BAC Journal > BAC Local Leadership Conference Focuses on Strategic Organizing

BAC Local Leadership Conference Focuses on Strategic Organizing

2024 Issue 1
International Brotherhood of Teamsters  General President Sean O’Brien
International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien

From Oct. 31–Nov. 2, BAC local union leaders from across the US and Canada gathered in Linthicum Heights, MD for the union’s 2023 Local Leadership Conference. Participants learned about strategic organizing, bolstered their skills as leaders of the union, and shared experiences with each other. Throughout the three-day educational program, local leaders heard from plenary speakers, participated in a series of workshops, and had hands-on mock interview training on how to organize contractors, all with one goal in mind — to grow our union and our market share.

llc 4To achieve that goal, as BAC President Tim Driscoll pointed out in his opening remarks, “We must reimagine our outreach and recruitment efforts, go into the communities where good jobs are hard to find, and make connections with workers who do not know the middle-class life of the skilled union trades is a real option for them.”

Plenary speaker Sean O’Brien, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, shared his insights on the union’s successful campaign in mobilizing the UPS workers for their contract negotiations and strike threat — discussing why solidarity is so important in winning these campaigns. “We are not just labor organizations. We are communities,” O’Brien said. “When you have 340,000 workers standing together at the picket line, it shows vision — not division.”

llc 3BAC local leaders also gained hands-on organizing skills through a variety of workshops. From strategically using market recovery to budgeting, top-down organizing, and using cellphones for dynamic visual media, local leaders heard from experts in these fields, asked questions, and shared best practices with each other. Many participants expressed their appreciation for this wonderful learning opportunity.” The education I’ve received at the conference is priceless,” Local 5 PA President Tom Smith said. “The plenary sessions opened my eyes and gave me a fresh update on our industry. It’s great to see leaders working together to come up with the best strategies to move our union forward.”

llc 2Ray Lemke, President of Local 3 Iowa, echoed these sentiments, “This year’s conference was tailored very well to my needs as a principal officer. These educational programs are essential to equipping us with organizing skills and offering us great networking opportunities that would not happen at the local level.”