Serial No. 106-97


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce

Table of Contents








Table of Indexes *





Tuesday, March 28, 2000

U. S. House of Representatives

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

Committee on Education and the Workforce

Washington, D.C.

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:05 p.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Pete Hoekstra, Chairman of the Subcommittee, presiding.

Present: Representatives Hoekstra, Norwood, Hilleary, Schaffer, Tancredo, Fletcher, Roemer, Scott, Kind, and Ford.

Also Present: Representative Goodling.

Staff Present: Stephen Settle, Professional Staff Member; Faith Cristol, Professional Staff Member; Jonathan Dewitte, Staff Assistant; Rob Sterner, Paralegal; Rob Green, Workforce Policy Coordinator; Peter Gunas, Workforce Policy Counsel; Patrick Lyden, Professional Staff Member; Deborah Samantar, Office Manager; Gail Weiss, Staff Director; Michele Varnhagen, Labor Counsel/Coordinator; Peter Rutledge, Senior Legislative Associate/Labor; Mark Zuckerman, General Counsel; Cedrick Hendricks, Deputy Counsel; Cheryl Johnson, Counsel/Education and Oversight; Brian Compagnone, Staff Assistant/Labor;.

Chairman Hoekstra. A quorum being present, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Education and the Workforce will come to order. Good afternoon.

The Subcommittee is meeting today to hear testimony in exercise of its capacity to conduct oversight inquiries. Under rule 12(b) of our Committee rules, any oral opening statements at the hearing are limited to the Chairman and the Ranking Member. This allows us to focus on hearing from the witnesses sooner and helps Members to keep to their schedules. If other Members have statements, they can and will be included in the record. I also ask unanimous consent that the record of this hearing be held open for the next 10 days for the submission of additional statements, information or testimony relevant to the hearing, without objection.

Mr. Roemer. Without objection.

Chairman Hoekstra. Without objection so ordered.




Let me make my opening statement. It has been a long process to get to this point. It was back on February 24 of 1999 that the Subcommittee reported to the American people the results of a 17-month investigation into the financial, operating and political affairs of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, almost a 2,000-page report. I think we hit 1,999 pages.

Today we will discuss some of the issues that were brought up in that report. We are not going to talk about the misconduct itself, but we want to talk about what I think will be a much more pleasant process than what we went through during those 17 months. We are going to talk about where the IBT is today and where the IBT is headed in the future. And to help us do that, I think we have the right people here to give us a perspective on that.

We have Mr. Hoffa, who is the General President of the IBT. We have the General Counsel, Pat Szymanski, and Ed Stier, who now heads the IBT's internal task force to address corruption within the union. Thank you very much for being here today.

Let me provide a little bit of background. Mr. Hoffa and I had a little chance to reminisce about how far this whole process goes back before the hearing started, and Mr. Hoffa's history with this is longer than mine is. But, you know, if you take a look at this whole process, it was in June of 1988 that the United States Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against the IBT. The government argued that the IBT was, quote, "a wholly owned subsidiary of organized crime," end of quote.

In March of 1989, the IBT agreed to settle the lawsuit under terms memorialized in a consent decree. Under those terms the IBT agreed to significant Federal oversight, including oversight into the conduct of elections and certain aspects of financial administrations. This agreement was reached March of 1989.


In 1991 under the consent order, the IBT conducted a watershed election, and for the first time rank-and-file Teamsters were empowered to select their leaders through a government-sponsored, direct, secret ballot election. The winner was an outsider candidate who ran on a reform platform, Ron Carey.

In 1996, Mr. Carey ran for reelection under the terms of the consent order with government supervision. Soon after the votes were counted, the election was protested on grounds that Mr. Carey had received improper campaign contributions under the election rules. The Federal election officer, empowered under the consent degree to oversee the election, found that improper fund-raising activities had occurred, that they had benefited Mr. Carey, and on that basis she ordered a rerun election. Thereafter, the original election officer recused herself from any further investigation due to a potential conflict of interest and was replaced.

After an investigation, the new Federal election officer disqualified Mr. Carey from running for reelection. Subsequently the matter was referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York where a criminal investigation was commenced, and where we hope they are continuing to this day, and that is a matter of dispute.

During that process, in 1997, the House of Representatives charged this Subcommittee with investigating fund-raising improprieties during the 1996 election campaign. Thereafter this Subcommittee began its investigation focusing on why, despite an expenditure of almost $20 million in taxpayer funds to oversee an election, the election could not be held in accordance with the law.

As stated, this Subcommittee's report on the financial operating and political affairs of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters attempted to answer that question. Our findings can be summarized in a number of points.

First and foremost, rank-and-file teamsters felt betrayed by union leadership. These are the issues that the new Teamsters had to deal with.

Second, the Nation's largest union had internal financial controls that left a lot to be desired.

Third, there was virtually no accountability to Rank and File members who had limited access to information.

Fourth, pervasive corruption throughout the Teamsters had led to money-laundering swap schemes between the Teamsters and outside groups. This is the union leadership stealing from their own rank and file to the tune of somewhere in the neighborhood of $800,000 to $1 million, and those are the dollars that this Subcommittee was able to identify.

Fifth, little regard had been paid to Federal law by Teamster leadership and other cohorts.

Sixth, U.S. taxpayers had been forced to foot a $20 million expenditure for a failed election.

Seventh, Teamsters' disregard for union members and severe financial mismanagement had depleted the union's net worth by more than $150 million.

Eight, these Teamsters' political contributions had raised serious questions over White House assistance on key political issues.

And finally, Teamsters' political contributions may have been illegally coordinated by the Democratic National Committee, other unions and many other groups that participated in the 1996 swap schemes, and they still had people who wanted to be the president of that union.

On the basis of these findings and open questions, the Subcommittee recommended the following remedies: That the IBT adopt a code of ethical conduct within the IBT constitution or bylaws; that the IBT create and use a budget process and a comprehensive policies and procedures manual; that the IBT amend its constitution to grant international trustees the right to review all financial records and attend general executive board meetings; that the IBT establish an Office of Inspector General; that the IBT establish an effective compliance program modeled after those recently adopted by organizations throughout the world; that the IBT promote further investigation of the 1996 elections rules violations and misuse of treasury funds; and finally, that the union take all other appropriate steps towards self-governance to end its costly and often combative relationship with the Federal Government while operating under the consent order.

The Subcommittee also recognized that the most effective steps toward improvement begin with subtle changes within an organization. Accordingly, the Subcommittee noted that one of the most critical changes required of IBT leadership was to demonstrate an unqualified willingness to be held accountable, and this accountability had to include the creation of an organizational structure conducive to change, able to be driven by leadership by example.

Let me cover four additional points before I go to Mr. Roemer and to you, Mr. Hoffa:

First, while any discussion of Federal oversight of the IBT must include the so-called culture of violence within the IBT that was written about in President Reagan's Commission on Organized Crime, we are not here to discuss specific acts of violence.

Second, I want to make clear that Mr. Hoffa is not here due to compulsion, but as a result of his own willingness. As we developed a relationship with Mr. Hoffa and the IBT over the last 2-1/2 years, after his election Mr. Hoffa was eager to come back and report to Congress. He made the commitment after we gave him a little bit of time, to come back to the Subcommittee and report on the progress of transforming the Teamsters and give us a description of exactly what he found when he took over the Teamsters.

The third point is more difficult to talk about, because it goes back to the process that this Subcommittee went through as we did this investigation. I think that much of what we will hear today and the facts that have come to light since our investigation bear out that congressional oversight was very much appropriate and was instrumental in ensuring that the IBT conduct a fair and proper rerun election. That did not characterize the work that went on here for 17 months. It was hard to do almost every step of the way. Mr. Roemer and I have developed a very collaborative effort on many of the projects that we are working on in this Congress, but we haven't had to deal with the Teamster issue. And in some ways I wish he had been here when we were doing the Teamster investigation because the Minority was not supportive and did a valiant effort of fighting us every step of the way.

Finally, our investigation was devoted to ensuring that the law was effective in preventing corruption by organized entities or unorganized entities. I am pleased to note that the new leadership in the IBT seems to be doing its part to prevent a recurrence of this type of misconduct. What remains to be seen, however, is whether all individuals who violated the law are going to be brought to justice.

In that area I think we have a long way to go, and a number of others and I question the delay in the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York. The testimony heard in the trial of Bill Hamilton suggests that there are many open questions that need to be resolved.

In the coming months this Subcommittee has its work cut out for it. We agreed with the Department a number of years ago as we were going through this process that we would scale back our investigation so as not to corrupt or interfere with their investigation. We were promised a vigorous investigation. We are questioning whether that is what is actually happening.

As we move through the next couple of months, this Subcommittee will again reevaluate our role in that process and the steps that we need to take to find out exactly what really did happen in that period of the Carey administration, the failed election, and the performance of the Justice Department through this process. It has been disappointing at best.

The last point that I would like to reemphasize is that this process started in 1989 for the largest private sector union in America. For 11 years the Federal Government has been basically running the Teamsters. I believe Mr. Hoffa is going to talk a little bit about the cost that rank-and-file members have incurred for this government oversight. After 11 years it is time to let the Teamsters go on their own. If the Federal Government has not cleaned up the Teamsters over a period of 11 years, it is a problem for the Justice Department; it is a problem for the courts and a consent decree; it is time for the Federal Government to step out. And when we step out, it doesn't mean that everything goes away. There is adequate supervision, and there is an adequate legal framework in place to manage labor organizations under existing law.

