Tuesday, March 15, 2011

IBT Election Supervisor to Hoffa: tsk, tsk

Richard W. Mark, the official overseeing the Teamsters 2011 International union election, issued his decision today (March 15, 2011) on the Hoffa campaign’s attempt to use the IBT’s treasury (in the form of jobs and benefits) to buy off the opposition led by Fred Gegare. The penalty imposed amounts to tsk, tsk.
Tsk, tsk has a variety of meanings: You should be ashamed of yourself or perhaps, I disapprove of what you are doing or have done.
In sum, Teamsters International President James P. Hoffa (son of Jimmy Hoffa) and some of his cohorts were found by Mark to have offered jobs and at least one extra pension to three Teamsters officials, IBT Car Haul Director Fred Zuckerman and International Trustees Henry Perry and Frank Gallegos, in exchange for their support or for not running in the 2011 Teamsters International Election.
Kenneth Conboy, the Teamsters Election Appeals Master, ordered Mark to come up with a punishment short of denying Hoffa the privilege of running for reelection. Why? The crucial element: the three refused the offers.
Back in 1997, Conboy was the official who barred Ron Carey from running for reelection in 1996 for his supposed involvement in a scheme to misuse the Teamsters’ treasury in his election campaign. Five years later—and somewhat too late—a federal jury found that Carey was telling the truth when he swore to federal agents and a Grand Jury that he knew nothing about the dirty deal. A tsk, tsk wasn’t imposed on Carey, but as part of his pre-trial punishment he was not only barred from running for reelection, but was expelled from Teamsters membership.
Mark’s remedy for the failed dirty deal: “The Hoffa campaign and each candidate on the Hoffa-Hall slate are ordered to cease and desist from using union resources to conduct campaign activity.”
In addition, Mark ordered the posting of a notice to Teamsters members across North America saying: “The Election Supervisor found that before and during May 2010, IBT officials associated with the General President Hoffa’s campaign offered IBT jobs, including salary and benefits, to three individuals in exchange for a promise to support the Hoffa campaign in various ways.”
While the Hoffa folks might be embarrassed by having to face the members who actually read the notice, the sentence imposed by Mark falls far short of Gegare’s demand that Hoffa be disqualified as a candidate.

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