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October 23, 2017
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TEAMSTERS CANADA
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TEAMSTERS LOCAL 577
 
     
TEAMSTERS: OUR HISTORY

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) was officially founded in 1903 when two rival organizations, the Teams Drivers International Union (formed in 1899) and the Teamsters National Union of America (formed in 1902) united to improve working conditions for drivers and cargo handlers.

In 1912, the history of transportation was changed forever by the first transcontinental delivery of merchandise by truck. This major new mode of transportation led to new problems and new needs. It was during these years that Teamsters Canada built its reputation as a strong, dynamic and militant union that knew how to fight for its rights.

A period of transition

The 1920s and 1930s were a period of great transition and growth. As it continued to expand and strengthen its base, the IBT became affiliated with the Canadian Trade and Labor Congress. Teamsters Canada developed its internal organization accordingly, by adopting a concept of Joint Councils and Regional Conferences.

Birth of the Canadian Conference

In 1976, the Canadian Conference of Teamsters was formed in recognition of the needs, interests and aspirations of its Canadian membership, which at the time numbered over 74,000.

In 1992, a proposal was submitted to the general executive committee to change the name “Canadian Conference of Teamsters” to “Teamsters Canada,” in recognition of the special sovereignty needs of Canadian members.

In 1994, delegates to the Teamsters Canada Special Convention adopted changes to the union regulations, granting Teamsters Canada a greater role in administering the affairs of its members and those of Canadian unions affiliated internationally.

In 1994, Teamsters Canada also created its own strike fund for Canadian members.

Teamsters Canada: An autonomous organization

In 1995 the terms of a proposal to amend the International Constitution regarding Canadian sovereignty were negotiated, granting Teamsters Canada more independence and control over issues affecting Canadian members. To this end, an amendment was passed at the International Convention in 1996 to create the position of president of Teamsters Canada. Candidates for this position would now be elected by the Canadian membership. Other changes to the IBT Constitution have also been considered in order to recognize Canadian sovereignty.

In June 2001, a historic agreement was announced between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Teamsters Canada, resulting in entrenchment, in the union’s constitution, of autonomy for members, local sections, joint councils and the national governing body in Canada. In other words, Teamsters Canada would now be an autonomous organization, while remaining affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

In the era of globalization, given the industrial sectors in which Teamsters Canada members work, maintenance of a link with the international union was essential. At the same time, Canadian autonomy since 2001 has given our union the tools it needs to represent and defend member interests on both the national and international scenes.

Mergers

Teamsters Canada membership reached 125,000 by 2006, thanks to the addition of members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Canadian Pacific Maintenance of Way Employees and the arrival of members of the International Graphic Communications Union, to name just a few.

By this time Canadian Teamsters have become force to be reckoned with not only on our country’s roads but also on our railways, in our airports and in our printing plants. They handle hazardous materials, build houses, manufacture and distribute many different products and provide services to customers in dozens of supermarkets across Canada. Many other industries and trades are also represented by the Teamsters Union in Canada.

In fact, Teamsters is the union organization with the strongest membership growth in Canada.

Union activities

The ability of the Teamsters to positively influence changes in the labour market is clearly illustrated by the presence of a lobbyist in Ottawa whose job it is to advance important issues affecting the welfare of our members. Because Teamsters Canada is not affiliated with any political party, we have become a preferred representative to governments. Senior officials, cabinet ministers and sometimes even premiers and prime ministers consult our union’s officials to help them make crucial decisions for our country’s future.

But Teamsters Canada’s activities don’t stop there. Our Education department gives courses for thousands of union delegates and staff employees. This improves the speed and effectiveness with which local sections respond to conflict situations with employers.

In addition, numerous campaigns are launched for the purpose keeping union members and the Canadian public informed about key issues of the 21st century. In fact, the main issue for our union in the next few years will almost certainly be the level of motivation of Canadian workers in a rather heartless labour market, one that has less and less consideration for its important human capital.

Social commitments

The Teamsters Union is active not only in standing up for our members, but for important social issues as well.

The Teamsters make hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations every year to numerous charitable causes across the country. For example, Teamsters Canada’s Women’s Caucus provides assistance to women and children in difficulty. Another example is our Local Unions in Ontario, who lend a helping hand to underprivileged children.

Is the union movement at a crossroads?

The union movement is almost certainly at a crossroads today. Pressure on the labour market from business and government, globalization, the quest for short-term profits, qualified worker shortages in certain fields – all these factors confirm once again that effective representation of workers must be done by professionals in labour relations.

The Teamsters Union and its multidisciplinary team of lawyers, educators, economists, public relations specialists and labour relations experts have the tools to face any situation that might arise.

The slogan for our 2005 convention, “Working for you and your family,” clearly states that our union is committed not only to defending members but also to watching out for the welfare of their families and, by extension, the welfare of all Canadians.

The Teamsters Union now represents nearly 1.4 million members – making us the most powerful union in North America.

 
Source: Teamsters Canada
Visit www.teamsters-canada.org for more information

 




Page Last Updated: Sep 09, 2010 (20:28:39)

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Current Campaigns
  • The IBT and your Atlanta Committee members, Geoff Maloney and Chris Rogers have been negotiating with Company management since 2010; almost as long as the IBT have been negotiating for the Express Jet CRJ members. 

    The Company has now given us their final, closeout proposal on wages. Neither the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division, the Business Agents of Local 210 and Local 19, nor your rank-and-file committee members are recommending this be ratified. A detailed letter from your ExpressJet CRJ Negotiating Committee can be found here. A copy of the company’s last, best and final offer can be found here.

    Ballots were mailed on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.  Each member will receive voting instructions and credentials required for voting.  Voting will close on Monday, July 10, and will be counted the same day. 

  • The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.

  • We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed

    XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics. 

    This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes.  Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.

    XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.

    Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”

    Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!

  • This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office.  Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill,  a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.

  • Negotiations for the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) recently concluded and a tentative agreement has been reached. On Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 representatives from carhaul local unions met in Detroit to endorse the National Agreement and the Central-Southern Supplement, paving the way for members to vote. The Eastern and Western Supplements were approved in 2016, and will not be re-voted. However, all carhaul members will get to exercise their right to vote on the National Agreement and General Monetary Changes.

    Ballots will be mailed out on or about March 10 and are tentatively scheduled to be counted on March 30.

    The tentative agreement is from September 1, 2015, until May 31, 2021.

  • Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!

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  • This web page provides information on the ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since 1994, NAFTA has devastated working families, putting corporate profits ahead of people.  What’s worse is that NAFTA has become the blueprint for all other trade agreements, from the way that it was negotiated in secret, to the bad provisions that have made their way into every agreement that has been signed since then.  Now, NAFTA is being renegotiated and we demand that it be reframed to work for workers instead of corporate interests.

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    But now workers are taking action and standing up for themselves by forming their union. It's a different era now. It's Teamster Time! LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Teamsters are been standing together to protect good jobs at Sysco and US Foods. Our solidarity on many fronts helped to defeat the mega-merger of the two companies, which would have put thousands of jobs at risk. But challenges remain as both companies refine their plans. Join our campaign to ensure these foodservice giants honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and help us bring more Sysco and US Foods workers into the Teamster family. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

     

 
 
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