(LAS VEGAS) – Today, Teamsters at the union’s 29th International Convention pledged more than $1.4 million to the fight against addiction.
“This is what it is to be a Teamster, what it means to be united and proud,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Our organization is full of amazing people giving back to those around them.”
The International Union, Joint Councils and local unions showed tremendous support after hearing the story of the Bornstein family from Akron, Ohio.
Travis Bornstein, President of Teamsters Local 24 in Akron, spoke to the thousands of Teamsters about the loss of his son Tyler to a drug overdose. Tyler, an accomplished college student and athlete, became addicted to drugs after being prescribed pain medication for injuries.
After Tyler’s death, the Bornstein family formed “Breaking Barriers – Hope is Alive” in his honor. The 501(c)3 non-profit organization brings awareness, educates the public and inspires breakthroughs in treating people suffering from addiction. Every 19 minutes in the U.S. someone dies from a drug overdose.
“Addiction is not a moral failure; it is a disease. Tyler is my hero to have accomplished so much with such a gut-wrenching disease,” Bornstein said. “Thank you. We are going to make a difference. We won’t let you down.”
A long line of Teamsters from throughout North America lined up at the microphone for over an hour, each pledging their financial support. They also shared emotional personal stories of loved ones who are battling or who have lost the battle against addiction.
Other business during the third day of the convention included the passage of a resolution in support of continuing work to protect the retirement security of Teamster members and retirees.
The Teamsters’ organizing success in the school bus and transit industry, as well as the airline industry, was featured.
Convention participants heard messages of solidarity from Hassan Yusseff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress; Dennis Williams, President of the United Auto Workers; and Ariel Jacobi, General Secretary of the Israeli union IUGE.
Nominations for regional vice presidents were held earlier in the day.
The International Convention, held every five years, is the supreme policymaking body of the union with the power and authority to modify the Constitution, establish programs, address fiscal issues and set priorities.
This week, delegates will consider constitutional measures and resolutions. Delegates will also nominate candidates for the International offices of General President, General Secretary-Treasurer, Vice Presidents and Trustees.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.