September 15, 2011: Nearly 240,000 Teamsters work at UPS. Our votes can elect the next General President—but only if we’re organized.
The majority of Teamsters at UPS are voting for Sandy Pope. Half of UPS Teamsters voted for Sandy when she ran for the #2 spot in the last International Union election. Since then, her support has grown and Hoffa’s has plummeted.
It will take 150,000 votes to win this election. There are more Teamsters at UPS than that alone! But many Teamsters throw their vote away. An incredible 80 percent of Teamsters did not return their mail ballot in the last election.
UPS Teamsters can make the difference in the election. But we have to get out the vote.
Here are five things you can do to Get Out the Vote and help win this election.
- Spread the word with leaflets—especially the Sample Ballot. Leaflets on UPS issues can be downloaded at www.SandyPope2011.org including a special leaflet on part-timer issues.
Sample ballot leaflets are available too—and these are especially important. Sandy Pope is running as an Independent for General President. Any vote for a slate will cancel out the vote Sandy. Tell members: One Vote for Sandy Pope!
Bring a copy of your ballot to work and show members how to mark their ballot.
- Send Text Messages. Send a text message to everyone in your Center or hub to remind them to vote. And keep sending these messages to Get Out the Vote.
- Help Members Get Replacement Ballots. If a member doesn’t get a ballot, have them call (877) 317-2011 and request a replacement ballot. The best way to do this is to dial the number yourself on your cell phone and give it to the member to put in their replacement ballot request.
- Put Up Pole Stickers. Order Sandy Pope stickers and pole stickers and put them up outside your UPS building to keep up a constant campaign presence and remind members to vote. You can order your stickers at www.SandyPope2011.org or by calling 718-282-0282.
- Reach Out Beyond UPS. Spread the word to other Teamsters—at freight barns, grocery warehouses, soft drink companies and other Teamster employers near you. TDU can get you a list of Teamster worksites in your area.
UPS Teamsters can’t afford another five years of Hoffa. But change comes at a price. If we want to win this election, we’ve got to talk member to member and turn out every Teamster vote we can.
September 15, 2011: “We need a President that will stand up to UPS. Hoffa is letting the company walk all over the contract.
The grievance panels are a joke. Sandy Pope is our only choice for real change.”
Willie Ford, Local 71 Florence, South Carolina
Surrender on SurePost?
“UPS is sending our work via SurePost to the Post Office while Teamster drivers are being sent home. We need a General President who will fight for Teamster jobs and enforce our contract.”
Mark Day, Local 705, Chicago
Fight for Part-Timers and Inside Workers
“Hoffa and Hall have let UPS destroy full-time 22.3 jobs. They sold out part-timers in the contract by freezing starting pay, splitting raises, and making them wait a year for health benefits. We need a President that will fight for us.”
Lawrence Cruz, Local 396 Los Angeles
A Candidate Who Can Win
“Sandy Pope is the only candidate that can beat Hoffa—and that’s what we need. UPS Teamsters aren’t going to waste their vote on Gegare, a candidate who destroyed Teamster pensions and can’t win this election.”
David Thornsberry, Local 89 Louisville, Ky.
“Production harassment and unfair discipline are at an all-time high. Hoffa is playing politics with the issue, but this is no game. We need change. I’m voting Sandy Pope.”
Keith Gary, Local 804, New York
“Hoffa has had 13 years to do something about subcontracting out our feeder jobs, and it’s just gotten worse. Now at election time, they’re making more empty promises? Feeder drivers who want real leadership can help spread the word for Sandy Pope."
John Youngermann, Local 688 St. Louis
Teamsters have united in a grassroots army to elect Sandy Pope as our next Teamster General President.
The Sandy Pope campaign is bigger than TDU. But TDU members have helped lead the way every step of the campaign. Educating members, raising funds, building the campaign army, and turning out the votes we need to win.
