Being a part of the breakout groups this time was a great experience for me. Although I absorbed a lot of notes from you the first training and even this training, I wasn't able to understand the thoughts and feelings behind the breakout groups until I participated. It seemed like a no brainier looking in from the outside on what to do and how to handle each scenario but that feeling changed after I actually participated. As I watched and role played the situations, I was able to see were the tools/questions you gave us in the first training and even in the beginning of this training were the key to our situations. Although I was able to identify this early on, I would have to admit it was still challenging trying to put them into play.. I could see were my weaknesses made me struggle. The fear of not being able to Say or ask the right questions was a noticeable one. But as I participated and went through more scenarios’ it became a little easier and that fear wasn't as strong. I know as we move forward and learn more from you we'll all be able to work on those fears. I only hope that more people continue to participate so they can grow and be more equip in the future. Thank you again for your time and dedication. It was a great success.
Moving to action is an essential step in the process of empowering workers. Ifs great to have big dreams, but if folks don't do anything to turn their dreams into reality, their ambition remains a fantasy .Speaking for my group, our breakouts were very empowering. Before we broke out into groups I sketched out a quick plan with the info that was given to us. Still, I didn't want to present our plan, but with a little peer pressure I agreed to develop and present a plan for our group. With the tools that I've gained from the trainings over the years and watching how our JC and Local organizers conduct committee meetings, I was confident enough to help develop and present my group’s plan. I was challenged by my group to do something I didn't want to do. I overcame my fear to present our plan to everyone at the training, so I made sure to share that feeling of overcoming a fear with a fellow volunteer, Steve. When I suggested that Steve present our next plan, he lit up. With the history you guys have Steve knew he was in for a friendly roughing up, we all knew. Steve took on the challenge and did an excellent job! There is nothing but positive life building tools shared with us at these trainings!!!
Peter D Sierra
The training this Saturday was very inspiring to me - but probably for very different reasons than most of your participants has. As one of the bargaining team members for CUE (but not an officer), I know more about board decisions than the average rank and file member. Other than at bargaining, however, I have no voice and no vote on most of the choices the leaders make. Right now, the bargaining team (our contract expired in '08) is working with Michael Filler; he's the director of Public Services. I wish I could share with him what your training taught me - we need a membership drive BEFORE we launch (re-launch") a contract campaign. Our voting member numbers are so low, it's obvious the company campaign is doing very well - people are afraid to join the union. They think it will end their ability get promotions or transfer to different departments. What does this give us to bargain with? I tell you, not a whole lot. We cannot build the critical mass needed to really get my employers attention. I get so mad when someone tells me, "What are the Teamsters doing for us?" Lazy bum, what are you doing for yourself! But like I said, the powers that be have chosen a path for us to follow and I haven't discovered a way to get my voice heard. Well, with this last training - and a push from Grace that I'm sure she didn't know she gave, I decided to begin an unofficial membership drive at my chapter. With 10 chapters all throughout the state, my work alone won't turn the tide. But maybe if I'm lucky, I can get the ball rolling.
Thank you for all you do. Your work helps future Teamsters - and the new ones too!
I'm writing this on the night after Easter, a religious holiday celebrated by many Christians around the world. The celebration consists of Christians rejoicing the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the father of Christianity. I bring this up because of the story that takes place on the night before Jesus was to be crucified. It is on this night that He goes into the garden of Gethsemane and prays to God. In Matthew 26:39 there was evidence of the impending agony that He would be facing and a fear that He expresses in His prayer. The fear is replaced by a call to duty through a love for mankind..... Although none of us are facing a crucifixion or death, we still face fear. Something that All men have and still do face on a daily basis. But fear is also the chisel that builds character. It has both sculpted heroes and revealed cowards. As a religious man I have faith that my fears can be conquered, and so I move through life with a sense of confidence that is based on faith. As Teamsters we are blessed with another sense of confidence that can't be found anywhere else in the world.chisel is also a tool. These tools can be used in organizing to either chisel a hero, or by the company to whittle down a coward.
Read more: Fear
It's no surprise to me, that Saturday's training was a success! Like I've said in the past , you have a gift to communicate & express things to others in a manner that most people can't do or wish they could do. Listening to you always amazes me and teaches me things that I sometimes don't want to face or think to face. This Saturday was a great example.. I wish I could start this by saying that I didn't have any fears or that I wasn't afraid to face my fears, but the reality of that comment would be untrue.. The truth is I, like so many, have tons of fears and most of the time I find every excuse to avoid facing them or face them with as little effort as possible...
Read more: Conquering Fear
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