James Riddle “Jimmy” Hoffa (born February 14, 1913 – disappeared July 30, 1975, declared legally dead July 30, 1982) was an American labor union leader.
Hoffa was closely involved with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union, as an organizer, from 1932 to 1975. By 1952, Hoffa had risen to national vice-president of the IBT, and served as the union’s General President between 1958 and 1971. He secured the first national agreement for teamsters’ rates in 1964, and played a major role in the growth and development of the union, which eventually became the largest single union in the United States, with over 1.5 million members at certain times, during his terms as its leader.
Hoffa became involved with organized crime from the early years of his Teamsters work, and this connection continued until his disappearance in 1975. He was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery, and fraud in 1964. Hoffa was imprisoned in 1967, and sentenced to 13 years, after exhausting the appeal process. In mid-1971 he resigned the Teamsters’ presidency, an action that was part of a pardon agreement with President Richard Nixon, to facilitate his release later that year. Nixon blocked Hoffa from union activities until 1980 (which would have been the end of his prison term, had he served the full sentence). Hoffa attempted to overturn this order and to regain support.
Hoffa was last seen in late July 1975, outside the Machus Red Fox, a suburban Detroit restaurant. His disappearance gave rise to many theories as to what had happened to him and where his body was hidden. No body has yet been found.
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The labour movement[show]
Labor unions are legally recognized as representatives of workers in many industries in the United States. Their activity today centers on collective bargaining over wages, benefits, and working conditions for their membership, and on representing their members in disputes with management over violations of contract provisions. Larger unions also typically engage in lobbying activities and electioneering at the state and federal level.
Most unions in America are aligned with one of two larger umbrella organizations: the AFL-CIO created in 1955, and the Change to Win Federation which split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. Both advocate policies and legislation on behalf of workers in the United States and Canada, and take an active role in politics. The AFL-CIO is especially concerned with global trade issues.
In 2010, the percentage of workers belonging to a union in the United States (or total labor union “density”) was 11.4%, compared to 18.6% in Germany, 27.5% in Canada, and 70% in Finland. Union membership in the private sector has fallen under 7% — levels not seen since 1932. Unions allege that employer-incited opposition has contributed to this decline in membership. The most prominent unions are among public sector employees such as teachers and police. Members of unions are disproportionately older, male and residents of the Northeast, the Midwest, and California. Union workers average 10-30% higher pay than non-union in America after controlling for individual, job, and labor market characteristics.
Although much smaller compared to their peak membership in the 1950s, American unions remain a prominent political factor, both through mobilization of their own memberships and through coalitions with like-minded activist organizations around issues such as immigrant rights, trade policy, health care, and living wage campaigns. To fight alleged employer anti-union programs, unions are currently advocating new “card check” federal legislation that would require employers to bargain with a union if more than 50% of workers signed forms, or “cards,” stating they wish to be represented by that union. The current procedure involves waiting 45 to 90 days for a federally supervised secret-ballot employee referendum on the subject.
Jimmy Hoffa waving the American Flag, the Union waiving the white flag. Looks like old Jimmy won in the end. One of the best kept secrets in Detroit. Next to Jimmy Hoffa, would be the real truth behind ” Coleman Young”. It’s fair to say, every city has its secrets. Detroit’s best kept.