Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy along with other members of our Local 117 delegation to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention

At the convention, division meetings take place covering all aspects of the work of our Union. IBT staff, Local Union staff and members discuss the successes and challenges that our Union has experienced.

At the Public Services Division meeting, we talked about the attack on public employees, the legal challenges to collective bargaining rights, and the need to retain a strong voice in the workplace.

One of the topics discussed was the U.S. Supreme Court case Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association. This was the case that threatened to weaken the collective bargaining rights of public sector union members.

The Supreme Court deadlocked on Friedrichs, essentially maintaining our collective bargaining rights. Sadly, there are more than two dozen cases working their way through the courts that would have the same impact.

Division Director Michael Filler spoke of the need to fully engage our membership. To build solidarity and fend off these attacks, we must find ways for members take a greater role in their union.

At the meeting, I told attendees about our effort to defend ourselves against the so-called 'Freedom Foundation'.

The type of campaign the Freedom Foundation is waging in Washington has not yet been fully felt in other states. Participants were shocked at the intensity of their campaign.

I outlined our Family, Strength, Community program that Local 117 initiated to maintain the bargaining power of our public sector members. 

Our campaign was recognized in the meeting and participants were directed to our website as a model to build member power and defend the rights of public sector members.

In the face of attacks on public sector union members, solidarity has never been more important. Working together is the most effective way we have to make sure our public sector members are respected and have their rights protected.