREAS, in that time the Teamsters have organized more than 46,000 school bus and transit workers; and
WHEREAS, the IBT worked with its labor allies in the United Kingdom to win a neutrality agreement from First Group that has enabled the union to organize 35,000 workers at that company, making it the third largest Teamster employer; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters won an historic national master contract for workers at First Student that has transformed the lives of thousands and brought them into the middle class; and
WHEREAS, there are still approximately 17,000 unorganized workers at First Student – more than half of its employees; and
WHEREAS, there are thousands more unorganized workers at National Express’ U.S. subsidiary Durham School Services, at Student Transportation Inc., MV Transportation and other, smaller regional and local school bus and transit companies; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters are committed to work with labor allies throughout the world to hold Durham and its parent company National Express accountable in every country they operate.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters Union is committed to the workers in this industry and is determined to continue this campaign into the long term in order to organize a majority of the workers in the industry; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Teamsters will continue to work in a strong partnership with Unite! the Union in the United Kingdom and other global allies to ramp up our aggressive program in North America in order to win organizing rights and labor peace from National Express; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that local unions will work with the IBT to organize the unorganized yards at First Student in order to grow the Teamsters’ membership into the majority at that company.
SEARS LABOR DISPUTE
WHEREAS, Teamsters Local 107 members working for Sears have been involved in a labor dispute with the retail giant involving its proposed changes to work hours and seniority that would hurt workers; and
WHEREAS, its current contract with the company expired in July 2015 and the union has been forced to deal with lengthy, concessionary and at times arrogant negotiations that have gotten workers no closer to a new deal; and
WHEREAS, the company has offered no new raises and expensive health care that could cost members with families as much as $900 a month; and
WHEREAS, Sears wants its union employees to work less than eight hours a day, and have the ability to send them home when it deems fit on a daily basis; and
WHEREAS, the company wants its workers to relinquish their seniority when layoffs arise by allowing Sears to choose to keep more junior workers over those who have worked at the retailer for decades; and
WHEREAS, the company wants to use a new sales mandate that would set goals which would require workers to sell a minimum amount of product based on a regional area or be terminated; and
WHEREAS, IBT International Vice President Bill Hamilton may ask for a boycott of Sears if and when the dispute heads to a next step.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the IBT backs Local 107’s plan to stand tall and not hand back the gains made by Sears workers over the last seven-plus decades; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that Local 107 members will go on strike if necessary in their fight for a fair pay, benefits and working conditions.
SO-CALLED PAYCHECK PROTECTION LAWS
WHEREAS, legislation spuriously known as paycheck protection aims to remove the ability of unions to collectively bargain for the employer to make automatic deductions of union dues and other fees from the worker's paycheck; and
WHEREAS, automated processing of union dues and DRIVE contributions adds no substantial additional cost not already associated with the deductions already being made for medical insurance, retirement accounts, charitable contributions and other things at the request of the employee or employer; and
WHEREAS, payroll dues deductions are often one of the first agreements made by the parties in collective bargaining; and
WHEREAS, federal law already forbids the donation of union dues to political campaigns; and
WHEREAS, proponents of the legislation purposefully confuse fair-share fees, dues and DRIVE contributions; and
WHEREAS, DRIVE contributions are voluntary; and
WHEREAS, restricting the ability of a union member to voluntarily support an organization violates the constitutional right to free association; and
WHEREAS, paycheck protection measures are an undemocratic attempt to weaken the political strength of unions.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters oppose laws restricting deduction of union dues and DRIVE contributions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its affiliates will work to educate members, the public and elected officials about the real purpose and effect of these laws; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its affiliates continue to lobby, work in coalitions and identify supportive politicians to stop all efforts to implement laws restricting deduction of union dues and DRIVE contributions and roll back those laws that exist.
