Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa welcomed the delegates and guests to the first day of the union’s 30th International Convention.
In his five-year report, Hoffa touched on many issues the Teamsters Union has been involved in since the last Convention in 2016 and showed what the union can accomplish in the face of so many challenges. Some of the biggest successes of the Teamsters Union have come in the last year.
“We fixed pensions with no cuts…everybody said it couldn’t be done,” Hoffa said noting it couldn’t have been possible without the political clout the Teamsters Union has built during his administration. “Promises made, promises kept.”
Teamsters now have more political power at the local, state and national level than ever before. It is this political power that pushed through pension reform after the Teamsters helped elect Joe Biden and worker-friendly members of Congress.
“Teamsters cannot succeed if we are divided. We can only be powerful if we are united,” Hoffa said.
From right-to-work battles to organizing like no other union, Hoffa recounted the recent successes of the Teamsters and touched on the biggest accomplishments of his administration’s 22 years in office. When he took office, Hoffa promised a more powerful union. In retirement, he is keeping that promise.
“We built a strong strike fund; we restored Teamster power; we rebuilt this great union. ” Hoffa said. “Promises made, promises kept.”
Perhaps one of the most lasting accomplishments of the Hoffa administration is the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund (JRHMSF). The first scholarships from the fund were awarded in 2001, and since then, more than 4,000 students have received them. In all, $11,253,000 in funds have been awarded.
He also talked about labor’s next big challenge: Amazon.
“Amazon is a threat to every Teamster member,” Hoffa said, noting that Amazon workers want safe workplaces, dignity on the job and a union. “We will organize Amazon.”
Chairing his fifth and final Convention as General President, Hoffa looked back on his administration’s biggest accomplishments over the last 22 years, such as restoring the union’s finances and getting out from under the government’s consent decree.
“Our next General President will take over a union that is strong. When this election is over we must come together…We are the greatest union in the world,” Hoffa said. “Thank you for choosing me to lead this great union for the past 22 years. It has been the honor of a lifetime.”