Printing Packaging Production Workers Union of North America

PPPWU Continues to Repel Teamsters’ Attempts at Raiding Union

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) recently withdrew a petition to raid a small print shop represented by Local 14-M of the Printing Packaging & Production Workers Union of North America (PPPWU). The strategic withdrawal of this election petition at Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Company, located in Philadelphia, PA, is the Teamster’s latest in a string of unsuccessful attempts to convince PPPWU members to leave their union, which has proudly existed for 150 years.

“We’re pleased that the workers at Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Company see the value of the PPPWU in terms of the contracts and benefits that we negotiate for them,” said President Steve Nobles, PPPWU. “The Teamsters withdrew their petition last-minute, where they tried to bury their failure around other national news.”

Although the Teamsters filed a formal petition to represent the PPPWU-represented workers at Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Company in mid-October, they have been trying to organize the 20 workers at that company for much longer. Unfortunately, this is the case for several of the PPPWU’s member’s companies, as the Teamsters have attempted to raid several of them since a merger agreement between the Teamsters and PPPWU ended in the spring of 2023.

The PPPWU, formerly called the Graphic Communications Conference of the IBT, was previously in an 18-year merger agreement relationship with the Teamsters. But in summer 2022, the Teamsters’ new leaders terminated the merger agreement, which took effect in the spring of 2023. This led to the creation of the PPPWU.

The Teamsters have attempted to raid its former merger partner’s bargaining units ever since. The Teamsters are investing hundreds of thousands of members’ dollars and resources into raiding efforts, when their energy should be used to organize Amazon and FedEx, two very real competitors their UPS members face. However, PPPWU members are rejecting these efforts and agreeing to record-setting industry contracts negotiated by the PPPWU.

“We’re proud that the PPPWU negotiates the strongest contracts and has the best benefits in the industry,” said Nobles. “Because of this, we succeeded in deterring the Teamsters’ attempts to capture a number of PPPWU’s members, including those at International Paper plants, a number of our WestRock plants, Dome Printing, and Gared Graphics, among many others.”

Though the Teamsters make initial inroads, once workers learn that the Teamsters cannot guarantee any improvements and what benefits they will lose if they leave the PPPWU, they  often become disillusioned by the Teamsters’ efforts. PPPWU is engaged in an all-out effort to educate its members about the strength of their contracts and benefits. As a result, union members have routinely rejected the Teamsters’ advances.

“We may be small, but no one has the influence in the printing, packaging and production industries that we have. We are the experts in these industries, and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished — and what we will continue to accomplish,” continued Nobles. “The Teamsters are wasting its members’ dues and organizing resources on trying — and failing — to steal workers from our union, when they should be using those resources to organize Amazon and FedEx. Revenge is never a good organizing strategy.”

PPPWU Officers and General Board

PPPWU Officers and General Board Members Start New Term November 2023

PPPWU Officers and General Board Members elected at the August 2023 Convention were installed November 2023.  Retiring PPPWU president, Kurt Freeman, swore in the new officers and general board members at the November 2023 General Board meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.  Pictured from left to right: Daniel Cabada, Kurt Freeman, Steven Nobles, Clark Ritchey, Patrick LoPresti, Greg Morley, Marty Hallberg, Israel Castro, and Eddie Williams.