Coordinated Bargaining

WHEREAS, Teamster industries are consolidating at rates never experienced before; and

WHEREAS, in industries where Teamster employers are consolidating, Teamster strength is best achieved through a national “master” contract at a particular company or across an industry; and

WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions increasingly bargain with large multinational or national corporations that have grown significantly through acquisitions and consolidation; and

WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions have formed national bargaining units at a dozen major companies to negotiate in a coordinated manner on behalf of the individual Local Unions in an effort to best represent the membership; and

WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions have formed regional bargaining units at dozens of other companies to negotiate in a coordinated manner on a regional basis in an effort to best represent the membership; and

WHEREAS, Teamster Local Unions represent nearly 175,000 members at nearly 50 companies where 10 or more Teamster Local Unions represent at least 1,000 members at that employer but do NOT participate in coordinated bargaining; and

WHEREAS, at those same 50 companies there are over 1 million unorganized workers and those employers actively and aggressively oppose unionization when faced with a Teamster organizing drive; and

WHEREAS, these corporations engage in centralized, sophisticated union-busting activities and attacks on union contracts and members; and

WHEREAS, these corporations take advantage of multiple individual bargaining units and white paper contracts to bring down industry standards or shift work to competing lower-wage, non-union facilities; and

WHEREAS, local union collaboration through regional and national bargaining is key to maintaining unity and upholding strong contracts and industry standards; and

WHEREAS, the Teamsters have a long and successful tradition of skillfully bargaining contracts that set industry standards and also establish a fair representation process for unorganized units at the same employer; and

WHEREAS, coordinated bargaining respects the proud tradition of local union autonomy while increasing bargaining and organizing capacity of local unions through national planning and action.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that all appropriate Trade Divisions and Conferences identify key companies in their industries and initiate a plan to engage in coordinated bargaining; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all Local Unions understand the benefits of coordinated regional or national contract negotiations and embrace coordinated bargaining initiatives at major Teamster employers or companies in a core  industry; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that such initiatives will require Local Unions to act in a coordinated manner and, among other things, provide proper notice to employers of Division/Conference approval of CBAs, understand the strategic value of working under expired contracts, and understand the importance of protection of rights language; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the IBT through its Conferences and Trade Divisions and department structures will assist Local Unions in educating their members about the reasons for, and the benefits of, coordinated bargaining; and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the power of Local Unions nationwide should be brought to bear in efforts to bargain for organizing rights at common employers.