Recently, the IBT has sent out another mailing claiming to be undefeated against the PPPWU. What they don’t say is the truth. While we have lost a few shops, the Teamsters have completely failed in their attempts to destroy the PPPWU despite spending hundreds of thousands of their members’ dues money in their losing effort. Time after time the Teamsters efforts to make inroads into our shops has been met with a resounding: NOT INTERESTED. Our members know that having a union that knows our industries inside and out, negotiates the best contracts in the business, and is dedicated to serving our and our families’ needs is much more important that the false promises being peddled by the Teamsters.
We have and will continue to fight them at every turn. The Teamsters will never tell our members about all of their losses – the hundreds of times that they tried to convince our members to leave the PPPWU but failed to do so or the instances where they have withdrawn from elections they knew they were going to lose. Instead, they will continue to lie and mislead.
Even in those few instances where they won elections, the Teamsters will never tell of the misery and destruction that they brought to the workers in those plants. For instance, in Chicago, at the Graphic Packaging plant where the Teamsters won the election that was held in early November, the members have not seen any of the promises made by the IBT come to fruition. The workers there passed up significant wage increases to place a losing bet on the Teamsters. As a result, not only have the Teamsters not been able to get any wage increase for the workers, the Teamsters have not even been able to get to the bargaining table and start negotiating a contract. The process is still being held up in the NLRB, and the members are still waiting on the Teamsters. Had the workers remained in the PPPWU, they would have been enjoying significant wage increases for the past three months and well into the future and the protections that come with a contract. Now, they have nothing but Teamster empty promises.
In Salinas, California where the West Rock plant workers left the PPPWU for the Teamsters, the members lost their low-cost, comprehensive union healthcare and were immediately put in the Company health care plan, an extremely high deductible plan with a $6000/$12000 deductible that many of the workers cannot afford and does not even cover their needed medications. The IBT promised them Union health care, union pension and major wage increases. The members have seen nothing. In fact, two members, the chief steward and an assistant steward, were discharged and are still out of work because no arbitration clause exists. No arbitration clause exists because their strong PPPWU union contract disappeared when the Teamsters took over. In the almost four months since the Teamsters took over at Salinas, there have only been two individual contract negotiation sessions with nothing to show for it. Plus, in a blow to union democracy, the IBT hand-picked the members of the bargaining committees and the stewards, not the members in the plant.
Other plants that opted to leave have seen no progress towards any of the lies and false hopes that the IBT promised. To date, the Teamsters have struck out on every attempt to get a contract for the shops that they have taken over from the PPPWU. In virtually every instance, they have not even been able to get to the bargaining table. It is likely that the Teamsters will end up losing several of these shops to decertification efforts within a year due to their inability to negotiate a contract. Please keep your members educated that the line of bullshit being peddled by the IBT that they are winning is just that, bullshit. All they do are doing is causing our union members to lose their contracts, pay raises and benefits. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We must stay vigilant and be aware of attempts to hurt our members.
Steve Nobles, President
Printing Packaging & Production Workers Union of North America (PPPWU)