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A Labour Day Message from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa

 

On the first Monday of every September, our nation honors the contributions and sacrifices of millions of working men and women. Labor Day is about remembering labor’s triumphs and the workers without whom society would not function. But it’s also about solidarity and celebrating our movement—a movement that today is alive and well and still fighting for a strong middle class.

The labor movement, and the Teamsters Union in particular, is alive and well and is still forcing change. Labor is behind the movement to raise the minimum wage and shining a spotlight on income inequality. And the Teamsters Union is still organizing new members. Many workers know that unions are the key to a better life, and Labor Day is a time to remind everyone else about that fact. That’s why the Teamsters Union has organized more than 40,000 school bus workers in the last few years; why nearly 600 paratransit drivers in Chicago and hundreds more parking workers in Boston just joined the Teamsters; why thousands of taxi drivers nationwide are forming associations with the Teamsters.

For far too many people, Labor Day is seen simply as a day of rest. But for a growing set of U.S. workers, there is no break from trying to earn enough to support their families. Despite a dip in unemployment during the past few years, low pay continues to plague many employees while their corporate bosses rake in record profits.

The roots of the American middle class' economic decline are decades in the making. Spurred by a decline in union membership, fewer manufacturing jobs and an increase in the service economy, it has gotten harder and harder for workers to make ends meet. And those changes have been exacerbated by trade deals like NAFTA that have led to more than a million lost jobs.

Improving the outlook for U.S workers isn't about creating millions of minimum-wage jobs. It is about creating sustainable, skilled employment that allows Americans to earn a fair wage with benefits that allows them to pay for housing and food on the table and sustain a middle-class lifestyle.

... to see the full article please click the link below:

http://teamster.org/news/2014/08/labor-day-message-teamsters-general-president-james-p-hoffa

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"I was there when we brought the Union in. The first-time contract they won for us was unbelievable. It changed the quality of my life. I am now a Shop Steward and enjoy working with my Union and looking after my fellow workers. "

- Paul Landrecht - Shop Steward. Island Farms Dairy.

“I look after a lot of members in a very big plant. For years I had to fight for them by myself with no help at all from any of the Union’s representatives or Officers. This changed completely once Bobby, Bob and Paul were in office. Now I have access to my reps 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  They’re always there to back me up.” 

- Darrell Lawres – Chief Shop Steward. Saputo, Sperling

"I have been a member of Teamsters Local 464 for 23 years and have seen many of the executives come and go. Some of the previous executives nearly ran the Local into bankruptcy including losing our pension.  Bobby Kornhass, Bob Ryder and Paul Barton brought us back from the brink. Since they took over in 2000, we at Dairyland (Saputo) have had the best contracts I have seen since I have been there."

- Randy Onyschak