Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced the end of settlement terms with the U.S. Government.
In 1989, the Teamsters agreed to government oversight to remove corruption within their organization and their elections.
The 25 years of oversight stemmed from a RICO (Rackateer Influence and Corrupt Organization) Act lawsuit brought by the government against the Teamsters.
The current Teamsters president, Jim Hoffa, lauded the announcement saying, “When I took office in 1999, I pledged that we would run a clean union, that organized crime would never have a place in the Teamsters Union. I also promised that we would ensure that every rank-and-file Teamster have a direct voice in electing the Union’s International officers. After 15 years, we have accomplished these goals.”
Jim Hoffa is the only son of missing union boss, Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa vanished in 1975 and is believed to have been murdered.
Jimmy Hoffa had been relentlessly pursued by Robert Kennedy in his quest to root out organized crime. Hoffa was convicted as a result of Kennedy’s tenacity and served time for bribing a juror and setting up illegal pension funds for mafia bosses.
Hoffa Jr., an attorney, has kept his nose clean but appears to have traded corruption for hard-handed political processes to keep any opposition in check.
Hoffa Jr. and his “old guard” bosses have been accused of extravagant expenses along with using political donations to lock in support members of Congress.
The accusations hold true when looking at the numbers.
Jim Hoffa receives a salary and benefits of $381,403 per year. 181 other Teamster bosses receive salaries of over $100,000. Thirteen others receive over $200,000 a year.
They average salary for a union worker is $48,776. Union dues are 2.5 times the member’s hourly rate, per month. For a member making $12 an hour, dues would be $360 per year.
The Teamsters represents 1.2 million members.
While unions should enjoy the right to operate without government intervention, only 25 states are “right to work” meaning that workers have the right to choose whether they want to participate in a union.
With laws protecting unions in half of the other states, unlike the Teamsters and their new freedom, workers in those states are not free to work without government collusion that forces union participation and payments.