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 political supporters. The annual study of Teamster officer compensation also revealed a growing divide among union officials. On one side of the salary divide are the majority of local union officers. Half of all local unions pay their principal officer less than $86,000 a year.
On the other side of the salary divide is an elite club of super-compensated Teamster officials, most on the Hoffa administration payroll. Most take home one or more additional Teamster salaries from a Teamster local, joint council or other affiliate.
These super-compensated officials—and the multiple salaries they receive—lie at the heart of the patronage scheme.
Financial documents from the Department of Labor revealed:
• The number of officials on the IBT payroll receiving a multiple salary has increased from just 18 to 148 since Hoffa took office— a staggering 722 percent increase.
• A record 25 Teamster officials now make more than $200,000 a year. Twenty of them are on Hoffa’s payroll.
• In all, 119 officials on the IBT payroll make more than $100,000—a figure that leaped after the 2002 dues hike. Eighty percent of them get multiple salaries.
These officials form the backbone of Hoffa’s political machine. They number among Hoffa’s biggest donors and are the officials the Hoffa Campaign uses to turn out the vote.
Are the 148 multiple salaries doled out by the Hoffa administration helping to buy that political loyalty? You be the judge.
Multiple Salaries—Center of Teamster ControversyFor the last 30 years, members and concerned officers have organized to reform our union’s financial priorities—fighting to eliminate perks for top officials and put our union’s resources towards building union power. Multiple salaries have been at the center of that struggle.
The $100,000 Club has informed members, shed a light on abuses and brought about change. In 1990, when TDU printed the multiple salaries of several candidates for International office, they were quietly dropped from the slate and retired.
In 1993, General President Ron Carey abolished the Area Conferences and in one day eliminated 63 multiple salaries. By 1998, only 18 officials on the International payroll got a multiple salary.
Since taking office in 1999, Hoffa has reversed that trend by handing out numerous regional titles and salaries to political allies. Hoffa also uses the IBT payroll to discipline his critics. Hoffa stripped Willie Whelan of a $20,000 a year multiple salary as the Eastern Director of the Dairy Conference after he and Billie Lee Whelan, the head of Local 803, criticized the IBT for providing no support to a Teamster organizing drive in Long Island.
Click here: Patronage or Teamster Power
Click here: $100,000 Club 2005 (Acrobat Reader Required)
Click here: Officer's Salaries: A Wide Range
Click here: $100,000 Club Findings