For 35 years, TDU has brought together working Teamsters to have a voice and make a difference in our union on the job, in our locals, and in national elections.
Winning the Right to Vote
Before TDU, members didn’t have the right to vote for our union’s top officers.
TDU members led a decade-long campaign to win the right to vote. Thanks to TDU, members won that right in 1989.
A New Direction for Our Union
TDU members put that right to use in the first ever one-member one-vote election for IBT General President in 1991. TDU helped vote the old guard out of office and elected Ron Carey, our union’s first democratically elected president. Under new leadership, our union reversed a 16-year decline in membership. Mobilized members won the 1997 UPS strike—labor’s biggest victory in decades.
Taking on Hoffa
After 13 years of Hoffa, Teamster Power is once again on the decline. But TDU members haven’t given up—TDU has helped expose the failures of the Hoffa administration and united members to say no to concessions and benefit cuts. Now we’re at the front of the movement to dump Hoffa and elect Sandy Pope.
After the Ballots are Counted
The job of turning our union around won’t stop when the ballots are counted.
TDU brings together members who want to make a difference for the long haul. That’s what we’ve been doing for 35 years. If you’re ready to do your part, you belong in TDU.
Countdown to Victory TDU Membership Offer
Join TDU before the ballots are counted for just $25 for your first year.
September 20, 2011: Some pretty weird things happen in election campaigns. But how about a “tough” official in the Hoffa camp inventing a story that he was mauled by the wife of a Teamster member and needs police protection?
Los Angeles Local 396 president Jay Phillips did just that. The Election Supervisor investigated a protest by David Hoffa and ruled that the charges are a hoax, then issued a fine against Phillips for the fabrication.
Lesson for the Hoffa campaign: don’t lie when your actions have been caught on videotape.
The incident happened at Bally’s Casino, during the Las Vegas Teamster Convention on June 28. Phillips claimed to the Election Supervisor and in court documents that he was jumped, clawed, jumped on his back, his arms were bent back, his head was pulled and repeatedly slapped, he was held by the neck—all by one Teamster wife!
He even falsely claimed that two Local 396 business agents had to come to his rescue and pry this attack-lady off of him before he was seriously mauled.
Unfortunately for Phillips and for the Hoffa protest, casinos have lots of cameras, and multiple camera angles caught the incident, proving that none of those things happened. Actually, the woman, who has known Phillips for years, grabbed his arm to get his attention, then they exchanged angry words.
The Election Supervisor fined Phillips $500 for false charges and required Local 396 to post a notice of the fabrication on all its bulletin board.
Phillips, who is a lawyer, when confronted with the video evidence by the Election Supervisor, continued to try to maintain his lies. Phillips filed a lawsuit, ran to the Vegas police to get a restraining order (does he really cower in fear of her?), and involved the two business agents in submitting sworn affidavits which are false.
In Vegas, you are supposed to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em!
To see the whole fantasy of the imaginary attack wife, you can read the Election Supervisor’s decision regarding the Hoffa protest here.
David Hoffa has appealed the decision to the Election Appeals Master. In his Sept. 13 appeal, Hoffa claims that having a female grab Phillips’ arm in the casino was such a “terrifying, bewildering, confusing event” that he made up all those stories and affidavits and court filings, and he didn’t mean to lie or perjure himself.
Judge Conboy, the Election Appeals Master, promptly threw out Hoffa's appeal. He stated in his BRIEF DECISION "the less said about this deplorable case the better."
UPDATED September 20, 2011: Hoffa operative Jay Phillips claimed he was assaulted by a Teamster member’s wife—and even went to the police. But an investigation by the Election Supervisor reveals the charges were a Hoffa campaign hoax.
Lesson for the Hoffa Campaign. Don’t lie when your actions have been caught on videotape.
The charges stem from an incident at Bally’s Casino, during the Las Vegas Teamster Convention on June 28. Phillips, who is the president of Los Angeles Local 396, claimed to the Election Supervisor and in court documents that he was jumped, clawed, slapped, his arms were bent back, he was held by the neck – all by one Teamster wife!
