Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Teamsters help the working class

Note: This is a first-person account of Safeyyah Edwards, a member of Teamsters Local 507 in Cleveland. She is attending the Teamsters National Black Caucus conference in Charlotte, N.C.

This day at the conference is very important to me because it’s Women’s Day. It is based on women that have led the way for me and others so that we can achieve, reach for and obtain our goals and meet the expectations we have for ourselves. I think it’s very inspiring. The speakers recounted a little history that has paved the way for us, which allows us to be where we are today.

The keynote speaker we had today, the Rev. Fredrica Johnson-Paige, was phenomenal. The one message that I particularly liked is when she talked about the responsibilities the older generation carried out and how the younger generations need to do the same. She touched on how a village raises a child and how we kind of lost sight of that. Her message about putting God first is something we need to get back to.

The main thing about being a Teamster is unity. Teamster has the word “team” in it. To me, the entire conference, including today, focuses on sharing ideas, building relationships and mobilizing and organizing. This is what being in a union is all about. This is how it thrives and how it continues to help the working class.

To read more about the TNBC conference and see photo galleries, click here.