Teamster officials have admitted under oath to stunning election irregularities that call into question the integrity of every national contract vote — covering 300,000 Teamsters — conducted over the past five years.
Teamster members are responding with litigation to win voting safeguards, including the right for pro and con observers at all national contract votes.
A lawsuit by courageous Michigan carhaulers has uncovered voting irregularities that marred the 2003 carhaul contract. But the implications go far beyond one contract vote. The same people, the same procedures are used on all national contracts, including UPS and freight.
Here are the facts as revealed by Teamster officials under oath:
In the 2003 carhaul vote, the International mailed out 50 percent more ballots than there were carhaulers covered by the contract.
The IBT did not check voter eligibility or the validity of any of the returned ballots. They counted every ballot that came back without any scrutiny or challenge.
James DeHaan “certified” the vote count of the Michigan Office Supplement even though he never counted or tabulated any of the ballots. In fact, DeHaan certified this particular vote without leaving his Detroit home. The ballot count was held in Washington, D.C.
The person tabulating the overall ballot count was Hoffa’s 2001 campaign manager, Todd Thompson.
The agency conducting the count was a printing company that was caught giving an illegal campaign contribution to Hoffa’s campaign in 2001.
These facts came to light because of a federal lawsuit filed by three Michigan Teamsters, after they discovered that the results were tampered with in the ratification of their small Michigan Office Workers Supplement to the national contract.
The voting scandal has now widened to cover the lack of safeguards in the national carhaul contract as well as the voting on the UPS, freight, Continental Airline and Anheuser Busch contracts and supplements. In each case, the same flawed procedures were in place.
Teamsters Deserve a Fair Vote
We believe Teamsters are entitled to a fair contract vote — one that all members can have confidence in.
We believe there must be provisions for an adequate number of pro and con observers, with the right to challenge ballots, just as in union officer elections.
We believe the eligibility and validity of voters and ballots need to be open to scrutiny — no matter who the officers are.
That’s where TDU stands. How about you?
Do you want your next contract vote safeguarded, so that all Teamsters can have confidence in our contracts and union? If so, pitch in to help make it happen.
TDU won the right to vote for International officers. TDU won the right to majority rule on contracts. Today, we are gearing up to win the right to fair contract votes with observers and proper safeguards. And, if concerned Teamsters join the fight, we can win.
If you’re not a member of TDU, now is the time to join, and invest in fair contract votes and a stronger union.
You can also send a donation, earmarked for the Fair Contract Litigation Fund, to TRF—the Teamster Rank & File Education and Legal Defense Foundation. Funds are needed to cover the costs involved and make a lawsuit possible. Contact TDU by email or by phone at (313) 842-2600 to learn more. The contract vote you protect could be your own.