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Chicago Teamster Local 743 rank-and-filers run delegate slate

Chicago Teamster Local 743 rank-and-filers run delegate slate to go to IBT International Convention, as they take on employers and bad union leadership. They also plan live call-in show.

The New Leadership Slate is made up of members of Teamster local 743 who are determined to reclaim their Union. 743 is a huge Chicago area local, representing workers in factories, warehouses, hospitals, nursing homes and some large institutions, like the University of Chicago and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. However, workers in 743 who battle for decent wages and working conditions must fight on two fronts. They fight against management and against their Union leadership.

In a time of general prosperity and low unemployment the Union has negotiated contracts that offer less in wages and protections. Any wage increases are wiped out by increases in benefit costs. Seniority rights and job security are given away without an apparent struggle. Employers
institute punitive policies without apparent opposition. And members are kept in the dark. In recent contract votes workers were sent intentionally incomplete or misleading contract proposals by their Union. They had no idea that a vote for the contract was a vote to eliminate important job
protections. Most members, however, don't even bother to vote. Many have never seen a union representative or a copy of their contract, and believe, with good reason, that the Union is of no use to them.

The New Leadership Slate wants to change this. Right now we are set on sending delegates to the Teamster International Convention in June. These delegate will put a rank-and-file bill of rights on the floor. We want members to have a constitutional right to review all contract changes in
writing before voting on them. We want the right to elect the business agents who represent the union at our workplaces. We want all Teamsters to have the right to elect the stewards who act as their front line of
defense. We also want to be sure that Tom Leedham, the reform candidate for Teamster president, is on the ballot. And we want a strong and cohesive slate to oppose the current Union leadership in our next Local election.

It will be a hard struggle. The leader of our slate, Richard Berg, was just suspended from his job, pending termination, for handing one flyer to a coworker who requested it. Management and our Union are united in their
opposition to our slate. Fortunately, more and more workers in 743 have united behind us.

To hear more, watch the live call-in show on cable tv:

8 p.m.
January 31
CAN-TV Channel 21 (cable tv in Chicago)
"The New Leadership Slate"



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