(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced today that it has formally affiliated with the 14,000-strong Coalition of University Employees (CUE), making the University of California Union a chartered Teamster Local.
The agreement comes after the overwhelming majority – 81 percent – of voting members voted in favor of the affiliation. CUE represents 14,000 administrative and library assistants, cashiers, public safety dispatchers and many other clerical employees at 11 University of California campuses throughout the state.
“We welcome this affiliation with CUE and we will work hard on the members’ behalf for a fair contract with the University of California,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “The Teamsters are experts in representing education employees at all levels, and we will bring this knowledge to the negotiating table.”
“From this day forward, an act of aggression against CUE members and Local leadership is an act against the Teamsters, and that includes attempts by other unions to replace CUE as the certified representative of the 14,000 employees in the CUE bargaining unit,” Hoffa said.
On Tuesday, the California Superior Court threw out a legal challenge to the vote filed by a few individualsas part of their attempt to decertify the union. The Judge found that the challenge lacked merit.
“Our members voted to affiliate with the Teamsters because of the union’s strong track record of representing public service and university employees,” said Anytra Henderson, acting president of the statewide CUE. The Teamsters represent more than 225,000 public service employees throughout North America.
“This overwhelming vote for the Teamsters makes us stronger,” said Linda Doran, a CUE library assistant at the Riverside campus. “Now, all the employees have to pull together so we can build a solid campaign for a fair contract.”
“In tough times, people want a tough, professional union,” said Michael Filler, Director of the Teamsters Public Services Division. “Now that the affiliation is completed, we will begin the strategic planning process with CUE leaders, stewards and activists throughout the state.”
CUE approached the Teamsters earlier this year about forming an affiliation, said Rome Aloise, Western Region Vice President for the Teamsters, President of Joint Council 7, and the Secretary-Treasurer of Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif.
“CUE came to us because they appreciated the professionalism of the Teamsters and our ability to get the job done,” Aloise said. “We were able to gain this affiliation with the help of our Organizing Department and the Public Services Division.”
“Teamsters organizers fanned out across the 10 University of California campuses to assist CUE to mobilize their members for this historic affiliation,” said Jeff Farmer, Director of the Teamsters’ Organizing Department. “These members join a growing movement of workers across the country seeking Teamster power.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.