Judge Loretta Preska: Don’t Let Hoffa End Fair Elections in the Teamsters

Judge Loretta Preska

Teamster reformers braved violent intimidation, organized crime and corrupt union officials to win the Right to Vote in International Union elections. Now this right is under attack.

General President James Hoffa has started legal proceedings to end the Consent Order, a court-approved agreement that gives Teamsters members the right to vote for International Union officers in elections that are independently supervised with fair election rules.

If his legal bid is successful, Hoffa will be free to handpick his own Election Officer and rewrite Teamster election rules to block opposition candidates from getting on the ballot.

Hoffa administration officials have already said they want to double the requirement candidates must reach to appear on the ballot. This rule would have blocked every single opposition candidate from getting on an International Union ballot since Hoffa was elected.

All Teamsters, whatever their views, have the right to vote in fair elections. Judge Loretta Preska will make the final decision on the future of the Consent Decree and fair International Union elections. We need to urge her now to protect union democracy.

Sign the Open Letter to Judge Preska: Don't let Hoffa end fair elections in the Teamsters!

Petition by

To: Judge Loretta Preska
From: [Your Name]

Attorneys for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are seeking to end the Consent Order, and along with it, the right of all Teamsters to vote in court-supervised International Union elections, with an impartial election supervisor and fair rules.

Terminating the Consent Order would pose a grave threat to union democracy in the Teamsters.

• The Hoffa administration has already changed the Teamster Constitution so that, if the Consent Order is ended, the General Executive Board would write their own election rules and handpick their own election supervisor.

• Hoffa has repeatedly tried to block opposition candidates from getting nominated. Hoffa administration officials have stated their desire to double the requirement for candidates to appear on the ballot. This would have prevented every single International Union election held since Hoffa was elected.

• In the last election, the Hoffa administration was found guilty of offering bribes to union officials in exchange for their agreement not to run for office.

The Justice Department is calling for government oversight of Teamster anti-corruption efforts and elections to be scaled back over time, not halted. The U.S. attorney notes that “Corrupt and undemocratic practices persist at all levels of the Union.”

Since 1989, the Court has recognized that union democracy benefits all Teamster members, whatever their viewpoint, and gives Teamster members a tool to combat the corruption that has plagued our union.

We urge you to protect the right of Teamsters to a corruption-free union and independently supervised elections under fair rules.

We thank you in advance for carefully considering all submissions and comments on this important issue.