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The solution to your problem is in the power of your membership

The power of volunteers and members in general was on full display in St. Louis, MO, in September. With the assistance of International Union staff and officers, hundreds of members of Local 788 “manned the barricades” in the fight for justice.

In mid-August half the available staff of the International flew to St. Louis and helped organize a series of protests to call the question on a nasty boss. His pledge to ATU was that our members would not get out of negotiations without giving up their pensions. Six years of meetings – no contract. A year of “fact finding” – no contract. A strike threat – still no contract.

The Local was full of internal dissent and second-guessing, but no contract.  But when the workers set aside their differences (many of which were created by the boss); when the members volunteered a few hours each reaching the public and picketing, after four weeks of protests and pressure, the Board of METRO reached an agreement with Local 788.

The Board then forced the agreement on an angry CEO. While the deal was not everything we wanted, it stopped the attack on our pension – DEAD. It provided wage increases where there had been none for six years. While some would argue it isn’t enough – it’s far better than what it was.

Behind this is a muddled story that includes, quite ironically, a long effort by the CEO to inject himself in union business. In other states, his actions would be illegal, but not in Missouri.

He personally tried to get our mechanics to leave ATU and had some members in maintenance confused enough to believe that they would be better off without the Union.

Oreo insult

Yes, this is also the place where the same management team called our union leaders “Oreo’s”. These are managerial perverts. Today they are defeated perverts.

I want all ATU members to know, if you are struggling with a vile management or some less than decent politicians, the solution to your problem is in the power of the membership – not a lawyer or a judge.

The real power is in mobilization of the rank and file and in reaching out to the riders of our systems. That has been the course we have been leading with, and we urge you to have this discussion at your union halls everywhere. It starts with you volunteering to help your officers unleash the power we have. I often hear from officers that members do not want to donate their time to the Union. I can tell you that it’s the only thing that will make the Union strong.


We now turn our attention to Saskatoon, SK, where our members are locked out by the city. Again, this is an effort to eliminate retirement security also known as a pension. The ATU should be fighting to get pensions where we have none, but first we will have to defend them where they exist.

Thanks to the actions taken at ATU’s 2013 Convention, you will see much more action being taken by ATU International in these fights. We have resources to help you, but we need you to become more than members and be activists. Just come to a union meeting and tell your officers you want to volunteer.

Call your officers and offer to help. Send an email to them and let them know you are available. Join the ATU activists network by going to You can sign up for electronic news that we send out every week! Now is our moment to come together as we did in St. Louis. Coming together equals victory.

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