You gave me a number I don't remember, so I am not going to say it, but I am probably going to hear it. This has to have been a costly venture, and the Federal Government at this time ought to be held accountable for the results of 11 years of supervision. The Teamsters should be cut loose, from my perspective, from the Federal Government. The Justice Department ought to make a compelling case, which they have not done, as to why this union ought to continue to be managed to the extent that it is by the Federal Government.

And with that I will turn it over to Mr. Roemer.




Mr. Roemer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your opening statement and ask unanimous consent to revise and extend.

Chairman Hoekstra. Without objection.




I thank you. I, too, would like to welcome Mr. Stier, and Mr. Szymanski and President Hoffa today. I look forward to hearing about the progress the Hoffa administration has accomplished during its first year in office.

I also have a continuing interest in what is being done to ensure that the rank-and-file members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will soon regain complete control of their union.

The Teamsters have been operating under direct supervision of the court pursuant to a consent decree for 11 years now, and during that time a major effort has been made to rid the union of all corruption and organized crime influence. An important task being undertaken by the Hoffa administration has been the assessment of how successful these efforts have been.

Today I look forward to hearing about the new RISE program, which aims to instill and enforce a set of values that will keep the union on the right path and prevent a reoccurrence of corruption. While major reform efforts have taken place and are still being enforced, government supervision and oversight has helped to ensure that the democratic process was firmly established. The Hoffa administration has committed itself, pending court approval, to continue utilizing the election rules and supervisory mechanisms that will promote the democratic process.

While it has served its purpose, the ultimate function of the consent decree is to allow the union to return to the management of its own affairs. It is a difficult situation when the Teamsters are unsure of how long the consent decree will remain in effect or what the clear criteria are for having the consent decree lifted. While it is not within my jurisdiction to make a decision on whether or not the consent decree should be lifted, I do know that we will not completely succeed until it is gone. Lifting the consent decree, especially after 11 years of oversight, should be a topic of serious discussion and consideration for everyone involved in this matter.

Again, I thank all three of you for coming here today. I look forward to your testimony, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from Indiana send their regards to you, President Hoffa.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Mr. Kind. Will my friend yield for a brief comment?

Mr. Roemer. I will be happy to. I have plenty of time left.

Mr. Kind. I thank the Ranking Member for yielding me this time.

Just to get this hearing and future hearings throughout the duration of this session off on the right foot, Mr. Chairman, I would have to take great offense at your characterization of the Minority Members' participation during the investigation over the last session of Congress. It characterizes us as being nothing but a bunch of obstructionists, or people who have been fighting you every step along the way, when you know that just is not true.

Yes, we have had disagreements over process and certain strategies, especially when a former prosecutor had deep concerns about the unnecessary interference of a Congressional Committee into an ongoing criminal investigation with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York. However, to characterize us as being a Party that is less concerned about the truth or the process than in making sure that IBT is in the best position to democratize their union I think is something that does not lend itself to bipartisan cooperation.

I feel that we in this Committee need to work on this in order to address these very serious issues. For the future of any hearings that we are going to have throughout the duration of this session, I would hope that we are going to be able to continue to maintain what I feel is a very constructive dialogue in the course of these investigations and not leave any false impressions in regards to which Party is more interested in doing the appropriate thing in this instance. I thank my friend for yielding me this time.

Mr. Roemer. Mr. Scott, did you have anything you wanted to add to that?

I yield back the balance of my time.

Chairman Hoekstra. I thank the gentleman.

To respond to Mr. Kind, my friend from Wisconsin, I think I still have the bruises I received from the other side of the aisle as we went through this process. It was anything but bipartisan. It may have been intended, whatever. It was an ugly time in this Subcommittee, and maybe I didn't feel your support or didn’t interpret your actions as being supportive, but that is how I felt, and I am glad to see a renewed commitment to bipartisanship. We reached out, met with you over the last week or so and shared the direction this Committee will take. I look forward to moving forward in a bipartisan way. So, welcome.

Our first guest is James Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Mr. Hoffa's biography states he is the only son of James R. Hoffa, former President of the IBT and, "he grew up on picket lines and union meetings." What many may not know, however, is that Mr. Hoffa holds a law degree from the University of Michigan, and practiced labor law in Detroit for 25 years before assuming the leadership of his union.

Welcome, Mr. Hoffa.

We also have Mr. Edwin Stier, who is no stranger to this Subcommittee, having testified before us last June. Mr. Stier, I believe, will be testifying on proposed procedures for the investigation of allegations of organized crime activity within the union and the associated benefit fund. Mr. Stier is uniquely qualified for this mission, having served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New Jersey and as Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office. During his last 5 years of government service, he was Director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, and since leaving government service has led a number of critical investigations, acting as an independent private inspector general.

Welcome back, Mr. Stier.

And lastly, joining our panel is Pat Szymanski, who currently serves as General Counsel for the IBT. Mr. Szymanski has made himself available to this Subcommittee on many occasions over the past year. He will be free to join in our discussions at any time.

I don't think you have a prepared statement.

Mr. Szymanski. No, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Hoekstra. Welcome to you, and we are glad that you are here, and with that, Mr. Hoffa, welcome.





Mr. Hoffa. Thank you very much, Chairman Hoekstra. I want to thank all the many Members of the Committee for having us here today.

Before addressing the primary purpose for which I am here, I would like to take the time right now to thank Chairman Hoekstra and the Committee Members for their previous hearings into what is going on in the Teamsters Union. Those hearings help focus the attention of the public and Congress on what was happening in the Teamsters Union a couple of years ago, and particularly on the proper role of the government within the union. Those hearings were helpful in ensuring that the United States Attorney and other government officials properly investigated wrongdoing within the previous administration and acted to bring the responsible individuals to justice.

I have a prepared text, which all of you have. I am not going to take the time to read it. What I would like to do is to basically summarize what we have done over the past year, and then I would like to entertain your questions.

It is very interesting to be here today and to see people talking about whether this is a bipartisan issue, whether it is Democrats and Republicans. I think the fate of the Teamsters Union is not bipartisan. It is something we all want. We want our union to be successful. The Teamsters union has 1.4 million in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico. We are the largest union in the free world. I think the fate of the union is certainly one that goes beyond partisanship and one that we can all be concerned about. I know that I am.

We are at an interesting juncture right now. March 19, 1999, was the year and the date that we were certified as being the elected officials of the union. So here we are one year after that, just by a few days, and the question is what has happened in that year.

If we go back and think about the election, the election was held in December of 1998. We had to wait on the sidelines until March 19 until we were certified, and then once we were certified, we were off to run the union with the duly elected executive board that ran with me. We won that election by a good resounding margin. In union elections, a 52 percent margin to 35 percent is considered a landslide. And with that we started off on a program to bring this union together.

The first thing we encountered was a certain great division, as the vote might indicate, that this union had been polarized within itself, and that the Carey administration had gone to great lengths to identify people as Hoffa people or Carey people. And when we ran, we ran on the issue of unity, that this union could not succeed and carry out its great mission if it was divided.

If we are talking about partisanship, just as perhaps you talk about Democrats and Republicans, our union was the same way. We were hopelessly divided, and the union had to be brought together. The first thing we did after we won was to put the message out to those people who did not support us. These were people that were the presidents of large Local unions, the rank and file, and the heads of joint councils that had voted for the opposite side. And we said, all that is over with. We want to pull this union together because if this union is to fulfill its mission, it must do so on a unified basis.

We certainly had problems in dealing with the fact that we are under a consent decree. We had problems dealing with the union losing over $100 million out of its treasury. Then we had to deal with a union that had been scandalized by the Ron Carey problem of having gone through what was considered an election, and then having this Committee and the government and the internal review board of the union find that Ron Carey had been involved in some kind of a scheme to divert $800,000 to his campaign, causing the election of 1996, by which I narrowly lost, to be rerun in 1998.

Well, all of that happened, again bringing the union before the public in a way that was not conducive to what we want if we are going to be what I consider the premier union of the labor movement, a union that everybody wants to belong to. We have a saying in the labor movement: There are two kinds of people, those who are Teamsters and those who want to be Teamsters. We want to get back to that. We want to be a shining city on the hill. We want to be the union that everybody wants to belong to.

To that end we began a program of unifying the union, working on the finances and addressing the problems, many of which this Committee talked about. And that is where we began. The unification process was one that moved more rapidly than I ever thought, and we have met with many people that were on the other side, as we say, and we said, hey, come with us. We are not talking about the past. We have a mission. I need your help if we are going to succeed in making the union one we can all be proud of again, one that is clean, that is corruption-free, and one that is dedicated to serving its members.

And to a great extent we have had that transformation of people coming over. I have had the great pleasure of going to the western region and meeting with people out there and having 700 or 800 delegates come together that maybe were split in the last election. They want to talk about the issues together under one roof, which might not have been possible before.