He even falsely claimed that two Local 396 business agents had to come to his rescue and pry the attack-lady off of him before he was seriously mauled.
Unfortunately for Phillips and for the Hoffa Campaign, casinos have lots of cameras, and multiple camera angles caught the incident, proving that none of these things happened.
David Hoffa filed an election protest. Phillips filed a lawsuit, ran to the Vegas police to get a restraining order, and involved the two business agents in submitting sworn affidavits which were false.
In a September 11 decision, the Election Supervisor fined Phillips $500 for false charges and required Local 396 to post a notice of the fabrication on all its bulletin boards.
Phillips, who is a lawyer, when confronted with the video evidence by the Election Supervisor, continued to try to maintain his lies.
In Vegas, you are supposed to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em!
For the whole strange tale, you can read the decision regarding the Hoffa protest.
Hoffa has appealed the decision to the Election Appeals Master.
Judge Conboy, the Election Appeals Master, promptly threw out Hoffa's appeal. He stated in his brief decision "the less said about this deplorable case the better."
September 9, 2011: In a debate held in advance of the upcoming election for officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, candidates Sept. 7 laid out their visions for the Teamsters' future while drawing sharp contrasts with their opponents and pointing to past accomplishments.
Participating in the debate were Sandy Pope and Fred Gegare, who are running for IBT general president, and Ken Hall, who is running for general secretary-treasurer on a slate with current Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. Teamsters election rules allow presidential candidates to send another member of their slate to the candidate forum. This marks the third general election in which Hoffa has exercised that option.
The Office of the Election Supervisor for IBT sponsored the debate, which is required under IBT election rules. The candidates for the union's general executive board were nominated at its convention, held the last week of June in Las Vegas (127 DLR C-1, 7/1/11), and ballots for the election will be mailed to IBT members Oct. 6.
Hoffa has served as IBT general president since 1999, while Pope is the president of Teamsters Local 805 in New York. Gegare is a longtime Teamsters member and union official from Green Bay, Wis. Hall is running to replace the current secretary-treasurer, C. Thomas Keegel, who is retiring.
Hoffa's Absence Attacked
The debate was moderated by Harold Meyerson, an editor at the American Prospect and a Washington Post columnist. Michelle Amber of BNA's Daily Labor Report and Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post also posed questions of the candidates.
Hoffa's absence from the debate was immediately called into question by Pope and Gegare. In his opening statement, Gegare said it was “criminal” that Hoffa was not present.
“Where's Jim Hoffa?” Gegare asked. “This past weekend we've seen him on cable boasting himself like he's a fighter, but he's deserted his own membership.” He added that Hoffa was “afraid of the membership.”
Pope said the union's membership had “had enough of Hoffa's broken promises.”
“We need a president who will be a field general, not an empty talker-in-chief,” Pope said. She added that IBT members have faced concessions and pension cuts on Hoffa's watch.
Responding directly to a question about where Hoffa was, Hall defended his slate.
“Where he is tonight is where he needs to be—fighting for workers against right-wing politicians,” Hall said. Pointing to an incident over the Labor Day weekend during which disparaging remarks Hoffa made about the tea party were rebroadcast by Fox News and other conservative outlets, Hall said Hoffa “has been vilified by Fox News for speaking the truth.”
But Pope countered by noting that Hoffa had opted out of the debate months ago, well before the latest spat with Fox.
“He's just chicken, that's all there is to it,” Pope said. “He can't do anything that's not prepared.”
Hall accused Pope and Gegare of “sitting on the sidelines attacking [Hoffa],” which he said would give “ammunition” to those generally opposed to the labor movement.
‘Not a Single Plan.'
“All I've heard from them is criticism, and not a single plan,” Hall said.
The candidates agreed that organizing in “core industries” should be a priority for the Teamsters, but suggested different ways of going about it.
