Will Hoffa Enforce the Freight Contract?

March 16, 2006: Local 249 has submitted a request for strike authorization from the IBT in response to DHL’s unwillingness to comply with a September 2005 grievance decision. Five months have passed since the National Review Committee for the NMFA (Tyson Johnson for the IBT and Jim Roberts for TMI) ordered DHL to pay $90,000 worth of back pay to Teamsters in Pittsburgh for subcontracting violations.

In January 2006 the Eastern Conference panel heard a second grievance and ruled DHL must pay a penalty of over $2,000 for each day the company fails to pay the original $90,000 ruling. They now owe over $200,000.

Why won’t DHL comply with the contract and pay up? The answer is Brad Slawson.

Last October International Rep. Slawson, the right-hand man to General Secretary Treasurer Tom Keegel, went behind the back of the affected Teamsters to try to cut a deal with DHL and let the company to pay a measly $16,000.

In a January 17, 2006 notarized statement, DHL vice president for Labor Relations, Patricia Ann Burke claims that Slawson approached her with the deal. This was after the Pittsburgh Teamsters had been duly awarded $90,000 for two years of giving away union work.

This is the same Brad Slawson who was put in charge of DHL Teamsters for the International Union by James Hoffa.

Local 249 members continue to press for the acknowledgement of their victorious grievance and the money owed. The Eastern Region Joint Area Committee met on January 18, 2006 and found in favor of the Local 249 grievance calling for penalty pay from October 19, 2005 forward. Local 249 has received strike authorization from Joint Council 40. The request has been sent to the International.

It’s time for Hoffa to do right thing. Send Slawson back to Minnesota, and support the Pittsburgh Teamsters who are asking for nothing but what they are entitled to.

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