General President Jim Hoffa: TNBC Bastion of Economic Justice, Unity, Hope
Today is a day of firsts, said June Marshall, a member of the Teamsters National Black Caucus Louisiana Bayou Chapter.
With new leadership and a new vision for the future, the Teamsters National Black Caucus (TNBC) is looking to move beyond expectations at their 34th conference in New Orleans, and they are doing just that with the first TNBC Women’s Day.
Honoring women of color within the labor movement, members of the TNBC spent the day celebrating and embracing diversity, charisma and strength.
Kicking off the celebratory day was Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa, who assured members that the Teamsters Union and the TNBC are working together as one to bring workers’ rights and civil rights to all Americans.
“I was reflecting on the fact that the TNBC is a bastion of economic justice. We talk about workers’ rights and civil rights, but they are one and the same,” Hoffa said. “Being part of a union is about unity and that is the promise of the TNBC.”
Hoffa called on all members of the TNBC to be involved in the union, participate in their communities, mentor youth and support politicians who support labor.
“Thousands of Teamsters all over the country turned out to support Obama during the election. We’ve got to take that same energy to make sure we pass health-care reform,” Hoffa said. “The president is doing an awful lot and he is working night and day to make our country a better place, but he needs our help.”
Echoing Hoffa’s sentiment was Cynthia Willis-Lewis, a member of the New Orleans City Council who represents the city’s ninth ward.
Willis-Lewis spoke passionately about the importance of union involvement and thanked Teamsters for their work to uplift and support America’s middle class.
“Your organization helped support a presidential administration that was sensitive and understood the needs of working families. If we are going to build the greatness of America, we must rebuild the greatness of the middle class,” Willis-Lewis said. “Things are changing and hope is now a discussion. It is not a word, it is a reality.”
The conference will run now through Sunday.