Teamsters are outraged about pension cuts in the Central States and the the Hoffa-Hall PR machine is doing damage control. Hoffa issued a statement claiming he is “outraged” by the cuts.
It’s a strong statement. But actions speak louder than words.
Consider these facts and decide for yourself:
- Hoffa was on the Board of the very group that drafted the pension cut legislation. The cuts being proposed by Central States Pension Fund were illegal until the pension cut legislation was passed last year. Hoffa served on the board of the National Coordinating Committee of Multi-employer Plans in 2013 when it drafted the pension cut legislation that paved the way for these massive pension cuts.
- Hoffa claims he changed his mind on the pension cut bill, but an leaked email from the Central States pension fund reveals that Hoffa’s “opposition” was all for show. When the PBGC expressed concern, Central States Director Thomas Nyhan sent an email saying that Hoffa’s opposition was a stunt and that he would not “dispatch troops to the Hill or make any visits” against the pension cut bill, but would only “post on their web site to offset” rank-and-file criticism of the cuts. And that’s exactly what happened.
- The Teamster trustees who voted for the Central States pension cuts consist of Hoffa-Hall campaign donors and personal friends. One is even on the Hoffa-Hall payroll!
- Hoffa-Hall running mates have repeatedly endorsed the Central States pension cut plan. Hoffa-Hall Vice Presidential candidates Tyson Johnson and Jim Kabell spoke in favor of the cuts at a special Central States briefing as recently as April 8.
- Hoffa has held PR appearances and issued press release—but never mobilized a soul to oppose the pension cuts. Last month, when 200 rank and file retirees went to Washington DC to testify against the pension cuts, the Hoffa-Hall administration mobilized no one. But Hoffa showed up for a photo-op.
- Hoffa let employers abandon the Central States Pension Fund—helping the corporate bottom line while undermining Teamster pensions. Hoffa and Hall let UPS out of the Fund and now pre-2008 UPS retirees face a 50% pension cut. Hoffa has let other major Teamster employers abandon the fund, including Kroger and Waste Management. The Central States Pension Fund has lost over 2/3 of its contribution base on his watch.
A look at the Hoffa-Hall record shows they have done nothing to protect Teamster pensions—and plenty to accelerate the pension cut crisis.
But there is one Teamster Pension Plan that Hoffa and Hall have taken decisive action to protect: their own.
Hoffa and Hall increased boosted funding to the Teamster Retirement and Family Protection Plan, which covers International Union officers and staff. They put $16 million of dues money into it last year, and will do the same this year.
When Hoffa is voted out office a year from now, he will be handed a pension of about $150,000 a year. Do you think Hoffa and Hall will take a 50% cut on their pension like members and local union officers in the Central States?
Teamsters, active and retired, can take a stand and make a difference. Vote No on the proposed pension cuts in the Central States and vote out Hoffa-Hall in 2016.