Happy New Year to you and your family.
As we look forward to 2016, our Union faces some exciting challenges, but also a serious threat. A Supreme Court case – Friedrichs v the California Teachers Association - could weaken the ability for Local 117 members in the public sector to stand together and preserve their hard-fought wages and benefits.
The Friedrichs case is being funded by wealthy special interests who are trying to maximize profits for big corporations at the expense of middle class families. If they are successful, our ability to speak out for family wages and good benefits will become much more difficult.
Whatever the outcome of Friedrichs, the case raises an important question that gets to the heart of what we stand for as union members:
Will we succumb to wealthy special interests and abandon our union membership as radical groups like the Freedom Foundation will likely ask us to do? Or will we stick together, stand up for what we believe in, and reaffirm our commitment to our union and to each other?
As union members, we share many core values. We want an economy that works for all of us – not just the wealthiest 1 percent. We want fair wages to raise a family, safe and healthy communities, a dignified retirement, and respect.
We can best secure and promote our values by sticking together.
To give you an opportunity to discuss these issues, we’ve started a new project. It’s called Every Voice Counts. The idea is to conduct member-to-member interviews across our Union to talk about what matters most to you, the ongoing threats to unions, and how we can work together to build unity and strength.
To schedule your interview, talk to your Shop Steward. You can also visit our new website at www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org to learn more.
Thank you for your service to our community and for being a member of Teamsters Local 117.