I recently was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I talked to the head of the joint council there. He told me that he addressed a luncheon we had of 19 Local unions in Pittsburgh, and he made the point that a year ago or 2 years ago we couldn't have had this luncheon because there was so much partisanship in Joint Council 40 in Pittsburgh. I think that is really something we can look at as an indicator of what is going on. Now people are pulling together. They want to be together.

The next thing we addressed was the financial crisis. We had been the richest union. Everybody talked about how rich the Teamsters were. We had almost $200 million in the treasury, and after the Carey administration, over $100 million had been drained out of the treasury in different schemes and crazy spending programs.

We knew if we were going to be strong, we had to be strong financially, and we instituted financial reforms that basically lead us to a balanced budget. We are saving money. We are running the union within our budget, and we are finding ways to provide more services to the members for the same dollar amount of dues money that we are getting, and that is only the beginning. I credit my partner and Secretary/Treasurer Tom Keegel with doing a wonderful job on the finances of the Teamsters Union.

There was much consideration and talk about the finances of this union at the last hearing, and I think that we can show you that we have certainly addressed those problems. That is something that we were worried about and concerned about.

We have also had a lot of successes, as I said, in one year, and when I go out and give speeches to people, I tell them isn't it amazing, we have been here only one year. It is hard to imagine that in one year we have negotiated a successful "carhaul" contract. We have balanced the budget. We won a tremendous arbitration with getting 6,000 jobs at UPS. We have instituted the RISE program, which Ed Stier is going to talk about. We have negotiated a successful agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office to have our next election, which will be next year. We also have the Overnite strike, which is one that spreads throughout the country, and we are working on that. So it has been an exciting year, one that has been filled with much success, and we are off to a start that I think we all thought we could achieve.

We are doing an awful lot with getting this union back on track and making sure that it has a balanced budget. Many of the suggestions that were made by this Committee in its hearings of February 24, 1999, were taken very seriously by this administration. It certainly helped, and we appreciated your consideration. We have gone through some of the suggestions that were made by the Committee. I want to go through some of the Committee recommendations, and what we have done with regard to those recommendations.

First of all, one of the things the Committee talked about was that we should adopt a balanced budget. We have done that, and we have balanced the budget. We think that is important. There was also a suggestion that we have a comprehensive financial practices and procedures manual. That has been done, and the union has established a fail-safe internal audit program.

We have also changed the way the trustees are treated. In the previous administration the elected trustees were not even allowed into the general executive board meetings. Now they have full access. The previous trustees of the union under the Carey administration were not permitted to see financial records. Now trustees are given full access to any and all relevant records, books and financial documents that we have.

The union has also strengthened its financial controls. We have engaged Arthur Andersen to examine those controls and to recommend any appropriate changes they deem necessary.

The committee talked about having a code of ethical conduct. We have endeavored to do that. The union has established an internal anticorruption program, which we call Project RISE, with Ed Stier at the helm. He will be describing that program. This program would lead to the adoption of a code of conduct and a fair and impartial system for investigating and resolving any alleged violations of the code.

The union has also adopted a program for investigating and remedying any allegations which have to do with organized crime within our union, and that has been done with some consultation with the FBI. Mr. Stier has contacts within the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and they have been very open with regard to talking with us about those problems and how we can handle those problems ourselves internally.

We have had other successes. I would like to talk about Teamsters Local 560. Ed Stier was the trustee of Local 560, and to some extent New Jersey is a microcosm of the problems we have with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. International Brotherhood of Teamsters is under a consent decree. Local 560 was under a consent decree. Ed Stier was the trustee. Over a 14-year period the union was under government control, but the goal always was to get it out of government control, to eliminate the influences of perhaps organized crime or other influences of corruption, and to get that union back on track where it could join the family of other Local unions free of a consent decree.

I was very fortunate on March 19, which is really a prophetic day, the very day we were certified, March 19, 1999. I was in New Jersey to swear in the new executive board. On that day the judge and the U.S. attorney and the Local head made an agreement that that Local would come out of trusteeship. They had a free and democratic election, the members had elected a new executive board, and the Local union was deemed to be ready to rejoin the other unions. It was corruption-free. What a wonderful day for this union.

That is what we want to do with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. If it can be done with 560, it can be done with the international. It was my great honor to swear in that new executive board and to basically say that the international president is here with these new brothers, the ones that have been elected. We want to proceed with this process of making our union corruption-free, and all those things are working out very well.

I would like to talk a little bit about the government's involvement in our union. I think some of the costs are staggering, and I think you should know them. We have been under a consent decree going on 11 years, since 1989. It has conservatively cost $88 million so far. Yes, there have been successes. Some people have been thrown out of the union very early in that period of time.

When we look back, I think the purpose of the consent decree was to make sure the Teamsters Union was not under the influence of organized crime. I think that anybody looking at the Teamsters Union 11 years later sees that this union has gone through a transformation. It has gone through three democratic elections. The people cited in that case are all gone. There has been a complete transformation of the people running the union, a new election and a new breed of people. And so we really have to talk about the enormous cost of government interference in the affairs of a union that has had a free and democratic election, and the interference of an Administration that has been democratically elected overwhelmingly by our membership.

I can tell you that as I travel the country, I always ask the members what they think about the government being part of their union and draining perhaps 5 percent of the budget? We have an $88 million budget. Roughly $5 to $6 million is drained every year out of this union. This is dues money that is going to pay attorneys, rent, and printing bills. It is enormous. It is almost a cottage industry that has been created with regard to the consent decree, and the question is do we still need that at this stage 11 years later?

It is our goal to sit down with the government and talk about what has gone on in the past, what is going on now, and where we are going in the future, and to develop a program where we can, through meaningful dialogue, end this government involvement in the union. Perhaps if we have to, why don't we set goals? We just cannot keep going on without any goals, or without any idea of where we are going.

We seem to have a consent decree in perpetuity. There is no end game here. There is no saying that at this date, if you do this, this and this, then you are out. We have not been able to meaningfully engage the U.S. attorney in those types of discussions. This is an 11-year-old file. I practiced law for 25 years. I know many of you are lawyers. This is an old case that has kicked around.

The question is how do we settle it? How do we settle it to protect the union? How do we protect our members? How do we make sure that the democratic procedures that have been instituted remain in effect? How do we do all this and at the same time end this great drain on the treasury and make sure the goals of the government and the union are attained and that we get this union free from government interference? That is what we are trying to do with the U.S. Attorney, and to this day we have been unsuccessful. They are just not interested in talking about this. They just seem to bog down in mindless conversation, and we are interested in having a dialogue. We want goals, we want to have targets to hit, and we want to move on.

I am happy to say that another thing we have been talking about is what is called the independent financial auditor. In December of 1997, during the period of time that we had the Carey scandal, when $870,000 had been taken out of the treasury, the U.S. Attorney said we should set up an independent auditor program. Well, that sounded good in March of 1989, but this is no longer needed. We have Havey and Company that is one of the most respected CPA companies, which does half of all the AFL-CIO Locals in this town. We have Arthur Andersen, and yet we have an independent financial officer. I like to call them two kids with laptops, and they are charging us $600,000 to $700,000 a year to basically duplicate all the other work that is being done.

We want to talk to the U.S. Attorney about ending that. What is the purpose of it? It is more discussions, and we are moving towards making some progress, but it has been very difficult to accomplish what would seem to be a rather easy thing.

We have had some success with the government because, as most of you know, I was elected in December of 1998, but I was not given a 5-year term. So I have to run again, and we will have an election next year in 2001. I think it is important that everybody knows that we were able to sit down with the U.S. Attorney and work out election rules. Instituted in those rules are all of the safeguards and all of the democratic amendments. The democratic process is in place so that the Teamsters Union remains democratic.

We are one of the most, if not the most, democratic unions in the United States. I say that because we democratically elect our delegates, and then it is one man, one vote, unlike most international unions where delegates go to some convention. We actually send out 1.4 million ballots to our members so that each person gets a chance to vote by a mail ballot that has a stamp on it. They mark it and send it back in.

I think it is important, to show some of the things that have happened. One of the things that are a hallmark of democracy is the amount of participation we have in our union, and how many people vote in the election. I know everybody here runs for political office, so you are aware of participation and voter turnout. I think there was something that happened in the election, because in 1996 when I ran against Carey, we had 33 percent participation. Then we had the scandal. We talked about the Carey problem, and then we had the rerun election. Same election, same ballots mailed out, it falls to 28 percent.

What is happening? Is it the fact that maybe people are getting disillusioned with the process? That is something we don't want. We want more participation, more people voting. Something is happening. We have to make sure we instill confidence and are able to get people voting again with higher marks than 33 percent.

Anyway, our new rules basically enact many of the safeguards we had before. People have looked at them. They’re very proud of what we have done and what we have been able to work out with the U.S. Attorney. We are going to be submitting them to our judge, who is Judge Edelstein, for his approval in the very near future. So I think that is some very real progress.

Like I said, we are going have Ed Stier talk about our anticorruption program. We are very proud of that. We are going to establish a code of ethics. We are going to have a group of people, a task force and committees, go out to the membership and talk to people about what should be in this code of conduct, and what the members want in a code of conduct for officers and business agents. We are going to set up an education program throughout the country to tell people what the code of ethics is and why it is there and how and what is expected of union officials as they go about their business. So that's going to be our education program.

