September 15, 2011: Freight Teamsters know Hoffa has shown no real muscle or stomach for defending our jobs or our future. There is no leadership and there is no plan.
It starts with enforcing our contract. ABF, YRC and Holland came after us long before the economy took a dive. For supervisors, it was open season on trashing the contract. They know they get most of what they want at the grievance panels. And when it comes to concessions, Zollars, and his pals at the banks got everything they asked for. Hoffa and Tyson could only talk about shared sacrifice to save the company. Zollars got his golden parachute and Hoffa and Tyson didn’t lose a dime.
Our pensions are in jeopardy. Long time Teamsters at YRC are already seeing reduced benefits because of the lack of full contributions. Add to that Hoffa’s decision to allow UPS to negotiate their way out of Central States. Combine those with a lack of foresight on the part of pension fund trustees and you have the answer for why we find ourselves in such a big mess.
Union membership has been decimated. With the attacks on our wages, pensions and benefits, Hoffa has done nothing to stem the tide. There has been little reason for nonunion drivers to join the Teamsters.
At UPS Freight, Hoffa made promises and then delivered a substandard contract.
Hoffa has to go. That means helping elect Sandy Pope. She’s worked the dock, driven the truck, knows what it’s like to work as a Teamster. That experience, her smarts and her commitment to the membership can go a long way to addressing the issues we face.
Freight Teamsters need to work to turn out a big vote for Sandy Pope.
By Tim Pagel YRC Dock Local 988 Houston