Joining the Teamsters allows you to have a voice in how you are treated at work. As a Teamster member, you are part of 1.4 million working men and women and their families fighting to improve working conditions at your workplace and around the nation. The Teamsters are a family, along with 400,000 Teamster retirees in the United States and Canada. You will always have the support and strength of your union sisters and brothers. Your union is a democratic organization, where the members have the right to elect their leaders, and decide the union's policies.
Your Rights At Work
By joining together, Teamsters have more say in working conditions. We can negotiate with management to make jobs better and make sure we are all treated fairly.
The Union Contract
Pay levels and pay raises.
To win a good contract, workers have to show management that they are united in support of their negotiating team. Sometimes workers have to get support from other unions, community groups, public officials, consumers, or other organizations to convince management to reach a reasonable agreement.
The rights and benefits in the contract are guaranteed. Management cannot legally change them without negotiations with the union.
Your Right to Fair Treatment
A Teamster contract includes a procedure to protect you from being treated unfairly or fired without good reason. It also protects you from discrimination or favoritism in the way work assignments, promotions, layoffs, or other issues are handled.
A complaint that the contract has been violated is called a "grievance".
If you think management may have violated your rights, or have any questions or problems about work, tell your Teamster steward.
The steward and other local union leaders can answer your questions and help you figure out the best way to solve the problem.
Sometimes that involves discussions with management.
Sometimes it requires getting the support of other workers for a fair solution.
Help From Your Local Union
Your local union has the main responsibility for enforcing your rights under the union contract. Most Teamster contracts are negotiated by the local union.
Your local union has seven officers, all elected by the membership.
Some locals employ business agents to represent members and help the officers coordinate union activities.
Your most direct link to the union is your Teamster steward.
Your steward is a co-worker trained to help represent and organize union members. You should go to your steward when you have a question or problem.
How You Can Get Involved
Read your contract. Ask your steward to explain parts that seem unclear.
You have an important role to play in supporting the Teamsters program to organize new groups of workers.
Helping them organize is good for them because they can win new rights and benefits. But it also benefits current members of the union.
A bigger and stronger union can win better contracts and better laws for all of us.
Employers often argue that union members should be brought down to the lower wage and benefit levels of the unorganized.
Our organizing efforts create victories for all workers - union as well as non-union - by raising the standard, ensuring that we can all have better and more secure jobs.
Teamster officers and staff lead our organizing efforts–but they can't do it alone. Successful organizing drives often depend on Teamster members who give their time to explain the benefits of being a member to unorganized workers.
How You Can Get Involved
Offer to help with union organizing. Ask your local union about current organizing efforts.
You and your coworkers have the right to...
Elect the officers of your local union.
The International Union supports locals with...
Coordination so that we can all work toward common goals in contract negotiations, political action, and organizing workers who don't have union protection.
Every five years, the members of each local in the US and Canada also elect delegates to the International Convention. The convention sets overall policy about the programs, goals, and finances of the Teamsters Union.
How Your Dues Are Used
Dues are divided between the Local Union, Joint Council, and International Union, with most of the money used directly by the Local Union.
Each level of the union prepares annual financial reports. As a Teamster member, you have a right to obtain information about how your dues money is being spent.
How You Can Get involved
Stay informed. Ask your steward and local leaders for information on union activities. Read local union publications and the International Unions magazine.
We were originally a Drivers' union. But as the Teamsters grew stronger, those drivers came into contact with thousands of workers in warehouses, factories, offices, hospitals, local government, and many different kinds of businesses who also needed a union.
Today, the 1.4 million Teamsters hold just about every kind of job found in the US and Canada.
With new approaches and programs, the International Union is working closely with locals to...
Strengthen our bargaining power.
Page Last Updated: Oct 18, 2012 (11:22:15)