I’m honored and humbled to be elected to lead our great Teamsters Joint Council 7 into the future. Our union faces unprecedented challenges and tremendous opportunity to build power, win strong contracts, and organize thousands of workers into the Teamsters.
Corporate greed is on the rise; the super-rich keep getting richer, and working people are left behind. Amazon, one of the richest corporations in history–and one of the most anti-union–is expanding its non-union, unsafe, exploitative operations throughout the country, threatening every good union job, and lowering standards for all workers. UPS, the largest Teamster employer, while making record profits off our work, unilaterally slashed the pay of part-timers, signaling that we are in for the fight of our lives when the UPS contract comes up for negotiations next year. Greedy billionaires are on the attack, bankrolling anti-worker ballot initiatives such as Prop. 22, which was aimed at legalizing misclassification and exploitation of contract workers, and the Draper Initiative, which would ban unions for public workers.
Meanwhile, the Teamsters Union in this moment can build our numbers and power like never before. Union organizing is on the rise. More workers than ever want to join a union. Unions are more popular today than we have been in decades, especially among younger workers – and the Teamsters are the most popular of all. The COVID pandemic showed clearly that it’s better to work union – to have power in the workplace, job protection, and a voice at work – always, but especially when our lives and livelihood are on the line.
Here in Northern California and Nevada, the 20 powerful Locals comprising Teamsters Joint Council 7 are uniting to meet these challenges.
Joint Council 7 is taking on Amazon everywhere in our jurisdiction, to make sure they come with a guarantee of good union jobs and responsible policies, not poverty jobs that wreck our communities – or they’re not coming. We have already prevented Amazon from opening non-union facilities in numerous cities across Northern California. In San Francisco, where Amazon has purchased a parcel of land to construct a new distribution center, we are building a mighty coalition of labor and community to ensure the project includes labor peace, a project labor agreement, and community benefits.
Joint Council 7 is leading the way in taking on UPS greed. When UPS slashed part-timer pay, the locals of JC 7 jumped into action. Our NorCal UPS Committee called a series of powerful actions, and thousands of members picketed, rallied, and signed petitions demanding that UPS reverse its decision. Teamster Locals across the country followed our lead. JC 7 will keep on fighting until we win fairness for UPS part-timers, and we are building solidarity for the battle next year when the UPS contract is up for negotiation.
The Principal Officers of our Joint Council met recently, and agreed the time has come to unite our Joint Council, and to chart our course forward. Over the coming months, we will be reviewing every aspect of our work, and developing a strategic plan to improve our work and build our power.
We must gear up for the huge electoral battles coming in 2022 and 2024 that will determine the direction of our country and the future of the labor movement.
We must build our organizing capacity to bring thousands of workers into the Teamsters Union in every industry.
We must beef up our communications infrastructure, so we can talk with our members on every platform where they can be found, from print to text to internet to social media.
We must increase and improve our training program, to educate our members about our rights, and the need to stand together as Teamsters.
We are a great Joint Council with an unmatched history of winning for workers. I believe that the powerful locals and members of Joint Council 7 – united and working together – are up to the great tasks ahead.
About JC7 President Jason Rabinowitz . . .
The Executive Board of Teamsters Joint Council 7 has elected Jason Rabinowitz to the position of Joint Council President, upon the resignation of long-time President Rome Aloise that took effect on January 30.
With decades of experience and activism in protecting the rights of workers, Jason is the Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 2010, which represents about 15,000 clerical, administrative and skilled trades workers throughout the University of California and California State University systems. Under his leadership, Local 2010 has transformed into a powerhouse for workers’ rights: increasing membership dramatically; leading successful strikes and contract campaigns that have won strong contracts; and organizing more than 4,000 new workers into the Teamsters.
As Director of the 200,000-member IBT Public Services Division, Jason led the successful effort to maintain membership and build Teamster power in the face of the Janus decision and other anti-Union attacks. He has served as a Trustee on the Joint Council 7 Executive Board since July, 2019.
Jason has been in the forefront of the fight to protect members’ safety and jobs during the COVID crisis. He is a strong advocate for equality and diversity in our union.
Before coming to the Local in 2013, Jason served as a Teamster lawyer for 16 years. His success in winning justice for workers in challenging cases made him one of the pre-eminent union lawyers in California. For four years, Jason served as a Professor of Labor Law at UC Davis Law School.