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.”
James 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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