This I Believe

William - Pennsylvania
Entered on August 30, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: community

I believe in a union. To the extent that an economy can influence one’s life, my teamster membership has been a boon and an invitation.

I work for Roadway Express in Harrisburg, Pa. and prior to that at Consolidated Freightways, both union trucking companies, the latter out of business because of mismanagement and the other a successful and competent survivor in an industry fueled only by change.

It has been borned to us, often painfully, that the uncertainty of a global market is now the bedrock of american industry, therein lies as equally as global, an argument over wages.

While the trucking industry is not nearly as susceptible to the gyrations of a world market, its own peculiarities and the devestation of deregulation continue to haunt this iconic american legend.

Teamsters are blended into the american fabric in deep hues of independence and strength. Our character was formed from industrial wars and the sheer wantoness of men who rode rough-shod over laws and nature.

It exposed a countenance in us that can be brutal and unforgiving but to our own a near scriptural devotion to each other.

In 1964, International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James Riddle Hoffa initiated the National Master Freight Agreement, it was then and remains so now, the most innovative and comprehensive work agreement between industry and labor. For over 40 years it has been the quintessential pact, arbitor and guarantor of tremendous wages and benefits.

As the leaders of our country continue to ignore workers through woeful trade agreements and meaningless domestic legislation, the teamsters union is uniquely positioned to offer workers unparalleled economic might and a brand of restorative spirit culled from the most infamous labor organization in the world.

We will simply not sit by and watch the Congress of the United States and the President legislate our jobs overseas. The teamsters have stellar governmental affairs department that is able to assess any candidate for public office insofar as their views may affect workers. Further, we can quickly mobilize any effort necessary to insure workers rights are protected.

The teamsters assimilate fresh thinking and legendary resolve in a comprehensive approach to the complexities facing american workers.

The culture of America has declined considerably since the first global trade agreement was signed. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began a horrible sequence of trade agreements that have effectively destroyed the middle class. But more that that, the american worker seems to have been conceptualized. A prominence and respectability were once the derivatives of time spent on a job, now it is a loose and fast means to irrelevance. Work is marginalized, underpaid and a seemingly series of broken agreements and trust.

The teamsters union offers hope, chisled from industry and sculpted to the dreams and asprations of men and women willing to reinvent american work.