President’s Report

Members must all vote in the upcoming Teamster election

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Convention just ended. Unfortunately, it was not the normal week in Las Vegas with 2,000 sisters and brothers, but rather it was a virtual, zoom-based three-day convention. In the end, the business of our union was handled and dispensed with successfully, and the nominations for the International General Executive Board were held and completed.

Overall, and surprisingly to me, the technology actually functioned pretty well, and the voting and discussions on proposals,

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Light at the end of the long COVID and Trump tunnels

Finally, some upbeat news to report after a year of pandemic shutdown and horror stories about the over 500,000 deaths in our country from COVID—too many of them our members. We’ve seen story after story about the hardships many of you have had to endure due to the COVID collateral damage to jobs, the economy, and to many of the companies you work for. However, things are finally looking up.

Members who have been out of work are being called back.

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COVID and politics both impact our members

In an effort to stem the increasing COVID-19 infections and to hang on until the vaccines became available, most public jurisdictions within Joint Council 7’s geographic area are again mandating shutdowns. For a while, it looked like the infections were subsiding and perhaps we were seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I have again required the Joint Council to move back to shut-down stages.

Unfortunately,

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Teamsters — essential workers and essential voters

We are nine months into a year so bizarre that no fiction writer in the world could have dreamed up the unprecedented scenario we are all going through. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for everyone and perhaps has changed life for workers for the future.

Economic effects of the pandemic

Of course, Teamsters have been essential workers from the very beginning—making sure that life-sustaining products were in the stores and hospitals so that the rest of society could survive and function. 

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JC7 Statement on the recent racist murders in the U.S.

From that momentous day in 1968 when Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa stood with Martin Luther King in support of the Memphis garbage strikers, the Teamsters Union has not only stood with Black leaders but has fought to be all-inclusive, making equal pay for equal work regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation, a cornerstone of what we are about. This is how Teamsters gain our strength.

What happened to George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police is murder,

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Staying Teamster-strong through COVID-19

We are experiencing unprecedented and historic times. None of us have seen anything like this pandemic and hopefully, we won’t have to experience it again. The threat of COVID-19 is something that many of us didn’t really take seriously at first. As the virus spread, and our political leaders started to acknowledge its seriousness, our world, as we know it, has experienced incredible changes.

Many of our members are working long hours making sure essential items are in place for the general public and for medical facilities.

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He’s back!

I am pleased to report that I have returned to my elected position as Secretary-Treasurer of Joint Council 7. On December 23, 2019, my friend and partner, Rome Aloise, has been re-installed and affirmed by a vote of the Joint Council 7 delegates, resuming his former elected position as your President.

In December of 2017, I felt it was my responsibility and duty to step up to the President’s position during Rome’s absence.

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Good news/Bad news

The good news is that, according to Gallup Polls,  public approval of unions jumped to 64% this year, putting it near its 50-year high. The bad news is that since 1979, union representation of workers has dropped by more than half, descending from 27% to less than 11%. Half of Americans believe that the decline in union representation is bad for working people.

“It’s been a decades-long attack on working people,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler.

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Annual Joint Council seminar brings solidarity, education

Our 38th annual Joint Council Seminar was just held in mid-June. This was our eighth seminar since the merger of Joint Council 38 and 7. The educational programs are excellent and the seminar always provides the opportunity for Representatives and Executive Board Members to learn and be exposed to the most recent legal, legislative, union and pwension plan developments. It also gives us all a chance to get to know each other and compare notes.

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Joint Council leaders take national stage; events to note

The Joint Council continues to move forward in 2019 on many fronts.

The Cannabis campaign has proven to be challenging with an ever-changing interpretation of the statutes, as well as the many community regulations throughout the state. We are fortunate to have our own Kristin Heidelbach-Teramoto as the Director of the Cannabis Division and Representative Jennifer Schwab, both working out of our Joint Council. In fact, Kristin was listed as one of the top women in the industry,

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