Pope said the union should “focus on our core industries by enforcing our contracts,” charging that too many collective bargaining agreements have not been enforced under the Hoffa administration. Beefed up contract enforcement, Pope said, will result in more workers being “better organized” and the union will be in better shape to further build its membership.
Hall countered that the union had organized some 130,000 workers in the past three years, and that IBT had been successful in its efforts to organize workers at UPS Freight, formerly known as Overnite Transportation. “Sandy must be confused” in thinking that union membership was dwindling, Hall said, “because her local membership is declining.”
Gegare, meanwhile, also emphasized the need to organize in “core industries” but charged that “Hoffa hasn't had a game plan to organize our core industries since he's been in office.”
Pension Fund Difficulties at Issue
A good portion of the debate centered around an announcement earlier this year that the Central States, Southeast, and Southwest Areas Pension Fund would slash pension benefits for IBT members employed at YRC Worldwide Inc., which has been plagued by financial woes since the onset of the economic downturn (61 DLR A-9, 3/30/11).
Gegare, who serves as the chairman of union trustees at the pension fund, said the fund had lost 40 percent of its revenue because the Hoffa administration allowed some 45,000 IBT members at UPS to leave the fund. “People worked their whole lives for their pensions, and when Hoffa leaves them suffering, it's a dirty shame,” Gegare said.
But in a later question, Gegare was asked about his involvement with the Central States fund, and its failures. Gegare said that in 2006, when the union announced a deal to organize some 12,000 drivers and dockworkers at UPS Freight, he was unaware that Hoffa and Hall had “cut a deal” to also allow UPS to withdraw the 45,000 UPS workers from the pension.
“The deal was cut, and guess what: they never put Overnite into the multiemployer fund,” Gegare said.
But Hall shot back: “There's something you don't understand, called leverage.”
“When UPS pulled out of Central States, you didn't show up” and say anything, Hall said, drawing attention to what he saw as Gegare's lack of leadership and awareness that the fund would have difficulties.
Pope also went after Gegare, asking, “why didn't you say anything to everyone else when Hoffa wouldn't listen to you?”
Pope's Presence at Convention
Gegare, meanwhile said that because of “Hoffa and Hall's dumb decisions in cutting a deal with UPS, I've lost 192 more employers out of Central States” because of the release of UPS workers from the fund.
But Hall asked Pope and Gegare, “I'm waiting to hear, if this is [the union's] biggest disaster, will you say you'll put those members back in Central States?”
Pope said she would not do so if members did not want to go back into the fund. “But we need to find ways to strengthen our pension plans,” she said. “You have to have new people coming in to keep the pension viable.”
At various points in the debate, Hall drew attention to the fact that while Pope and Gegare had made many points about what they felt the Hoffa administration had done wrong, they had been short on suggestions of how they would do things differently. Pope was asked specifically why she had not been more of a presence on the floor of the union's nominating convention, held the last week of June in Las Vegas.
At the previous convention, in 2006, Pope said, she was “booed and yelled at every time” she wanted to speak. “This time, I was prepared” for the booing when she got up to speak during the convention, Pope said. “But I was blocked by a very large person” and could not reach a microphone (127 DLR C-1, 7/1/11).
In addition, Pope said she had submitted resolutions for consideration, but they were “dismissed.”
“The whole [convention] is very controlled,” she said, referring to it as a “dog and pony show.”
“I just went there to get nominated, and that's what I did,” Pope said.
‘A Big Party for Jim Hoffa.'
But Hall countered that Pope “absolutely was not blocked,” and that “to suggest she was blocked from making amendments or constitutional changes is just ridiculous, and if it were true, I would not be in this race.”
Gegare, too, said the convention was “a big party for Jim Hoffa at the expense of the membership's dues money.”
In his closing statement, Hall alluded to the fact that Pope had seen her own local's pension fund decrease, had “never negotiated a national contract, and has no slate to support her.”
