A Union that Fights for Us, Not Against Us
What do you when a multinational corporation eliminates 166 jobs and tries to bust the union? If you’re Hoffa, you roll over. If you’re Fred Zuckerman, you fight back and win.
Teamsters have performed the yard work at the Ford auto plant in Louisville since 1952. But in 2012, Ford brought in a low-wage contractor to replace Teamsters who made $20 per hour with a union pension and benefits with workers making $11-14 per hour.
The subcontractor refused to hire the experienced Teamsters, except for a token few. Instead they brought in new hires, and told them they would have to join the UAW.
Local 89 immediately asked the International Union to approve a strike. Hoffa refused to answer the request for two-and-a-half years. One hundred sixty-six Teamsters were displaced and out of work for two-and-a-half years as a result.
Hoffa “would not back us…and Fred, being the person that he is, said we are going to fight for these jobs, we're going to get these jobs back and that's what we did,” said Johnny Davis, a 26-year Teamster.
Fred Zuckerman filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Bard (NLRB). The NLRB filed for an injunction in federal court to stop the union busting.
An NLRB judge ruled for Fred Zuckerman in a decisive win for Teamster members.
The 40-page decision details the scheme by Ford and the subcontractor Voith to eliminate Teamster jobs through a substandard contract with the UAW.
Ford appealed but the full National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling in favor of Fred and Teamsters members. The substandard contract was voided and the Teamster contract was restored.
Local 89 followed the NLRB victory with a strike that was won in just three days.
All 166 Teamsters won their jobs backs with full back-pay and benefits totaling some $20 million.
Under Fred’s strong leadership, one local union and its united members defeated a sweetheart deal, saved Teamster jobs, and won $20 million—while Hoffa turned a blind eye.
“Anything you want you have to fight for if it's worth it. And luckily we have a union that fights with us, not against us,” said Brenda Helm, a 20-year Teamster who won her job back. “I’ll vote for Fred every time, and you should too.”