SO-CALLED RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWS
WHEREAS, unions are required by law to represent all employees in a bargaining unit, whether they are union members or not; and
WHEREAS, so-called right-to-work laws create a “free-rider” problem that allows workers to receive the benefits of a union contract without paying the cost necessary to secure and enforce those benefits; and
WHEREAS, federal law guarantees no worker can be forced to become a union member or to provide any monetary support to a political or social cause they do not believe in; and
WHEREAS, so-called right-to-work laws are designed to weaken and break unions; and
WHEREAS, unionization has boosted the wages and job security of all workers; and
WHEREAS, the average worker in a so-called right-to-work state makes $5,538 a year less than workers in other states; and
WHEREAS, the poverty rate is 14.8% higher in so-called right-to-work states and nine of the 10 highest poverty states are so-called right-to-work states; and
WHEREAS, so-called right-to-work jeopardizes worker safety, as workplace fatalities are 54.4% higher in so-called right-to-work states; and
WHEREAS, health insurance coverage is 4% lower in so-called right-to-work states; and
WHEREAS, academic research shows that so-called right-to-work laws have no impact on economic growth and no influence on employment; and
WHEREAS, strong unions create a stronger middle class; and
WHEREAS, the share of income going to the middle class, defined as the middle 60% of the population, is below the national average in so-called right-to-work states.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters opposes so-called right-to-work laws; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its affiliates educate members, the public and elected officials about the real purpose and effect of these laws; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its affiliates continue to lobby, work in coalitions and identify supportive politicians to stop all efforts to implement so-called right-to-work laws and roll back those laws that exist.
WHEREAS, soda taxes have taken many forms over the years and have generally been defeated on valid grounds; and
WHEREAS, for those cities currently experiencing a budget shortfall, the soda tax has become an increasingly attractive revenue source; and
WHEREAS, soda tax proponents have changed their strategy by cleverly expanding the list of stated reasons for the tax beyond obesity by including diet soda, as well as universal pre-school programs, improved libraries, community centers and parks, while at the same time refusing to consider the adverse impact that this special tax will have on the thousands of Teamster members who produce, warehouse and deliver these products.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the delegates here assembled commit to protect the jobs of our working families by demanding that any soda tax proposal include measures to address the potential adverse impact upon our members; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that if the proponents refuse to address the unfair impact upon our members, we are duty bound to oppose and defeat the proposal.
SOLID WASTE & RECYCLING ORGANIZING
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have a long-standing commitment to organize solid waste and recycling, a core Teamster industry whose jobs can’t be outsourced and an industry in which we work closely with environmental organizations; and
WHEREAS, a multi-year effort involving a partnership with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), worker justice groups and the environmental movement has led to a major policy change in the city of Los Angeles that has rationalized commercial solid waste and recycling policy; and
WHEREAS, the change has led to a labor peace agreement with the Teamsters, giving the union the opportunity to organize all commercial solid waste and recycling workers in the city; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters have successfully tapped the militancy of workers in this industry to win significant victories at WCA in Houston and Waste Management in San Diego.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters are committed to organizing workers at the Republic Recycling facility in Las Vegas; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the IBT is committed to duplicating in New York City the policy changes the union and our partners won in Los Angeles; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters remain committed to organizing in this vital industry, building worker movements and working with our partners to bring respect, dignity and power to solid waste and recycling workers.
