Teamster officers, representatives, stewards, rank-and-file members and retirees from across Joint Council 25 came together May 7 in Park Ridge to arm themselves with knowledge to help the union continue to build political power.
“It seems like every year we say this is the most important election, and this year is no exception. Unions are under attack like never before, and we need politically active members like you to be the first line of defense,” said DRIVE representative Bob Trappe of the IBT’s Department of Political and Legislative Action. “Teamster politics are about human rights and people working together, and it all starts with educating our members.”
Trappe, along with Joint Council 25 Political Director Mike Ciaccio and Shawn Ellis of the IBT’s Department of Training and Development, led about 60 attendees through the day’s program.
Participants learned how to speak about political issues with fellow members, persuasion techniques and how to get more involved in politics through their local unions and Joint Council 25. After the morning’s classroom-style session and lively discussion, attendees took part in a letter writing campaign to their state legislators.
“Our members are passionate about this union and they’re passionate about politics, and together, we can affect real change,” said John T. Coli, President of Joint Council 25 and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “We will continue to educate and empower our members to ensure the voice of labor is heard across our state and across the country.”
Working closely with trainers from the Teamsters’ Department of Training & Development, the IBT is conducting trainings throughout the nation in order to have trained political activists available to participate in Teamster election programs in the fall.
Teamsters Local 727 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.