Who Is Running the Teamsters Union?

September 25, 2005: Do you know Greg Tarpinian? If you care about your union, you should. He’s practically running it. And you are paying him millions of dollars to do it.

Tarpinian is a labor consultant in New York. He attached himself to Hoffa back in 1996 when he campaigned for him, along with another consultant, Richard Leebove of Detroit. He’s wiggled upward ever since.

His long time close associates have eased into key positions of power. Leo Deaner, a Tarpinian associate for many years, is Hoffa’s new Executive Assistant.

Another Tarpinian partner for decades is Dan Kane, an International rep with three sons on the payroll. Another is Jeff Farmer, who came from the SEIU to take over the Teamster Organizing Department. Farmer is the brother-in-law of Sue Mauren, director of the Central Region Public Employees Division. Ron Carver of IBT Strategic Campaigns is another decades-long member of the Tarpinian club.

This crew, who were buddies before they ever met a Teamster, have made quite a home for themselves at the top of the Teamster power structure. They move others out of the way when it suits them.

Mary Hardiman, Director of the Teamster Education Department, with the IBT for 28 years, was summarily fired in August as part of a Tarpinian restructure plan.

Tarpinian gets big bucks to do dog-and-pony shows at the IBT Convention and Unity Conferences, and he’ll get a lot more PR and “education” money now. In return, he holds banquets in New York to give awards to Hoffa and Tom Keegel, who sign the checks to his consulting company. What goes around comes around. What’s going around is your money.

Tarpinian wrote the plan and the script for the Teamsters to leave the AFL-CIO and join Change to Win, which also pays Tarpinian big bucks.

Most importantly, he is guiding the direction of the Teamsters Union. Remember when Jim Hoffa charged that Ron Carey had outsiders (“SEIU”, “mineworkers,” etc.) in positions of power?

Now we have a New York consultant running our union, who only bothers to speak to Teamsters when he has his hand out for money.

Submitted by a Teamster official who prefers to remain anonymous.

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