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In keeping with their tradition of corruption and disregard for their members, four Teamster officials have been charged in a 30 count federal indictment in Massachucetts.
John Perry, 60, of Woburn, Joseph “Jo Jo” Burhoe, 44, of Braintree, James “Jimmy the Bull” Deamicis, 49, of Quincy, and Thomas Flaherty, 49, of Braintree, have been charged in a 30-count criminal indictment including racketeering, conspiracy to extort, extortion, attempted extortion, mail fraud, prohibition against certain persons holding office and theft of government money.
These four Teamsters behaved like common thugs, committing multiple acts of extortion and racketeering while beating up and bullying their own brotherhood who tried to question their methods and leadership, authorities said.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident in the Teamsters Union. This is a continuing pattern of corruption that the current Hoffa Administration has been unable, or unwilling, to address.
Corruption like this serves to entrench opposition to labor unions and harms all working people. Unions are a vehicle for the improvement of society based on the principles of workplace democracy and justice, and the empowerment of workers through their collective voice.
Unions need to win in the “court of public opinion.” Corruption and thuggery sets our movement back.
Click here to read the entire federal indictment.
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In this video, former Teamster Airline Division Director, Don Treichler, states that if directed by the United Mechanics, the Teamsters will open up the EXISTING collective bargaining agreement and commence bargaining to modify that agreement.
Mr. Treichler then tells the story about how the Teamsters brought Piedmont Airlines to Federal District Court to force them to negotiate with the Teamsters following Piedmont’s merger with Allegheny. What Mr. Treichler failed to tell the United Mechnics was that merger scenarios are different from non-merger scenarios.
The Teamsters deceived the United Mechanics into believing that they could open their contracts early. Needless to say, the contracts were never opened; When the contract was opened on the amendable date, approximately two years later, the Teamsters failed to achieve pre-bankruptcy IAM-negotiated contractual terms.
The Teamsters spend approximately $3 million per year of members’ dues money for internal and external supervision due to federal racketeering charges brought on by criminal activities relating to internal elections.
The Teamsters have a long history of corruption and criminal activity dating back to 1903, with infiltration by mafia criminal syndicates. This type of corruption continued and reached an apex in the 1950’s and culminated in US Department of Justice and congressional investigations into the labor movement. In fact, these scandals led to legislative action to regulate the labor movement and spurred the passage of the restrictive Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, otherwise know as the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959.
Teamster corruption reached such epic proportions that the union was ejected from the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation in the United States, because it was feared that the scandals would lead to harsher regulation of organized labor and cripple the labor movement.
Sadly, Teamster corruption continues to this very day and the cost is borne by Teamster dues paying members.
Please click here to read for yourself how the Teamsters spend $3 million per year of dues money for oversight.
There is little doubt that when you compare the IAM with other unions, especially the Teamsters, the IAM is a more democratic and transparent union that values accountability and service to its members.
In the IAM, representatives–from local shop-stewards to the International President–are elected by the rank-n-file membership. IAM US Airways members are in local lodges comprised of air transport workers and are generally located in close proximity to IAM members’ workplaces.
This type of democratic and participatory structure leads to transparency, accountability and superior service to the membership.
The Teamsters, in stark contrast, disenfranchaise workers by placing them in very large local unions that are controlled by local union bosses from other industries and companies. These bosses often appoint their political cronies to leadership positions, paid for by rank-in-file dues paying members who have little or no chance of having a representative from their workgroup/craft as their advocate.
A case in point is the experience of the United Airlines Mechanics from San Francisco.
The United Mechanics ousted AMFA in 2008 in favor of the Teamsters. When the National Mediation Board certified the Teamsters as their authorized representative, the United SFO Mechanics were split in half and placed in two separate locals. This underhanded, politically motivated act ensured that the United Mechanics would remain a poltical minority in any of the Teamster locals they were placed.
Because the Teamsters dillute the voting power of Aircraft Mechanics, Teamster Business Representatives–the equivalent of IAM District General Chairpersons–come from other industries and are APPOINTED by local Teamster Presidents. As a Teamster member you DO NOT have the right to elect those that negotiate and enforce your contract, or defend you in an arbitration hearing.
In the IAM, there is real democracy and the members direct their leadership through electoral participation. If leaders don’t produce in the IAM, they are held accountable at the ballot box.
To be sure, the last decade has been rough on the entire airline industry, particularly for Aircraft Mechanics. However, the IAM has stood strong and has negotiated in extremely difficult circumstances, specifically bankruptcy court.
We now stand ready to make gains at the negotiating table, and we need unity, not divisiveness, so we can achieve the dignity and respect we so rightly deserve. Now is not the time to entertain false promises from the Teamsters who have NEVER shown they have been up to the task. Now is the time to join together in unity and support OUR union to ensure that OUR interests are achieved.
Please take time to educate yourself on the IAM Advantage and the Teamster’s failed promises to Aircraft Mechanics.
For more information on this and other broken Teamster promises, please click here.