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  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Updated On: Jun 05, 2018

    How can joining Teamsters Local 89 help us?

    When you organize a Union with your co-workers, you gain power in your workplace. Without a Union, Hollander has complete control over your pay, your benefits, and working conditions. Without a Union, very little of what you have in the workplace is a right.  Without a Union contract, Hollander can do whatever they want so long as they don’t break any laws, such as the minimum wage.   Joining the Teamsters will help you and your co-workers “level the playing field” to win the rights and dignity in the workplace that you deserve.    

    Union workers enjoy consistency in the workplace by preventing the employer from slashing or taking away their rights and benefits.  The strength of numbers that comes with forming a Union gives workers the greatest avenue for increasing pay, quality benefits, and fair working conditions. 

    How does Teamsters Local 89 work?

    Teamsters Local 89 is a democratic organization of 16,000 hard working people from Kentucky and Indiana.  In joining Teamsters Local 89, you will be uniting with your co-workers to win the pay, benefits and working conditions you deserve.  You will have the power of the strongest Local Union in Kentucky behind you as you stand up to make things better for you and your family.  

    This is YOUR Union.  Unlike the corporation that you work for, YOU have democratic control of this organization.  You will nominate and elect your own shop stewards.  You will elect your own bargaining committee to negotiate your contract. You will participate in open meetings for all members where you will decide what contract proposals your bargaining committee negotiates for. You elect your Union Leaders at Teamsters Local 89 every three years and the Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters every five years. You also elect the delegates to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention every five years. All of these are positions you have the right as a member to run for as well!

    Union officials, organizers and business agents are here to assist you in organizing, negotiations, with grievances and with any other needs that may arrive.  We proudly work for you and your co-workers. 

    What is the process for becoming Union?

    While there are a number of strategies to “certify” a Union, the most common strategy—and the method best suited for Hollander-- is an election filed with the National Labor Relations Board.  To get to this point, employees must show “interest” through authorization cards which are kept completely confidential.  After a substantial amount of these cards have been signed, we will petition for an election.  However, the amount of time it takes to get enough cards signed depends on a number of factors, most importantly how effective the internal Union campaign is inside the plant.  An effective campaign will utilize a “committee” who will actively work as “point people” so that employees have someone they know and trust to help them out with any questions or concerns.   Committee members will help guide the campaign throughout the process.  If you would like to be part of this, let us know! 

    How much are Union dues and what are they for?

    The dues rate for the Teamsters Union is 2 ½ times your hourly rate per month.  For example, someone making $20 per hour would pay a dues rate of $50 once per month.  This rate is set by member elected delegates at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention.

    Dues are used to run the organization.  This includes the expenses of the administration and enforcement of the contract (negotiations, grievance processing, arbitrations, etc.), legal services and fees, pay for Union staff to represent the members, communication with our members, training, and organizing.

    Newly organized members do not pay dues until their first contract is democratically ratified by the membership.  Initiation fees are also waived for newly organized members.  You won’t pay a single penny to your Union until after your first contract goes into effect. 

    Is it easy to go Union?

    The short answer is, “no”.  It takes dedication and a genuine commitment to improving the lives of you and your co-workers.  You will hear A LOT of disinformation and lies from Hollander and their paid “consultants” about how going Union is a bad thing, but what is important is to know exactly what the company will say and do.  This will help neutralize the potency of any falsehoods forced on you. If the company holds a meeting to tell you how horrible Unions are, ask lots of questions, don’t believe everything you hear, and do research for yourself! We are always happy to answer any questions you have about something management has told you about Unions!

    As long as you stay strong and united, you can and will win.  While it isn’t easy, the pride you will feel when you have your Union in place is one that cannot be matched.  

    Why is management anti-Union?

    Simply, management wants absolute control. When you form a Union, you have a great say in what the conditions are in your workplace.

    Can I be fired for helping or supporting the Union?

    You have a legal right to form a Union and you are protected by the law when campaigning to do so.  We would be lying if we said that no employer has every broken the law.  However, with strong worker support and unity, along with a strong Union, like Teamsters Local 89, Hollander would be VERY wise not to take such illegal action. At Teamsters Local 89 we pride ourselves in having a responsive and robust legal department and program. 

    Can you guarantee anything?

    One tactic used by Union busters and the employer, is to urge workers to ask their Union to promise or guarantee wages, benefits, etc.  There is a very clever reason for this: they know we cannot legally or ethically do so as these are things that must be negotiated with the company after you have voted to join our Union.

    That said, here’s what we CAN guarantee:  We will have you elect your own co-workers to be your day-to-day representatives (known as shop or Union stewards) to better protect your rights. We will have you elect your own co-workers to sit on your negotiating committee alongside professional Teamsters negotiators. We will have you present proposals for what you want to see negotiated in your contract. Teamsters Local 89 will fight alongside you, using every single resource at our disposal, to obtain the best possible contract we can.   

    Does the company have to negotiate if we win?

    Yes, they are legally required to negotiate in good faith.  That said, you and your co-workers need to stay unified to make sure Hollander follows the law and is serious about negotiations.  It takes worker strength to deliver good contracts! 

    Will you take us out on strike?

    Striking is often a scary word and that’s why the employer uses it so often.  However, 98% of all contracts are settled without a strike.  Further, Union officials cannot take you out on strike without your democratic approval.  Just your strength alone is enough to avert any strike as the Employer knows you mean business! 

    What if the company moves out of the state or country?

    Companies don’t close because workers want dignity; they close because of poor management and/or market conditions.  Do not fall for this scare tactic.  It is disingenuous and illegal to threaten to close as a scare tactic against a Union organizing campaign.  Hollander is here to make money and they will continue to do so when you form a Union.  In fact, they will see a much more stable and productive workforce.  Not to mention, the vast majority of Hollander facilities are already Unionized.

    Do you protect bad workers?

    We protect ALL workers in our facilities.  We are legally required to do so under the “Duty of Fair Representation” prescribed by the National Labor Relations Board.  We feel we have an ethical and moral duty to make sure all workers are given fair treatment and a hearing in discipline. Upholding contractual procedures related to discipline protects the innocent far more than it helps the guilty.  If an employer feels they have reason to terminate someone, they must show they were reasonable in doing so and weren’t acting discriminatory or arbitrary.

    Have other questions that weren’t answered here?

    We are always here to help! Contact us any time by calling our Organizing Department at (502) 614-8631, by emailing us at organize@teamsters89.com, or even by messaging us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters89. We will do everything we can to answer all your questions promptly and accurately!

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