International Brotherhood of Teamsters Essay

This essay has a total of 642 words and 4 pages.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers of
America, is one of the largest trade unions in the world. It was first chartered as the
Team Drivers International Union in 1899. The name was changed to the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1903. The Teamsters came about like other unions because
workers were not protected from economic exploitation or from the consequences of illness,
disability, or unemployment. The Teamsters enabled employees to participate in many types
of political activities and to protect themselves by political and economic means.

The membership consists of about 1.7 million people in such different fields as
transportation, warehousing, health care, office management, and construction, as well as
many workers in the bakery, dairy, brewery, and food-processing industries. The Teamsters
is the only union that represents every craft of workers in the airline industry. The
union also represents a growing number of public employees, especially ones working in
prisons. One out of every ten union members is a teamster.

The union is organized into five area conferences that help some 700 locals in the U.S.,
Canada, and Puerto Rico with regional contracts and negotiations. Their Headquarters is in
Washington, D.C.

Unlike other labor unions, the Teamsters union is structured to promote strong local
unions, and strong local leaders. Since the locals negotiate most Teamster contracts and
provide most of the services to the members. At the union's headquarters in Washington,
D.C., the International Brotherhood of Teamsters supports local unions with coordination
of national contract negotiations, political action, and organizing; Training and
educational programs for local leaders, stewards, and members; Advice and assistance from
experienced organizers, negotiators, researchers, attorneys, safety and health
professionals, auditors, and communications specialists.

The local Teamster representatives negotiate with the management of a company for
contracts that guarantee union members fair promotion policies, health coverage, job
security, paid time off, pay levels and raises, and other benefits. The negotiating
process starts when the employees' business agent calls a meeting to ask the members'
ideas for changes in the contract. Then meeting notices are posted on the union bulletin
board at the workplace. The teamsters' representatives then meet with management and
negotiate for the things the employees want. A meeting is called when negotiations are
finished so the business agent can explain details of the agreement. Then the employees
vote to accept or reject the proposed contract either at a meeting or by mail ballot. If
the workers do not agree upon the proposed contract, the business agent goes back and
tries to renegotiate. If management and the workers can not agree, then a strike can
result. The union can basically shut down the business.

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