Teamsters Honor The Lessons of Black History
Black history is woven into the history of the American labor movement and the history of our union. Throughout much of our nation, Black history has long been ignored or outright suppressed. That is why, during Black History Month, we honor Black Americans' contributions to this country and the advancement of working people everywhere.
Early in our union’s history, Teamsters advocated for “no color lines” within the labor movement and would not tolerate the practice of separate unions for Black members. Women and people of color were part of the membership from the very beginning of the Teamsters Union, with Black members attending the founding convention in 1903.
As early as 1917, Teamster contracts included provisions for equal pay regardless of race. In the 1960s, Teamsters marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as part of the civil rights struggle for racial equality and economic justice.
While some progress has been made over the last half-century to eradicate the sickness of racism in America, we have a long way to go as a society to uproot the institutionalized prejudices that disadvantage and oppress Black Americans. While continuing to support the ongoing fight for equality and justice in America, Black History Month is about recognizing the countless Black Americans who – despite these obstacles – have helped move society forward in so many ways.
The Teamsters Union has and will continue to uplift these stories and learn from the legacies of Black Americans who have shaped the global trade union movement and human progress.
Teamsters Oppose House Bill That Would Threaten Worker, Motorist Safety
Feb. 1, 2023 | Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien sent letters to members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee urging them to oppose H.R. 471, the Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act. The legislation, introduced by Representatives Jim Costa (CA-21) and Dusty Johnson (SD-AL), would jeopardize the safety of workers, motorists and any American that uses an interstate highway – all while doing nothing to address the root causes of our nation’s supply chain woes.
“Supply chain challenges and bottlenecks over the last few years have laid bare a number of critical issues in the trucking industry, including the prevalence of poor working conditions, rampant and illegal misclassification of drivers under labor law, and the scourge of fly-by-night contracted and subcontracted motor carriers,” O’Brien said in his letter to the U.S. House of Representatives.
“H.R. 471 looks to wrong and dangerous short-term ‘solutions’ to the very real legal and economic issues present in commercial trucking.”
The SHIP IT Act would allow for the introduction of heavier, more dangerous trucks on the road that are prone to more frequent and more severe crashes. It would also grant the Secretary of Transportation unjustifiable authority on size and weight requirements and gut fatigue protections for drivers carrying agricultural goods.
“The International Brotherhood of Teamsters welcomes important conversations about improving the trucking industry – for both drivers and the American consumer,” O’Brien said. “However, H.R. 471 is simply an anti-safety bill in sheep’s clothing.” Teamsters
Tell Your Representatives to Support the PRO Act!
Mar. 27, 2023 | NOW is the time! Urge your members of Congress to become original co-sponsors of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) and help us build an economy that benefits all working families, not just the wealthy and well-connected. With public support for unions at a historic high, it is more important than ever that working people have an enforceable right to organize.
As we know all too well, when workers make the decision to stand together and bargain with their employer for improved working conditions, the deck is stacked against us from day one. Under current law, employers routinely violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) without repercussions and block workers’ ability to exercise their right to bargain for better wages and better working conditions. Let’s make Congress fight for us by making sure our nation’s labor laws work as intended.
Let’s level the playing field and give workers a voice to fight for safer workplaces and fair pay effectively. Tell your members of Congress to support working-class families by becoming a co-sponsor of the PRO Act today. Click here to act now!
America's Workers Are Fighting Back, Exercising Right to Strike
Feb. 23, 2023 | The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien on today’s release of the 2022 work stoppage numbers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data showed work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers increased by 44 percent compared to 2021.
“Workers are increasingly taking action and going on strike. There is a clear reason for this. America’s workers are fed up and they are fighting back.
“The ability to strike is the most powerful tool workers have to demand better and safer working conditions.
“Greedy corporations and billionaires who would rather stockpile profits and reward shareholders than treat workers fairly will see their workers out on the picket lines.
“A worker’s right to strike is under assault in the U.S. and across the globe. The Teamsters will never, ever stop demanding our fair share and we will not allow anyone or any institution to attack our rights to collective action.
“An anti-democratic case that is an affront to all hardworking Americans is currently being heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. Whatever the outcome of the Glacier Northwest case, millions of workers will remain emboldened to fight for their rights.”