SOLID WASTE, RECYCLING AND RELATED INDUSTRIES DIVISION RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, the sanitation industry is one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in this Union; and
WHEREAS, widespread consolidation has resulted in the formation of increasingly larger multi-national corporations with billions of dollars in annual sales; and
WHEREAS, Local Unions are increasingly bargaining with multi-national and regional employers in the sanitation industry; and
WHEREAS, these multi-national and regional employers in the sanitation industry are progressively utilizing single, coordinated labor relations strategies when bargaining with Teamster Local Unions and when combating organizing drives; and
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters created a stand-alone Division recognizing the potential growth and representational opportunities for the rank and file members who work in the sanitation industry; and
WHEREAS, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters created a stand-alone Division to counter the growing power and coordinated strategies of large multi- national corporations in the sanitation industry; and
WHEREAS, that Division is currently known as the Solid Waste and Recycling Division, under the direct leadership of International Western Region Vice President Ron Herrera from Local 396; and
WHEREAS, the Solid Waste and Recycling Division has the undeniable ability to expand the numbers of members represented in this Division through grass-roots organizing; and
WHEREAS, the Solid Waste Division is wholly committed to a program to organize the unorganized in record numbers; and
WHEREAS, the key to success in achieving this goal is to mount coordinated and strategic campaigns that are designed to win first contracts against some of the most anti-union multi-national employers in the country.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, through the coordination of the Solid Waste and Recycling Division, shall be contacted and included from start to finish on any organizing campaign that involves a multi-national or regional employer with the potential to undermine the International Union or any affiliated local union; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Solid Waste Division shall, at the direction of the General President and in concurrence with the General Executive Board, have the authority to direct the campaign, including determining the viability, the potential risks to affiliate locals and up to and including determining final jurisdiction if necessary; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that prior to submitting any final renewal agreement or first contract to the membership for a ratification vote, it must be submitted and approved by the Director of the Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division in order to protect area standards; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that this resolution is limited to campaigns deemed to be with multi-national or regional employers who present great challenges and potential harm pending the outcome.
TAYLOR FARMS ORGANIZING
WHEREAS, Taylor Farms is the largest salad producer in the world; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters represent more than 2,500 workers at the company’s Salinas, California facility who are members of Local 890; and
WHEREAS, the company supplies numerous Teamster employers throughout our food supply chain as well as well-known retail chains such as Safeway, McDonald’s and Chipotle; and
WHEREAS, workers at Taylor Farms’ facility in Tracy, California -- which employs 900 people -- sought to form a union with Local 601, and more than 500 signed union authorization cards within a matter of weeks beginning in the fall of 2013; and
WHEREAS, the workers were then subjected to a brutal, unprecedented union- busting effort; a vicious campaign that employed the worst tactics of harassment, intimidation and outright assault on these workers and on everything this union stands for as Teamsters; and
WHEREAS, the National Labor Relations Board Region 32 failed in its duty to ensure an honest, dignified election process; and
WHEREAS, the National Labor Relations Board failed in its duties to uphold and ensure the rights of employees after the election process; and
WHEREAS, Taylor Farms’ workers and Teamsters led a successful campaign to pass the strongest joint employer liability legislation in the United States, holding staffing agencies accountable for violations of California labor laws; and
WHEREAS, Taylor Farms in Tracy still remains unorganized and the facility remains a hostile, dangerous and unsanitary workplace that is a threat not only to employees but to consumers.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters stand with workers in stressing the need for creating a food supply chain with integrity for workers and safety for consumers; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the IBT pledges its support to Tracy workers, Local 601 and Joint Council 7 in their continuing fight to organize workers at the facility.
TEAMSTER CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE
WHEREAS, Teamsters are leaders in the workplace, in the labor movement and in their communities; and
WHEREAS, the issues that matter most to Teamster members and their families do not receive the attention they deserve by elected officials in many communities throughout the country; and
WHEREAS, there can be no stronger advocates for the issues that affect our Union and its members than Teamster members themselves; and
WHEREAS, attacks on unions and collective bargaining rights are still taking place at every level of government and every part of the country; and
WHEREAS, Teamster members have never been afraid of a challenge.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is committed to identifying and supporting Teamster members to run for, and win, elected office at the federal, state and local level; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Teamster Joint Councils and Local Unions will educate their members on the importance of running for office and actively recruit Teamster members to become candidates; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters Union will support Teamster candidates by assisting their campaigns in accordance with the relevant campaign laws for the jurisdiction and encourage other Teamster members to get out and vote for their Teamster Brothers and Sisters who have the courage to seek elected office.
