February 1, 2010: The Hoffa administration has revoked the charters of Chicago Locals 714 and 726, and created a new Local 700 for Chicagoland public sector Teamsters.
Members were not given a vote; they simply got a letter announcing the switch.
Rumors had circulated that a change was imminent. But members thought they would have the right to vote on any merger or change to their locals.
The Teamster Constitution requires a membership vote when one local is merged into another. By revoking the charters, Hoffa was able to subvert this membership right. The “new” local will continue under the trusteeship of Joint Council 25 President John Coli. Both locals were already under trusteeship.
Creating Local 700 with the continued trusteeship gives Hoffa and Coli another 18 months to get their people in place. If they expect to win the support of the members, the assigned trustees and union staff need to be a lot more available and accountable when it comes to enforcing our contract. Up to this point, that hasn’t been the case.