June 1, 2012: Our newest Teamster local has been put into trusteeship. Local 2010 is the Coalition of University Employees, which affiliated with the Teamsters in 2010. CUE represents nearly 14,000 employees throughout ten campuses of the University of California.
The problems with the union are long standing. Active members have repeatedly informed the International union that the union is dysfunctional. The question is, why did Hoffa wait two years to take action?
The trusteeship hearing was initiated just as a local union election was scheduled, so the effect has been to delay democracy in this local. In his letter announcing the trusteeship, Hoffa acknowledged that petitions and members at the trusteeship hearing “generally advocated conducting an election of officers within a relatively short period of time.”
Hoffa should live up to that membership request. These Teamsters deserve a chance to elect their own officers and rebuild a strong union for the clerical and allied workers who run the country’s largest university system.
May 25, 2012: In May the Hoffa administration signed a national contract in the pipeline industry that lets all construction contractors pull out of the Central States fund.
The deal establishes a new company plan, just as Hoffa and Hall let UPS start a company plan in 2008.
Unlike other Teamsters, pipeline Teamsters don't have the right to vote on their contract. The IBT Constitution contains a loophole that lets local union leaders approve national contracts in this industry.
It has become clear that the Hoffa administration is giving up on the Teamster multi-employer pension funds, starting with the ones started by Hoffa's father—the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Fund.
It's up to Teamster members and local union leaders to turn that around. Although so far the biggest attack—and union retreat—has focused on Central States, consider this: When the employers get their way with that fund, will they come after all our union pension funds?
For other pension news, visit the Pensions page.
March 9, 2012: Hoffa has appointed Rome Aloise as the Director of the Teamsters Dairy and Food Processing Divisions.
Aloise replaces Fred Gegare who retired from his Teamster positions after running for General President in 2011 against Hoffa.
Aloise will now collect four Teamster salaries as an International Union Vice President for the Western Region, Joint Council 7 President, Secretary Treasurer of Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif., and now Teamsters Dairy and Food Processing Division Director.
September 20, 2011: Hoffa’s surprise announcement at UPS isn’t the first time that he’s made empty promises to Teamster voters to try to get elected.
Hoffa has a history of promising big. The Hoffa election year playbook is to talk big before the ballots go out and to settle short after the votes are counted.
He’s done it every year that he’s run for office.
2006 UPS Freight Sellout
In 2006, Hoffa and Hall told delegates at the Teamster Convention that they’d sealed a deal to unionize UPS Freight.
After the election, it came out that the UPS Freight deal would not go into effect until after Hoffa and Hall signed a concessionary contract at UPS—including letting UPS pull out of Central Sates and eliminated the Article 22.3 clause that required the company to create new full-time combo jobs.
After the election, we learned the Hoffa-Hall card-check neutrality agreement applied only to members at one UPS Freight terminal in Indianapolis. UPS Freight Teamsters got stuck with a substandard contract and never even got to negotiate work rules as promised in that agreement. But by then, the votes were counted.
2001 “That I Promise You, That Will Happen”
In 2001, Hoffa gave his famous, “That I Promise You, That Will Happen” speech. Hoffa guaranteed a series of promises that he promptly broke after the ballots were counted, including:
Hoffa Promise: “If I am elected, we will defeat Overnite.” Instead, Hoffa pulled the plug on the strike and left Overnite workers high and dry for seven years.
Hoffa Promise: “I will end government control of the Teamsters Union.” Instead, Hoffa’s own anti-corruption director Ed Stier resigned after Hoffa blocked his investigations into corruption in Chicago. After that, the government was in our union to stay.
Hoffa also promised to win the “best contract(s) in Teamster history” in UPS and freight. Instead, the contracts he negotiated delivered the worst pension cuts in Teamster history.
Click here to watch Hoffa lie to Teamster members.
Hoffa started his career as a Teamster presidential candidate the same way he’s ending it—lying to the members.
In the 1996 campaign, Hoffa promised to cut n cap his salary at $150,000. Instead, Hoffa gave himself a raise and has raised his salary ever year since. Last year he got $368,000, including a lucrative “housing allowance.”
In 1996, Hoffa promised “No Dues Increase.” Instead, he called a Special Convention and pushed through the biggest increase in Teamster history--and denied members a vote on his dues hike.
Hoffa promised to deliver a Real 25 & Out Pension to every Teamster. Instead, tens of thousands of Teamsters have lost the 25 & Out pensions they enjoyed for years until Hoffa came along.
Fool Me Once…
In an election year, there’s an easy way to tell when Hoffa is lying: his lips are moving.
Teamster members have learned this the hard way. And they won’t be fooled again.
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."
April 1, 2011: James Hoffa today, appearing on The View, admitted that he was actually adopted, and is not the son of James R. "Jimmy" Hoffa.
