July 12, 2007: IBT Election Supervisor Richard Mark has very likely made his final decision of the 2006 IBT Campaign, and done so in a confusing manner.
Mark upheld the firing of Dan Virtue and Carlos Ramos by Hoffa, for the “crime” of Virtue running for Eastern International Vice President. Mark reasoned that since the action was taken after the election was over and certified, Hoffa could fire any political opponents and hire any cronies.
If that’s the case, we wonder why it took six months to issue the decision, which has been appealed by Virtue and Ramos.
In January, Virtue was removed as Eastern Region Freight Coordinator and Carlos Ramos, a Virtue supporter, was removed as an International Rep.
The seven-page decision makes clear that the Hoffa administration, in particular his Executive Assistant Leo Deaner, made up one lie after another to justify their actions. The investigation revealed that Hoffa’s stated reasons for firing Virtue were false.
Freight Director Tyson Johnson and former Director Phil Young testified that that Virtue did an “excellent” job.
The pretenses for firing Virtue included blaming him for Hoffa’s disastrous Red Star strike. Organizing Director Jeff Farmer contradicted that story to investigators.
The Election Supervisor indicates that if the firing had been during the election, his decision would have been very different.
So a thorough investigation showed that Hoffa fires respected leaders who are doing an excellent job for the “crime” of running for office or working to maintain national standards in freight. It may be legal. But it’s not good unionism or good leadership.