Teamsters’ Hoffa Squandered Treasury, Failed to Protect Members, Charges Opponent
Election ballots will be sent out to IBT members October 6 and counted in mid November as campaigning continues.
“Instead of mobilizing the collective strength and talent in our 1.37 million member union, Hoffa has spent millions on outside consultants,” says Gegare. “Hoffa has reversed many of the gains that were achieved under his father, by undermining the National Master Freight Agreement and letting employers withdraw from multi-employer pension funds.” According to Gegare:
–”Reports to the Labor Department show Hoffa spent $212 million last year, but brought in only $172 million to the IBT treasury. This is a disastrous trend for our union, but Hoffa continues to buy loyalty by paying exorbitant salaries to his pay rollers and huge fees to outside consultants.”
–”Hoffa has promised to end the consent decree with the government which has drained $147 million from our treasury over the last 20 years, but failed to do so. Hoffa failed to act because the rogue investigative unit set up by the consent decree, which was once used to remove mobsters two decades ago, is now being used to target his critics. I and 48 other Teamster members have filed a lawsuit in New York federal district court against Hoffa and the US Department of Justice to end this collusive arrangement.” A summons to answer the lawsuit charges was served on both IBT President Hoffa and the US Attorney General last week.
–Hoffa went around his own General Secretary Treasurer Thomas Keegel in 2009 to cash out three IBT financial portfolios at the very bottom of the market! In doing so, he managed to lose $30 million of our members’ dues money by the end of the financial year. The respected Keegel chose to resign in 2010 in a letter to the IBT General Executive Board, criticizing the reliance on outside consultants by the Hoffa administration and “election violations” which included an unsuccessful attempt to bribe a member of the Gegare slate into joining Hoffa forces.
–”In 2007, Hoffa and his VP Ken Hall cut a secret deal allowing UPS to withdraw 45,000 employers from the Central States Pension Fund, which I serve as Chairman. I protested strongly because this reduced the assets of the fund by a whopping 40 percent and led 192 other employers to withdraw from the plan putting the remaining members at risk. Hoffa and Hall praised the deal because it brought in members from UPS freight, but these members were poorly served with a substandard contract that pays them $11 less an hour than other IBT freight members and undermines the National Master Freight Agreement at a time when UPS is making a $4 billion profit.”
Gegare, a former Marine from Green Bay Wisconsin, worked his way up in his hometown Local 75 from steward to major posts in the IBT, including VP Local 662, President of Joint Council 39 covering Wisconsin, National Director of Dairy and Food Processing for the US and Canada, Chairman of the Central States Pension, Health and Welfare Funds, as well as well as International Vice President for the Central Region. Gegare, his running mate, General Secretary-Treasurer Candidate Jim Sheard and 19 other members of his slate who hail from a variety of Teamster industries across the US, say the IBT must be “rebuilt from the bottom up.” The Gegare-Sheard slates is united in favor of strong organizing in core industries, a dues freeze for the membership, protecting and improving pensions, a better grievance process and an end to government interference under a misguided consent decree.
Gegare slate members who have crisscrossed the US to campaign at teamster workplaces, say they have found favorable receptions almost everywhere and very little support for Hoffa. A third candidate in the race, Sandy Pope, leader of a small local in Queens, has no slate of running mates, no national experience and appears to have no realistic chance of victory. Ms. Pope barely won re-election in our own local by a scant 66 votes. She was asked to join the Gegare slate, so as not to divide the anti-Hoffa vote, but chose to run on her own.
Gegare is campaigning in the New York area currently. He will be in Cleveland this weekend and Chicago next week.
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