May 20, 2015: Hoffa has won re-election three times. Here’s why Hoffa will be beat in 2016.
Hoffa has won re-election three times, including the 2011 election with 60 percent of the vote. But the key indicators point to a different outcome this time. Here’s why Hoffa will be beat in 2016.
From Division to Unity
In the last IBT election, two opposition candidates ran against Hoffa, splitting the vote.
This time, opposition candidates have built a united coalition that’s building momentum and broad support. Teamsters United has been endorsed by everyone from Fred Gegare, the former IBT Vice President that ran against Hoffa last time, to Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
Any splits this time will be on Hoffa’s side. The Hoffa Slate has already lost Al Mixon, an International Vice President At-Large and the head of the Teamsters National Black Caucus.
Teamsters United is more than a slate; it’s a movement. Campaign rallies and organizing meetings are drawing crowds. Teamsters are registering as volunteers and building local campaign committees.
Biggest Voting Blocs Turn on Hoffa
Hoffa’s support is at an all-time low in the national contract units, the biggest voting blocs in the union.
UPS Teamsters rejected a record 18 contract supplements after Hoffa and Hall gave the company concessions even though UPS made $4.5 billion in 2013.
ABF, YRC, and UPS Freight all voted down their contracts too until the Hoffa administration forced through weak contracts by “Vote ‘till you get it right.”
The nearly 300,000 Teamsters who work under the UPS, ABF, YRC, carhaul and UPS Freight contracts vote in higher numbers because their contracts are negotiated by the International.
Hoffa’s support has never been lower among these critical voting blocks.
Hoffa is presiding over the worst pension cuts in Teamster history, including in the Central States Pension Plan where nearly 400,000 working Teamsters and retirees face cuts.
Hoffa’s father built the Central States Pension Plan; Hoffa is destroying it. The cuts are uniting Teamsters and retirees in a movement to save our pensions and to elect Teamster leadership that will defend our retirement security.
Led by General President Candidate Tim Sylvester, the Teamsters United Slate is led by Teamsters who are everything that Hoffa is not.
While Hoffa and Hall were making givebacks, Tim Sylvester and Fred Zuckerman were uniting members to fight concessions.
In New York, Tim Sylvester was mobilizing Teamsters to win the best UPS contract in the country, including a $400 per month pension increase, new full-time jobs and grievance procedure reform.
In Louisville, Fred Zuckerman united Local 89 members to Vote No against contract givebacks at UPS, UPS Freight and in the freight industry.
With proven leaders in every region, the Teamsters United Slate is a team every member can get behind.
Organizing to Win
In a union of 1.3 million members, it will take about 200,000 votes to beat Hoffa.
Hoffa has a built-in campaign machine of International Reps and local officials who are on the IBT payroll. We need to build a campaign machine of our own, made up of Teamster volunteers.
TDU has analyzed the local-by-local results from the last six IBT elections. In every election, where Teamsters were actively campaigning for reform candidates, those candidates won.
Winning new leadership and a new direction for our union is within reach, but it’s not automatic. We have to make it happen. Get involved in the Teamsters United campaign today.
Turning Around Low Voter Turnout
Hoffa won 63% of the vote in New England last time. But he got just 8,600 votes out of 52,000 Teamsters. Our problem wasn’t support for Hoffa, it was low voter turnout.
We know how to turn that around. Hoffa won my local last time with just 573 votes. Last year, we ran a slate for local union office and won with over 1,300 votes, nearly three times Hoffa’s vote!
We did it by reaching out Teamster to Teamster, explaining the issues and making sure people voted.
We’ve launched a Teamsters United campaign committee to reach out to members across New England starting with the petition drive.
Our goal is 10,000 petition signatures and 10,000 votes out of New England for Teamsters United.
Matt Maini, Local 251
Business Agent, Rhode Island