(WASHINGTON) – Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today said he stands by his criticism of corporate-funded conservative politicians who are out to destroy the middle class.
“We didn’t start this war – the right wing did. My comments on Labor Day in Detroit echo the anger and frustration of American workers who are under attack by corporate-funded politicians who want to destroy the middle class,” Hoffa said. “We’re tired of seeing good-paying jobs shipped overseas. This fight is about the economy, it’s about jobs and it’s about rebuilding America. As I said yesterday in Detroit, we all have to vote in order to take these anti-worker politicians out of office.”
Hoffa said the battle began when anti-worker politicians, funded by billionaires and CEOs such as the Koch brothers, were elected last fall. Instead of focusing on voter priorities such as restoring the U.S. economy and job creation, the first act of these newly elected politicians was an attempt to gut the middle class. They launched a coordinated, well-financed war on workers in states such as Wisconsin and Ohio, where they stripped workers’ collective bargaining rights. They also filed right-to-work-for-less legislation in 14 states, which workers successfully fought and defeated.
“We’re fighting back. That’s what Teamsters do – we stand up for what is right,” Hoffa said. “I will never apologize for standing up for my fellow Teamsters and all American workers.”
Hoffa has been widely praised for calling out the hypocrisy of anti-union politicians, who would rather run the U.S. economy into the ground to win the presidency and gain seats in Congress next year than put America back to work.
He also criticized anti-worker media such as Fox News, the Drudge Report and others for not airing the entire clip of his remarks that clearly show he was referring to voting out Tea Party politicians in 2012, not inciting violence against members of Tea Party organizations.
Media Matters, the independent media watchdog group, had this to say about coverage of Hoffa’s remarks:
Right-wing bloggers misled by dishonest Fox News video editing are attacking Teamsters President James Hoffa for supposedly urging violence against Tea Party activists during a Labor Day speech. Conservatives are also attacking President Obama, who appeared at the event, for "sanctioning violence against fellow Americans" by failing to denounce Hoffa. But fuller context included in other Fox segments makes clear that Hoffa wasn't calling for violence but was actually urging the crowd to vote out Republican members of Congress.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.Teamster.org.