Monday, June 1, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Elecetion Update-Don't Forget About the Convention Delegates‏ by Steve Downs

On June 2, two ballots will be mailed to members in good standing. One ballot contains the candidates for President and other Local officers, Executive Board, and Division officers. The second ballot has the candidates for delegates to the TWU convention.
The first ballot has been getting the most attention, but the one for convention delegates is important too. The convention is held once every four years.The officers of the national union are elected and the delegates vote on resolutions to guide the work of the officers for the next four years.

Here are a few reasons why you should vote for the Take Back Our Union slate for convention delegates:

* The election of International officers. Roger Toussaint expects to be elected a Vice-President of the national TWU. And he expects a job on the TWU payroll. He’s making this move so the members of Local 100 cannot hold him accountable for the damage he’s done to our Local. The only way you’ll have a say is through the delegates you send to the convention. The only way you can vote against Toussaint is to send TBOU’s candidates to the convention. We will vote against Roger Toussaint for any position with the national union.

* Amendments to the TWU Constitution. The convention is the place to make needed changes to the TWU Constitution. For example, Toussaint was able to hold onto his office despite receiving less than 50% of the votes in the 2006 election because the Constitution permits it. Changing the TWU Constitution to empower a Local to hold a run-off election when no candidate receives a majority is one needed change that will help protect members’ rights in the future. Another is prohibiting a Local President from sending a contract to binding arbitration without first getting the approval of the membership.

* Rejecting business-as-usual as a response to the economic crisis. TWU members, our families, and our communities, are confronting the effects of the economic crisis. Some of us will face the loss of our homes. The cost of healthcare remains a major stumbling block to achieving decent contracts. Trillions of our tax dollars are being used to help banks, insurance companies, and automakers survive. The TWU needs to stake out clear positions – once with substance, not platitudes -- regarding these and related challenges.

TBOU has not discussed all of these issues yet. For my part, if elected a delegate, I will advocate for the TWU to come down firmly in support of a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.

I will urge the TWU to back single-payer, a.k.a. Medicare-for-all, as the key to reform of the healthcare system. Healthcare should be about helping us all lead healthy and satisfying lives, not generating profits for insurance companies.

I will also push for the TWU to join with unions, environmental groups, and other allies in states, cities, and neighborhoods across the country to make sure that the financial and industrial companies that our tax dollars have bought controlling interests in are restructured in ways that preserve workers’ jobs and communities, promote union jobs and contracts, and that support the development of stable and sustainable industries.

Don’t treat the election of convention delegates as an after-thought. The actions taken at the TWU convention will shape our union and our lives for at least the next four years. Vote for the TBOU candidates to the convention.To learn more about all the work Take Back Our Union(TBOU) is doing around HealthCare ,Housing , Social Justice Issues and much much more go to -- Steve Downs Chair, T/O Division of TWU 100

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