“Do you want someone with that track record responsible for protecting your pensions and health care?” Hall asked. “Those who know us best are our own local union members. But Sandy's members elected her by 66 votes.”
Pope, meanwhile, told members, “If you're happy with what's happening in our union, vote for one of my opponents. Because I'm not about more of the same.”
“Hoffa sent Ken Hall here to put a new face on the failures of his administration,” she said.
Gegare, for his part, said it was an “act of crime that Hoffa is not here,” and charged that Hoffa relied too much on “outside consultants” in his leadership of the union, rather than fellow members. Gegare pledged to run the union from the “bottom up, not the top down.”
By Michael Rose BNA Daily Labor Report.
September 8, 2011: Candidates for top office in the Teamsters union battled over the fate of multiemployer pension plans, jobs and organizing and concessions to employers Sept. 7 in the first and only Teamsters presidential election debate.
They also clashed over the whereabouts of incumbent General President James P. Hoffa, who delegated his role to running mate Ken Hall, an international vice president at large, president of Local 175 and head of the union’s package division.
Click here to read more.
September 8, 2011: Sandy Pope told Fox Business News that despite the hype Hoffa's talk about "taking out" anti-labor politicians is just empty talk. "I'm sick and tired of Hoffa just talking about what we should be doing. We should be mobilizing. The Tea Party has been doing that to great effect," Pope said.
Sandy called for for spending on infrastructure and jobs to stimulate the economy and to demand that Corporate America pay its fair share of taxes.
Click here to read more.
September 1, 2011: A campaign barbecue in St. Louis on August 28 drew nearly 200 Teamsters from a wide array of shops and crafts, and netted $4,000 for the campaign warchest.
Teamsters from every truck line, as well as carhaul, UPS, UPS Freight, construction, beverage, rail, and public employment came out to get more involved in the campaign to oust Hoffa and rebuild Teamster power. A few Teamsters came from as far away as Iowa and Tennessee.
Click here to read more.
August 12, 2011: I’m writing you from the campaign trail. I’m in the middle of a Rust Belt Tour that’s taken me through Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Detroit.
The response has been overwhelming. Everywhere I go members tell me Hoffa’s time is up and we need a new General President that will stand up to employers, protect our contracts and benefits and rebuild our union’s power.
I have no doubt we can win this election. But I’ll need your help.
In a three-way race, it will take 150,000 votes to win. I got 100,000 votes in the 2006 International Union election. We’re within striking distance of making Teamster history.
Here’s what it will take to win and how you can help.
- We need to reach 250,000 Teamsters in an outreach campaign. I’m traveling the country to reach as many Teamsters as I can. I need supporters like you to reach out to Teamsters in your backyard. Click here to download campaign leaflets. Click here to order pole stickers to increase our campaign’s visibility.
- We need 150,000 cell phone numbers and email addresses. When the ballots go out on Oct. 6, we need to phone and email 150,000 supporters and remind them to vote. It will only happen with your help! Click here to download a form to collect cell phone numbers and email addresses from Teamster supporters. Click here to volunteer to make phone calls to Get Out the Vote in your area come October.
- We need to send a Get Out the Vote mailing to Teamster supporters nationwide to remind them to vote. We’ve launched a campaign raffle and fundraising drive to raise the $250,000 we need to pay for this mailing and our campaign outreach and Get Out the Vote campaign. Please dig deep and do your part! Click here to order raffle tickets. Click here to donate to our Get Out the Vote war chest.
I have no doubt that working together we can make win this election and make Teamster history. Send me a message with your comments and what you can do to help beat Hoffa and rebuild Teamster Power.
P.S. A huge thank you to all my Teamster brothers and sisters who are contributing their time and hard-earned dollars to this campaign. We’ve launched a nationwide fundraising appeal to ask you to dig deep for the stretch run. Click here to check it out. And click here to donate online.
Reprinted from www.SandyPope2011.org