Freedom Foundation

Teamsters 1932 has an image problem — and their members are leaving

Freedom Foundation canvassers have been active in San Bernardino County for nearly a year now, informing public employees their constitutional right to cease paying union dues was affirmed last year by the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME.

We learned quickly that employees there had one major complaint — Teamsters Local 1932.

The union representing about half of all county employees has a permanent spot in the hearts and minds of public employees. But unfortunately for the Teamsters, it isn’t because they’re so beloved.

From the early days of canvassing, we heard the same complaints from employees we spoke to. The Teamsters are bullies, they don’t do anything for us and they treat criticism with hostility.

Workers told us they wanted to opt out, but they feared the retribution their union would bring down on them.

We learned firsthand how the Teamsters treat criticism when they harassed and attempted to intimidate one of our canvassers. We learned they would stop at nothing to make sure their members stayed uninformed with the creation of their “Anti-Freedom Foundation” committee, a direct result of our canvassing efforts in the area.

On the record, Kathleen Brennan, president of Teamsters 1932, claimed the Freedom Foundation was not an issue and boasted it had retained more than 98 percent of its membership since Janus.

Recent LM-2 reports tell a different tale.

Because the reporting period ended in July 2019, an exact number isn’t known. But in just the first year after Janus, the Freedom Foundation helped more than 700 workers opt out of the Teamsters.

No wonder they’re angry.

Teamsters 1932 has removed any trace of membership numbers from its website, claiming in the past they there were “14,500 members strong.”

It’s clear they know there’s a problem.

While this is a great start, we know there are still hundreds — if not thousands — of Teamsters members in San Bernardino who also want out. Teamsters 1932 believes it has clever tricks up its sleeve, forcing members to continue paying union dues against their expressed wishes.

Unfortunately for them, the Freedom Foundation knows a few tricks of its own.