Unions increase carrier recruitment

AFTER steady declines in membership, unions are working to rebuild their numbers, including recruitment from the tank truck industry, said Howard Daniels, an attorney with Haynsworth Baldwin Johnson & Greaves LLC, Greenville SC.

Daniels made the remarks May 11 during the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) 56th annual Conference and Equipment Show in Las Vegas NV.

Teamsters have a division devoted to tank truck carrier recruitment with four-five organizers on the staff, Daniels said. “They are aggressive. They go after a lot of targets, and they don't mind losing.”

Carriers have several options for remaining union-free. “You can be aggressive and lawful,” he said, in discussing steps that can be taken.

Employees should be briefed on facts relating to union cards, bargaining, and strikes. They should understand the positions of the company, supervisors, and managers, he said.

He pointed out that one of the best proactive steps is for companies to represent their employees' interest. “If you don't, they will find someone who will,” he said.

Despite the efforts of the unions to increase their numbers, they have faced steady declines since the early 1970s. Since 1974, membership has dropped by 1.2 million members. “That's a huge hit,” Daniels said.

Part of the drive for more union power involves political action. Unions have dedicated $45 million in the current political cycle to elect John Kerry president, he said.

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