French and American Workers are in Common Struggle for a Secure Retirement
Kara DenizEmail: [email protected] Phone: (202) 624-6911
(WASHINGTON and LOS ANGELES) – Today, representatives of the Teamsters Union protested outside of the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C., and the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles.
The demonstrations were a show of solidarity with striking workers in France, many of whom are transportation workers and members of CGT, the transportation union whose record-breaking strike entered its 36th day today. Additionally, the Teamsters called on the French corporation Air Liquide, which owns the U.S.-based company Airgas, to respect workers’ rights to organize and to provide a dignified retirement to employees.
At the demonstrations, Teamsters carried signs which read, “Air Liquide: All Workers Deserve Secure Retirement.”
“Teamster members have much in common with French workers, including that both are fighting for a secure retirement,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “We stand with Airgas workers in the U.S. and workers in France who deserve a secure retirement.”
“We stand here at the Los Angeles Consulate General in solidarity with our brothers and sisters on strike in France to protect their pensions,” said Eric Tate Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 848 in California. “There is an international war on workers. Pensions are under attack in France, our government has yet to address the pension issue here in the United States, and multinational corporations like Air Liquide are allowing their American companies to refuse to give its workers a secure retirement and to illegally harass and intimidate union workers.”
After the demonstrations, letters of support for the French workers were delivered by the Teamsters to the Embassy and the Consulate General.
The letters read in part; “The 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union stand in solidarity with workers in France during their struggle to maintain a pension that allows them to retire with dignity and respect after years of hard work.”
Keith Gleason, Teamsters Tankhaul Division Director, stressed that the union will always stand up to fight for workers.
“American workers, Canadian workers, French workers, all workers around the world deserve to enjoy their golden years. Multinational corporations like Air Liquide make billions in profits and need to respect its workers and ensure there is a secure retirement for them,” Gleason said. “We are asking Air Liquide to take a closer look at how its workers are treated in the United States and ensure that Airgas ends its unlawful behavior.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters 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.