Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Irony Watch: Union's Union Could Go On Strike

According to the Politico, employees with the Teamsters' DC lobbying arm are threatening to strike:
The unionized workers on the Teamsters Washington-based national staff are locked in a contract dispute with their own labor organization, and Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa is warning local officials of, as he puts it, the embarrassing prospect of a strike.

And if his own workers do walk out, Hoffa wrote in a letter to Teamster "principal officers" around the country late last month obtained by POLITICO, the national union or International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) will be forced to "make contingency plans to operate."

Continuing operations while its workers are on strike would cause severe public image problems for the Teamsters and place other unions in a difficult position. By tradition, unions keep solidarity by not crossing the picket lines of other unions.

But in his letter, dated July 29 and co-signed by the Teamsters' No. 2 official, Hoffa stated bluntly that "negotiations are not going well" with what he termed "the building workforce."

While praising the Teamster headquarters workers, he wrote that their union, the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), "refuses to acknowledge the current economic conditions and the impact on per capita revenues at the IBT."

Asked about the letter, Teamsters spokesman Bret Caldwell, who is not an OPEIU member, cited the effects of the recession on the national union's treasury.

"In these difficult times and as always, we must remain good stewards of our members’ hard-earned dues money," Caldwell said.
Umm, awkward! Fingers crossed that the Teamsters strike occurs for two reasons:

(1) Maybe then Obama will resolve the stupid NAFTA trucking dispute.

(2) We'll get to see if the union's union stays really true to DC form and hires homeless people to picket the Teamsters HQ.

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