Teamsters will make that decision this October, in an election contest that pits the seventeen-year incumbent general president James P. Hoffa against challenger Fred Zuckerman, the president of the fifteen-thousand-member Teamsters Local 89 in Louisville, Kentucky, and his Teamsters United reform slate.

I'm a Teamsters United guy.

So, some context here:

Last contract cycle at UPS, negotiations stalled out, and passed the date on which the old one expired. So what did Hoffa do? He said fuck it, lets run under the old one anyways. Fast forward nine months, and some of the local supplements to the contract are so shitty that they still haven't be ratified.

How did the situation get solved? With a giant fucking middle finger.

Which supplements still needed ratified? Well, Zuckerman's for one.. A local that is fucking YUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE. And Zuckerman has them impressively organized.

    Zuckerman’s local is one of the largest Teamster locals in the country and represents eight thousand workers at the United Parcel Service’s mammoth air hub “Worldport,” where hundreds of daily flights take off to deliver packages to 220 countries around the globe.

    Worldport’s continued expansion means that Zuckerman’s Local 89 will be the biggest Teamsters local union in the near future.

So, you could say there is some bad blood between Hoffa and Zuckerman.

Oh, yeah....

    Zuckerman was Hoffa’s director of the Teamsters’ carhaul division (the workers that get the brand new cars from the assembly line to your local showroom) before he was fired by Hoffa for opposing concessions.

    He has since been banished by Hoffa from any significant leadership body outside his local union despite his local’s importance in the UPS system and his expertise in carhaul.

I'm not sure how interesting this (which is rapidly devolving into a rant) will be for ya'll, but I'm gonna plow ahead here.

    “Everybody wants to be a Teamster!” he boasted from the stage in front of mostly adoring delegates at the recent Teamster convention in Las Vegas.

I'm really hoping that this turns out to be a repeat of '96.

    This is Hoffa’s sixth run for Teamster general president. He has won four times. He tried to run for general president in 1991 but was ruled ineligible (he was not considered a member in good standing).

    In 1996 Hoffa led a virtually solid alliance of old-guard figures determined to halt Carey’s reforms. Carey defeated Hoffa in a brutal, close election, winning 52 percent to 48 of the total vote — Hoffa’s only election defeat.

You know what we briefly had after 96? A fucking spine.

Which is a sad statement because that shit is rare with us now days.

    In the early 1980s, for example, the Teamsters agreed to a two-tier wage structure at UPS that cut starting pay by four dollars per hour in most places to eight dollars per hour, where it remained for the next thirty years. Hoffa negotiated in the last UPS national contract (due to expire in 2018) a major health-care concession called Teamcare.

He also agreed to split the last two year's raises so that they come every six months. Which conveniently puts the second half of those raises to arrive AFTER the busy season with increased hours and ample overtime/doubletime.


cgod:

My wife is a teamster.

You really need to shake the cage to get them to help stand up to the man.

They seem to only fight 2 out every 3 contracts. I suppose everyone lost during the downturn. Workers losing on one and clawing things back on the next two isn't a winning formula. Her company has merged twice and been spun off once the past few years. New management came in incredibly arrogantly, asking for everything an conceding nothing the first round. I think they pissed the teamster guy off. It was a decent round.


posted by keifermiller: 838 days ago