Black History Month 2022: Teamsters Recommit to Justice for All
Feb. 3, 2022 | Black history is American history. But throughout our nation’s long existence, it has been overlooked and glossed over, often not considered important enough to teach in schools. That’s why celebrating Black History Month every February is so essential – it focuses on what for many are the untold stories of great Americans that were disregarded because of the color of their skin.
The Teamsters have a long record of standing in solidarity with African-Americans on civil rights issues. Early on in the union’s history, Teamsters advocated for “no color lines” within the labor movement and would not hold with the practice of separate unions for Black members. Women and minorities were part of the membership from the beginning, with Black Teamsters attending at the founding convention. Teamster contracts included provisions for equal pay as early as 1917. That year, the union won a clause in a contract for women laundry workers that employees would be paid the same regardless of race.
Over the years, the Teamsters Union has been privileged to both lead and support civil rights struggles that helped build the foundation of our great union and helped make the U.S. a better place for all of us.
But there is still much work in this country that needs to be done. This week, more than a dozen Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have faced bomb threats just for their mere existence.
Saigan Boyd, a student at Spellman College in Georgia, told CNN these latest threats show how far this nation still need to come. “I’m just ultimately tired of dealing with this level of unsolicited hatred,” she said. “I’m just tired of being terrorized like how my grandparents were.”
America needs to learn its history. That includes more than a century of lynchings that took place where mob violence was allowed to serve as a racially-motivated judge and jury across the country.
We can’t go back. And the Teamsters are here to say that we won’t allow it.
Teamsters Celebrate Black History Month With Voting Rights Push
Feb. 15, 2022 | General President Jim Hoffa and Human Rights and Diversity Commission Director Marcus King call for action to protect the rights of workers to vote. “The labor movement of today was shaped by leaders like Carter G. Woodson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip Randolph, who organized the first predominantly Black labor union… Randolph’s experience in labor organizing helped push the country towards greater equality and fairness.” The legacy of Randolph and King is under threat from anti-labor and respective voting laws around the country. People deserve the power to vote. Teamsters are encouraged to do their part by clicking here to make sure they are registered and their lawmakers support voting rights for all. Full statement here.
Video: Celebrating 20 Years of Organizing Under General President Hoffa
Feb. 23, 2022 | Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Keegel had a vision: A mighty army of organizers leading the charge, working with Locals, Joint Councils, and Trade Divisions, to bring strong representation to thousands of workers who needed a voice on the job. When Hoffa took over the union, organizing was handled on the local level with limited support from the national union. He knew that to grow Teamster power, that had to change. Watch how the Teamsters’ unprecedented commitment to large-scale national organizing under Hoffa’s leadership energized the labor movement and led to more than 450,000 new Teamster members over 18 years.