November 18, 2011: James Hoffa has been reelected Teamster president.
Less than 20 percent of members voted. Hoffa will get the vote of about one-tenth of all Teamsters. That’s a win, but hardly a mandate.
Most members sat out the election. Many are disgusted or discouraged.
When members are angry, they can give up and throw in the towel. Or they can get involved and make a difference. TDU’s job is to turn that anger into organization and action.
A strong union depends on active, informed members—not just dues-payers.
Where TDU has active members, participation was higher. In the locals won by Sandy Pope, turnout was higher. Members had some hope for the future and encouraged fellow Teamsters to vote. In many areas where members got involved in the Pope campaign, a majority of Teamsters voted against Hoffa.
Where to Now?
It’s pretty simple. Teamsters who want a member-driven union need to pitch in and join TDU. Help educate ourselves and our fellow Teamsters. Become a part of the future for the Teamsters Union.
We are not sitting around waiting for the next election, five years away. There are important contracts coming up—and local union elections where members are organizing for change. We have union power to build.
Sandy Pope didn’t run for her ego or to get a big salary. She could have taken the easy route long ago.
Sandy ran to make a difference for the future. She’s done that, even though she fell short in the vote. She helped carry on a proud tradition of Teamster reform and rank-and-file power.
We intend to build on that foundation. Our union and working people across North America face tremendous challenges—an economic depression and attacks on our contracts, benefits and rights by Wall Street, Corporate America and corporate politicians.
There are tough fights ahead. TDU will be there—educating, informing and uniting members to build the strong Teamsters Union and labor movement we need to fight for our future.