Hoffa Says Organized Labor Fighting Back Against Right-Wing Radical Agenda
(WASHINGTON) -- Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said today in a National Press Club speech that organized labor is the country’s last barricade against a Tea Party takeover of the Republican Party that has lurched to the extreme right by inflaming cultural differences and declaring a war on American workers.
“We are the only ones standing in the way of this movement to turn the country to the far right,” Hoffa said. “They’re taking us on because they realize if they can knock out labor…they’ll have a free run.”
He cited coordinated, well-funded GOP efforts to roll back collective bargaining rights, suppress voter registration, attack women’s rights and champion policies that benefit wealthy Americans.
“We’re fighting very hard to make sure we restore the balance in the country,” Hoffa said, adding that “this election is going to decide whether the rich get richer, whether we’re going to have food stamps and Social Security.”
The Teamsters Union is historically a politically bipartisan union that has backed pro-labor Republicans. But the union has found that the GOP has left workers behind, Hoffa said. He called the Democratic Party a “big tent” of diversity. But at the recent Republican National Convention, “all I saw was 1 percenters—it was like looking at the Rotary Club,” he said.
He blasted Republican congressional leaders for fixating on trying to defeat President Obama instead of doing what is best for the country—restoring the U.S. economy and putting Americans back to work.
“Somebody has to say, ‘Do you really want to solve America’s problems?’” Hoffa said, adding that “the words we really need to bring back are ‘bipartisanship’ and ‘compromise.’”
Solving the country’s problems must start with bringing back jobs to the United States, he said. NAFTA has been a “disaster,” and tax laws need to be changed so that companies are not rewarded for shipping jobs overseas and that they also pay their fair share.
“There’s something wrong when some of our biggest corporations don’t pay any taxes,” said Hoffa, who noted that U.S. businesses are sitting on more than $1.5 trillion in cash reserves domestically. “Start investing in this country,” he urged.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.