TEAMSTERS DISASTER RELIEF FUND
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund is a charitable 501(c)(3) fund established in 1993 to assist victims of natural disasters long after the media has forgotten them; and
WHEREAS, the Fund receives donations from Local Unions and their affiliates; and
WHEREAS, collections from the Fund may not be distributed to specific disaster areas until those areas have been declared disaster zones by the federal government; and
WHEREAS, dollars from this Fund go toward the rescue of disaster victims and the cleanup and rebuilding of communities devastated by disasters; and
WHEREAS, the International Union has always encouraged officers, members, Locals and Joint Councils to donate to the Fund when disasters strike; and
WHEREAS, through this Fund, the International Union has been able to assist victims of disasters including Hurricane Sandy, tornados in Oklahoma and other disasters including floods, wild fires and storms; and
WHEREAS, the International Union is committed to continuing to assist victims of natural disasters and encourages members to do the same through the donation of medical supplies, goods, finances or time; and
WHEREAS, the International Union believes in helping those in need when they are at their most vulnerable, regardless of race, religion, socio- economic status, gender, sexual orientation or ethnic background.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the IBT will encourage officers, members, Locals and Joint Councils to continue donating to the Fund so that victims of natural disasters, Teamsters and non-Teamsters alike, will continue receiving help to rebuild their homes and lives after disasters strike.
TEAMSTER ORGANIZING MODEL
WHEREAS, the “Teamster Organizing Model” has significantly increased Teamster win rates in NLRB elections; and
WHEREAS, the Teamster Organizing Model is designed to win elections even when employers engage in all out anti-union campaigns; and
WHEREAS, the central feature of the Teamster Organizing Model requires a strong, active and representative organizing committee; and
WHEREAS, the Teamster Organizing Model calls for individual meetings with 80% of the workers in the unit; and
WHEREAS, the Teamster Organizing Model features a systematic, benchmarked organizing process that ensures accurate assessments of units and requires reaching at least 65% support before filing for an election; and
WHEREAS, the Teamster Organizing Model engages workers in campaign actions and engages political and community allies in worker organizing struggles.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamster Organizing Model is endorsed as the preferred approach to building union power through organizing and to best maintain union power at the bargaining table in order to negotiate a first contract.
TECH INDUSTRY ORGANIZING
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union has embarked on an ambitious campaign to organize workers in the tech industry; and
WHEREAS, contract tech industry drivers for multi-billion dollar global corporations, including Facebook, Apple, eBay, Yahoo, Zynga, Genentech, Amtrak and Google, among others, have united in the past year to gain Teamsters Local 853 representation; and
WHEREAS, Teamsters Joint Council 7 has led the way to a better life for hundreds of tech industry workers by negotiating contracts providing for significant wage increases, paid holidays, paid vacation, guaranteed hours, fully paid health care for workers and families of full-time workers, minimum work hour guarantees, workplace protections and much more; and
WHEREAS, workers’ lives have been transformed since becoming Teamsters, with some workers who were homeless being able to now afford a home; and
WHEREAS, there are thousands more unorganized contract workers in Silicon Valley and beyond; and
WHEREAS, “app-based” workers in Seattle with Teamsters Local 117 have benefited from an ordinance allowing for collective bargaining and are organizing with the Teamsters; and
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union is leading a growing movement of workers challenging income inequality and worker inequality in the tech industry.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters Union is committed to workers in the tech industry and is determined to continue this campaign for the long term in order to organize a majority of the workers in the industry; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that Local Unions, Joint Councils and the International Union will work together to ensure that workers in the tech industry organize to improve their working conditions and that the Teamsters Union leads the way in organizing in the tech industry into the future.
