Friday, December 29, 2006

Union Representatives GCC/IBT

In case your wondering whom Marty Keegan might be, he's pictured at the right. Marty is the union organizer for the GCC/IBT and has a very positive attitude when it comes to the upcoming election.

Mike Laspina (L) and Lou Nicosia (R) are pressmen from Newsday, they held several meetings with the men and women from the Los Angeles Times Pressrooms.
Photos provided by Ronnie Pineda.
Ronnie tells me videos have been mailed to all pressroom employees today, if your video does not arrive tomorrow it will be in your mailbox on Wednesday.
I should have a copy of the DVD tomorrow if you need to view the video.


Anonymous said...

Excerpts from
Reforming the Teamsters:
An Interview with Tom Leedham
By Chris Kutalik

Your slate is called the "Strong Contracts/Good Pensions" slate, but I'm sure incumbent IBT President James Hoffa, Jr. would argue that he also stands for strong contracts and good pensions. How does your slate's approach differ from Hoffa's?

You have to look at the track records. I've been a working Teamster and officer for over 20 years. Before reformers took over here at Local 206, our healthcare and pensions were in shambles. The local's healthcare trust was broke. We had any number of two-tier and even three-tier contracts [allowing the companies to divide members by paying lower pay and benefits to the new hires].

Hoffa's record is more about the appearance of power than actual power. It's not about going back to members to build that power. The Hoffa record is more about pensions cuts, weak contracts, and declining membership.

Look at the facts: this is the first time pensions have been cut in this way in the history of our union. Accrual rates have been cut more than half in some of the funds. In the Western Fund -- which is completely funded -- some members have seen cuts up to 25 percent. And it's worse in other places. In the Central States Pensions Fund we've literally lost 30 and out.

And this is all in addition to a shrinking membership. We've failed to organize in our core industries.

You've been in the Teamsters for many years. What's changed in the union since Hoffa was first elected in 1998?

The Teamsters for a Democratic Union calculates that an additional $525 million has been raised as a result of the dues hike -- from 2 hours' pay to 2.5 hours' pay -- four years ago.
Only 3.3 percent of the Teamsters' dues goes to the strike fund, and a paltry 2.2 percent of the dues goes to the International’s organizing program.

Where did the rest of the money go?

James P. Hoffa's salary was $251,529, and his total compensation (including allowances and expenses but excluding such benefits as pensions and automobiles) was $291,838, in 2004. Altogether, $54 million was paid to 368 officials in that year, according to the TDU's "2005 100K Club" report, which tracks Teamster officials and staff who received salaries of over $100,000. Go figure.

For starters, the only thing that has gone up is members' dues and officers' salaries. He pushed through the biggest dues increase in the union's history. Hoffa and company have doubled the union's budget, but this budget hasn't been used to win good contracts or organize in core industries. It's just been dues wastage.

Millions of dollars have been spent on a political patronage system inside the union. It's not so much about really building power for the union as it is about building power for Hoffa.

The defining failure of the Hoffa administration is Overnite. They called a strike that dragged on for years and failed to organize the company.

Chris Kutalik is currently co-editor of Labor Notes in Detroit. He comes to labor activism through his experiences as a local officer in Amalgamated Transit Union local 1549 in Austin, Texas and has served as an editor and writer for several alternative and mainstream publications.

Anonymous said...

Wow these guys look like Tony Soprano and his thugs. Hurry HOFFA needs more of your MONEY , like I already said why wait give it to him now . What happened to there pension??

Anonymous said...

there they go again " not knowing a person & talking too them " they decide too criticize them " same o' same o'

Anonymous said...

can any one explain what the #3 post is suppose to mean? I dont have my english-to-stupid stupid-to-english dictionary

Anonymous said...

To anonymous #3:
Do you know James P. Hoffa? I mean, personally know him? Have you actually spoken with Hoffa? Probably not. So why are you blindly defending him? The original post these comments are attached to is based on an interview with a long time Teamster union official, someone who does know Mr. Hoffa personally. The Teamsters have a long track record of scandal and corruption, do you really want them in charge of your future?