Hoffa, sobbing as he departed from remarks held up on cue cards by his Assistant, Leo Deaner, told Barbara Walters: "I can't keep it up, the lie that I am the son of Jimmy Hoffa.
"He built the Central States Pension Fund. I gave it away. He build the master freight contract. I wrecked it. He worked hard for members, I golf with their employers. I ask that God forgive me. And maybe some working Teamsters will too. A few at least."
Walters then gave him a hug, and offered him a job as a guest host. Hoffa, still sobbing, asked if it paid more than the $368,000 he got from Teamsters members last year.
Walters said "I'll get back to you on that."
It all happened on April 1, also known as April Fools Day.
March 25, 2011: Corporate America is after our contracts, our benefits, even our right to bargain.
Is Hoffa up to the challenge?
Employers and corporate politicians are taking advantage of the recession to come after union members like never before.
Good jobs with good benefits that generations of union members fought to win are under attack.
As North America’s most powerful union, the Teamsters needs to take the lead in fighting back.
As we go to press, new attacks are hitting working Teamsters.
Freight Teamsters are being hit with the worst pension cuts in our union’s history.
Two-thirds of YRC Teamsters have just lost their already-earned pension credits for 25- and 30-and-out, pensions they worked hard for, thanks to Hoffa’s blunders in the freight industry. Teamsters in other funds will also be affected.
Even corporations that are highly profitable are taking advantage of the recession to come after working Teamsters. The largest third-party warehouse distribution employer in the country, C&S, is axing 2,000 Teamster jobs and taking their work nonunion.
UPS made $5.8 billion in profit last year. They’ve quadrupled the CEO’s salary. But UPS Teamsters face record production harassment and job cuts.
This War Can Be Won
The War on Workers can be won. But we need a rank-and-file army—and we need a general who is willing to fight. Hoffa hasn’t done anything in his 12 years in office to show that he’s prepared for the challenges ahead of us. We need new leadership and a new direction.
Workers in Wisconsin showed that rebuilding union power starts at the grassroots. If we want to win, we’ve got to act. It’s time to fight for a Teamsters Union that will fight for us.
March 30, 2011: Judge Kenneth Conboy held a third hearing on March 24 to consider the appropriate punishment for a scheme in which James Hoffa and three International vice presidents were caught using union funds to try to buy-off political rivals.
The hearing was the result of appeals filed by TDU co-chair Frank Halstead and by Fred Gegare that the Election Supervisor’s remedy was inadequate given the seriousness of the violations.
Hoffa Offered Extra Salaries, Pensions
Election Supervisor Richard Mark in late 2010 conducted a six-month investigation in this matter.
It found that Hoffa and International Vice Presidents Ken Hall, Rome Aloise and Tyson Johnson offered no-show jobs, and in one case an extra pension, to try to patch up a split in the Hoffa camp. The split led to the formation of a slate headed by Fred Gegare.
According to Mark, the investigation revealed “a culture, or mind-set where elected union officials do not clearly distinguish between their fiduciary responsibility to the union and their separate political objective of getting elected.”
Judge Conboy has twice ruled that the Election Supervisor took insufficient action in response to the Hoffa bribery scandal.
After the first hearing, Judge Conboy ordered the Election Supervisor to conduct a complete investigation. The Election Supervisor conducted the investigation but ruled that no remedy was called for because the bribes had been turned down.
Conboy reversed the Election Supervisor on appeal and ordered him to devise a remedy.
Weak Remedy Appealed
In response, the Election Supervisor ordered that a notice informing members of Hoffa’s violations appear in the April issue of the Teamster magazine and on the Teamster website and that the notice be posted inside local union halls.
Halstead and Gegare are appealing the remedy as inadequate.
Hoffa’s campaign attorney, his son David Hoffa, submitted a brief applauding the Election Supervisor’s remedy, while still claiming his dad’s innocence.
“When the guilty party is happy with the judge’s sentence, that’s a sign that the sentence is too light,” Halstead said.
TDU attorney Barbara Harvey, representing Halstead, has submitted briefs outlining why this remedy is inadequate to deal with such a serious violation.
Harvey argued that a candidate debate, with DVD distribution to all members, would force Hoffa to answer directly to the members for the scheme and to explain what action his administration would take to insure that members’ dues are never again used to try to buy political support for an incumbent General President.
Judge Conboy, who serves as the Election Appeals Master, rarely overturns the remedies chosen by the Election Supervisor.
You can find updated information on this issue at www.TDU.org as well as a link to the Election Supervisor’s 30-page report on the attempted bribery scheme.
February 7, 2011: A longtime Memphis union leader is at the center of an investigation into whether Teamsters boss James Hoffa and his supporters broke election rules.
Hoffa's campaign falsely touted an endorsement by Henry Perry, an International Brotherhood of Teamsters trustee and former president of Teamsters Local 667 in Memphis, an investigator concluded.
Click here to read more at The Commercial Appeal.