Hoffa has won the election again. When I read about this the news left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't understand how this guy could have been re-elected. Anyone else want to chime in on this?
....the same way the former president of Iraq kept getting re-elected.
I had no idea the US gov't campaigned for Hoffa!
You know there is much to be read into the numbers. First off, Leedham IMO surprised a number of folks with 35% of the vote but what was more surprising was that the margin of victory in the South for Hoffa was smaller than any other region meaning more Southern Teamsters by % supported Leedham than any other region. The south is not union strong and Leedham comes across speaking to a more radical wing of the IBT whereas Hoffa is more the status quo and when it comes to labor, southerners by tradition have been more status quo.
Now this could signal a change in southern thinking (yeah we do have those moments every so often ) or Leedham did a better job in the south. I do think part of it is discontent from the pension situation and few people see Hoffa doing much about it.
The other interesting fact to watch when all the numbers are looked at is how many Teamsters voted to how many, in effect, stayed home? Without even knowing the exact total raw number, I'd be willing to bet that less than half of the membership voted and I'd almost be willing to bet that less than 25% did.
Some would argue different reasons but IMO this is the heart of the reason. Neither candidate energized the larger membership into believing their cause was good for the union. It came down to a "which one is the lesser evil" choice which IMO mirrors public politics we see out in life. Neither candidate to my knowledge published or spoke of any great details of how they plan to resolve the current pension problems in some jurisdictions. Oh they all said the key buzzwords of "We'll put a gun to the heads of the employers and force them to pony up!" Yeah Right! To me that's like some man claiming he's the greatest lover to all women of the world when he holding a 1/4 inch love commando. He might fool a couple of women but he won't get far before reality hits him in the face!
The IBT is dying because it lacks any leadership willing to have vision, to change according to current and future dynamics and to have a plan as to how they might achieve such things in an obviously changing world. At the same time, we've got leaders only willing to preach to the choir because we have a membership not only unwilling to bend but also unwilling to face the present and the future and understand what worked in the past will not work today or tomorrow.
Others have suggested alternatives in the past only to be shotdown with most haste. Good example was the 97' UPS offering on the pension. Now I've no doubt there were some "devils in those details" but did we get a chance to discuss or better yet ask the all important question of "how are they able to offer these amounts?" Oh No! Can't have this because we are the union and we must at all costs maintain the status quo. Also had Carey ( a former UPS driver) allowed us to opt-out, could you imagine the counterpunch he would have recieved in the 98' IBT Presidential elections from the non-UPS membership? We got played so Carey could look strong to the other company IBT members. That's another reason I feel our own union seperate of these other folks is so needed. We don't get sacrificed for them and they don't get sacrificed for us.
Leedham's chance was to get those 75% non voters to vote which did not happen so as a result we have Hoffa again. My guess is the union will continue to slide further into the pool of quicksand it is already headed for!
VERY GOOD comments wkmac!!!!!!! You hit the nail on the head. I'm hoping that HOFFA staying will help those that are on the "FENCE" to go ahead and make the move. You guys that supported Leedham are for the same things that supporters of APWA are for, we are just going "outside the box".
My steward told me that only 18% of Teamsters bothered to vote! I just find that amazing! The only way to get a grip on things is to get involved. Unfortunately APATHY rules, in Teamsters today.
<--voted for hoffa
Only because all the APWA cheerleaders hate him. The campaigns didn't give me enough information to make a more informed vote either way.
This was disgraceful as an election the way I see it. Out of 1.4 million members, only 164,636 voted according to early results. This was not much of a mandate on Hoffa's part, he only won his own Local 614 by a mere 26 votes. Hoffa spent $3 million to get 172,930 votes, Leedham only spent a tenth of that, $300,000, and got 91,706 votes. Leedham did well in areas with Pension problems, Hoffa did better in areas with stronger pensions.
I am not a Hoffa fan, never voted for him because of the Hoffa name. The IBT has not grown under his leadership, if it weren't for three unions deciding to go Teamsters, it would have lost a lot more members. I am in Central States and have seen my Pension and Health Insurance Plans fall apart. I guess it won't be until the other Plans fail as mine has before people will wake up and figure out whats going on. And then it will be too late.
YOu know one group of people that are dancing in the streets. that is the UPS upper mgmt from Mike Eskew on down. They definitely have Hoffa tucked away in their back pocket. I wouldn't be surprised if they gave him money for his campaign, just like they paid the president in the old guard back in 1982 to shove that contract in our faces. we stupidly signed it because the company bribed us with a signing bonus. What would be poetic justice is if we drag this contract out to August 2008 instead of them trying to renegoitate it earlier.