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Teamster Candidates Will Debate

December 5, 2005: Teamsters will be able to judge the candidates for Teamster General President in a debate to be held in late August 2006, thanks to a proposal by Teamsters for a Democratic Union that is going to be made a part of the IBT Election Rules. The debate will be overseen by the independent Election Supervisor, and will be recorded and distributed (presumably on DVDs) to Teamster members. We are hopeful that it...

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Hoffa Adopts TDU Position on Pension Law

December 5, 2005: For nearly a year, the Hoffa administration has been lobbying for legislation that would allow Teamster benefit plans to cut members’ previously guaranteed pension benefits—and even to cut the pensions of Teamsters who have already retired. Teamsters for a Democratic Union has fought this legislative attack on our pension security. Now at the 11th hour, James Hoffa has reversed himself and adopted TDU’s position—coming out against the so-called Red Zone Amendment. Since...

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IBT Needs Plan for Countering Employer Attacks on Benefits

December 5, 2005: Employers across North America are attacking the pension and medical benefits of working Americans. Union and non-union workers are being hit with larger co-pays, cuts in benefits, or worse. Our union needs a clear plan of action for protecting and improving benefits for all Teamsters. The employers have a plan. Our union leadership doesn’t. That’s why we are being pushed backward now. Local Unions — and many benefit plans are local, or...

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Central States Fund Trustees Keep Pension and Health Care Cuts In Place

December 5, 2005: Hoffa’s PR Man dismisses the impact of the trustees’ actions: “Leebove said the changes at Central States and other pension funds should not be looked at as benefit cuts, since no accrued benefits were lost. Instead, he said, they represented reductions in future accruals that were designed to ensure the trusts are financially solvent for years to come."–Bureau of National Affairs November 9, 2005 The Union Trustees of the Central States Pension...

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Battle Against Cut-Back Provision Will Move Into 2006

December 5, 2005: In November, the Senate passed a version of pension reform that did not include provisions for cutting accrued benefits. That was a positive step forward in a battle that has largely been waged by two groups, the Pension Rights Center and th grassroots Central States Pension Improvement Committee (CSPIC). In December, James Hoffa came out in opposition to the “Red Zone” cut-back amendment, at least in writing, after supporting it for most...

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Tyson TDU Members Win at Supreme Court

December 5, 2005: TDU members who filed a class action lawsuit against Tyson Foods have won a landmark victory at the Supreme Court that will put millions in the hands of more than 800 meatpacking workers and help tens of thousands of poultry workers win litigation for unpaid wages. In the first decision of the court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court cleared the way for 815 Tyson employees to receive...

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Tom Leedham Campaign for Teamster President Moves Ahead!

December 1, 2005: On the same day that Tom Leedham delivered more than 55,000 petition signatures to become an officially accredited candidate for General President, James Hoffa's so-called 'Unity' Slate split into competing factions. Hoffa's Freight Director and Southern Region Vice President Tyson Johnson has announced his candidacy for General President. Other IBT Vice Presidents and Hoffa supporters are reportedly abandoning the Hoffa ship. | The breakup of the Hoffa Unity Slate is an embarrassing...

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Central States Cuts Locked in Place for Year

December 1, 2005: The Union Trustees of the Central States Pension Fund have announced an agreement with employers and the IRS that will lock the 2003 pension cuts in place for years to come. Even worse, this deal will usher in more healthcare reductions—and lower wage increases when contracts are renegotiated. At a November 8 meeting of union officials International Vice President and Trustee Chairman Fred Gegare told stunned officials that union trustees have put...

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Teamster Leader Beats Employer Move to Slash Pensions

November 1, 2005:When employer and union trustees colluded to cut their pensions, Teamster members in New York Local 805 fought back. First, they elected new local officers who sued the employer trustees. Now, they’ve scored a major victory for pension justice. Local 805 President Sandy Pope has finalized a settlement that reduces the pension cuts, raises members' pension accrual retroactively, and institutes sweeping reforms in how the pension plan is run. In December, the Employer...

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Report Reveals Need for Financial Reforms

October 30, 2005: Is the biggest dues increase in Teamster history being used by the Hoffa administration to fund Teamster Power or political patronage? That’s the question raised by a comprehensive study of Teamster officials’ salaries in all local unions and the International. A review of hundreds of Teamster financial documents uncovered a web of political patronage in which the Hoffa administration used money from the 2002 dues increase to balloon the salaries of key...

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