National Legislative Office

April 29, 2014

Day of Action: Fast Track is the wrong track!

On April 30, BLET members are encouraged to participate in the Teamster Fast Track Day of Action. As background, the fair trade movement has been successful thus far in delaying a vote on Fast Track legislation, which would allow potentially harmful “Free Trade” agreements to sail through Congress and ship American jobs overseas.

While a vote doesn’t seem likely any time before the midterm elections, the Teamsters are continuing to keep the pressure on by reminding Congress that Fast Track is the wrong track. To that end, April 30 is a Teamster Fast Track Day of Action. All active and retired BLET members, the BLET Auxiliary, their families and friends are encouraged to call the Teamster Fast Track Hotline at (888) 979-9806 and tell your Representative and Senator to oppose Fast Track.

Some talking points are as follows:

1. Fast Track steals Congress’s constitutional authority to review and amend trade agreements that are crafted in secret by corporate lobbyists.

2. Fast Track forces Congress to vote on all trade deals with almost no time for review, which lets Wall Sleep anti-worker provisions into the fine print.

3. Fast Track is a one-way trip to trade deals worse than NAFTA, especially with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated in secret by corporate lobbyists — even as we speak.

4. Fast Track makes it easier and faster for Wall Street and corporations to ship American and Teamster jobs overseas.

Again, remember to call your member of Congress on May 30 at (888) 979-9806 and tell them to vote no on Fast Track legislation.

“We have to hold our members of Congress accountable on this issue,” BLET National President Dennis Pierce said. “Your help in the fight against Fast Track is greatly appreciated.”

April 7, 2014

Call to mobilize over Right-to-Work law in Missouri

The following is a message from Brian Kelley, BLET Missouri SLB Chairman concerning the Right-to-Work law in Missouri:

Dear Missouri BLET Members,

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED FROM ALL BLET MEMBERS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND WORKING CLASS AMERICANS LIVING IN MISSIOURI.

Every BLET member in the State of Missouri and their family members are being urged to contact their State Representative regarding House Bill 1770 starting Monday morning April 7th. HB 1770 is a divisive piece of legislation that will ask Missouri voters to decide if Missouri should become a Right-to-Work (work for less) State.

Please call your State Representative, tell them you are a constituent and politely ask them to vote “NO” on HB 1770. You may not actually talk with the legislator directly so please be respectful to their staff member when talking with them. If they should ask why you are against this bill you can use the following points:

1. Right to work bills like HB 1770 are big government interfering with private businesses. Corporations should be able to make agreements with their employees that best suit their business model. This legislation restricts that ability so I am opposed to it.

2. Workers in so called Right-to-Work states have lower wages, higher poverty, less access to health care and poorer education for their children. I want us to raise our standards not lower them.

You may locate your legislator at this link: http://www.house.mo.gov/legislatorlookup.aspx?

If you have any questions or need any assistance please call me at this number: 816-786-8475

Thank you for your involvement. It is much needed and much appreciated.

Fraternally,

Brian Kelley
BLET Missouri State Legislative Board Chairman

National President Pierce thanked Chairman Kelley for taking the lead on this important issue and called for all BLET Members and all Rail Conference members to mobilize on this important issue.

A PDF of HB 1770 can be viewed at: http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills141/billpdf/intro/HB1770I.PDF

December 10, 2012

Subject: Keep the Pressure On – Join an Event on December 10th!

Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday’s national call-in day to Congress on the fiscal cliff. We must continue to urge our Representatives and Senators in Congress to protect the vital programs that the middle class and working families rely on by not making any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as part of any deficit reduction deal. Instead, they should end the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% and finally make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. 

On Monday, December 10th, which also happens to be International Human Rights Day, events are being planned across the country to keep the pressure on Congress. Please check out www.americawantstowork.org to see if there’s an event in your area, and please check back frequently as new events are being added every day. Join a rally or a candlelight vigil in your area and make your voice heard!

December 29, 2009

CALL TO ACTION! PROTECT OUR MEMBERS AGAINST UNFAIR EXCISE TAX

http://www.ble.org/pr/news/newsflash.asp?id=4922

CLEVELAND, December 29 – All BLET members should immediately call their members of the House of Representatives and insist that they sign on to a letter circulated by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT) opposing the excise tax on health insurance included in the Senate’s health care legislation, which passed on December 24.

The BLET strongly opposes the 40 percent excise tax on plans with a value of $8,500 or over for individuals and $23,000 or over for families. This proposed new tax would impact nearly 39 million households and 40 percent of health plans by 2019, according to reports.

This tax would cripple working middle-class families. While it would be imposed on insurance companies, the cost would be passed along to those who can least afford it, including BLET members and their families. Health care reform for all is important, but it cannot be bought by taking benefits away from Americans with employer provided care, as would be the result of this tax.

It is unfathomable that our congressional leaders would attempt to place an unfair and unwarranted excise tax on our health care. It is time for us to fight back and to leave no stone unturned to protect against further erosion of our health care benefits. We will never be heard unless we speak out over this issue, which is of great importance to every BLET family.

The time to speak up and protest this outrage is now! Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and ask to speak with the House of Representative member from your Congressional District.

Ask your Representative to stand up for BLET members and all workers and their families by joining 190 other Members who have signed on to the Courtney letter. If your Representative has already signed on to the letter, thank them for their support and urge them to hold fast in this support.
Click here to see the list of Representatives who have signed on to the letter thus far: http://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/newsflash.asp?id=4921