A Message from Local Union 776 President Ed Thompson
Hello again, I hope this newsletter finds everybody safe. The calendar says it's spring, the days are getting longer, flowers and trees are awakening from their winter lull, and the birds are back.
Before I report on the “State of our Union”, there are congratulations in order for a number of individuals.
Last year the IBT election for General President was held. Sean O’Brien and his team were victorious in their quest to lead the International Union. Once the Office of the Election Supervisor verified the election results Sean’s slate were proclaimed victors, garnering approximately 66% of the member’s votes. This is a significant number; it shows that Sean has the support of the membership; they stand behind him as he begins to lead our great Union forward. In addition, the overwhelming margin of victory sends a clear message to the employers that we are strong, united, and stand behind our International Union. I have known Sean for many years, he is a friend to our Local; we will be able to count on his help anytime we request it. With Sean assuming the Presidency of the IBT that means that someone left to create that vacancy.
Congratulations are in order for Retired International General President Jim Hoffa. Prior to the election Jim had announced his intention to not seek another term and retire. Jim led the International through five terms in office, a total of twenty-five years. There were many notable accomplishments during his tenure in office; most notably was his agreement with the Federal Government to end the court ordered consent decree, which had Federal Officials overseeing the daily operations of our Union. Congratulations on your retirement Jim, best of luck in retirement!
Last but certainly not least, I would like to congratulate Local 776 Business Agent George Goodling on his retirement effective January 1, 2022. George is one of our own; George won election to office along with the other Officers, Agents, and myself in 2014, assuming office on January 1, 2015. George played a vital role as we all worked to reorganize a Local Union in disarray and return it to a Local Union the Members could be proud to say they were a Member of. I’ll let George tell you a little bit more about himself later in the newsletter.
2021 Saw many changes in the way we conduct business, the business of representing you, the members. We began the year by implementing an on-line new hire application process, This process works in conjunction with the Local Union website to capture new hires information in one place, then forward it to the TITAN operators to upload to the IBT. This application process includes basic personal information plus the application forms for dues check-off, death benefit, DRIVE registration, and registration for the Locals’ website. Having this information captured electronically will greatly reduce the chance of a new hire beginning work and the Local not being aware of it. We improved our website to make it easier for a member to register and receive general E-mail alerts plus email messages that are sent to specific employer groups by the BA’s. Along with easier website registration, we also streamlined the application process for DRIVE, the Teamsters political action arm. Lastly, we launched the Local 776 Mobile App. Members were expressing their desire to get information easier, without having to sort through their E-mail inbox looking for Teamster news among their many incoming emails. Members can download the mobile app for their specific device from the home page of the website. Once the App is downloaded, you will receive push notifications on your device. By registering for the website, you will receive employer-specific emails. As always, no member information will be shared with any third party, being used only for communications from Local 776. Additionally, to devote more time to organizing we added a full-time organizer to devote full effort to grow the Local Union. Our Local remains strong; despite the ongoing pandemic; we have been able to increase our membership, building Teamster power and strength. Our financial picture continues to grow from year to year with increased total assets due to the due diligence of Secretary-Treasurer Ron Hicks and the Executive Board, monitoring expenses to justify their expenditure while keeping in mind the service to the members foremost in their actions.
2021 was the first year of our new term in office. I would like to thank the members who put us there, for displaying your trust in us by giving us the opportunity to serve you to the best of our abilities. Rest assured, we remain committed to serving you and providing the best representation possible for you and your families.
President, Teamsters Local 776