What does it mean to be a Teamster member?
Being a Teamster member means that you belong to the strongest and most democratic labor union in the world. For more than 100 years the Teamsters Union has been a leader in setting the standard for higher wages, better benefits and improved working conditions for workers throughout the United States and Canada. The Teamsters Union is strong because of the participation of many of its 1.4 million members. Teamster members can find a variety of ways to participate to help build a stronger union in the workplace - from supporting coworkers in their struggle for justice or helping with the bargaining process to joining local union committee or becoming a volunteer organizer.
What is collective bargaining?
Collective bargaining (also called contract negotiations) is the heart and soul of the labor movement. It is when workers band together to negotiate workplace matters with their employer. The end result is a collective bargaining agreement or contract that spells out in black and white all of the terms both parties agree to, from pay rates and benefits, to a grievance procedure, time off, and more. The employees, or bargaining unit, generally nominate a few of their coworkers to represent them, along with expert negotiators from the union. Once the negotiating team reaches a tentative agreement with management, the bargaining unit meets to vote the contract terms up or down. This is called the ratification process. the contract only goes into effect if a majority of the employees approve the tentative agreement.
What does my contract cover?
Contract specifics will vary from one worksite, or employer, to the next, but generally include provisions on:
- Wages, hours and fringe benefits;
- Health and safety;
- Contract length;
- Dues collection;
- Union security;
- Grievance procedures; and
Most contracts in the Teamsters Union are white paper contracts. These are contracts that cover workers at one employer, generally in one location. However, the Teamsters also negotiate master agreements that cover employees from one company at all of the company's locations, or cover many employers under one agreement. For instance, the Teamsters have one master contract with a number of freight employers and one master contract for UPS.
How can I support my union?
Page Last Updated: Aug 24, 2015 (14:10:27)