We are going to have an enforcement program, so instead of the government, we are going to have union people judging union people. A jury of peers will come in, and if somebody has done something wrong, an appropriate committee will be set up using the code of ethic as the guideline. Those people will be tried, and if they were found guilty, they would be punished either by suspension or even expulsion from the union.

So those are some of the things the RISE program is doing. We think it is tremendously ambitious, and we think it is something that will keep this union free of outside influences. And having Ed Stier here, a former U.S. attorney and a man who was very successful, as I said, in making sure that our Teamster Local 560 came out of trusteeship, we believe is going to help us do the very same thing with regard to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Getting back to where we are now, the progress has been amazing. The fact that our organizing is up, I think shows a wide acceptance of the fact that people feel that the Teamsters Union is back on the right track, and that we have made a serious commitment to reforming this union. We have made a serious commitment to balancing the budget. We have made a serious commitment to our members. We have made a serious commitment about unity, and pulling this union back together again. All these are important to having a successful union.

I want to come back to this again. We continue to have conservations with the U.S. Attorney. When we talk about the enormous drain on our budget, it doesn't seem to make any impression. We seem to be running into a mindset whereby the U.S. Attorney thinks that while we have been under a consent decree for 11 years, that maybe we need 11 more years, and another $88 million. We don't think that is right, and I know that I speak for our membership because I talk to our members constantly as I travel the country. I know that they want to have this consent decree ended because being under a consent decree is something that we don’t want. It certainly indicates that we have had problems in the past, and by getting out of the consent decree, we will show that we have made the progress that we talk about today, and that we have made this union something we can be proud of. It is a union that wants and is ready to come out of trusteeship, and it is ready to resume its great place at the head of organized labor.

Thank you very much.






Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you very much. Mr. Stier.





Mr. Stier. Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to come here today to supplement what President Hoffa has told you about the last year in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. It is a thrill for me, after having spent 35 years as a professional law enforcement official and devoting my nonpublic service professional life to conducting independent, impartial investigations, many of which have been done for government entities. It is a thrill to be a part of what is going on in the Teamsters today.

When I was here in June to discuss the results of the Local 560 trusteeship, I described for you the struggle that we engaged in against the efforts of organized crime to hang onto control over that Local and its $650 million pension and welfare fund. Ultimately we won. We won because we worked closely with the members to give the membership the responsibility to govern their own affairs, because that is the essence of what a union is about. I am very proud of the fact that those 11 very difficult years spent in Local 560 resulted in a restoration of pride and in a union that truly serves the interest of its members today.

I didn't know Jim Hoffa before we brought the Local 560 trusteeship to a conclusion. We met that day, the day that Jim described, when he received notice that the court had confirmed his election and when Local 560 was finally freed from government control. We talked a bit, and since then we have had a number of conversations that led to the formation of a plan. The plan is designed to make the entire Teamsters Union, 1.4 million members, with 550 Local unions across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, self-sufficient, self-policing, capable of protecting the interests of its members and, very importantly, protecting the interests of the American and the Canadian public against exploitation of such a powerful institution by racketeers.

The question that everybody, Members of the Committee, the U.S. Attorney, the FBI, the Department of Justice, would like to ask is are the Teamsters serious about the anticorruption program? Are they serious about protecting the membership from exploitation by racketeers? I am here to tell you that for 6 months I have been working full time on this project. The answer is absolutely, unqualifiedly yes. Without hesitation I can tell you that Jim Hoffa is committed to this effort without any reservation. What I would like to describe very briefly is why I say that is the case.

I have given you some prepared testimony that summarizes Project RISE and some related activities that are going on within the union. I hope that you all have a chance to read that testimony. I am not going to read it here today, but I also hope that you take a careful look at the attachments to that testimony. One attachment is the Project RISE plan that describes in detail how Project RISE is going to achieve the goals that we have set out to make the union capable of policing itself.

The second attachment is an organized crime investigation procedure that was initiated by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. It will assure that any allegation of organized crime within the union will be thoroughly and impartially investigated so that nobody should fear that evidence of organized crime activity in the union can be suppressed.

You should read those procedures and that plan because it will give you a sense of the magnitude, and the scale on which all of this is being done. This is not superficial. I have spent 35 years developing what I hope is a decent reputation within the legal and law enforcement communities, and I am not about to put it at risk. I believe that what I am doing now with the Teamsters Union is only going to enhance what I have devoted my professional career to.

There are two essential elements to Project RISE that I have described in my testimony that you will find in the plan. One is a national study to tell Teamsters, you, the law enforcement community and the public what the extent is, if any, of any organized crime influence in the union today. Nobody has taken the time to do that. The Federal Government has spent a lot of effort in continuing a process that began 11 years ago. Nobody up to this point has stopped and asked what have we accomplished? How far are we in the process of freeing the union from organized crime influence? We are going to do that, and we have enlisted some absolutely extraordinary talent to participate in that study. You will find them identified in the Project RISE plan by name so that you know the caliber of people who have been enlisted to work with us, and the expertise that they bring to the process.

In the course of that study, which we hope to complete by the summer of this year, we will have accounted for every single Local union in the entire Teamsters Union that has in any way, from any source been tainted by organized crime allegations. These Local unions were identified in the complaint that was filed by the U. S. Attorney's Office back in 1998, as well as any other Local union that was identified with organized crime either before or since then. We will have a special study done of each one of those Locals so that anybody who reads that study can determine what progress has been made.

The second element of Project RISE is to create within the union a set of community values that are incompatible with organized crime and corruption. We have chosen a difficult route to make the Teamsters Union corruption-free. The easy way would have been to go out and hire a bunch of former Federal prosecutors and investigators, create a bureaucracy within the union, go to the government and negotiate a deal that, in effect, turns over the responsibility for policing the union to people they are familiar with and comfortable with. My view is that is not an effective way to assure that a union becomes corruption-free. That kind of an approach does not help the community, and the union is a community; internalize the values that will assure that organized crime and corruption will be stopped at its most Local level.

We have chosen to take the more difficult route, in some ways the more costly route, of creating an environment in which Teamsters will take on the tremendous responsibility of holding other Teamsters accountable for misconduct and assuring themselves, their families and the public that their union is not going to be exploited.

We are doing that by working with the union to create a code of conduct based on trade union values that people are prepared to live with and accept in carrying out their jobs on a day-to-day basis within the union. It is a code of conduct that they are comfortable with, but that also, of course, conforms to legal standards and requirements. To do that, we have brought together a task force, which is really a cross-section of the Teamsters Union. The task force is comprised of members from every part of the country, from every level of the union, from the general executive board, from rank-and-file truck drivers, men, women, and people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds. Most importantly from my point of view, President Hoffa insisted that that task force include people who are from the entire political spectrum of the union so that it is not a partisan effort. It is an effort that is being made by the entire Teamsters Union to come up with standards and an enforcement system to which everybody will be prepared to be accountable.

In order to assure that we have input from the entire union, we have conducted a national survey of the union. We have had focus groups going on all over the United States and Canada. We have had interviews of members ranging from the general president down to rank-and-file members in all of the segments of the union. The product of all of that, the code, will be in its first draft by the middle of this coming month. We are now sending an initial discussion draft out to members of the task force. They will be brought into Washington for a weeklong meeting at the beginning of April, and we hope we can finalize a first draft by the middle of the month. It will then be circulated for comment through focus groups and interviews with the government, to the IRB. A second draft will be completed, and that will be circulated to all 550 Local unions. When we get the comments back we will produce a final draft, which will go to the General President, and the general executive board for their approval. We are aiming for that process to be completed by the middle of August of this year.

At that point a massive educational program will begin. We intend to inform every member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters about what this code contains. We intend to work with the leadership of the union at every level to assure that they understand what is expected of them, how to resolve the difficult, ethical issues that arise on a day-to-day basis in running a Local union.

We are going to create an ethics office that will provide them with answers on a continuing basis as to how that code applies to specific problems that they are encountering, and update the code to make sure that it contains the latest information on what the standards are to which they will be held accountable.

To assure that we are on the right track and that it is credible, we have tried to do this in as open a way as possible. We are creating a board of advisors, which I can't identify at the moment. They are being assembled as we speak. We are going to have our first meeting of the board of advisors in Washington on April 18th. I think you will be quite, quite pleased to see the caliber of people that we have brought together who are willing to commit themselves and their reputations to assure that this process is ultimately successful. These are people, who will be household names in the fields of law enforcement, trade unionism and ethics, and they will be exposed to every facet of what we are doing so that we can get their input. They are in a position to evaluate the quality of what we have done.

We have also invited the U. S. Attorney to participate in every aspect of this program. Obviously we are going to be sending them the code of conduct for their review and comment, but we would like somebody from the U.S. Attorney's Office to come down to the task force meetings to witness the meetings, to meet the members of the task force, and to see how the process is continuing so that they can make an assessment of whether this is a sincere effort or not. We hope that they ultimately take advantage of our offer.

