Hoffa: Teamsters put corruption in its past

Posted: January 14, 2015
Source: James P. Hoffa, USA Today
Wednesday marks an important milestone in the history of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters Union and the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York filed an application with Chief Judge Loretta Preska requesting that she approve an agreement to end decades of government oversight of our union. We anticipate that the court will approve the agreement.

As a result of the dedication and strength of our members, I can finally say without hesitation that corrupt elements have been driven from our union and that government oversight can come to an end.

In 1989, the Teamsters Union settled a court case brought by the U.S. government and agreed to a consent decree. The purpose of the consent decree was to remove corrupt influences from the Teamsters by establishing direct elections of International Union officers and establishing an independent disciplinary process for rooting out corrupt elements from the union. Wednesday, by agreeing to end that lawsuit, the government acknowledges that there has been success in eliminating corruption from within the Teamsters.

This would never have happened had the members not had the ability to directly elect honest and responsible leaders at all levels of our union.

When I took office in 1999, I pledged that corrupt elements would never have a place in the affairs of our union. We have clearly established a culture at the International Union and its affiliates that no corruption of any kind is tolerated. At our union’s international convention in 2001, I successfully led efforts to pass a “democracy package” that enshrined into our constitution the fundamental right of every member to vote for their leaders. Today, the Teamsters are as democratic as any labor union or institution in the world.
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