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Cracks in Hoffa Unity

September 5, 2005: The famous Hoffa “Unity” is straining under the pressure of pension cuts and declining Teamster power. The first open split in the Hoffa slate came on August 28, when Tom O’Donnell, International Vice President at Large from New York, officially announced he would run against Hoffa for General President in 2006. The divisions in the Hoffa camp don’t end there. O’Donnell circulated a letter charging that Hoffa “never knew the real purpose...

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Changing to Win at Overnite?

September 25, 2005: In a recent interview with the Associated Press, James Hoffa said that leaving the AFL-CIO would make the Teamsters more successful at organizing the nonunion competition because “we’re more nimble and we don’t have the big bloated bureaucracy.” Skeptics might wonder if it’s really John Sweeney and his AFL-CIO bureaucracy that has held back Hoffa’s organizing ambitions. Four months have passed since UPS announced it was buying Overnite and the nimble, bureaucracy-free...

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Prepare Now for Winter Delegate Races

September 25, 2005: Almost every Teamster local union will hold a supervised, mail-ballot election this winter to elect delegates to the IBT Convention next June. A schedule for your local union’s delegate race will be available by Sept. 30. You need to get a copy and get involved. By running for Convention Delegate—or supporting reform candidates for delegate—you can strengthen our campaign to dump Hoffa in 2006. Do you want to replace the Hoffa administration...

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Member Action on Pension Pays Off

September 15, 2005: Fighting pension cuts can make a difference. That’s the lesson coming out of New England where angry Teamster members pressured the New England Pension Fund Trustees to backtrack on pension cuts they announced in July. “I was featured in Convoy after I learned that the pension cuts were going to make it impossible for me to retire in November like I planned,” said Local 42 member Dan Faust, who is just a...

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Pension Movement Fights on New Fronts

September 15, 2005: The fight for pension justice has focused on the U.S. Congress in recent weeks, as Teamsters have organized to support legislation that helps Teamster funds, and to oppose a dangerous amendment that endangers our benefits.Teamster members are starting to get results. On Sept. 8, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed a pension bill which did not include the anti-worker “Red Zone Amendment” that would allow certain plans to...

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Committee for New Leadership Lays Groundwork for Campaign

September 15, 2005: “Teamsters who want new IBT leadership can’t wait until 2006 to get started,” said Atlanta Local 728 President Randy Brown. “We have work that’s got to get done this fall. We need to petition to get a reform slate officially accredited, and we need to prepare to win the delegate elections. Those have got to be priorities for Teamsters who want change in this union.” Brown is part of the Committee for...

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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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