I just found the TDU website. It’s got a lot of information! But my BA goes ballistic over TDU. He told me that TDU stands for “Too Dumb to Understand.” Why do they hate you guys?
— Not Sure in L.A.
Dear Not Sure,
I’ve heard it all. TDU stands for “Tearing Down Unions” or “Too Dumb to Understand.”
It’s no surprise that Hoffa and International officials don’t like us. Without TDU, no one would run for International office against them.
But why do so many local officials give the same Hoffa line?
Money. Hundreds of officials get an extra salary from the Hoffa administration. Hundreds of others hope to. Each one of them has tens of thousands of reasons to kiss Hoffa’s butt and bad-rap TDU.
Fear. Officials are told get in line or they may be punished—at grievance panels for example.
Intimidation. I was at the last Teamster Convention. Some officials were wearing buttons saying “TDU Sucks.” They shouted down everyone who disagreed with them. In that kind of atmosphere, many good officers are afraid to speak out publicly. They go along to get along.
Disinformation. The International Union and some locals run by International officials spend millions of dues dollars spreading lies about TDU and anyone else who questions them. That’s why you’ll hear Hoffa’s anti-TDU line repeated not just by some local officials—but even some stewards and Teamster members.
TDU’s job is to give members information and education so that Teamsters can enforce our contracts. TDU works to protect good union pensions and healthcare. We’re not afraid to oppose concessions or blow the whistle when Teamster officials are going along with management.
That doesn’t always make us popular with the powers that be. So be it. TDU is about bringing Teamsters together to build a stronger union that puts members first.
Check us out. Hear from both sides. Decide for yourself.