But we must remain
in solidarity to succeed. The battle before us is a fight for the soul of our nation. We are the ones who will answer whether working people will have a voice in the global economy or remain shut out.
It is a battle that cannot be won without the Teamsters. We have a century-long history of fighting for working people.
Our Vision and Our Challenge
Still, we must be realistic as we confront the future. For years, internal division ripped apart
the union. While Teamster fought Teamster, employers exploited our differences. As a result our membership declined, as did our fiscal health. Even our morale, our hopes and our aspirations were weakened.
I pledge that the days of division are over. We have begun to heal the wounds that have weakened our union. While there must be dissent, it must be civil dissent. To be true to our democratic principles, we must respect diversity of opinion and use it to
power our union rather than divide it.
That is why my administration has focused on rebuilding and reenergizing the Teamsters union. We were not entrusted with leadership to continue tearing down the Teamsters, but to lead and rebuild the union.
In just a year, we have made great strides toward fulfilling our vision. We have stood up and taken responsibility for
bringing our membership together and getting down to what we are about: good contracts and workers rights. But there is still work to be done. We are committed to:
- Securing Good Contracts We will provide the resources and talent necessary to continue to bring our members good contracts that provide good union jobs.
- Increasing our Commitment to Organizing Organizing is our lifeblood. We must organize the unorganized if we expect to raise the standard of living for all working families. Whether a group of 500 factory workers votes for Teamster representation or a unit of 12 attorneys joins us, it is an important victory.
- Improving Communication We must continue to spread the word about our goals and accomplishments. Through improvements to our web site and in our magazine we are better spreading the Teamster message. But members must also join us in spreading the word at the dinner table and in the workplace. When Teamsters do the talking, people listen.
- Strengthening our Political Action No longer are Teamsters taken for granted. We are involved in politics to protect our members and improve their lives. Thats why we support candidates who support working families regardless of party. And more and more, our members are running for office. This truly brings the voice of working people to the halls of government.
We Shall Overcome
When we achieve victories we should take time to enjoy them, but we must remember that the next challenge will already be at our door. The struggle is ongoing, but it is one we must win.
Our ability to achieve our goals is entwined with our ability to stand
together. "Solidarity Forever" is not just a slogan. Solidarity will always be the linchpin of our efforts as trade unionistswithout it we are powerless.
Our future hangs in the balance. It is my hope that we will continue to join together to build the Teamsters into the most effective and distinct voice of working people. As we accomplish our goals, we improve livesboth ours and those of workers in an increasingly global economy.
Please join me in making the Teamsters the voice for working families.