I think that there are two aspects of what we are doing that are probably more important than anything I have described in terms of establishing the credibility that this union is making itself corruption-free. One is the enforcement system that you will see embodied in the code of conduct. I had the privilege of watching the task force subcommittee, which included representatives from the entire range of political views in the union, hammer out an approach to creating an enforcement system that assures that the Teamsters also have the responsibility for enforcing the rules, but assure that there will be insulation of that system against political interference. They worked out a wonderful approach, which is in the process of being considered by the task force, so I don't want to announce what it is today. I think you will be quite pleased to see that they have come up with an approach that is highly credible and that will become a model for the trade union movement to assure that its standards of ethics also be enforced and that the system will remain free of any partisanship.

The final piece that makes this effort truly credible is the commitment that Jim Hoffa has made to assure that any evidence of organized crime in the Teamsters Union will be thoroughly and professionally investigated. Jim said early on we couldn’t wait until we complete this process to take on the responsibility for going after organized crime, wherever it may be. We have 1.4 million members out there. Obviously there will be efforts by racketeers to continue to hang onto power or to infiltrate the union. We need to find out what those are, and we need to do something about it. We can't sit around waiting for the development of the code of conduct or the enforcement system to do that.

So we came up with a procedure. That procedure calls for a special group of former FBI agents. It is the same group that have been identified in the RISE project, who will be conducting the organized crime study, that describes who they are, and what their backgrounds are. That special group of FBI agents will have independent authority to investigate organized crime activities wherever those activities may occur within the union and to prepare and submit a detailed report. On the basis of that report, a determination will be made about whether charges should be filed and action taken by the union.

The union is perfectly capable, even under today's procedures, of taking action against members who violate standards of conduct, especially those relating to organized crime. As we sit here today, there are active organized crime investigations that have been undertaken by this group, which is out there working right now to assure any leads, or any accusations of organized crime are thoroughly investigated under the auspices of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

So there are more than just promises that have been made. Over the last 6 months action has been taken to implement an extraordinarily ambitious plan that I am very confident is going to be successful. I travel around the country much as President Hoffa does speaking to groups of Teamsters. I spoke at an eastern regional meeting in New Jersey, I spoke at a southern regional meeting, and I have spoken at other groups around the country. The response that I get is uniform. It is uniformly supportive of what it is that we are doing. And it is not supportive simply because it will result, hopefully, in an end to government control of the union. All of the members that I deal with, no matter what their backgrounds, no matter what part of the union they come from, hope that the government will one day be out of their union. But it is more than that.

The membership I talk to truly want to have a set of standards of conduct that they can hold up to their friends, and to their communities that state this is what the Teamsters are all about. We are not racketeers, we are not thugs, and we are not corrupt. We are hard-working men and women who care about our union, who care about our families. And they see Project RISE as a step toward restoring their self-respect, because, you see, that is what the presence of the government in the union deprives the membership of. It costs a lot of money, but it also costs self-respect, and it is self-respect they would like to see restored within this union. They are prepared to accept a system of accountability that will be created by the RISE Task Force, so long as it is fair, and even-handed.

And I hope along with the members of this union, that a year from now when somebody sees this lapel pin that I have that says RISE on it, it will be as synonymous with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and integrity as the well-known Teamsters seal is. I think that Project RISE should become an integral part of this great union.

As President Hoffa said, my philosophy as a trustee of Teamsters Local 560 is that no effort at government oversight can be successful until it ends. I hope that Project RISE helps the government make this a success. Thank you.





Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you very much. Thanks for being here.

We will go, roughly, to the 5-minute rule for questioning.

Mr. Roemer. How rough?

Chairman Hoekstra. A little rougher for me than for you.

Mr. Roemer. That is an honest answer.

Chairman Hoekstra. Mr. Hoffa, thank you for your kind words about the work of the Subcommittee. Over the last couple of years, we have taken the work very, very seriously.

One of the things that we expressed back in our report in February of 1999 was the concern about the seriousness of the Justice Department in pursuing the investigation. We had asked the labor Department to do an ICAP or a comprehensive audit of the Teamsters' books. They did it. They reached the same agreement with the Second District of New York that this Subcommittee did, which was not to interfere with "ongoing criminal investigations." So the Labor Department did not audit certain disbursements, including those related to the November Group, the National Council of Senior Citizens, the Pro-democratic Election Funds, Access Enterprises, or the Democratic National Committee. It goes on to list 14 different organizations that the Labor Department would not audit at the request of the Department of Justice, Second District.

Recently Mr. Hamilton was sentenced and received something less than the standard sentencing guidelines dictate. One of the points that the judge used to issue a lighter sentence was Hamilton's statement that by preserving the Carey administration, in other words by embezzling, conspiring, and making false statements to a court-appointed election officer and a grand jury, he was doing what he thought was in the best interest of the union. This is an interesting rationale for a judge, a law official to use, which in effect is saying, "well, you had the best interests of the union at heart, so it doesn't really matter that you were embezzling and you were conspiring and making false statements." "And, you know, by the way, you just happened to be stealing from your own rank and file, which is a problem."

Taking a look at what has gone on, I am thinking that you share some of those same feelings, because I guess it was in the U.S. News and World recently that one of these days you may file a RICO suit. U.S. News said that Mr. Hoffa is going to wait until he testifies on March 28th. I am sure you have seen the article and you wouldn't want to answer any tough questions about that in front of this Subcommittee.

Can you or Mr. Stier with your backgrounds give us your reactions or the reactions of rank-and-file members who have witnessed all of these things going on, such as $800,000 to $1 million being laundered, the depletion of the funds, three people pleading guilty, and over a 2-1/2-year period nothing else really happening? What are your reactions to what is going on in the Second District of New York, and the status of your RICO suit? And, of course, we will acknowledge that those people also have a significant impact on your future under the consent decree. So if you could just give us some comments or whatever, I would appreciate that.

Mr. Hoffa. Well, I mean, we had a loss in our union of approximately $850,000, so one of our goals was obviously to recover that money. And to that extent, under Landrum-Griffin, the Teamsters Union is bonded, and we have sued and are talking settlement right now with our bonding company. We are looking in the area of perhaps a half-a-million-dollar settlement there, but that has not been finalized yet.

We have considered filing a RICO lawsuit that involves a number of the people that have been named by the different prosecutions, such as Ron Carey, William Hamilton, Jerry Nash, Martin Davis, Michael Ansara and Charles Blitz. All these people have either pled guilty or been found guilty, and we intend to start a RICO lawsuit against them.

But there is one proceeding going on right now with regard to Judge Griesa, who is a Federal judge in New York. He is basically addressing the issue of restitution by all of these different people, and he is the sentencing judge on a number of these Teamster-related cases. We have written a victims statement to him telling about what damage has been done to the Teamsters Union, and as he sentences people, he is going to make a decision with regard to restitution. We are urging him to seek restitution from all of these people, some of whom are quite wealthy, in order to get this money back into our treasury.

That being said, we have drafted the RICO case, and it is just about ready to go, but we wanted to wait until the sentencing of Hamilton. We wanted to wait until Judge Griesa makes his decision with regard to restitution.

The other thing with regard to the investigation is it certainly took a long time. I know that this Committee wanted to do an awful lot and was told by the U.S. attorney, don't do anything, it is under investigation. I just wonder to what extent that was done to slow the Committee down? I do not think things have moved very fast in the U.S. Attorney's Office with regard to those prosecutions, and I just don't know where they are going. They don't seem to have the zeal that you certainly see in some prosecutions.

Chairman Hoekstra. Mr. Stier.

Mr. Stier. I have nothing to add.

Chairman Hoekstra. I think that is one of the reasons we are very frustrated. We, I think, acted in good faith with the Southern District and made the agreement not to pursue certain avenues so as not to jeopardize any investigations. It doesn't appear from our standpoint that they have vigorously followed up on a number of areas where they should have, and so we are examining our options and following some of the avenues that now in hindsight we probably should have followed up on 2 years ago. The bottom line is, the American people, the rank-and-file Teamsters and you as a newly elected leader in many cases haven't gotten the kind of answers you deserve. That is one area where the Committee can continue its work. It needs to find out exactly what did happen in that 1995 through 1998 period.

The other two areas that I am very interested in, is when will the government step up and complete the process of government oversight, and I am very interested in following and being updated on the progress that you are making and the reforms that you are putting in place within the union.

With that I will yield to my colleague Mr. Roemer.

Mr. Roemer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a couple of questions.

First of all Mr. Stier, it is interesting to me going through the process of the consent decree, what kinds of goals or standards or measurements were instituted in order to know when you met those to have this lifted? You had experience with the Local 560 in New Jersey, which was in trusteeship for 13 years. What kinds of goals in that instance were achieved that brought together the Justice Department and the union to go before the judge and get this accomplished?

Mr. Stier. Well, you can't set terribly precise objective standards in an effort to try to transform community values. However, there are some things that you can do and measure that will give you a pretty good idea of how close you are to achieving the goal of having an institution that is capable of policing itself, and that is really the objective. I mean, why is the government involved in a labor union in the first place is the question? What gets it there?

What got it involved with Local 560 is that it was a union that was so deeply controlled by organized crime that no matter what the government did by prosecuting individuals, the union would generate new racketeers and racketeering activities, and nothing internal within that union seemed capable of stopping that pattern. Something similar existed in the history of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which precipitated the government action in 1998, and it is that objective, that concern that got the government involved with the union in the first place.

