We have long said that Teamster members are the backbone of America, and that without us, the country cannot function. The COVID-19 outbreak has revealed that to be an absolute truth.
Right now, as non-essential businesses are being temporarily shut down and the average American citizen is being encouraged to stay home when at all possible – Teamsters Local 89 members continue to work in industries that Federal and State governments have labeled as essential to keep America running.
While we know these are trying times, and we know many members are nervous for what the future holds – take pride in the fact that without you, millions of Americans would be in dire need right now.
Members in the UPS Air and Ground districts are sorting and delivering packages containing vital medication and household necessities, saving lives and bringing comfort to millions in a time of great distress. Soon, these very same UPS workers will be sorting and delivering packages of COVID-19 test kits to drive-through testing facilities as part of a massive partnership with the United States government and other companies. Without these members, American commerce that is vital for us to survive would be in great jeopardy.
Members at Morgan Foods continue to produce and package canned soup and vegetables, providing food in a time of heightened national need, helping to ensure that American citizens do not go hungry. Without these members, an already strained food supply chain would be on the verge of collapse.
Members at Zenith Logistics and Transervice Logistics continue to work at the Louisville Kroger Distribution Center, constantly shipping massive amounts of food and household necessities to stores throughout the region. Many of these members are volunteering to work additional shifts to get shipments out as quickly as possible in this time of national crisis. Without these members, shelves in Kroger stores would not be re-stocked at all, and the already difficult task of finding the food and household necessities each American family needs would be near impossible.
Members at YRC, Holland, ABF, and UPS Freight continue to ship truckload after truckload of freight containing critical medical, industrial, and badly needed consumer items. Drivers and clerical workers are currently working tireless hours, more so than ever before. Without these members, an already reeling American medical and industrial system would be in pieces.
Members at International Paper, Westrock, and Southern Standard continue to manufacture cardboard boxes, in addition to other paper products, that are used to package, and ship vital consumer products needed during this crisis. Without these members, the American people would be unable to find or order many of the household necessities they need to stay healthy and survive.
Members at Tyson Foods in Albany, Kentucky are still hard at work hauling chicken from local farms to a plant where they are processed and packaged as meat to feed hard-working Americans. Without these members, chicken products would be nearly non-existent in the region.
Members at Nugent Sand continue to process and haul the sand and gravel that members at IMI and Advance Ready Mix then use to repair roads, bridges and use in new construction. Without these members, an already struggling transportation and infrastructure system would be in complete disarray.
Members at Aramark continue to work hard to get cleaning products, hand sanitizer, paper towels, uniforms, and other general janitorial supplies to company’s across Kentucky. Without these members, an already stressed cleaning product supply chain line would be unsustainable.
Members who are porters and mechanics at our various shops are working diligently to keep their workplaces cleaned and disinfected, and to keep equipment running smoothly. Without these members, others health and safety would be at further risk, and all of these essential industries would be unable to function.
We must also be sure not to forget our members who have tragically been laid off as a result of their industries shutting down during this national medical crisis. Our members at Caesar’s Southern Indiana who always greet the Casino and Hotel guests with a smile, our members in the Carhaul industry who ensure that new vehicles manufactured by Ford are delivered to dealerships in perfect condition and ready to be purchased, our members at American Printing House for the Blind, who proudly manufacture reading material for the seeing impaired. These members, and many others, are struggling right now due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We as Teamsters must all band together to do what we can for these proud brothers and sisters in this unprecedented time of need.
And finally, to all our members whose company or job was not listed above, we thank you all for your bravery and courage during a time of great uncertainty. The Teamsters union is the greatest in the United States of America not because of our size, but because of the passion, pride, hard work and dedication that our members display on a daily basis.
You are what makes us strong, you are what make Teamsters Local 89 what we are: a family. And without you, America itself would not work. You ARE the backbone of this country. Take pride in what you do, and never forget it.
We at Teamsters Local 89 will continue to aggressively push each and every one of our members’ employers to continue expanding and refining their health and safety procedures during this outbreak. You are all working hard to keep America running, and we will continue to work hard to make sure you are as safe as possible while doing so.
To every member of our Local Union, to every member of the Teamsters nationwide, and to every American citizen stepping up and keeping our country running during this unprecedented national emergency; we thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
With dignity, pride, respect, and solidarity,
President Fred Zuckerman, the Officers, Agents, and Staff of Teamsters Local 89