Hoffa to Unleash ‘Best PR Ever’

Weaknesses in UPS Contract Force Hoffa to Ask Management for Another Bite at the Apple

July 2006. It’s official: Hoffa’s “Best Contract Ever” has failed; the union will now sit down to try to negotiate early with UPS management.

Management seems happy to bargain early, hoping to button up a deal long before any threat of a work stoppage, and before the big 100 year anniversary events. Management is telling the media that they are eager to put forward their demand to pull out of Teamster pension plans.

The timing of the early negotiations seems geared not so much towards securing the best possible contract, but the best possible election PR for Hoffa. The announcement came at the Teamster Convention, with the fantastic claim that management came to the bargaining table because Teamster officials were massed at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas.

We can expect that more such announcements, rallies and PR will be timed to the coming campaign period, leading up to the Teamster election in October. Our contract is being used by Hoffa for political purposes.

Hoffa has never carried the vote of UPS Teamsters, and now he is worried they will turn him out.

Hoffa’s Incompetence Likely to Cost UPS Votes

Hoffa is good at PR. In the 2002 contract we saw him guarantee pension improvements, health care improvements, guaranteed staffing levels to reduce unwanted overtime, and more. He imposed a dues increase and promised it would deliver Teamster Power. It sounded good.

He settled early and settled short, then put his PR machine to work. But six months into the contract, benefits were cut and promises abandoned.

Hoffa is not good at finishing the job. In 2002 he was in an ideal position, coming off the 1997 strike victory, and blew it. Now he’s going to management, admitting his contract failed, while management is pushing to crush our pension plans.

Tom Leedham knows how to finish the job. He knows how to mobilize members and local officers and put a united team in place to win. And he isn’t controlled by consultants, PR men, and handlers. He’s a Teamster for Teamsters.

In 2001 Tom Leedham defeated Hoffa among UPS Teamsters. He won among UPSers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Louisville, New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Memphis, and most other places.

And that was before UPS Teamsters experienced Hoffa’s record of broken promises and benefit cuts.

UPS Teamsters need to get involved. First, in the contract. Our future is more important than politics. Get informed and get involved.  Second, get involved in the Teamster election. Get every UPS Teamster to vote. Talk to them about the issues, the candidates and how we can turn our union around this year.

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