RI Teamsters to Reject UPS Contract in Latest Battle with Hoffa

Saturday, August 11, 2018


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Matt Taibi, Teamsters

Matthew Taibi, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Teamsters Local 251 appeared GoLocal LIVE where he spoke to voting against the contract just approved at the national level between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and UPS — and why Rhode Island — and New England — Teamsters are united in their opposition to current Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, the only son of James R. Hoffa. 

“So right now — particularly with UPS — there have been national negotiations, and right now there are tentative agreements between [UPS] and the International union package division,” said Taibi. “Specifically, there were two meetings in Chicago where local officers were briefed on the two tentative agreements and took votes on whether to send it to members for a vote."

"It was approved. It wasn’t unanimous, it was not overwhelming - there were a lot of no votes and I was one of them. All of New England were no votes.”

Taibi spoke to his opposition of the Hoffa administration, who has headed the union since 1999. 

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“My history is I’ve supported or ran with folks that have opposed the James Hoffa leadership. Once every 5 years is the international election. The last time I ran on a slate against Mr. Hoffa’s slate — there have been a lot of fractures and fissures since then,” said Taibi. 

The previous UPS contract laid the groundwork for the local and regional opposition to the current one, Taibi said on LIVE. 

“The issue goes back to the last contract. There were a lot of issues and there wasn’t a lot of information beforehand but once the union presented some significant healthcare concessions, a lot of members voted no, [and] that fueled the 16 election cycle,” said Taibi. “Having that close election last time, we’re at a situation where obviously it was very close all the way through. You need to listen and adapt and say there are folks who have some ideas and we should all work together and figure things out.”

“The UPS contract is  250,000 Teamsters — it is by far the largest in North America and within the Teamsters. The full time ranks are paid very well and have good benefits — it sets the standard for the labor movement.  There’s a lot that we use as an example of were the Teamsters and labor are going,” said Taibi. “Given that, there may be a sense that — UPS is the “golden goose” and you don’t want to upset them. They’re the biggest violator of the agreement relative to other companies. They have a business to run we understand that — but our Local we don’t hold back at all.”

Taibi said the contract now goes to the locals, and that he anticipates Local 251 will reject what was approved in Chicago this week. 

Latest for Taibi and Local 251

In May, Taibi had been ousted from the national negotiating committee for expressing his views.  As GoLocal reported:

A member of the Teamsters Local 251 has been ousted from the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters under the leadership of James Hoffa. 

On May 4, Matthew Taibi, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Teamsters Local 251 headquartered in East Providence, received a letter from Denis Taylor at the IBT, telling Taibi he was off the committee 

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