Hoffa delegates at the Teamster Convention rejected a proposal by Fred Zuckerman and Teamsters United to pay strike benefits starting the first week of a strike.
The Teamster Strike Fund has over $150 million in it because members’ dues were increased in 2002.
Both Hoffa-Hall and Teamsters United unanimously voted to increase weekly strike benefits from four times to five times the members’ dues rate. Minimum strike benefits were increased to $150 per week.
Fred Zuckerman proposed an additional improvement to provide strike benefits starting the first week of a strike, including in strikes for union recognition and first contracts.
“I voted for the change,” said Gene Blackburn, a Teamsters United delegate and representative/organizer from Oregon Local 206. “Short strikes can sometimes be the most effective. The strike fund was built with our dues money. We should back striking workers from day one.”
Hoffa-Hall floor leaders at the Convention denounced the improvement and told delegates to vote down the increase.
The proposal was defeated on a voice vote. Strikers will continue to have to wait until their eighth day on strike before they get any strike benefits.