A group of dissident members of the Teamsters union is meeting in Philadelphia Saturday in an effort to build up support to challenge the leadership of national union president James Hoffa. The faction contends that the union’s current leadership is corrupt and undemocratic, members are hoping to recruit local Teamsters to join a movement for change.
Among the speakers at a meeting of the newly formed Take Back Our Union committee was Sandy Pope, president of a New York local. Pope says the Teamsters’ rules for electing union officials are routinely ignored.
“We have one of the most democratic unions in the country. However, that depends on enforcement of the laws,” he said.
Pope also said supporters of the national president are unfairly treated to multiple titles, pensions and salaries.
And this month, national leaders asked a federal judge to end 25 years of government oversight of the union. Pope called the move premature.
“The union is not ready to police itself, and certainly not the international elections,” he said.
Among those backing the movement is former Teamster Ed Taylor of Philadelphia, who has filed a complaint with federal officials over his local union’s failure to sign on to a new labor agreement at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which him his old job.
Teamsters’ officials declined to comment on this story.