Federal Government Plans to End Consent Decree Governing Teamsters

NEW YORK (PAI)—The federal government plans to end its consent decree and direct oversight governing the Teamsters after 26 years, however there are still limitations. This agreement will be officially discussed at a hearing in Manhattan before Loretta Preska, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Southern New York, on February 11.

 

Jim Hoffa, Teamster’s President, will achieve the goal he set in 1999 to have the decree lifted and control returned to the union with this pact. The consent decree was initially imposed by the GOP George H.W. Bush administration in 1989 to break union ties with La Cosa Nostra.

 

“Now is the time to return the union’s management and control to the elected leadership of the IBT and the rank-and-file members,” the union’s General Executive Board declared in accepting the agreement between the Teamsters General Counsel Brad Raymond and the U.S. attorney’s office. The U.S attorney and the union agree, “There has been significant success in eliminating corruption from within the IBT.”

 

There will be a 5-year transition period, and the Teamsters’ next elections in 2016 and 2021 will be covered with supervisory anti-corruption structures still remaining in place. The new agreement also has a list of former union officials connected to organized crime, banning them from having union role and banning other Teamsters from having any contact with them.

 

If the government believes the union is falling back into old habits in open elections or allowing organized crime to return, the U.S. Attorney for Southern New York can notify the union and then return to court to prove its case of “preponderance of the evidence.”