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Hoffa delegates show true colors at day 2 of Teamster Convention

By staff |
June 29, 2016
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Las Vegas, NV - The International Brotherhood of Teamsters began the second day of its 29th convention today in Las Vegas. Nominations for Trustees and At Large Vice Presidents occurred immediately. In order to be nominated a candidate must receive the vote of at least 5% of the delegates. This is an important part of the convention because the candidates that are successfully nominated run in an election this fall in which all Teamsters will vote to determine the union’s national leadership.

Delegates supporting current President James P. Hoffa and Secretary Treasurer Ken Hall’s slate were ruthless. They shouted profanities and boos at the top of their lungs in an attempt to keep the reform Teamsters United slate’s nominations from being heard by the delegates.

During the nominations, the behavior of the Hoffa supporters was meekly checked by the independent election officer. He quietly banged the gavel asking for order. Despite having the authority, he disciplined none of the Hoffa delegates for their outrageous behavior.

Despite this, hundreds of reform minded Teamsters supporting Fred Zuckerman of Louisville Local 89 for president and the Teamster United Slate held tough. They stood out in front of the hall amid a flow of union officials wearing the red vest which indicates allegiance to Hoffa.

Later in the day, a series of noncontroversial resolutions were passed with no opposition. These included supporting organizing drives in various companies such as FedEx, XPO/Conway and others.

The Teamsters United Slate provides the convention with a much needed reality check. These Teamsters know that their union has been in a free fall. They are ready to fight take control from the ineffective leadership of Hoffa/Hall.

Without the Teamsters United Slate’s sober vision, the Hoffa scripted convention’s fictional account of the Teamsters union and the labor movement would go unchallenged. Out of touch International vice presidents had nothing to say about key contract negotiations in industries like carhaul and freight. They had nothing to say about the Teamster pension crisis at the Central States Pension Fund. Or the last UPS contract, which was ultimately forced upon members who never voted for it.

What could the leadership say? That the strategy of complete collaboration with the employers has led to huge losses for the members of our union? That things are terrible because of us, but we are not going to change a thing? Fiction is much, much better to these guys.

The reality of the rank and file is not discussed by those on stage in suits. Concessions, cutbacks, retirement losses, harassment and the rapid growth of right to work legislation are felt by the working members of this union. These battles will be fought out on the shop floor across the country, and not in the Teamster marble palace in Washington DC or at its convention in the middle of a desert.

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