You Make the Decisions
As Teamsters, we negotiate with management to make our jobs better and to make sure we all are treated fairly.
Every member has a right to make suggestions about what should be in the contract - and to vote on the final agreement.
Give Your Suggestions
The negotiating process typically starts when your business agent calls a meeting to solicit the members ideas for changes in the contract. Meeting notices are posted on the union bulletin board at your workplace.
Give the local your ideas for what to negotiate in the contract. Your suggestions shape the demands that the union negotiating team - which you elect - will present to management.
To win a good contract, members have to show management we are united in support of our negotiating team. If the bosses see we are divided, they have little incentive to address the demands of the workers.
Attend meetings, stay informed, and join in activities to show management that you support your union.
This may require sacrifice. Strikes are very rare, but sometimes necessary. We would never have the wages, benefits, and working conditions we enjoy today if union members before you had not been willing to use their ultimate weapon and withhold their labor from the employer.
We Will Fight for Fairness
Locals will strike to win fairness in a contract, but only if a majority of the members at a contract meetings vote to go on strike.
In all but a handful of cases, union and management negotiators will ultimately agree on how a contract should be changed. This is called a "tentative agreement." The agreement only becomes a contract when a majority of the members involved vote to ratify the pact.
You Have the Final Say
In most cases, a meeting will be called when negotiations are finished so the business agent can explain details of the tentative agreement. Typically, you will vote to accept or reject the proposed contract either at the meeting or by mail ballot.
Remember, you play a key role in winning a good contract.
United We Bargain, Divided We Beg!