June 12, 2008: On June 9 the International Union finally followed the recommendation of the Independent Review Board (IRB) and placed Chicago Local 714 into trusteeship.
The letter from James Hoffa lists a number of reasons, including job favoritism for the Hogan family, refusal to transfer assets that belong to trade show members to their new local, continued contact with banned members Billy and Robert Hogan, and refusing to cooperate in the monitoring of the local’s finances.
The letter also notes that Billy Hogan, the former head of Joint Council 25 and former running mate of James Hoffa, suddenly appeared as an employer representative to bargain a contract with Local 727.
The IRB banned Billy Hogan from Teamsters after he attempted to impose a sweetheart contract on Las Vegas trade show Teamsters, at a company partially owned by a member of Hogan’s family.
The IRB recommended a trusteeship in August 2007, but Hoffa has avoided that step for the past ten months. Instead, in April the Joint Council transferred the Trade Show and Movie Teamsters to Local 727, headed by Joint Council 25 president John Coli.
Terry Hancock has been appointed the trustee. Hancock is the president of Local 731 and also draws salaries from Joint Council 25 and the International.
The local was placed into trusteeship in 1996 by Teamster president Ron Carey, for many of the same reasons. However, the Hogan family regained power afterward, when members failed to build a strong enough movement to defeat the Hogan machine in the subsequent election.
It will be up to members to avoid repeating that history.