Racism, white supremacy and threats have no place in our Union, no place in our Industry, and no place in our nation.
Recommit to the Teamster Oath here: https://form.jotform.com/201528666900153
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The events that have occurred this week have exposed a great divide within our country that has been exacerbated by hate and misunderstanding of others’ experiences, pain and trauma. Many concerned citizens and Union Members within our Local and Industry have recently made us aware of statements and actions taken by a few members that go against the very core of our organization. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and this Local Union condemn any racist or discriminatory actions by the hands of our Members. Every Member of this organization takes an oath upon joining this Union that our Members are expected to abide by. TO BE CLEAR, racism, white supremacy and threats have no place in our union, no place in our Industry, and no place in our nation.
As a Local Union, our Members are not employed by us but are instead employed by the Studios so we have no ability to terminate them, but their employer can or simply won’t hire them. Each Member’s actions and decisions reflect back onto us as an organization and on to all of the hardworking men and women that are part of our Union family. We believe in freedom of speech, but in that freedom comes a responsibility and consequences for one’s actions that reach well beyond the heated words of the moment.
The Union cannot control the words and actions of our Members; however, we can and will continue to demand they do better, as their livelihoods and career will depend on it. The By-Laws of the Local Union preclude the administration from bringing a Member up on internal Union charges, but our Members are able to take that action if they feel harmed by a fellow Teamster.
Moving forward, we can and will not remain silent in confronting the reality that we, as a Local Union, and as part of the greater Labor Movement, have a lot more work ahead of us in order to strengthen and expand the diversity and inclusion within our ranks. We cannot change the actions of the past, but we can take active and progressive steps towards educating our Members on the very principles and practices that afforded our Members the privilege to be part of a Union Family. We are committed to giving equal opportunity and representation to all.
We must understand the value of solidarity and collective action to make social and economic change in the world. It’s the same collective action and demand for change that has brought us strong contracts, better working conditions and workplace protections that many benefit from today, whether they are part of a Union or not.
In our Local Union we are working people, we are parents, we are children, we are veterans, we are immigrants, and we come from many different backgrounds and experiences that have shaped who we are today. We are a Union family that has a lot more growing and learning to do about our own Members’ experiences and how we can impact the world around us. Our Local is made stronger by our diversity and it is our duty as Teamster members and working people to stand up for injustice everywhere and work to help eradicate racism in our communities, our homes, our workplaces and within our own Local Union. We must continue to demand justice for all, as part of our fight to unite and protect workers. WE ARE ALL TEAMSTERS.
Article I Section 3 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Constitution starts with:
“The International Union is proud of its history of unifying a diverse group of working men and women from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds in order to advance their economic, social, and political interests. We are committed to the development of an organization which values and encourages the participation of women, individuals of various sexual orientations, and members of racial, cultural, and ethnic groups in the policymaking and leadership roles at all levels of the International Union and its affiliated bodies.”
In an act of solidarity, we continue to challenge our Members to:
• Recommit yourself to the Oath you took upon joining the Teamsters.
• Recommit to your role as a Teamster Member.
• Recommit to the promise of standing against discrimination and/or harm to a fellow Union Member, both in and out of the workplace.
An injury to one is an injury to all. We will not have our Local Union family tarnished by the words and actions of a few and we condemn what has been shared with us by many concerned citizens, bystanders and Local Union Members across our Nation. The Membership, Executive Board and Staff of Teamsters Local 399 will not let those few in our ranks diminish our demand for the pursuit of justice and equality for all.