Joint Council 7 starts new year well-positioned for success

Teamsters Joint Council 7 wrapped up a highly successful 2022, building the unity and strength of our union, winning victories for working people, and placing us in a strong position to take on the great challenges we face in 2023, including our fight for a fair contract at UPS.

We began the year with a transition in leadership, and a Joint Council that was divided after a contentious election in our International Union. Our first priority was to unite our Joint Council to put past differences aside and move forward together. I’m pleased to report that the Locals in our Joint Council answered this call, and we ended the year more united than we began it.

We proudly welcomed our new General President Sean O’Brien to Joint Council 7’s Delegates Meeting. President O’Brien brought an inspiring message of unity and laid out his vision of building a stronger Teamsters Union to take on greedy employers and win gains for workers.

Our Joint Council began the year by embarking on a strategic planning process. The Principal Officers of the 20 Locals that comprise our Joint Council came together to review every aspect of our work – from communication to organizing to training to politics to representation and more – and create a Strategic Plan to make our Joint Council even stronger and more effective.

We demonstrated our unity in action early in the year, when our largest employer, UPS, unilaterally cut the pay of part-timers. Our Joint Council, UPS Nor-Cal Committee, and all of our affiliated Locals jumped into action, leading the way for the whole country. We organized a series of pickets and actions at UPS facilities across Northern California, culminating with a powerful rally on the steps of the State Capitol, where dozens of state legislators stood with us. Other Locals around the country followed our lead, taking similar action. Ultimately, UPS rescinded the pay cuts for many of our part-timers, enabling us to show our unity and build our strength for the upcoming contract fight. 

We kicked our campaign to organize Amazon into high gear in 2022. By leveraging our Teamster political power, we stopped 12 of 12 non-union Amazon projects in their tracks. We passed a moratorium in San Francisco on the construction of Amazon and other large distribution centers until the city could confirm that such projects would help our communities, not hurt them – which means good jobs and environmental and other protections. In partnership with the IBT’s Amazon Division, we brought in our first Amazon Organizing Coordinator, who has been working with our Locals to build our capacity to take on and organize Amazon.

We continued to build our political power in 2022, electing many pro-worker candidates to office in the November elections. We had a banner year legislatively, passing six Teamster bills, including historic legislation that imposes monetary penalties on union-busting employers in the public sector, the first law of its kind in the country.

Our Locals were hard at work in 2022 organizing thousands of new members into the union in every industry. And we have been fighting hard and winning some of the strongest contracts ever, with historic improvements in wages and benefits.

We worked to beef up our communication program in 2022, creating new Joint Council 7 social media pages on Facebook and Instagram, where we share our actions and achievements (Make sure to like and follow our pages if you haven’t already!) We instituted regular meetings and trainings for our Local Union communicators, to improve all of our communications with members. 

We created a Joint Council 7 training committee, which has instituted a program of regular trainings for our Local Union staff, officers, stewards, and members. Partnering with the IBT Training & Development Department, we conducted trainings on organizing, contract campaigns, bargaining, and more.

In 2022, we held our most successful fundraising events ever for our Joint Council 7 All-Charities Fund, raising over a quarter million dollars to benefit Teamster members and families in need, and other good causes.

Together, we made 2022 a successful year for Joint Council 7, building our unity and strength, and achieving great things for working people.

We enter 2023 ready to take on even greater challenges, organize thousands more workers into our union, and take on greedy employers – especially UPS – to win the strong contracts our members deserve!

Jason Rabinowitz, President