Teamster Power Slate Releases Teamster Rail Conference Priorities

The Vairma–Herrera 2021 Teamster Power Slate has a plan to assure that the Teamster Rail Conference continues to play a central role in leading the Rail Labor movement.  We are the only Slate in this year’s election that understands the key to successful Rail Conference leadership begins with Rail Conference representation on the IBT’s General Executive Board.

Dennis Pierce is a Teamster Power Slate candidate for Vice President At-Large, acknowledging Brother Pierce’s national standing amongst all of Rail Labor.  Brother Pierce has been the National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, and the President of the Rail Conference, for nearly 11 years.  The BLET is the oldest union in North America, and is the founding division of the Rail Conference.  The 70,000-member Rail Conference also includes the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division and, combined, the BLET and the BMWED represent over one-third of America’s railroad workers, who belong to 12 craft-based unions.“

Under Brother Pierce’s leadership, the BLET has been a consistent consensus builder:

  • from creating and leading bargaining coalitions among Rail Labor unions with common positions and goals;
  • to joint participation in lobbying for rail safety legislation;
  • to fighting against those who would weaken rail safety regulations;
  • to litigating against federal regulatory agencies that allow railroads to weaken or skirt safety regulations.

This coalition solidarity in action has led to consecutive BLET National Freight Agreements containing real wage increases, protection of one of the very best health care plans in the country, and protection of beneficial work rules.  These National Agreements were overwhelmingly ratified by the BLET membership in 2012 and 2017.  Under Brother Pierce’s leadership, BLET is now in bargaining for a new National Freight Agreement and is part of the largest rail labor coalition assembled in recent history.  Eleven Unions representing 85,000 rail workers are part of this BLET-led coalition, a true showing of union solidarity.  And a BLET-led litigation coalition has reversed two anti-worker/anti-safety decisions initiated by the previous Federal Railroad Administration during the past six months.

As union coalition builder, Brother Pierce knows that true solidarity can only be attained by acknowledging and respecting each union’s autonomous right to pursue its members’ interests without interference.  The solidarity built by Brother Pierce’s approach has been long-standing, and is supported by virtually all of the Rail Labor unions.

Steve Vairma and Ron Herrera embrace this approach, and believe that electing Dennis Pierce as Vice President At-Large as part of the Vairma–Herrera 2021 Teamster Power Slate will improve the solidarity-building efforts of the IBT General Executive Board, and strengthen the Rail Conference in its efforts on behalf of all Rail Teamsters.  Support Dennis Pierce for Vice President At-Large and the entire Vairma–Herrera 2021 Teamster Power Slate!

Download Teamster Power Slate Battle Page in English, Spanish and French from Teamster Magazine NOW!

Hot off the presses! The Teamster Power made public its full copy and design from the Teamster Magazine “Battle Pages” just release and landing in Teamster mailboxes all over the US and Canada this week! We have great information about our “7 Steps to Build Power for All Teamsters” and great profiles of our experienced, diverse group of men and women leaders running on our slate

Member Survey

To Our Teamsters Brothers and Sisters, 

 Soon, you will see more about Teamster Power Slate’s vision for our Union and proposals to build our strength and empower our members in our feature spread in the Teamster magazine. A fundamental promise we make to every Teamster is that we will NEVER use your contract negotiations or ratification votes as political weapons to divide our members. Members deserve better. You deserve leaders who put aside petty squabbles when it is time to bargain contracts.

As a demonstration of our commitment and promise to you, today we announce our plan to develop reforms in the way our union negotiates national agreements, including provisions to allow these final agreements to be approved or rejected by the members through a simple majority vote. Our proposal will also include reforms to protect our members’ contract negotiations from being manipulated for political purposes by irresponsible leaders and outside groups. We will offer our proposal as a constitutional amendment at the 2021 Teamster Convention. We will engage Teamster members in this process, using your ideas and input to build that plan.  We are starting this process today with the link to a member survey below. You can help us prioritize several critical issues and offer up ideas of your own. We are here to listen. 

Unfortunately, our opponents in this race are working hard to divide and destroy hard working Teamsters, using the 2018 UPS agreement as the centerpiece of their deceptive, negative attacks on current union leadership – a role many of them hold today. What they fail to tell you is many of the candidates on their slate supported the 2018 UPS agreement and even had a direct hand in negotiating some of the least popular provisions of the current contract and supplements.  Our opponents are disguising themselves as reformers to hide their own deeply flawed record from members.  

Worse still, they have aligned themselves with the same reckless leaders and outside organizations that have sewn division in our union for decades – engaging in relentless attacks on their fellow Teamsters – while falsely promising to unify our union. This irresponsible behavior is a threat to you and the future of our union. 

We are pursuing these reforms because we will not allow Teamster members’ contracts to be used for political cannon fodder by irresponsible leaders and outside groups. Members want change. We hear you. Together, we will put forward proposals for Convention delegates to debate at our union convention – and resolve to make the 2021 campaign for Teamsters General President about how to make members’ lives better, fight for stronger contracts, and build a more powerful, more diverse union from the bottom up. 

If you share our vision to build a stronger Teamsters union, please join our campaign at www.teamsterpowerslate.com/get-involved/

In Solidarity, 

Steve Vairma – Candidate for Teamster General President

Ron Herrera – Candidate for Teamster General Secretary-Treasurer

Statements From Teamster Power Slate Turning In Accreditation Petitions

For Immediate Release       September, 31 2020

The Vairma/Herrera 2021 Teamster Power Slate turned in petitions to the IBT Office of Election Supervisor today to qualify the seventeen candidates identified with the slate for accreditation for the 2021 IBT International Election. The Teamster Power Slate engaged in a nationwide, nine-week blitz to accredit their slate. We hit hundreds of worksite locations across the nation, more than exceeding our goals and collecting enough valid signatures necessary to accredit the slate for the 2021 Election.

Steve Vairma, Candidate for IBT General President

“I am extremely proud of the Teamster Power Slate candidates and volunteers. Across every region of our great nation, we saw tremendous support for our slate. The members we spoke to were incredible and I deeply appreciate their support. They shared with us their concerns, their hope for the future of our union and responded well to our ideas and message of hope, unity, and diversity. In six short months we have built a campaign that will unite this union, bring about a new era of leadership that reflects the diversity of our members and build power for our members at the bargaining table to protect our pensions and win stronger contracts. We look forward to the next phase of this campaign and are proud of the slate candidates we are presenting to the members as they choose their new leaders.”

Ron Herrera, Candidate for IBT General Secretary Treasurer

“I joined this slate because I believe that this is the group of leaders that will best represent our diverse membership and these great Teamster Power Slate leaders have been nothing short of amazing. Several candidates in this race have believed that their ascension to power was inevitable. Of course, we all know that the selection process for leadership of our great union is not a coronation but instead, a democratic election. We have listened to our members and assembled a slate that reflects the diversity of our Teamsters members and created the opportunity for our members to have a meaningful choice in our 2021 IBT General Election. Thanks to the hard work of our slate candidates, volunteers, and the tremendous support from Teamster members in support of our slate. I passionately believe that we must reject any candidate who promises unity, while creating division simply to advance their own political power. We should embrace leaders that put members first and embrace our diversity. If we do that, I believe that the Teamster Power Slate will be remarkably successful in this election.”