July 31, 2014: James Hoffa yesterday imposed an “emergency” trusteeship over Local 710, and appointed Chicago Teamster boss John Coli as trustee. The trusteeship follows a July 17 report by the Independent Review Board on the lack of financial controls in the local union.
Many members of Local 710 are eager to clean house in the next election, and want to know how this trusteeship will affect those efforts.
A trusteeship is “presumed invalid” after 18 months, so we fully expect an election on that time schedule. That will be in early 2016, just the same time that Local 710 – and almost all locals – will elect delegates to the 2016 IBT Convention where candidates will be nominated to run for General President and all IBT offices, including Coli’s office.
A majority of the local’s 13,000 members are employed by UPS, ABF, UPS Freight and YRC. All of those groups of workers have rejected concessions by big margins in the past year, and are ready for real changes. Many have contacted Teamsters for a Democratic Union since yesterday to talk about future plans
The local includes all UPS Teamsters in Illinois outside the Chicago area, as well as Northern Indiana and Davenport, Iowa.
Those 6,000 UPS Teamsters rejected their contract last February by a 73% margin, and since then have been in the dark. The union falsely put on the ballot that a rejection would lead to an immediate strike.
Trustee John Coli will now oversee bargaining with UPS. Coli supported every concessionary deal that the IBT has served up at UPS, UPS Freight, ABF and YRC.
The IRB Report details the charges against Local 710 secretary-treasurer Pat Flynn for purchasing $58,000 worth of gift cards over several years, without any accounting of what happened to those visa cards. It goes on to note that the local entered into leases and car purchases without executive board approval; that the trustees on the executive board did not review the cancelled checks compared to the books; and that the local financial reports failed to disclose $494,468 in “commissions” owed to officers. That liability would have led to the local reporting large negative net assets.
Members of Local 710 interested in being kept informed of developments can contact TDU by calling 313-842-2600 or emailing info [at] tdu.org