WHEREAS, the cornerstone for successful collective bargaining has historically been unity in purpose and solidarity in action; and
WHEREAS, as one of the oldest industries in the United States, the railroad industry, was organized along craft lines and continues to have a dozen unions representing railroad workers; and
WHEREAS, railroad carriers for generations have preyed on weak or vulnerable unions to establish “pattern settlements” that fail to accord members of stronger unions their just due; and
WHEREAS, coalition bargaining can be an effective tool to defeat management’s efforts to divide and conquer their workers; and
WHEREAS, Teamster Rail Conference affiliates the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) created and led the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (RLBC) in the last round of national bargaining to create a pattern settlement that was based on strength, rather than weakness; and
WHEREAS, the RLBC is currently leading the struggle to defeat the railroads’ attempt to shift the cost of health care from an industry enjoying record profits to the workers who are least able to bear that cost; be it therefore
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters congratulates the Rail Conference and its BLET and BMWED affiliates for their leadership in Rail Labor bargaining; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters supports the Rail Conference in its efforts to form and lead bargaining coalitions whenever its affiliates believe doing so promotes the best interests of their members.