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AFL-CIO Split? No One Asked Rank And File Teamsters!

September 5, 2005: That’s what the banner on the Local 206 truck said at the Labor Day picnic in Portland, Ore. Because it’s true. “Before the SEIU withdrew, they discussed the issue for two years, but Hoffa yanked 1.3 million Teamsters out of the AFL-CIO without any kind of consultation with members or local officers. That is not a responsible way to make a decision of this magnitude,” says Local 206 President Bill Zimmerman. “I’ll...

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Committee for New Leadership Looks Ahead to 2006

September 1, 2005: In his two terms as Teamster general president, James Hoffa has delivered a dues hike, pension cuts, a shrinking membership, and the return of allegations of organized crime influence at the highest levels of the union—all while turning a financial surplus into a deficit.Now Hoffa will have to answer for that record—and the decline of Teamster power on his watch.A group of local Teamster leaders has formed an exploratory committee to discuss...

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Pension Reform Debate Leaves Out Families, Future of Pension System

August 28, 2005: The current debate in Congress over pension “reform” tends to leave out the most important issues: protection of pension benefits for families, and protection of our pension system into the future. Instead the debate is focused too narrowly on cutting benefits and allowing corporations to eliminate defined benefit plans—plans that have been crucial to eliminating old-age poverty in the U.S. Two experts who testified earlier this year in Congress addressed these broader...

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Uproar Wins Changes to Pension Cuts in New England

August 28, 2005: The recently announced pension cuts in New England went over like a Yankees victory in Fenway Park. The angry uproar by members and local officers has pressured the New England Pension Fund Trustees to reverse two of their most unfair pension cuts announced in July. The new is not all good. The restrictions on 25-and-out and 30-and-out pensions before age 57 remain in place. New England Teamsters who did not have enough...

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CSPIC Members Lobby Congress About Pension Bill

August 28, 2005: TDU member Frank Bryant wrote to tell us, “As you advised in your article ‘Taking Action to Protect Your Pension’ in the July/August issue of Convoy Dispatch, a group of my Rank and File brothers and sisters decided to do just that: to take action to protect our pensions.” On Aug. 25 a delegation of Teamster members traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with congressional aides about pending pension legislation. The delegation...

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Hoffa Establishes Procedure for Potential Raids on AFL-CIO Unions

August 5, 2005: On July 26, one day after James Hoffa pulled the Teamsters out of the AFL-CIO, the Teamster General Counsel sent a notice to all Teamster locals establishing a procedure to be followed if any local desires to raid an AFL-CIO affiliated union. This statement appears to point in a dangerous direction. Instead of coming out squarely against raids, it provides a procedure to potentially initiate them, and even hints at a suggested...

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Hoffa Administration Issues “Whitewash” Report

July 27, 2005: The International Union has released the “McDonald Report” (available on the IBT website) which purports to demonstrate that the Hoffa administration is working hard to maintain a corruption-free union.However, the report actually does not deal with that issue at all. Instead it is an 89-page denunciation of Ed Stier, who was the Hoffa administration’s own anti-corruption director for five years.The document was prepared by Edward McDonald, an attorney who works with the...

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Pension Cuts Hit New England

July 27, 2005: The Union Trustees on the New England Teamsters Pension Fund have agreed to new pension restrictions—including eliminating 25-and-out and 30-and-out pensions before age 57. The cuts are coming just as news of the fund’s strong financial performance is hitting members’ homes. The Fund just mailed its summary annual report to members this week, in which it reported that Fund assets grew by more than $121.5 million in the last fiscal year. Members...

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New England Teamsters Hit with Pension Cuts

July 27, 2005: Teamsters in New England reacted angrily when the New England Pension Fund announced new benefit restrictions—including eliminating 25-and-out and 30-and-out pensions before age 57. The changes were announced on July 15, just two weeks after the fund announced that its assets grew for the second straight year. In all, the fund’s assets have grown by more than $429 million in the last two years. The pension cuts come despite James Hoffa’s promises...

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Hoffa Pushes Pension Bill That Could Cut Your Benefits

July 27, 2005: On June 29, a congressional committee passed a pension bill that would endanger Teamster pensions by making it easier for multi-employer plans to cut retirement benefits. The misnamed “Pension Protection Act” contains a dangerous provision that would allow troubled pension plans to cut benefits that members have already accrued—and even cut the benefits of Teamsters who have already retired for less than one year. Under current laws, these cuts are illegal. Only...

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