Hoffa supporters thrown out for scab operation
July 5, 2002 | Page 4
Dear Socialist Worker,
I'm writing to let your readers know about a recent incident in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that reveals the deep rot in the highest levels of my union.
In early June, Dane Passo and Bill Hogan--longstanding supporters of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa--were expelled and barred for life from the Teamsters. Passo and Hogan were longtime enemies of the reform movement, and their expulsion was welcomed by many.
They were expelled because they were caught in a scheme to introduce a nonunion, low-wage scab labor service into the heavily unionized Las Vegas convention industry--in effect, breaking the master union contact that covers the Las Vegas convention industry and guarantees some of the best wages and benefits in the Teamsters.
But there's a bigger story here than just two scabs getting their hands caught in the cookie jar. Dane Passo was the special assistant to Hoffa and was part of Hoffa's inner circle of decision makers. He was also a chief witness against former General President Ron Carey before congressional hearings into the Teamsters following the UPS strike in 1997. Passo's testimony helped to create the witch-hunt atmosphere that resulted in Carey's expulsion from the union in the spring of 1998. Carey was subsequently vindicated.
Bill Hogan was Hoffa's running mate in 1996--but had to step down because of charges of corruption against him. He was best known for the saying: "I'm living proof that nepotism works." Hogan was also the nominal head of the now virtually defunct Overnite strike in Chicago. It's no wonder that the Overnite strike was stillborn--with people like Hogan in charge.
Such characters are typical of the leadership of the Teamsters union today. While the Independent Review Board has gotten rid of Passo and Hogan, these two are only the tip of the iceberg--and it will be up to the rank and file to get rid of the rest of them.
Joe Allen, Teamsters Local 705, Chicago, Illinois