Ken Hall, Hoffa’s point man at UPS, told stewards on a national conference call that it’s “not the right time” to enforce the contract and defend full-time 22.3 jobs.
Hall went on to blame contract enforcement problems on members for failing to file good grievances—and on local officials for bringing cases with “no facts.”
Maybe it’s time for Hoffa and Hall to stop making excuses for UPS, and start enforcing our contract.
September 28, 2010: The International Union is losing members, losing revenue, and cutting organizers and representation.
Teamster members are sacrificing to save our jobs and our union. Why aren’t top officials doing the same?
Pensions cuts. Layoffs. Pay cuts. The Great Recession has hit working Teamsters hard.
And our union has been hit hard, too. We’ve lost some 100,000 members and dues revenue is down. Our locals and our International are feeling the pinch.
But a comprehensive analysis of Teamster financial documents shows that instead of belt-tightening, top Teamster officials have bulked up.
Last year, 120 Teamster officials made over $150,000 in salary. On average, they each got a $6,624 raise. Thirteen of them got a raise of over $20,000 last year.
Those are the findings of the $150,000 Club Report a comprehensive analysis of Teamster financial documents and officer compensation by the Teamster Rank and File Education and Legal Defense Foundation (TRF), the legal and education arm of the Teamster reform movement.
These numbers should be a warning sign for the union’s top leaders. Instead, all we’ve seen from the Hoffa administration is “What, Me Worry?”
100,000 Members Gone
Official union records show that the IBT lost over 38,000 members from 2008 to 2009—and unofficial reports point to the number being closer to 100,000 by 2010.
The IBT’s revenues are down too. Per capita dues, which locals pay from members’ dues to the IBT, dropped $6 million last year and is dropping more this year.
Hoffa could have reacted by trimming the salaries of officials at the top. Instead, he has made cuts and eliminated jobs in membership services, organizing and representation.
Salaries Go Up
The 2009 $150,000 Club Report shows more top officials making more money than ever:
- 120 Teamster officials made over $150,000 in salary—the largest number ever.
- 40 officials made over $200,000 last year—also the largest number ever.
- On average, those officials each got a $6,624 raise. Thirteen of them got a raise of over $20,000 last year.
Hoffa paid multiple salaries to 142 Teamster officials in 2009—no cuts there.
There’s an election next year and Hoffa’s job is on the line. Is he trying to use the power of patronage to buy support?
What We Could Do with the Money
What would happen if our union cut the waste at the very top?
If the officials in the $150,000 took a 10 percent cut, our union would save $3.2 million—money we could use to put some 30 new organizers out in the field.
When Hoffa first ran for office, he promised to “cut and cap” official salaries at $150,000. If he had made good on his promise, he would have saved our union over $5 million in 2009.
Hoffa could have cut at the top. Instead he chose to cut representation.
He’s putting personal loyalty ahead of our union’s best interests.
Click here to read the 150,000 Club Report
What, Me Worry?
James Hoffa—Total Compensation $362,869, including a lucrative “Housing Allowance” he set up for himself. Instead of freezing his salary or taking a 10 percent cut, he took a Cost of Living Raise.
The Top Dog
Terry Hancock, Salary: $347,007
Heads up Local 731 in Chicago, where he made a construction deal which undermined other locals in the Chicagoland area. He settled with Waste Management last year while Milwaukee Local 200 WM Teamsters were on strike—they lost their ability to extend picket lines and then lost their Teamster pension as a result.
Reportedly he is being investigated by the Department of Labor.
Concessions for All (But Me)
Randy Cammack, Salary: $275,274
A top freight leader in the Hoffa administration, Cammack has promoted every concession to come down the pike. But he himself took an $18,000 raise last year. That’s a $9 per hour hike—while many of his Local 63 members took pay cuts.
September 28, 2010: Teamster members can elect leadership that will fight for us.
Members are organizing now to make it happen in 2011.
Tough times require tough leadership. Our Teamsters Union was once known for its toughness. Today members face the worst benefit cuts and contract concessions in our history.
When he ran for General President, Hoffa told Teamster members, “The Hoffa name means power.” But the only power we’ve seen is the power that has gone to Hoffa’s head.