That needs to be the basis for determining what ought to get the government out of the union: At what point is its objective satisfied? And so it would seem to me, as it did in Local 560, that the objective ought to be to assure that the union is capable of purging itself of racketeering and will no longer sit by and permit racketeers to exploit the union and its related benefit funds without doing anything to stop it.

Mr. Roemer. So your effort to create a committee like RISE within Local 560, helped to convince Justice to go together with the union to approach the judge and get this consent decree lifted?

Mr. Stier. Absolutely. It was to work with the executive board of Local 560, to transfer the responsibility from me to the executive board to act in the face of efforts by organized crime or any form of corruption trying to exploit the union. The executive board and the membership indicated that they were willing and ready to take on that responsibility, and I saw it as my job as the trustee to let them take on that responsibility and to evaluate how effectively they could handle it. And there came a point where it was clear to me that the leadership of Local 560 right down to shop stewards was as interested and as concerned and as capable as I was of protecting the union from organized crime, and at that point I considered my job done.

Mr. Roemer. So there are objective criteria in setting this up, such as putting together an internal apparatus such as RISE. This is what the Teamsters are doing, but it is a little bit less objective. It is more subjective in trying to judge how that is applied and how serious they are about it and how well you are rooting out organized crime at that point, because there is both objective and subjective criteria involved.

Mr. Stier. Yes, certainly.

Mr. Roemer. Let me get to President Hoffa for a quick question before my time expires.

I want to commend you, President Hoffa, for taking a stand on the RISE Committee, and going after any and all incidents of organized crime, and trying to find out if anything still exists. I think this is a crucial step in order to get the consent decree lifted.

There will be critics that say this is an internal body, and it is self-serving. You mention in your testimony that you have former FBI agents that are going to help put this together. Can you talk a little bit more how you are ensuring the integrity and reliability of RISE?

Mr. Hoffa. Well, again, I would like to refer back to Ed Stier before I do that. We do have ex-FBI agents, especially James Costler who is working very closely with us. He has opened the door to a number of consultations with the Bureau itself to aid us. They have been helpful and forthcoming in figuring out ways to have enforcement with regard to organized crime.

Mr. Roemer. These are former FBI agents that have had contacts with active FBI agents?

Mr. Hoffa. That is right. We also have retained a number of ex-FBI agents from different strategic areas like New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit, who have bases there. These are people that are available to work with us as consultants to help us with our study of organized crime within the Teamsters. They are going into certain Locals that have perhaps been named in the original consent decree to see what the status is to make sure that whatever might have been 11 years ago doesn't exist today. So that is part of our study.

Also, Ed Stier mentioned the fact that we are going to have an advisory council of some of the top people in the country who are going to come on board. We are not going to name them today, but with regard to the history of RICO they are known as top law enforcement people who have written extensively about union democracy. These people will be coming on and be announced soon, and that will be one of our core groups.

So I think if you get these sorts of people together, you realize this isn't some kind of a mechanism that we are trying. It has integrity, it has outsiders, and it has people who are not loyal to me. These are people outside of law enforcement that I don't know, but Ed Stier knows through his law enforcement background, who are going to help us with this project.

Ed, could you amplify on that?

Mr. Stier. Sure. The kinds of people that we want to bring to the table are the kinds of people who are going to be able to look at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in an historical context. They will be able to tell you and the American public just exactly what the situation is today and how far this union has come from the conditions that led to the government intervention in the first place. I think that they will do it very credibly.

But President Hoffa mentioned something that I would like to amplify for just a moment, and that is the FBI and the Department of Labor. I believe and I have been encouraged by Pat Szymanski and President Hoffa to reach out to the FBI and the U. S. Department of Labor to try to build bridges of communication, and relationships between the union and those agencies. In the future the union won't be isolated, and won't view itself as the victim of Federal law enforcement. It will recognize that the Federal law enforcement community is there to help the union in the event that people are committing crimes and the membership is being victimized.

We will have the contacts, and we will have the self-assurance to reach out to people within the Department of Labor, and the Office of Inspector General, as well as the FBI. And it is my hope that during Project RISE we will be able to develop a better understanding within the union of who these people are in law enforcement and how they can be helpful to the union down the road. The Project will also help sensitize people in Federal law enforcement to the particular needs and concerns of the union in the event that they have to investigate some misconduct that may occur within the union. I am very optimistic, and very encouraged by the response that I have gotten from the Department of Labor and from the FBI. They see this as a major outgrowth of Project RISE.

Beyond what the union is going to do for itself down the road, I think we are going to restore public confidence that the Teamsters Union is in a position to open itself up when appropriate to scrutiny by law enforcement agencies. This will add another layer of protection for the public against any future exploitation of the union.

Mr. Roemer. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Chairman Hoekstra. I hope, Mr. Scott, you recognized that I was rougher with Mr. Roemer's time than I was with my own. To correct that, Mr. Roemer has used your 5 minutes, and he has used 30 seconds of Mr. Kind's.

Mr. Hoffa, regarding your kind comments about the work of the Subcommittee, the work couldn't have been done without two Members on the Majority side who were there. They came to the extra hearings when we weren't in session and they were there to make the tough votes, to go after some of the information that we needed to get and finally got, and in some cases to break the logjams loose. So I would like to yield to my colleague Mr. Norwood.

Mr. Norwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and President Hoffa. I am delighted you are here. We thank you for that. I want to say to Chairman Hoekstra how pleased I am with the work, and how you have led this Subcommittee over the last 2 years. I actually believe there has been some very positive change.

With that, Mr. Hoffa, would you agree that your union and the men and women in your union are better off today than they were 2 years ago?

Mr. Hoffa. Absolutely. I think they have benefited from all the procedures and the fact that we have had a good election. I think that there is a new unity, and a new feeling, and new quickness of our step, and new commitment to our goals.

Mr. Norwood. Well, that typifies my gut feeling about it, too. I think we should get only a small bit of the credit, but I believe it underlines the importance of the duties and work of a Congressional oversight committee.

With that in mind, one of the things we are really seeking is the truth. I never had a dog in this hunt. I wasn't pro-Carey, anti-Carey, pro-Hoffa, anti-Hoffa, but I was very much and still am for the men and women in your union. I totally agree with you that the sooner we can get the government out of your business, the better off the folks will be in your union.

I believe strongly in self-determination and self-governance, and I think this is where you are trying to go. Because I believe so strongly in those things, I am going to ask you some tough questions. They are not designed to bust your chops, they are designed to help you help yourself and improve the credibility of your union, by making it corruption-free.

In trying to seek the truth, people have to come willingly and talk about it. One of the people who would not do that, and it bothers me still to this day, is Mr. Trumka. He either said, "I won't come," or he said, "If you subpoena me, I will take the fifth." Now, that doesn't get us to the truth. This is as candid and honest a question as I can ask, but I don't understand how he is still a member in good standing, because no matter what he might or might not have said, it makes the union look bad.

Since we are going to be very candid for the next 5 minutes, I want to tell you that there is speculation about the IBT taking a $500,000 grant from AFL-CIO as some type of quid pro quo for refraining from naming Richard Trumka in any civil action. Now, I want to give you the opportunity to set the record straight over that.

Mr. Hoffa. Well, I have seen that in print, and I can tell you that it is not true. The Teamsters Union is the largest affiliate of the AFL-CIO. We pay over $9 million per capita a year to the AFL-CIO in that role, especially with a union that has come on as we have. With the financial crisis that I mentioned to you whereby the Carey administration had squandered over $100 million out of our treasury, we certainly felt that because we are the largest union, and we contribute so much, that we would not be out of line to ask them for assistance. The $500,000 that we did receive went to the RISE program, and it was part of other moneys we received from them. They are not reparations, as one of the articles said.

Mr. Norwood. I just wanted to give you the opportunity to respond. I certainly understand with the amount of dues you pay into AFL-CIO, they ought to be helping you out at a time like this. But the fact is Trumka made everybody look bad, and I would encourage you to encourage Mr. Sweeney to get him to come talk to us. We are not after him; we simply want the whole truth so we can act rationally.

I am not necessarily going to dwell on organized crime or racketeering, although I know that is sort of what got the government involved with you. My time is going to run out, and I will be back in a minute.

Let me ask this question: The Teamsters have basically denied responsibility for the widespread violence that has occurred during the ongoing strike against Overnite Transportation Company. Now, how does that denial square with the fact that State courts in 20 cities, including Memphis and Nashville, and in 14 States have issued injunctions against Teamsters' violence?

Some of these courts have made findings of fact regarding Teamsters' responsibility, and others have issued the injunctions actually with the consent of the Teamsters Locals. My whole afternoon is going to be headed in that direction, but I am worried about that because at a time when I want you to get rid of government influence as badly as you want to, what is going on down there is not helping any of us. This is a question that everybody is thinking about, may not want to talk about, but we need to clear the air on.

Mr. Hoffa. You know, our strike has been going on for 23 weeks in terminals all over the country, and I can tell you that it is one of the most peaceful strikes that we have ever had.

I practice labor law. When you get injunctions, sometimes you have too many picketers or you have eight people, and the judge will enter an order and say, you can have four picketers. I have done that. I have made those agreements. So that is not something that is new when you practice labor law, which I did for 25 years.

