About 150 Teamster leaders from local unions that represent warehouse workers met in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho last week to discuss the major issues and campaigns affecting the more than 200,000 warehouse Teamsters.
"We have many challenges ahead, but by working together--the local unions, the Joint Councils and the International Union--we will take these challenges head-on to make sure our members' interests are protected," said Steve Vairma, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division.
Leaders discussed the national organizing campaign under way at Sysco, and the campaigns to protect Teamsters at US Foods/FSA and UNFI/Supervalu.
Leaders learned the status of automation and artificial intelligence in the warehouse industry and how it may affect members in the future. They also discussed self-driving vehicles, and got an update about when they will hit the road and how our local unions can engage to protect Teamsters.
Javier Ramirez, Director of Field Programs and Innovation with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, also discussed workplace trends.
Gary Witlen of the Teamsters Legal Department advised officers and agents of trends in the current administration's National Labor Relations Board.
"Whether it was discussing mergers and acquisitions, negotiating the best contracts, automation in the workplace our our major campaigns, the meeting was very informative and inspired a healthy conversation about building our union," said Jeff Sperring, a Business Agent and Recording Secretary at Local 135 in Indianapolis.