It’s time for change. The 2011 Teamster election is our chance to make it happen.
“Hoffa’s support is at rock bottom especially with everything that’s been happening in freight, carhaul, and UPS,” said Wes Epperson, a UPS driver in Kansas City Local 41. “I tell people we can elect leadership at the IBT that will fight for us, but if that’s what we want, we’ve got to get involved.”
Candidates will be officially nominated at the Teamster Convention next June.
Members in many locals are holding meetings now to prepare to run for Convention Delegate—nominations will be held in January or February in almost all locals.
Across the country, members are taking steps to build the volunteer army we will need to vote out Hoffa and elect leadership that will fight for the members.
“It will take 175,000 votes to elect the next General President,” said John Youngermann of St Louis Local 688. “We need to reach members with the simple message that their vote gives them the power to win a stronger union.”
Have you had enough of Hoffa? Do you want to attend a meeting in your area to talk about what can be done? Are you willing to volunteer your time to save our union—and elect leaders that will fight for us?
Let’s get together—for a change.
In 2003, Hoffa boasted, “Today we have restored Teamster pride. We have restored Teamster power....”
What's his real record in freight?
Hoffa promised to strengthen our pensions.
Now his promises have turned into excuses.
It’s not enough that YRC Teamsters gave up wages and pension contributions.
Our union is letting management get away with subcontracting, forced overtime with hundreds laid off, and dubious changes of operation.
Our ranks in freight are a third the size of what they were when Hoffa took over.
Trucking is a growth industry. Companies can’t export it overseas.
At the 2006 Teamster Convention, Hoffa announced he had a deal to bring 15,000 UPS Freight Teamsters into our union. He got a huge cheer from the crowd.
But the high hopes have not been met.
They Have to Go“With Hoffa and Johnson, it’s always about, ‘We’re monitoring the situation.’ All that got us was a lighter wallet and a ton of anxiety.
“We’re supposed to sacrifice while they keep raking in the big bucks. Do the math. It all adds up to these guys have to go.”
Jimmy Rickert, YRC Local 771, Lancaster, Penn.
Our Vote Matters
“Teamster members learned a good lesson at ABF when we voted down the wage giveback: Our vote matters!
“We need to exercise that right to vote when it comes to officers. We need a leadership that works on labor’s behalf. Hoffa Jr. and Tyson Johnson have to go.”
Stan Smith, ABF Local 728, Atlanta
Give Us the Straight Story
“It looks like the recession is over at Holland. We’re running full speed and they’re hiring off the street.
“Hoffa and Johnson are supposed to have access to the books. Let’s make sure they give us the straight story on finances before they come back to us with any more givebacks.”
Joe Medrano, Holland Local 299, Detroit
TDU Convention: I’ll Be There
“I plan to be at my first TDU Convention in Chicago. I’m looking forward to talking with other Teamsters about all the issues we face. I feel as a whole our union is at a crossroads, especially those of us in the freight industry. I’m excited to see what thoughts and ideas arise from the classes and discussions TDU will be providing. Perhaps this will spark the change we so desperately need.
Curtiss Zeolla, ABF, Local 710, Chicago
August 11, 2010: Dumped by his top running mate. His administration divided. Hoffa’s days may be numbered.
But only if Teamster members organize to make it happen.
Poor Jim Hoffa. Twelve years after riding his famous last name into office, it’s clear to even his closest allies that James P. Hoffa is not his father.
Hoffa’s top running mate, Tom Keegel, has announced his retirement and publicly stated that the union is on the wrong road. (See story, page 3).
The campaign for next year’s election for International Union officers is barely underway and already a half dozen top members of the Hoffa administration have defected, including five General Executive Board members.
The upheaval at the top of our union creates an opportunity for working Teamsters who have paid the price for Hoffa’s weak leadership. The race for IBT General President in 2011 is wide open.
No reform candidate for General President has announced yet. Nominations will be held at the IBT Convention in June 2011, and 1.3 million Teamsters will vote by mail ballot in November 2011.
But the time to organize for change is now. It will take 175,000 votes to elect the next General President. TDU is dedicated to building the grassroots army that can turn out these votes to win.
