It’s hard to get noticed in Las Vegas, but several thousand Teamsters, their families and guests managed to do it. Proud Teamsters in their Teamster gear paraded through hotels, met in conference rooms and rehearsed their appearances on the grand and glitzy stage. Outside the Paris Hotel, tourists took photos of Teamsters posing in front of the gleaming red-white-and-blue Teamster semi-tractor trailer from Joint Council 42.
Teamsters from all over the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico are gathering today for the first time in five years. Day One’s agenda of the 28th annual IBT convention will focus on the War on Workers, combining solemnity with fervor, formality with music, world-renowned celebrities and rank-and-file Teamsters.
The morning features committee business – appointments, reports and resolutions – and a tribute to deceased Teamsters. Introductions and video messages are part of the program as well.
Some of the central players in the War on Workers will speak – or sing – to the crowd. Our Teamster brother, Wisconsin state Sen. Dave Hansen has a message. So does a courageous Ohio Republican who voted against the heinous SB5 bill, which strips collective bargaining rights from government workers. Indiana Assembly Minority Leader Patrick Bauer will recount the five weeks he negotiated with Republicans as Teamsters protested every day at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
It won’t all be speeches. Expect some stirring music from Tom Morello, who has played at the protests in Madison and at the huge march in L.A. earlier this year. Remarkable video footage of the protests, marches and rallies will be shown to augment personal stories and videos of the remarkable labor activism of 2011.
Keep watching this site for frequent updates about the Teamsters’ exciting convention in Las Vegas.