June 12, 2012: Organizers employed by the International union have voted to unionize, in order to bargain with the Hoffa administration. On May 29 the vote count was 18-16 in favor of FAIR, the Federation of Agents and International Representatives.
The International union has filed exceptions to the vote with the NLRB, claiming that five ballots were not received in the mail. However, it was the Hoffa administration which insisted on a strict ballot deadline.
Hoffa operatives fought hard against the unionization effort. They refused a request to remain neutral or agree to card-check. They held one-on-one meetings and issued nasty warnings that those in favor of unionizing were disloyal and would not be welcomed by Teamster locals during organizing drives.
There has been a lot of dissent among organizers and other IBT staff regarding favoritism, pay disparity and complaints about political hacks being promoted, so the unionization is the result. The organizers expect their union to be certified soon, and hope that the Hoffa administration will meet and bargain.
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 22, 2012: New York Local 111 is merging into Local 202. Why would a local of office workers in the telecom industry merge into a local based in the big produce central market?
Because Dan Kane Sr. is in the process of turning the family business over to his son, Dan Kane Jr. Kane Sr. heads Local 111, and Kane Jr. heads Local 202. Between them they made nearly $400,000 in total compensation last year.
Kane Sr. is an International vice president, and hopes to turn that position over to Junior when he retires.
The way to build Teamster power is with locals that bring together workers in the same industries, such as construction, warehousing, public employment, trucking, etc. Divide-and-weaken is the employers' game, and our union should not join it.
October 3, 2011: The secretary-treasurer of a Hamilton based Teamsters local is alleging corruption and misuse of nearly $250,000 in union dues in a bombshell letter to members.
Click here to read more.
UPDATED MAY 26, 2011: Local 82 members have bounced a top Hoffa appointee and his number one thug from our union.
Their charges vindicated, they have one more goal: saving their local union and returning it to the members.
Hoffa’s former Trade Show Division Director has been officially bounced from the Teamsters. John Perry has signed an agreement with the Independent Review Board, agreeing to a lifetime ban from the Teamsters.
Perry, the former principal officer of Local 82, was Hoffa’s highest-ranked appointee in New England.
For years, Local 82 members courageously took on Perry who rigged contract votes, colluded with nonunion employers, and put a violent convicted criminal, Joseph “Jo Jo” Burhoe, in charge of doling out Teamster trade shows jobs to friends and relatives and other supporters of the Perry regime.
When he wasn’t running scams with employers, Burhoe served as Perry’s muscle. He beat one Perry critic unconscious, sending him to the hospital.
Members reported each of these crimes against our union directly to the International Union. But Hoffa stood by his man.
After Perry sent a letter to a Local 82 member threatening him with being “put in a trunk of a car, having your ribs broken and being hospitalized for freedom of speech,” Hoffa sent the same member a letter stating: “The International Union does not have agents in the Boston area to provide protection to you or your family and does not have the capacity to investigate all of your numerous complaints.”
In fact, Hoffa did have such an agent in Boston: John Perry, the man behind the threats.
Hoffa: ‘TDU was right’
Now Hoffa has been forced to admit that members and TDU were reporting the truth.
A hearing panel appointed by the International Union confirmed that contracts were improperly voted, jobs were steered to family friends and political allies of Perry and his enforcer, union funds were embezzled and spent without proper authorization, and other violations in 34 pages of findings, available here.
The entire former Executive Board of Local 82 has been banned from holding any office or job with Local 82 or any Teamster affiliate. They maintain the right of membership.
Burhoe, the convicted bank robber and FBI informant who protected Perry, has been banned from the Teamsters Union for life. Perry himself has agreed to a lifetime ban.
Local 82 is currently under International Union trusteeship. Local 82 members deserve the right to democratically run the affairs of their own local, not to have it merged out of existence, as some in the Hoffa administration would like to see happen.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union fought for, and won, the right of members to democratically vote over any proposed merger of their local union. Teamster members have used this right to stop politically-motivated mergers in the past.
Local 82 members have taken action and cleaned up their local. The future of Local 82 belongs to its membership.
Update—May 26, 2011: The enforcer for Hoffa's ousted Trade Show Division Director is is back working Teamster trade shows, this time for management!
Joseph "Jo Jo" Burhoe received a lifetime ban from the IBT for illegally working for Local 82 and running crooked hiring schemes in the Trade Show industry.
Under the ban, Burhoe is barred from knowing association with Teamster members. But Burhoe has been spotted working at trade shows supervising Teamsters for Demers Exposition Services.
Members have made the International Union and Hoffa's appointed trustee Dennis Taylor aware of Burhoe's new role. No word yet on any action the IBT will take to protect Local 82 members.
