Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Teamsters, Big Battalions, An Orientation.

The Teamsters union has 249,000 members in UPS. 235,000 of these are covered by the master contract. That contract cannot take affect until 16 supplemental agreements are negotiated and agreed. Local  89 with 10,000 members in Louisville which sorts 1.6 million packages daily is one of many opposed to the master contract. Its president Fred Zuckerman says he thinks the Teamsters top leadership did a "very poor job" in negotiating. He said: "They didn't meet or even understand the needs of the membership. We have a bigger fight with the international union than we do with the company." The opposition group in the union is Teamsters for a Democratic Union. It says there has been "a pretty big earthquake in the union and at the company."
This is a huge workforce. For all those who see them as revolutionaries, those in the Occupy movement, those in the movements fighting to make gains in the electoral field, all who want to change society, if they are not to be sidelined by events have to have an orientation to developments such as these in the Teamsters. We should all ask ourselves, how many teamsters are we discussing with? How many teamster workplaces are we orientating to and covering with our material? Groups of workers such as these in the Teamsters are the big battalions. If revolutionaries are not orientating to them and discussing with them then they will not succeed. They will not be able to develop a program and strategy and tactics to help these forces forward, they will not be able to develop in themselves the way to discuss and connect with these workers. They will not be able to develop a language with which to connect with the working class.

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