Thursday, September 19, 2013

Teamster women get fired up at New Orleans conference

Teamster women find sisterhood is powerful!
One thousand Teamster women -- the most ever -- are in New Orleans through Saturday to re-energize for the next year of battles against the enemies of working people.

Commentator Donna Brazile, a New Orleans native, fired up the crowd during the opening session today with a rock 'em, sock 'em speech about the attacks on workers. Brazile said the battle we're fighting is unlike anything she's ever seen. She had special scorn for Congress, who, she said, "is picking on people who are too busy working two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet."

"Get your butt out and vote," she implored the Teamster women.

(Brazile's cousin, by the way, is a member of Teamsters Local 279 in New Orleans.)

She echoed Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa's message. "There's a war on workers and a war on women," he said.

That war looks the same, he said, wherever right-wing governors are attacking workers: in Ohio, with Gov. John Kasich, in Wisconsin, with Gov. Scott Walker, in Michigan, with Gov. Rick Snyder.

Becky Strzechoski, director of the Teamsters Women's Conference, led the general session with a warning that the attacks on workers so prevalent in the United States are bleeding into Canada. And she reminded the crowd that a Teamsters contract is gender neutral.

Teamster women will spend most of the next two days at workshops, learning about tools and tactics to use in fighting the war on workers -- and women.