WHEREAS, the Teamsters represent over 200,000 workers engaged in manufacturing and tens of thousands of other workers involved in warehousing and distribution of manufactured goods that flow into global supply chains, often transported by Teamster members on the rails or the docks, in warehouses and freight distribution centers, and our members have a great stake in trade policy reform that grows the economy and keeps those jobs in the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, trade agreements based on the framework of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have resulted in nearly 2 million lost jobs; and
WHEREAS, since the enactment of NAFTA, the U.S. trade deficit has increased to over $700 billion; and
WHEREAS, trade agreements based on the framework of NAFTA have resulted in downward harmonization of international human rights standards and global environmental standards; and
WHEREAS, the pending trade agreements with the 11 other countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the European Union in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will continue this trend; and
WHEREAS, investment chapters in the TPP and TTIP will give foreign investors rights to challenge U.S. laws, regulations, and even court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent the U.S. judicial system; and
WHEREAS, the TPP is a “docking agreement” which other countries in the Pacific Rim area, including China, can join; and
WHEREAS, the TPP fails to include effective or enforceable disciplines on currency manipulation, such that any benefits that might otherwise accrue to our industries from lowered tariffs will be erased when TPP partners, present or future, adjust their currencies against the dollar; and
WHEREAS, continued enforcement against trading partners who violate international trade law (environmental and human rights) is necessary to level the playing field; and
WHEREAS, future trade policies must focus on job creation in the U.S. based on a new framework for negotiating trade agreements.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that it is a moral and economic imperative that this country drastically reform its trade policies to ensure that working families’ wages and benefits are not further eroded, that jobs are not continually sent off-shore, that the right to organize and to bargain collectively be in any agreement, and that workers are free from exploitation; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will continue to fight and to lobby against any trade agreement that does not increase jobs in the U.S. and protect workers’ rights.
WHEREAS, the Teamsters Union represents hundreds of thousands of transportation workers who move cargo and people throughout the United States by land, sea and air; and
WHEREAS, these workers perform their duties in workplaces such as a truck, bus or locomotive cab, an airplane, along railroad tracks and highways, at airports and at seaports and deserve a safe and healthy work environment; and
WHEREAS, various corporate interests are pushing Congress to weaken worker safety protections including hours-of-service (HOS) regulations and state-mandated meal and rest breaks for truck drivers, to prevent HOS reforms that would provide minimum rest requirements for flight attendants and that put cargo pilots under the same science-based HOS regime as passenger pilots, and to afford locomotive engineers and trainmen with predictable work schedules; and
WHEREAS, 21 states have enacted laws or regulations that provide meal and/or rest breaks to their workers, including truck drivers, and legislation under consideration by Congress, at the behest of the trucking industry, would preempt these state mandated breaks, limit driver pay, and retroactively overturn lawsuits against employers for not paying the minimum wage and/or for all time worked; and
WHEREAS, the trucking industry is attempting to re-write HOS regulations through the legislative process, including eliminating mandatory rest periods and the use of a once-a-week restart, and increase the total on-duty time that a truck driver can work; and
WHEREAS, meal and rest breaks have been determined to be a necessary safeguard against fatigue in all modes of transportation and the current truck driver HOS regulations are based on sound science that is designed to prevent cumulative fatigue; and
WHEREAS, fatigue remains prevalent in all modes of transportation and recent accidents leading to worker fatalities on our highways, railways and in aviation have reinforced the need for workers to receive proper rest and maintain predictable work schedules that do not result in cumulative fatigue; and
WHEREAS, the pursuit for cheap labor and less regulatory oversight have led to an expansion of foreign repair stations for commercial aircraft, causing the loss of American jobs in the U.S. airline industry, and led to a lack of safety measures including insufficient criminal background checks or drug and alcohol testing for workers in these safety sensitive jobs at foreign repair stations; and
WHEREAS, these conditions have compromised the quality of repairs and ultimately the safety of aircraft that are repaired at foreign repair stations; and
WHEREAS, lithium batteries can self-ignite, burn violently and are very difficult to extinguish, and legislation currently before Congress requires full harmonization of U.S. regulations with international protocols and temporarily bans all lithium batteries on passenger aircraft until the development of appropriate shipping standards and places limits on lithium- ion batteries on all cargo flights; and
WHEREAS, the full regulation of lithium batteries would have a positive impact on the safety of airline passengers and the air cargo supply chain; and
WHEREAS, positive train control (PTC) technology, improved track worker protection, the requirement of a two-person crew and the extension of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) coverage to railroad workers will improve the safe movement of passengers and cargo, especially hazardous materials, and reduce fatal injuries to our members on trains and along the railroad right-of-way; and
WHEREAS, the railroad industry strongly opposed the implementation of PTC technology and is attempting to delay the implementation of PTC, has lax safety protection for track workers, and opposes legislation that would mandate two-person crews and FMLA coverage; and
WHEREAS, railroads have been lax in initiating safety and security measures unless mandated by Congress and the Federal Railroad Administration.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters Union calls upon Congress to stand up for the safety of workers in all transportation modes, to ignore the special interests that want to shortcut necessary on-the-job protections, and to reexamine policies and regulations that jeopardize the safety of transportation workers and enact strong legislation to protect them; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters Union will call upon its rank and file members, stewards, business agents and officers to redouble their efforts to promote safety in the transportation industry workplace.