Contact TDU about how we can work together to dump Hoffa and elect leadership that will fight for the members.
The defection of Tom Keegel, Hoffa’s running mate, from the Hoffa re-election campaign has sent shock waves through the Teamster political scene.
In a July 15 letter to the General Executive Board, Keegel distanced himself from Hoffa, and criticized Hoffa’s direction and isolation from local officers and members. He plans to serve out his term and then retire in early 2012.
The letter states that “continuing down the same road as the IBT has traveled for the last few years will not lead us out of our present difficulties or help us avoid the problems yet to come.”
While respectful in tone, Keegel indicates that he will have more to say on the union’s problems, and “that time will come soon enough.”
The letter goes on to criticize Hoffa for listening to his appointees rather than local officers, and for having those same appointees run his reelection campaign.
Hoffa-Keegel Petitions in the Dumpster
As a result of Keegel’s bombshell, the Hoffa campaign had to ask the Election Supervisor to let them withdraw thousands of petitions circulated by local officials to accredit the Hoffa-Keegel slate. Stickers, buttons and other campaign paraphernalia also made the trip to the dumpster.
Hoffa then tapped International Vice President Ken Hall to replace Keegel as his running mate.
Hall, as the Parcel (UPS) Division Director, has been behind key decisions that have created rifts in the Hoffa camp and alienated many Teamster local officers and members.
In late 2007 Hoffa and Hall signed a contract allowing UPS to pull all its participants from the Central States Pension Fund, leaving that fund greatly weakened, and putting UPS Teamsters into a company fund with benefits far below most Teamster plans.
The contract also completely eliminated the clause forcing the company to create 10,000 additional full-time jobs.
The contract concessions were regarded as part of a deal with UPS to gain union recognition for UPS Freight employees. However, those employees were not put under the National Master Freight contract or into Teamster benefit funds.
Since that time, contract enforcement has gone downhill. UPS has eliminated thousands of full-time jobs which are guaranteed under the contract, but Hoffa and Hall have refused to hear any grievances about it at the national panel.
The Hoffa campaign has refused to comment on Keegel’s critical letter or his defection from the camp.
They pulled down the campaign website for two weeks until it reappeared with Ken Hall on it, without any comment on the switch.
All Teamsters to Vote
Nominations for General President, General Secretary-Treasurer and all Vice President positions will be held at the IBT Convention in late June 2011, and the mail ballot election of all 1.3 million Teamsters will be in November 2011.
Fred Gegare is at present the only other declared candidate for General President. He is also circulating accreditation petitions, along with three running mates for vice president positions.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), the reform movement which previously backed the campaigns of Tom Leedham and Ron Carey, has not yet put forward or endorsed a candidate.
See www.TDU.org for updated information on the IBT election as well as to read Keegel’s letter and other materials.
July 1, 2010: Henry Perry, International trustee and president of Memphis Local 667, has been removed from the Hoffa slate for the International Union election.
Perry, who has now refused to endorse Hoffa for reelection, told the Election Supervisor that on May 10, he was approached by International Vice President Tyson Johnson, who told him Hoffa was removing him from the slate.
Perry says the reason given was that he lost the 2006 delegate race in his local union to TDU members who backed Tom Leedham.
According to Perry, Johnson asked him to resign his International office, and said that if he campaigned for Hoffa, he could keep his International salary for the next two years. That would be an illegal use of union funds to boost Hoffa’s campaign. Johnson denies saying it.
Perry told Johnson that he lost the delegate race because he could not persuade his members to support Hoffa. Indeed, that was true: Leedham carried Local 667 later that year by a two-to-one margin over Hoffa.
The Election Supervisor ruled that the Hoffa campaign illegally used Perry’s name as an endorser, by pasting an old signature onto their campaign material sent to all locals. The decision (2010 ESD 4) is available at www.ibtvote.org.
Hoffa himself failed to win the delegates in his own home base, Pontiac, Mich. Local 614. The United Teamsters Against Hoffa (UTAH) slate swept the delegate race there in 2006.
Law & Disorder: Justice Hoffa Style
Position: IBT Vice President
Charged with: “Nepotism and favoritism.” Giving lucrative jobs to relatives and friends of union officials in exchange for gifts.