But what I would like to say is that, number one we are against violence. From the very onset of this strike, we made sure that all of our materials that were sent out said that this was to be a peaceful strike, and that we had to make sure that we had the confidence and backing of the public if we were going to be successful in this strike. And we have endeavored as an international union in all of our literature, which I think we have supplied you with, to announce that we want everything to be peaceful at all times, and that there be no violence. If anybody became exuberant or something, they would be asked to leave the picket line. I think that has been our instructions throughout.

As you know, we have even had Senator Bill Bradley on our picket line. We have had Vice President Al Gore on our picket line. I have been on our picket lines throughout the country. I have seen no violence. I think the fact that there have been some injunctions with regard to the massing of pickets, or blocking of trucks, is very common. That does happen, and I have been involved in agreements that say instead of 10 pickets, you have 5 pickets.

I would like to address one other thing that I know probably troubles you. It is the allegation with regard to a shooting in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mr. Norwood. I understand there have been about 45 shootings.

Mr. Hoffa. Well, this is one that I think most people have talked about. As a primary allegation, I know that Overnite has sent people to Capitol Hill, and they have talked to a lot of my friends who are Republicans and Democrats and shown them videos. I think it is really a smear campaign because we are winning that strike, and they are desperate to try and somehow regain some type of edge with us.

But with regard to one of the more serious allegations, it had to do with an allegation made by Overnite that somehow the Teamsters Union was responsible for a shooting that took place in Memphis, Tennessee, in December of 1999. What Overnite does not tell you is that the shot was apparently fired from a freeway overpass far from any terminals or any picket lines. They don't tell you that the truck was not followed or was not the subject of picketing. They don't tell you that other trucks in the Memphis area, not Overnite trucks, have been shot at. Even I have been told there was a driver that was killed in West Memphis, Arkansas, which is near Memphis. He was shot, and it was a Snyder truck that had nothing to do with Overnite.

I would also like to tell you that with regard to Memphis, the Deputy Police Chief Walter Crews has stated that he has found no connection between the shooting of this poor, unfortunate individual and the Teamsters strike. So I just wanted to make that point clear.

It is a big strike, and we have been very careful to make sure that we enlist the public's support. We have worked very hard to make sure that we keep it peaceful, and we know how important that is so that we have public support for what we are doing.

Mr. Norwood. It will be my responsibility to remember where we left off, so we will start right back there in a minute.

Chairman Hoekstra. Mr. Scott.

Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and, Mr. Hoffa, welcome. I want to follow up on one of the things that Mr. Stier suggested, about the need in Local 560 for a trusteeship. Was there a need 11 years ago for the government to take over the Teamsters Union?

Mr. Hoffa. Well, I think that something could have been done to a lesser degree. It is a great question as to whether they should have come in there, and in hindsight it is 11 years ago. I think the union should have been working to clean itself up. I think Rudy Giuliani was involved in that consent decree at that time, and my predecessors in office did sign a consent decree. There is no doubt about that. I mean, that is the fact, and so for whatever reason, they signed a consent decree back then, and since that time there has been a lot of progress.

It is left up to debate whether it should have been done at that time. The answer is, it was done and the Teamsters signed the consent decree. So I think it speaks for itself.

Mr. Scott. And as a result there is less corruption in the union than there was then?

Mr. Hoffa. Absolutely. If you look at the people who were named in the caption of that case, they are all gone. Of course, it has been 11 years. We have had elections. The union is, I think, one of the cleanest unions of any union right now on the labor scene. Organized crime has been eliminated, and there are no people who have connection with organized crime in the union today. We are ever vigilant of that, and we are going to make sure that it stays that way, and I think the government also realizes that.

Mr. Scott. Now, one of the concerns I have about government control, in particular Congressional oversight, is the attack on the privacy of the union. We subpoenaed en masse tape recordings of your general executive board meetings, not just the minutes, not just the tapes of those portions for which certain subjects were being discussed, but all of them, so that we could listen in on your executive board meetings. Do you have a concern about lack of privacy when there is this kind of oversight and this kind of broad-brush subpoena power?

Mr. Hoffa. Well, I think that it is something we have to be careful about. I think it has to be used judiciously as long as we are looking at relevant documents, but I don't think we should have broad fishing expeditions. But if something is relevant, I don't have a problem with anything that's relevant.

Mr. Scott. If somebody asked for all the executive board meeting tapes for years, is that too broad a brush?

Mr. Hoffa. I think you would have to show the relevancy. I mean, is there a certain year or a certain meeting that you want? Then I would think that would be relevant. I think it might be too broad to ask for everything, but kind of narrow it down.

Mr. Scott. Mr. Hoffa, you brought up the issue of the auditors. Who picked the independent auditors?

Mr. Hoffa. The U.S. Attorney did.

Mr. Scott. Now you have your own auditors?

Mr. Hoffa. We have all kinds of auditors. We have AV and Company, which is one of the top CPA firms, especially with regard to labor unions and preparation of particular documents. They are retained by the IBT, and these people are duplicating everything they do. Plus we have Arthur Andersen going over our internal controls. So we have got all these people doing the same work over and over again.

Mr. Scott. Just for the record, is there any question about the competency of your auditors?

Mr. Hoffa. There is no question about our auditors.

Mr. Scott. Now, it is my understanding that the government auditors have to pre-approve all of your expenditures?

Mr. Hoffa. Absolutely, and they hold up expenditures that are passed by the executive board of the Teamsters Union. Let’s say we want to make an allocation for expenditures. We will have to wait weeks, and sometimes months to get those bills paid. We have to go down there, we have to argue with them, and then they say, well, we have been busy and we haven't had a chance to look at them.

For instance, I will give you an example. We wanted to make certain political contributions. Those contributions were held up for months.

Mr. Scott. Do they have the right to deny or question whom you contribute to?

Mr. Hoffa. They think they do. No one knows what their criteria are, but they have repeatedly held up, sometimes for months and years, bills that have to be paid. At one point there is a story that they stopped payment on bills, and American Express cancelled our American Express card. We were in default. They were going to sue us. That is how bad it got.

I will give you another example. Ed Stier has been retained for his expertise and his law firm. He has done extensive work that I think all of us agree is necessary and good work. He obviously has expenses. He has people on his payroll that are overseeing the Project RISE program, and his law firm had sent legal bills in. Months went by, they were unpaid, and we had to raise holy hell. We asked, " how are we going to do this program if you will not approve his bills?" And they had no reason. They were bills that were properly submitted, but they just held them up and held them up.

I know that Ed Stier was concerned about it, and I absolutely was. It affected our anticorruption program. We couldn't pay the people who were working on the anticorruption program because they wouldn't approve the bills. We have had nothing but problems with these people stopping payments on bills that are obviously of a routine nature.

Mr. Scott. Do they question your priorities?

Mr. Hoffa. No, I don't know what they question. It is a different criterion for everything. The executive board says we want to do this with our money, and it is passed by the duly elected executive board. That is the highest authority except for the convention in this union, and they still hold those bills for months. The Ed Stier example is probably the best one I can think of where they held this bill up for months and months and months. He couldn't run his law firm, and he couldn't go ahead with the RISE program until he raised hell with this auditor and asked, "what are you doing?" The auditor said finally, "oh, yeah, I will approve it."

Chairman Hoekstra. Just to make sure you understand, don't get nervous about this Subcommittee subpoenaing your tapes from your executive board meetings. The last executive board had squandered $20 million of taxpayer money. They would have ripped off their own union members. The Leadership, I think, at that time had already indicated they were going to take the fifth rather than come and tell us what was going on within the Teamsters. Actually when we finally did get the tapes, if my memory is correct, they were reviewed by an independent third party to determine their relevancy to the investigation by this Subcommittee.

I will yield.

Mr. Scott. Mr. Chairman?

Chairman Hoekstra. Yes?

Mr. Scott. Where were the tapes all the time they were in our possession?

Chairman Hoekstra. I believe they were with an independent person the entire time.

Mr. Scott. Did we ever get the tapes?

Chairman Hoekstra. Yes, we did get the tapes. I mean, did the Republicans have the tapes and the Democrats have tapes for us to listen to?

Mr. Scott. Yes.

Chairman Hoekstra. No. They were under a third party is my recollection of exactly how the agreement was reached in a bipartisan way.

Mr. Hilleary.

Mr. Hilleary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

President Hoffa, Mr. Stier, thank you for being here. Mr. Chairman, thank you for your leadership on this Subcommittee. I think we have done some good things, and I think we have put in an awful lot of hard work. And we can argue about how bipartisan it was or wasn't, but I think we have had pretty good results. It is certainly an oversight function of this Subcommittee to have hearings like this and other ones. Anyway, it has been an eye-opening experience for me, and I think worthy of the taxpayer funds that we have spent on it.

President Hoffa, I was at Bristol Speedway on Sunday at a Winston Cup event and one of the folks in our truck was a Teamster, and I guess the other five of us were "wannabe" Teamsters by your definition. We were discussing all the things that we are discussing here. He was very interested in getting all this behind him and behind the union.

