What Will It Take to Dump Hoffa?

The election to Dump Hoffa begins sooner than you think.

What will it take to win—and how can we get started now?

Hoffa’s support has never been lower among working Teamsters:

  • He negotiated the worst concessions to UPS in decades, even though the company was making more than $4 billion in annual profits.
  • Under his watch, our union has been reduced to a shadow of its former self in freight, carhaul, and other industries. Employers are calling the shots and dictating concessions.
  • He raised Teamster dues, then used it to pay multiple salaries to his political allies. In 2007, the IBT paid out $9.9 million in multiple salaries to 196 officials—up from just 16 when Hoffa took office.

Hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are angry—including many local officers. The Hoffa camp has never been more divided.

But anger alone won’t be enough to get rid of Hoffa. It will take organization.

A Campaign Army

  • To win, we’ll need a campaign army made up of working Teamsters, retirees, and Teamster officers to: u Nominate a slate of capable reform candidates at the Teamster Convention.
  • Spread the word to members about the campaign and make sure reform candidates have access to the Teamster magazine and membership list.
  • Raise campaign funds.
  • Turn out the vote and win.
  • We have to start putting that army together now to hit the ground running once the election is underway.

That’s why this month Teamsters are launching a campaign to build a network of 10,000 Teamsters to Dump Hoffa.

How the Election Works

In 1989, TDU members won the right to vote for Teamster General President and the General Executive Board.

Unlike most local union elections, this election is overseen by an impartial Election Supervisor.

The Election Supervisor makes the rules, handles all election protests, runs a debate between the candidates, mails out the ballots, and counts the votes.

First Steps

The first jobs for the campaign army will be the petition drive and delegate elections.

During the petition drive members fan out across the union to get members to sign a petition accrediting candidates for Teamster office. To get accreditation, two and a half percent of Teamster members must sign the candidate’s petition.

An accredited candidate gets access to the Teamster membership list and space in the union magazine—giving them a chance to talk to all Teamster members directly.

After that come the delegate elections.

Every local sends delegates to the Teamster Convention to nominate the candidates who will run for Teamster General President, and members of the General Executive Board.

If rank-and-file members decide to run for delegate, members of the local will get to vote for the delegates of their choice in a secret ballot election overseen by the Election Supervisor.

To get nominated for Teamster General President, a candidate has to receive the votes of at least five percent of the delegates to the convention.

Getting Out the Vote

In the 2006 election, Hoffa was elected with 175,000 votes. That means we will need the organization to turn out at least 200,000 Teamsters to vote for change to get him out.

Where we had a strong campaign organization last time, reform candidates won, including in St. Louis, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Mississippi, Charlotte, Vermont, Seattle, Oregon, UPS locals in New York, Chicago and Detroit, and in lots of locals and areas.

More Teamsters turned out to vote in locals where TDU had strong organization and where reform candidates did well.

Among members with little or no connection to the International Union, and where there was not a strong TDU network, Hoffa won easily.

That was Hoffa’s winning margin: less involved members, in a low turnout.

What You Can Do Now

We can’t wait until the election starts to build our campaign army.

If you want to see Hoffa gone in 2011, now is the time to get on board and get involved. Here’s what you can do.

Fill out the form on the back page of the latest Convoy and join 10,000 Teamsters to Dump Hoffa. Send it in to TDU so that we know we can count on you to do your part to dump Hoffa in 2011.

Recruit to the campaign army. Make copies of the form on the back page of this issue of Convoy and get other Teamsters to sign up for our team. Go to dump Hoffa to download a form you can get other Teamsters to sign.

Start distributing Convoy. In every Teamster election, reform candidates do better in locals where members get and distribute bundles of Convoy. Call TDU at (313) 842-2600 to start a bundle with this issue.

Hold a meeting. Contact TDU and set up a meeting of members who want to Dump Hoffa in 2011.

Start planning for the delegate election. Start putting together a team of people you can count on. Contact TDU for steps you should take now to prepare to run for delegate. And be sure to attend the TDU Convention, Nov. 6-8 at the Cleveland Airport Sheraton to meet members who’ve run for delegate before—and won.

Can we get rid of Hoffa in 2011? It’s up to Teamsters like us to make it happen.

The campaign for Teamster General President will begin next summer. Now is the time to start getting ready. Please note: dates are based on 2006 election and haven’t been officially set yet.

Petition Drive Summer 2010

Two and a half percent of Teamster members must sign petitions to accredit reform candidates, giving them access to the Teamster membership list and space in the Teamster magazine.

Delegate Elections January - April 2011 (some early ones in Fall 2010)

Members get a chance to elect delegates to represent their local at the Teamster Convention.

Teamster Convention June 2011

Delegates nominate candidates for Teamster General President and the General Executive Board. Reform candidates must receive five percent of the votes to be nominated.

Ballots Mailed October 2011

Volunteers and candidates reach out to supporters to get out the vote.

Vote Count November 2011

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