The Ever-’Militant’ Yet Struggling Teamsters

by | Feb 23, 2023 | Bargaining/Negotiations, IBT, Strikes, Union Organizing

When the Hoffa era ended in late 2022, incoming International Teamsters President Sean O’Brien described himself as a “militant” leader, and that self-expressed label continues to stick around as the Teamsters threaten strikes at major employers.

Granted, none of O’Brien’s aggressive behavior can erase the Teamsters signaling a 60% benefits cut for their New England pension funds. Nor will members be thrilled at the so-called “rehabilitation plan” that is raising pension eligibility age to 64 from 57 and altogether axing death benefits. These cuts will apply to those members hired from 2009 forward, but it’s solid evidence that the union is struggling amid plummeting membership. And that’s also why their strike-hungry ways are growing more apparent.

  • Freight negotiations will be forthcoming between TForce Freight and ABF Freight and the Teamsters on behalf of 15,000 members ahead of a July 31 contract expiration date. While discussing the upcoming battles, O’Brien not only re-upped his use of “militant” but also vowed to “fight like hell.”
  • Food company Archer Daniels Midlands saw dozens of Teamsters go on strike at an Illinois grain processing facility.
  • Tinseltown top Teamster Lindsay Dougherty flat-out told members to save their dollars because she foresees summertime strikes coming from several unions in the area, also including SAG-AFTRA, DGA, and WGA. In New Mexico, film industry Teamsters also rallied for legislation that would boost tax incentives for the many Teamster-employing companies in TV and film.
  • Aramark Uniform Services did forge a new deal with the Teamsters to avert a strike in exchange for boosted wages and benefits.
  • Likewise, Honeywell narrowly averted having to carry through on their threat of a multi-location lockout after reaching a new contract with the Teamsters.

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