Teamsters No Longer Necessary

Teamsters No Longer Necessary

Copyright 2002, Traffic World Magazine

I am writing this in response to Ed Braun's "It's Great Being a Teamster" letter (May 6). He writes in his letter how people should come first, and continues with "and God bless the Teamsters! That's what makes this country so great!"

Ed, I must disagree. If the Teamsters think the people should come first, why did my best friend's grandfather take a brick to the face when he refused to sign with the Teamsters? This wasn't 50 years ago either; try three years ago. Or why did his partner's truck take on gunfire during a Teamster picket line, while trying to finish his run for the week? I know numerous ex-Teamsters who only became Teamsters because they were threatened to do so. Doesn't sound so great to me.

I think the Teamsters have outlived their purpose. Sure, between the days of Jimmy Hoffa and deregulation, there was a need. Now, there are many other companies that pay as well if not better than unionized carriers and have the benefits to go with the pay. Why give that $40 a month to the Teamsters when you could pocket it for yourself?

In the same issue, there is a story on Overnite Transportation, a nonunion carrier. Overnite's profits were more than the "Big Four" combined. Overnite was second in profits to Con-Way, another nonunion carrier. I sincerely do not believe this is just a coincidence. If you recall, the last time UPS went on strike, Federal Express bought out Roadway Package System, making better their position against UPS. A few weeks ago, after union contract negotiation talks started for UPS, FedEx stock rose above UPS's for the first time. Don't think that was a coincidence either.

Times change. What once took so many companies forward is now what holds many companies back. It's time for Teamsters to open their eyes and see they are not needed anymore.

Freedom of choice - that is what makes this country so great. God bless America!

Ryan Jenkins

Bedford, Texas