Leaders from local unions in the U.S. and Canada are meeting this week at the Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference. Greg Nowak, Director of the Conference, opened the meeting by highlighting the solidarity the locals have shown in support of one another and how this type of unity will benefit members as the conference tackles the upcoming negotiations with Anheuser-Busch and others. Nowak then introduced Jim Hoffa, General President, who praised the organizing and contract victories the local unions have had over the past year.
“Its been a terrific year for your industry,” Hoffa said. “Our local 812 was able to win the battle against Clare Rose on Long Island after striking for 82 days with not one Teamster crossing the line! We had members come out to the picket line from across the country to show their support. And, we are winning in our fight against the soda tax. Chicago turned it down and now we have a fight going on in Philadelphia. That tax is a scourge as it just means less jobs for our members. We have to defeat it. And as we were there to support your battle at Clare Rose, we will be there to support you in negotiations with Anheuser-Busch.”
The conference continued with presentations from departments at the International including strategic research and campaigns, capital strategies, legislative, training/development and communications.
Nowak urged everyone to reach out to the International for support. “We all have a lot coming up and when we need resources the International is there to support us. We should publicize our battles and our victories so that we can learn from each other on how to win good contracts.”