Hoffa Justice: Kept on Hoffa Slate. Paid $278,150 last year.
Position: IBT Trade Show Division Director
Charged with: In court for assaulting a Local 82 member for filing a grievance.
Under grand jury investigation for witness intimidation.
Hoffa Justice: Keeps local and IBT position. Paid $198,073 in total compensation last year by our union.
Position: IBT Trustee
Charged with: Failing to convince Local 667 members to vote for Hoffa.
Hoffa Justice: Asked to resign from General Executive Board. Removed from Hoffa Slate.
June 3, 2010: Billy Hogan Jr, the former Teamster vice president and head of the Chicago Joint Council, has made a plea bargain to settle contempt charges in federal court. But he vows to continue to press for relief from the Independent Review Board’s ban on his involvement with Teamster members.
On May 27 Hogan appeared in federal court in New York for approval of a settlement in which he agreed to abide by the ban on any contact with Teamster members, and paid a fine of $10,000.
Sources close to Hogan say that while he cannot appeal a settlement, friends of his may pursue legal action to try to end the IRB’s ban on contact with Teamsters, which he claims is a limit on his free speech rights. The issue has been pursued previously, without success.
Hogan was the head of Chicago Local 714, a post he inherited from his father and later passed on to his son as well as the president of Joint Council 25, and Hoffa’s chosen running mate on the Hoffa-Hogan Slate in 1996.
That was derailed when the IRB charged him with making a sweetheart deal in the Las Vegas convention industry with a company in which a Hogan family member was a principal. He, along with Hoffa’s Special Assistant Dane Passo, was given a hearing and banned from the Teamsters Union.
Since that time he has held no Teamster post, but repeatedly defied the ban on contact with Teamster members, contending that it unfairly limits his personal freedom.
May 28, 2010: On May 25, International Vice President Fred Gegare announced his candidacy for Teamster General President. Incumbent President James Hoffa announced his candidacy earlier, and is circulating petitions to become accredited.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), the Teamster reform movement which backed Tom Leedham and Ron Carey in previous elections, has not yet announced a candidate or made any endorsement.
Gegare, contacted about this campaign, said that “members voices are not being heard under Hoffa.” He said he intends to campaign across the country, but not assemble a slate until the end of 2010. He said that Hoffa is listening to insiders, not to Teamster members.
Gegare is the union chair of the Central States Pension Fund, an International vice president, the head of the Dairy Division, head of the Food Processing Division and the President of Wisconsin Joint Council 39.
According to a campaign letter faxed to all locals on May 26, Hoffa has the support of the majority of the General Executive Board, all of whom ran on his slate in 2006 or have been appointed by him since that time. However, Gegare and International vice presidents Brad Slawson and Al Hobart are not supporting Hoffa.
We contacted the Hoffa campaign, but Hoffa spokesman Todd Thompson declined to comment.
Elections for IBT convention delegate will be held in all local unions. In most locals, the elections will be held in January-March, 2011. The IBT Convention, where candidates are nominated, will be June 27-July 1, 2011. The election for General President and all International officers will be in November 2011.
Gegare’s campaign letter is available here.
The Hoffa-Keegel campaign letter is available here.
An Election Timeline is available here.
April 2, 2010: Teamsters who believe in protecting our contracts and benefits are coming together for change.
If it seems like contract enforcement has never been weaker, you’re not imagining things.
The Hoffa administration has given up on standing up to the employers until the recession is over—at least.
Don’t take our word for it. International Union officials say so themselves.
Hoffa’s point man at UPS, Ken Hall, recently announced that “2009 was not the right time” to enforce the contract because of the economy.
That goes a long way toward explaining our union’s surrender at UPS, YRC, ABF, UPS Freight, carhaul and many other employers.
Hoffa Waves • Top Teamster at UPS says it's the "WRONG TIME" to enforce the contract
It’s not easy to make gains in a recession. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up the store.
Hoffa’s only answer to corporate America is go-along, get along. That’s not a strategy. It’s surrender.
Teamster members who believe in protecting our contracts, jobs and benefits are coming together for change.
TDU is our tool to share information, enforce our rights and take back our union. Stand up for your future. Join today.