TRUCK SIZE AND WEIGHT
WHEREAS, the trucking industry is constantly pressuring Congress to increase truck size and weight; and
WHEREAS, the industry has had success in pushing through truck size and weight increases for certain designated segments of the National Highway System; and
WHEREAS, there have been numerous efforts in Congress to increase current 28-foot double trailers to 33 feet, and to increase truck weights on all federal highways from 80,000 lbs. to 97,000 lbs.; and
WHEREAS, our highways and bridges are in such disrepair that these proposed increases will only serve to further deteriorate our infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, nearly half of the bridges in the U.S. are more than 40 years old, and one in four bridges in the United States are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and in need of critical repairs; and
WHEREAS, while adding a sixth axle to a 97,000-pound single-trailer truck may mitigate highway pavement damage, additional axles will not help to reduce the actual weight of that vehicle on a bridge and will only increase bridge damage; and
WHEREAS, our current highway infrastructure is not designed for heavier and longer trucks, which require greater stopping distances, longer merge lanes to get up to speed with traffic flow, and exit ramps that can accommodate these vehicles that have a higher center of gravity; and
WHEREAS, heavier volumes of traffic causes greater highway congestion and puts additional pressure on drivers to make quick decisions about stopping distances, lane changes and other evasive actions to avoid accidents; and
WHEREAS, increasing truck weights has only led to an increase in the number of trucks on our highways; and
WHEREAS, a congressionally-mandated DOT Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study concluded that insufficient safety data warranted no increase in truck size and weight.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters Union will call upon Congress to reject policies that cause damage to our already crumbling infrastructure and that jeopardize highway safety; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters Union will oppose any increases in truck size and weight, and support legislation that freezes the current truck size and weight limits on the National Highway System.
UC LOCAL 2010 CONTRACT CAMPAIGN
WHEREAS, the University of California’s (UC) 14,000 clerical workers, a vast majority of whom are women and people of color, voted in 2010 to join the Teamsters and formed Local 2010, and an additional 800 UC skilled trades workers joined Local 2010 this year; and
WHEREAS, these hard-working Teamsters consist of administrative assistants, skilled trades workers, collection representatives, childcare assistants, 911 dispatchers and more; and
WHEREAS, the UC system is the state’s third largest employer with nearly 200,000 employees, yet the university has driven down administrative support workers’ real wages by more than 24% in the last two decades and skilled trades workers are paid well below prevailing wage; and
WHEREAS, an Economic Policy Institute report found that 92.3% of UC administrative support workers are paid too little to afford the basic necessities of life; and
WHEREAS, UC has become part of the national trend of increased income inequality, as senior managers’ average income has increased at a rate 10 times that of support staff workers; and
WHEREAS, the UC system is now trying to take away guaranteed raises and move from a secure defined benefit pension to a risky 401(k)-style plan that will decimate income replacement and make workers subject to the whims and fees of Wall Street.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters call on the state of California to renew its commitment to public higher education and restore budget cuts made to the UC system; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University of California has a moral imperative to pay workers a living wage, not increase income inequality; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the Teamsters Union calls upon the UC system to return to its roots and work to serve all Californians by becoming more affordable, a center of research and public policy information that the Golden State needs and a force for a fair and growing economy, not one that perpetuates the nation’s growing income divide.