April 26, 2011: The top two officials of a Fullerton-based Teamsters Union affiliate quit while under investigation for financial improprieties, The Register has learned.
A trustee has taken over 6,600-member District Council 2 and will run it for at least six months.
Click here to read more at The Orange County Register.
March 25, 2011: Teamster school bus drivers are organizing for change in New York Local 854—including at Outstanding Transport where for years the company has gotten away with paying drivers no overtime pay and paying bus aides less than the minimum wage.
Members at Outstanding met with TDU and launched a plan to enforce their rights—including group grievances, outreach to the media, and an investigation by the state Department of Labor into the company’s wage and hour violations.
Unhappy, the company pushed back by firing Kim Session, one of the workers who has been at the center of members’ organizing.
But Session is back on the job, with full back pay, thanks to solidarity from TDU and 854 Members for Change, a committee of drivers and matrons from across Local 854.
The company claimed Session was being fired for falsifying times on trip-cards for her scheduled runs. But matrons don’t even fill out trip cards.
Owner Charlie Curcio revealed the real reason for the firing when he pulled out group grievances signed by more than a hundred members and complained that Session’s name was on the top of each one.
TDU and 854 Members for Change hit back from every angle.
Within days, the employer had been contacted by the Department of Labor, a City Council member, the New York Daily News, and the National Labor Relations Board.
Teamsters from multiple companies distributed bulletins calling for solidarity and union action.
The company backed down and returned Session to work with full back pay.
“854 Members for Change and TDU really stood behind me. I’ve never seen support like that before,” Session said.
“This fight is about everybody,” said Vincent Lattimore, a TDU member from Local 237 who helped leaflet the company to protest Kim’s unjust firing.
“Teamsters have to stick together. That’s what TDU is all about.”
“Members are used to the companies pushing Local 854 around,” said driver Pierre Jerome.
“Winning Kim’s job back, we showed that members can stand up for ourselves.”
February 18, 2011: Rank and file leaders in Local 901 have won a federal court injunction returning them to full membership and their steward positions.
Local 901 officials illegally expelled Migadalia Magriz and Silvia Rivera from the Teamsters for the “crime” of showing solidarity with striking Coca Cola workers. But yesterday, a federal court issued an injunction reinstating them to full membership rights and their shop steward positions.
It’s the latest legal victory for Teamster members in Puerto Rico who are standing up for a democratic union that stands up to the employers.
The National Labor Relations Board had already ruled that Local 901 officials illegally collaborated with management in the firing of Teamster strikers at Coke.
The court ruling is an embarrassment to Teamster president James Hoffa who upheld the illegal actions of the local union officials.
In separate legal action, the Department of Labor sued the union leadership over a bogus union election in 2008, after Magriz, Rivera and Mara Quiara exposed the election manipulation. As a result, a rerun election later this year will be supervised by the DOL.
These legal victories are part of a broader movement by Local 901 members to return their union to the membership. Their rank-and-file group Teamsters Making a Difference is organizing member-to-member to make it happen.
Nominations for IBT Convention delegates in Local 901 will be held on February 20.
February 18, 2010: Labor and community supporters are rallying to protect good jobs and quality bus service in Vermont.
Labor and community supporters rallied at City Hall in Burlington, Vt. to support Teamster bus drivers.
United by the slogan, “We’re all on this bus together,” passengers, drivers, mechanics, students and members of other unions, crammed a City Hall auditorium to back drivers’ contract proposals to protect drivers and improve bus service.
Drivers voted down a proposed contract by 36 to 1 in November. They want an end to 18-hour split shifts with forced overtime, a fair grievance procedure, and reasonable schedules that provide reliable service without jeopardizing passenger safety.
“We want the drivers to be able to drive safely,” Nancy Welch, an English professor at the University of Vermont and member of the United Academics union, told the Burlington Free Press.
Students who attended the rally told the media they were backing the drivers’ demands for safety and respect because they depended on CCTA for transportation.
CCTA management also wants to hire part-time drivers—but Teamster members and their community supporters say, “Part-Time Vermont Won’t Work.”
Notably absent from the rally were any officials from Teamsters Local 597. Secretary-Treasurer Ron Rabideau demanded that the Vermont AFL-CIO Central Labor Council retract its call for solidarity with the Teamster drivers.
Union members and the community turned out at City Hall to support Teamster members all the same.
The CCTA responded to the rally by convening an emergency board meeting. It’s up to Transit Authority brass to decide if they want to negotiate a fair agreement or take on a growing community-labor alliance for a better CCTA.