A powerful Teamster Union dissident group has launched a campaign to vote current Teamster president James P. Hoffa out of office when Hoffa comes up for re-election in 2011.
The Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) said July 21 it had begun a campaign called "10,000 Teamsters to Dump Hoffa" in an effort to marshal opposition and convince Teamster members to "set a new course" for the union. "The Hoffa road is at a dead end," TDU said on its Web site.
On the site, TDU criticized Hoffa for agreeing to overly generous wage and pension concessions to troubled trucker YRC Worldwide in return for allowing YRC to preserve cash. At this writing, 50,000 Teamster members at YRC are voting on the proposal, which contains what TDU has called the "worst concessions in Teamster history."
TDU added, however, that the problems with Hoffa's leadership extend beyond any one issue. "Hundreds of thousands of Teamsters are fed up—including many local officers," TDU said on its site. "The Hoffa camp has never been more discouraged or divided."
Hoffa, 68, is serving his third term as Teamster president. The TDU, long an opponent of mainstream Teamster interests, has never backed Hoffa, whom it considers a representative of the union's old guard.