WHEREAS, the warehouse industry is a key component of the global supply chain which we are committed to organizing, in particular building on our strength and protecting our members in the food distribution sector; and
WHEREAS, through a national effort the Teamsters Union was able to contribute to the blocking of the proposed merger of US Foods and Sysco, protecting our members at both companies; and
WHEREAS, the union continues to aggressively organize and expose the bad behavior at both companies, winning victories at Sysco facilities in Atlanta, West Palm Beach, Florida as well as Grand Rapids, Michigan; and
WHEREAS, the Port Drivers campaign has expanded to warehousing at the Port of Los Angeles, specifically at the Cal-Cartage facility on Los Angeles city property where a lawsuit is pending regarding minimum wage violations and where worker exploitation is extreme; and
WHEREAS, XPO Logistics, which affects three Teamster divisions – Port, Freight and Warehouse – is a threat to Teamster members, especially in St. Louis, where supermarket company Schnuck’s warehouse is outsourcing work to XPO.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters are committed to continuing to organize at Sysco and US Foods, building our critique of these companies and winning new members; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the IBT is committed to carrying the fight at the Port of Los Angeles to the Cal-Cartage warehouse as an integral part of port operations and thus the Port Drivers campaign; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that this union is committed to taking an inter- divisional approach to organizing XPO and protecting our existing members at the ports, in freight and in warehouses across the country, including implementing a global strategy with our overseas allies.
WHEREAS, worker misclassification is a deceptive effort by bad-acting employers to purposely identify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying employee-related expenses such as unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation; and
WHEREAS, misclassified workers are robbed of basic workplace protections under federal and state law which have protected employees for more than a century, including the National Labor Relations Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act; and
WHEREAS, misclassified workers are often denied healthcare benefits and retirement benefits from their bad-acting employers; and
WHEREAS, by this unlawful activity, bad-acting employers save nearly 30% on worker-related expenses due to misclassification, forcing employers who play by the rules to compete at a disadvantage; and
WHEREAS, federal and state governments lose billions of dollars annually due to this egregious practice. The federal government loses nearly $4.7 billion annually while 15 states which compiled dollar amounts fixed to worker misclassification lose more than $3.2 billion collectively each year; and
WHEREAS, worker misclassification fundamentally challenges much-needed protections for workers and compromises state government; and
WHEREAS, the rapid rise of app-based on-demand services has been made possible by exploitation of workers through the weak enforcement and application of misclassification laws; and
WHEREAS, statistics suggest this practice increasing in frequency, forcing federal and state governments to take unprecedented steps to crack down on bad- acting employers.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the federal and state governments should take all necessary steps to eliminate this egregious practice under wage-and-hour, fair labor standards, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance laws.
BE IT FURTHERED RESOLVED that states adopt the “ABC” test to consider employee versus independent contractor for all future decisions on employee status.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the IBT will convene a misclassification taskforce to discuss strategies as they impact Teamster core industries.
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that strong financial penalties should be enacted to recoup lost revenues to the federal and state governments while discouraging other bad-acting employers from using this egregious practice.
XPO LOGISTICS ORGANIZING
WHEREAS, XPO Logistics is now the second-largest logistics company in North America, after UPS; and
WHEREAS, the rapid expansion of XPO Logistics, an international operation that includes freight, warehouse and port drayage, has left the business highly leveraged; and
WHEREAS, in addition to its $3 billion acquisition of Con-way, the company spent $3.5 billion for the French-based freight company Norbert Dentressangle, and along with other acquisitions, XPO Logistics now controls companies with fully unionized employees across Europe; and
WHEREAS, XPO Logistics affects three Teamster Divisions – Freight, Port and Warehouse – and is a threat to our members in all three divisions; and
WHEREAS, the vast majority of workers at XPO Logistics in North America are unorganized; and
WHEREAS, the IBT is a member of global alliances with a full commitment from member unions to stand as one, capable of bringing pressure on a global company like XPO Logistics wherever they operate.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that the Teamsters are committed to develop a coordinated strategic plan across the three divisions — Freight, Port and Warehouse — in partnership with global allies to organize XPO Logistics as broadly and as quickly as possible