Hoffa Parts Company with AFL-CIO on Social Security

By May 25, 2005Labor Unions

Showing once again his fierce independent streak, Teamsters President Jim Hoffa in an interview gives credit to the President for taking on Social Security.

“I think President Bush should be given credit for the fact that he has initiated a debate regarding what we should do [about Social Security]”, Hoffa is quoted in a Gannet article by Brian Tumulty appearing in the Detroit News.

He acknowledges something his AFL brethren have been unwilling to acknowledge, i.e., that “Social Security is a major problem in this country.” While the AFL pushes for stricter private sector pension rules, they whistle past the Social Security graveyard. By the very private sector standards they (and we) support, Social Security would be considered flat broke. Would they be willing to put private pensions under the same rules as Social Security? Not likely. As we’ve pointed out many times before in this space, they’re not really known for being consistent. And, they don’t dare criticize Hoffa as they are holding together a fragile (but failing) coalition to keep John Sweeney in power.

In any event, bravo to Jim Hoffa for speaking his mind and for actually thinking about his members’ interests. No wonder he’s ready to break from John Sweeney.