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Teamsters Beat

Tensions are rising as the Teamsters International Officer election comes to a head. 17-year incumbent James P. Hoffa, son of the infamous former Teamster leader James (Jimmy) R. Hoffa, is going up against Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman.

Zuckerman represents a group of “pissed off Teamsters” who feel strongly that it’s time to oust the Hoffas once and for all if they want real change. The key to a victory, they say, will be voter turnout, as only 1 in 5 Teamster members voted in the last election.

The Teamsters are one of the few U.S. unions that are “constitutionally guaranteed the right to directly elect their international union officers every five years.”

zuckerman-hoffa

Eye on the Teamsters

benefits_cutJames P. Hoffa, President of the Teamsters, has agreed with a federal law change proposal to cut benefits for retired union members. This policy would ax benefits to only 10% above the minimum rate set by federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., currently set at approximately $1,100 per month. For some, this could add up to nearly a $2000 per month deduction in what they worked 30 years to receive. The federal law presently in place states that this severe of a cut is illegal.

The move is an admission that the Teamseters Central States Fund is approaching insolvency, as the law change only allows “deeply troubled” plans (those in danger of going insolvent in the next 20 years) to cut benefits in this manner.

For many Teamsters

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Teamsters “Faking Baby” Syndrome

This one takes the cake on Teamster corruption! A manager who worked at the Teamster’s bar and gaming facility in Fargo, Minnesota was allegedly fired after she shot down her supervisor’s suggestion that they conduct a fundraiser for a sick baby as a scheme to generate additional revenue. Unfortunately, there was no sick baby. It was simply a ploy to boost business.

The Teamster’s Local 120 is now under investigation by the police. In fact, top Teamster executives have taken a leave of absence during this investigation. The focus of the investigation is on improper expenditures and financial improprieties that came from Teamster bar and gaming revenue.

In response, the Teamsters National took over the Local 120 and put it into an emergency trusteeship.

Continue reading Teamsters “Faking Baby” Syndrome

Teamster Beat

Two interesting reads this week from the National Labor Relations Board – both are postings required by the Board as part of settlements against the Teamsters. One is brand new, the other, an oldie but a goodie.

The first is a notice to employees of the Teamsters union signed August 28, 2012. It appears to be part of a settlement between the Teamsters and the Federation of Agents and Representatives (FAIR), the union attempting to represent IBT staff organizers. All sides of the dispute between FAIR and the IBT have been tight lipped so we know little, if really anything, about the specifics of the charges brought against the Teamsters. However the posting still makes for hilarious reading.

Organizers for the IBT voted

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Filming Starts on “Teamsters” Reality Show

Actor/Producer Mark Walberg and the A&E Network have begun filming of a new reality show that will “focus on the lives and struggles of members of Boston’s Teamsters Local 25.” The union’s president Sean O’Brien, told reporters the show’s crew filmed Local 25’s membership meeting just over a week ago, (now there’s some riveting television) and that they’ll come back to get more footage as soon as all parties involved “tie up some legal issues.”

According to A&E, the show is “set in the real-life world that provided such color to films as The Fighter and The Departed.” The network says the show will also give viewers “a first hand glimpse of the most legendary union in the most aggressive and territorial

Continue reading Filming Starts on “Teamsters” Reality Show

Phillip Wilson Interviewed on Pete Dominic’s Stand Up Radio Show

I was interviewed today on Pete Dominic’s Stand Up! radio program on XM Satellite Radio. This was Pete’s counterpoint to a prior interview with James P. Hoffa (yeah, that James P. Hoffa). It was a spirited interview (including a call from an irate Laborer’s organizer). Great fun. The page for the interview is here.