Wealthy corporate special interests are forcing through controversial changes in the law that further stack the deck against working people and in favor of billionaire CEO’s. Their goal is to weaken our right to negotiate a fair return on our work and ultimately outsource jobs, cut health care, eliminate retirement security, and pay workers as little as possible to keep even more money for themselves.
These corporate special interests were successful at pushing their agenda in Wisconsin and it had a devastating impact on working people (see below for what happened in Wisconsin).
But rest assured, we have the power to prevent what happened in Wisconsin from happening to us.
98% of the 13,000 working people who make up Local 856 are full Teamster members. If we keep it that way, no change in the law can take away the power we have when we all join together with our co-workers.
If we continue to stand together, we will have the strength in numbers it takes to keep our union strong and fight for what’s important to all of us: improving wages, working conditions, and protecting our pensions and health care. None of these benefits are given to us by employers. They are negotiated and guaranteed by our Teamsters 856 contracts. We won’t allow a change in the law to undermine our ability to negotiate and enforce those strong contracts.
Use the online calculator at www.856strong.org to find out much you could lose in wages, health care, and retirement if we don’t keep Local 856 strong.
What Happened in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin Act 10 was passed in 2011, taking away union rights from public sector employees and adding legal restrictions that undermined workers’ bargaining power.
- Most public sector workers lost their unions and their union contracts. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union went from 70,000 members down to 7,000.
- 8.5% compensation cut in the first year. State workers took an 8.5% cut to total compensation in the first year, due to employee-paid health insurance premium and pension increases. For some workers it was even higher — an 11.3% cut.
- Virtual wage freeze for state workers. Most State workers have had a virtual wage freeze, with only 2% in across-the-boards from 2010 to today — while pension and health care keep going up.
- No more steps or across-the-boards. City workers in Milwaukee suffered years of wage freezes. Then they officially lost their step system and across-the-board increases under City policy in 2016, which started a new merit pay system based on performance evaluations, with no union grievance procedure.
- Health care inflation shifted on to workers via higher deductibles, co-pays and premiums. At the City of Milwaukee, health care cost increases are shifted on to workers with growing deductibles and co-insurance. Other workers face rising monthly premiums.
- Loss of overtime and grievance procedure. No more union contracts means loss of valuable contract language, such as overtime language and union grievance procedures.