(WASHINGTON) – Today, the United States of America represented by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York entered into an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters whereby in consideration of its terms and conditions the United States of America upon order from the court will dismiss its action against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters sounding in provisions of the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 1964 and will thereby extinguish the consent order of March 14, 1989.
The following is the official statement from General President Jim Hoffa to the 1.4 million members of the union regarding the filing of an application by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to approve an agreement to end the consent decree.
“Today, the Teamsters Union and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed an application with Chief Judge Loretta Preska requesting that she approve an agreement to end decades of government oversight over the Teamsters Union. We anticipate that she will approve the agreement.
“This is a historic day for our Teamsters. After decades of hard work and millions of dollars spent, we can finally say that corrupt elements have been driven from the Teamsters and that the government oversight can come to an end.
“In 1989, the Teamsters Union settled a court case brought by the U.S. government by agreeing to a consent decree. The purpose of the consent decree was to remove corrupt influences from the Teamsters by establishing direct elections of International officers and establishing an independent disciplinary process for rooting out corrupt elements in our Union.
“When I took office in 1999, I pledged that we would run a clean union, that organized crime would never have a place in the Teamsters Union. I also promised that we would ensure that every rank-and-file Teamster have a direct voice in electing the Union’s International officers. After 15 years, we have accomplished these goals.
“At the 2001 International Convention, I successfully led the effort to enshrine the principles of one-member-one vote into our Union’s constitution. And we have clearly established a culture in the International Union and its affiliates that no corruption of any kind is tolerated.
“As a result, I am pleased to announce today that we have settled the 1988 lawsuit, and this case will be dismissed, and we will begin the transition to end government oversight.
“By agreeing to end the lawsuit, the government acknowledges that there has been significant success in eliminating corruption from within the Teamsters. Our agreement establishes a new procedure for independent investigation and oversight of internal disciplinary matters and guarantees democracy in the future.
“Today is a new day for our great union. My administration is first and foremost committed to representing the membership. The members are the heart and soul of our great union.
“And we will remain ever vigilant in protecting our members and our union from anyone who would try and corrupt our union or do harm to our members. But, our mission is far from complete.
“Working men and women everywhere are working harder than ever before and their paychecks don’t seem to go far enough. We must reach out to our brothers and sisters who have no voice on the job and help them get their piece of the American dream.
“So let’s do what we do best – let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. Let’s do it together, and tell people how proud we are to be members of the greatest union in the world—the Teamsters Union!”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.