Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Teamsters double down, too, in Chicago

Hard at work on Sunday morning. Yup, Sunday morning.
As Mitt Romney announced his running mate, more than a hundred Teamster political coordinators gathered to plot their strategy in the war on workers over the next few years.

Meeting in Chicago for three days of intensive discussions, they left on Sunday energized and committed -- to re-electing President Obama, to defeating anti-worker politicians and ballot initiatives, to form coalitions with friendly allies and to go on the offense in some states.

"We all need to do whatever it takes to protect our members, no matter how distasteful," said Bill Moore, from Teamsters Local 696 in Kansas.

Teamsters political coordinators already know that radical corporate-backed politicians want to destroy collective bargaining rights. They were reminded during the meeting by Romney's choice of the extremist Paul Ryan. But they were also cheered by reports that as many as 40,000 working people converged on Philadelphia in Saturday to support the Second Bill of Rights.

Nuts-and-bolts sessions on fighting the war on workers were led by Teamsters from Illinois, Washington, Kansas, Florida and California. Overall campaign and message strategy were discussed by  the International's staff and allies. Legal and logistical issues were hashed out.

And despite the increasing radicalism of the Republican party, Teamsters' political coordinators said it's essential to work with -- and elect -- the reasonable ones.

"You always work with your friends, but you have to be open to making new friends in the political arena," said Josh Zivalich, from Teamsters Local 769 in Miami.