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By Rome Aloise — 

You should already have received your 2020 ballot. If you haven’t yet voted, please do so as soon as you can. Use the Guide in this newsletter and see our local recommendations at

This edition of Connections is mostly about the election and your union’s recommendations for candidates and propositions. Some of you follow these recommendations without fail, and some, unfortunately, ignore them.

I want you to know how and why your union goes about formulating recommendations and taking positions. We have a team that joins other unions in each county to vet and interview candidates for every office. We question them about their positions on the issues that impact workers and their unions. Our job is to let you know which politicians, based on their records in current and previously-held offices, reflect their support for the issues that affect YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES.

We need office holders to develop and support laws that protect what we negotiate, and protect you while you are working, including health and safety, workers compensation, lunches and breaks, and more.

You should vote to protect your ability to provide for your family first, last, and always. As a member of Teamsters Local 853, I would hope that you will not, like many workers, vote for candidates and propositions that you are told are against your best interests.

Let’s look at the current administration in Washington, D.C. I’ve lost count of how many negative changes to the National Labor Relations Act have been implemented. NOT ONE OF THESE CHANGES benefits those of us who work for a living. They all benefit the employers.

Our current President lied to workers about how he was going to help them. He has appointed employer-side lawyers to the Labor Board and they are systematically stripping the protections for workers, one by one. The Supreme Court, which had already undermined long-standing laws that protected the strength of unions, will now get more anti-worker and anti-union with the newest appointments.

These laws directly impact you, as someone who works hard to support a family, and who depends on your union to ensure you are protected and are compensated at a level that is second to none for what you do.

Here in California, our top priority is to defeat Proposition 22, which is nothing more than very rich companies paying enough money to convince the public to allow them to write their own labor laws. Plain and simple.

While Uber, Lyft, Doordash, and “gig” companies like them make life convenient for everyone, this convenience should not be on the backs of the drivers and workers. These companies just don’t feel like paying their workers minimum wage, workers comp, unemployment insurance, social security, and all of the other social protections that we have. To make matters worse, they want the rest of us to pay for all of this out of our own pockets and out of the taxes we pay.

They want you to believe that they cannot operate if their employees are actually employees covered by the law. However, this is a big lie! The drivers can have both flexibility and the protections that they deserve under the law. There is no magic to this; it is just that these corporations want to continue to pocket more profits by cheating their workers and the public.

Whatever you do, VOTE NO ON PROP 22!