I applaud your efforts, but I want to take up from where my friend from Georgia left off, if he doesn't mind, and talk about this strike with Overnite. You mentioned that this is one of the more peaceful strikes you have ever had. Now, our information says there has been 45 shootings during the course of the strike, and the strike has not been going on that long. I don't know what the definition of a peaceful or violent strike is, but this sounds pretty violent to me. About half of these shootings have occurred in Tennessee, not really close to my district, but pretty close.

What are you doing? Do you feel like this is a concern of yours? Have you identified anyone, either Teamsters or Teamster officials, associated with any of these shootings, and if so, have you done anything to discipline them?

Mr. Hoffa. Well, as I said, throughout the strike we have made sure that we have advised everybody to act in a peaceful, lawful fashion, and I know that in the material we have sent out, and every message we send out, we make sure that we follow this up in a peaceful, legal fashion. I have been through National Master Freight strikes, I have been through UPS strikes, and I have seen some violence. There have been a lot of bad strikes.

For a strike of this size and duration, 23 weeks, it has been relatively peaceful.

I have never heard the figure, 45 shootings, and probably the best proof of that is that no one has ever been caught. Now, it is hard to imagine that we have all of these and I have never heard that number. And like I said, the one thing we did have in Memphis, they found that other trucks had been shot out, and then another man was killed for a different trucking company.

Mr. Hilleary. Instead of repeating that, if I could, let me just give you a few examples from your Appleton plant. It says, "Teamsters picketer displayed a shotgun to an Overnite driver. Police responded to 911 calls, arrested the Teamsters picketer, and confiscated the shotgun and rifle. The Wisconsin State court entered a permanent injunction barring the picketer from coming back to the Hoover night terminal. Police have charged him with disorderly conduct with a weapon."

In Farmingdale, at your terminal there, police arrested one of the picketers, trying to find another picketer that was involved with an altercation there. Another Farmingdale incident, 3rd of March, Overnite city driver assaulted by a union driver of one of the competitors who opened a cab, apparently threatened to kill the Overnite driver, called him a racial slur, punched him in the mouth. The police arrested the suspect for that punch in the mouth.

Anyway, there are several of them. A retiree who had worked at Overnite before, I guess, had come back and worked for them during the strike, was beaten at the gate by a picketer. The Teamsters returned the picketer to the picket line after he posted bail. They erected a poster celebrating what the fellow had done.

I know you can't know about all these instances. Apparently there is a fair enough number of documented instances of fairly significant violence. I guess my question comes back to do you have any kind of process in place to identify these folks to discipline them in any way?

Mr. Hoffa. Well, obviously we are against any type of violence, and if somebody does get caught doing that, they should be prosecuted if that is what has happened. If those are the facts, we think those people should be excluded from the picket line so that the public and any Overnite workers are not endangered. Those people should not be allowed back on the picket line. I believe that, and I think that we should be every vigilant. You say these one or two incidents have happened. I think we should be very aware of that. And as I said, one of our directives is, if anybody becomes involved in violence or any type of activity, they should not be allowed back on the picket line. That is one of our instructions to protect the public, to protect our individuals and to also protect Overnite people.

You have to also remember that a lot of people who are still working for Overnite today are really our supporters, but could not come out and picket, and they say that when the vote comes. "I have voted for the union, but because my family or my child is sick, I need the coverage, I can't come out right now."

So we have to understand that many of the people who are still driving are people that are still supportive of us, and we know we don't want to turn those people off by anything like that. That is why I think that these are scattered incidents. It is not part of anything that is directed by anyone. It is just they might have happened.

A couple of things I would like to tell you, I don't want to take up your time, but not only have there been acts of violence that you were talking about, but there are acts of violence that have happened to some of our people who work for Overnite. I have Donna Stapp with me, who is this lady right here, and she is an Overnite driver who was assaulted on Overnite property when she went to the restroom at the Salt Lake City Overnite terminal. She was beaten severely and stomped, and the FBI has interviewed her. She had a black eye, a bad lip, and 32 bruises on her body. The FBI is investigating that incident because they think Overnite instigated it.

We also have Mr. Culberson here. He is a man who was assaulted by supervisors. He is a 16-year Overnite employee at the Atlanta terminal. These are real, live Overnite employees who have been the victims of violence by Overnite supervisors.

We also have Paul Holder here, a dockworker from Memphis, Tennessee. Other workers at the Overnite threatened him. This is the gentleman right here.

There are incidents that happen on both sides. These people have been victims and have been beaten up. They have reported their activities to the police so that hopefully somebody such as the person, who beat Donna Stapp, can be found, so that she won't be beaten up again. She is an Overnite driver and a very courageous person.

I think we have to hope and make sure temperatures are down on both sides. This is a very serious matter. It is a matter where temperatures sometimes rise high, and I think everybody has to make sure that everybody abides by the law the best they can.

Mr. Hilleary. Thank you.

Chairman Hoekstra. I think that is what we hope happens, a Teamsters culture wherein the procedures that you have put in place under your regime do start filtering down; a leadership that does not tolerate violence that will adhere to the law.

I think you are absolutely correct. If you are going to get public support, it has to be a different kind of Teamsters than what people have identified the Teamsters with in the past. That is a standard that has to be adhered to by the Teamsters and by the other parties that are involved in the dispute. Historically, Congress is more neutral in that activity. What we want to do is make sure that both sides adhere to the law, and both sides have practices in place that discipline and take to task members within their organizations that don't adhere to the law or the standards that they have set internally.

Thank you. Mr. Kind.

Mr. Kind. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, want to thank the witnesses for your very candid and forthright testimony here today. President Hoffa, I want to commend you for the efforts that you have made in taking over the leadership at IBT, and in implementing the reforms in order to restore integrity, and respect the 1.4 million members of the IBT really and truly deserve.

Mr. Stier, I want to commend you for your efforts, first in your role as trustee of 560 and now for your continuing involvement in helping with the reforms at IBT. I think you have brought to past hearings such as this and now to this hearing today an incredible amount of integrity and credibility as far as what is happening, and we certainly appreciate that.

I want to shift focus again to the future, and especially the status of the consent decree. I want to ask you your opinion on the best timing for when the consent decree could be lifted, in light of the fact that I believe that it was no small measure that there was a consent decree and election overseers in place during the 1996 campaign that ultimately uncovered the illegalities and the improprieties that had taken place. I know some people feel it has been a waste of taxpayer money having the consent decree for such a long period of time. I feel that it has served the exact purpose for which it was intended in that last election, being able to uncover a lot of the wrongdoings that had occurred.

I know there is a lot of frustration with regard to the ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office, but again, I just encourage a little patience in that regard. As a former prosecutor I had a lot of white-collar criminal cases myself, especially those involving embezzlement. The last thing any U.S. Attorney or any U.S. Prosecutor wants to do is to move forward on charges without having an airtight or complete case; because people's reputations are on the line. Once the bell is rung, you can't "un-ring" it, especially when you don't have the cooperation of indicted individuals or witnesses who want to come forward and cooperate with the investigation.

It is going to take a little bit more time, and I don't think it is the proper role of this Subcommittee or, quite frankly, anyone else on the outside to be looking over the shoulder of the U.S. Attorney's Office as they move forward in what should be a nonpolitical, nonpartisan charging decision during the course of the investigation. There has been some concern in regards to our oversight in that regard. I commend the Chair for acknowledging, during the last session of Congress, the sensitivity that these investigations required and recognizing the potential, for us in our zeal to arrive at the truth on our own, to interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation. I think the U.S. Attorney's Office needs some time in order to build the case they feel confident enough to move forward on.

But with regard to the consent decree, I would like to elicit your opinions on when you feel the best timing would occur, given the fact that we don't have elections scheduled for next year. We have the RISE program, and I commend both of you for your leadership in trying to implement it, but it still needs feedback from the membership and has to go to the executive board, I believe, later this year. I think the timetable is sometime this fall for the executive board to sign off on it, and hopefully if everything is still on track, implementation of the new RISE program will begin at the start of next year. But in light of that, when do you feel would be an appropriate time to seriously consider lifting the consent decree?

Mr. Hoffa. I believe it is now. We are 1 year into our administration. We are 11 years under the consent decree. We are $88 million out of the members' money, and I think it is time for the U.S. Attorney to take a fresh look at this. Unfortunately, the U.S. Attorney is not taking a look at this. The U.S. Attorney, from what I can gather, has a mindset for more of the same. That is we are going to be doing this 11 years from now and another $88 million. I don't think they are serious about looking at how to accomplish the end of the consent decree.

I agree with something that was said here earlier, that a successful consent decree is one that accomplishes its goals and ends. It is not its purpose to have a union under a consent decree in perpetuity or the next hundred years. There has to be this fresh look. There has to be a look at the Teamsters today. We are not the union we were in 1989. We are a completely new union. We have a climate of democracy. We have had three democratic elections, which didn't exist prior to the consent decree. It was a completely different process of electing people.

I am here like you are here. I was sent here by the membership. The people of your district sent you here. You know what that means, and it should mean something to the U.S. Attorney. It doesn't, evidently. It doesn't mean anything to her, and they are just not taking at a fresh look.

What we should start doing today is talking, and setting some goals. What is it that we want to accomplish, what has been done and what has not been done, what is the next step? That is what they will not tell us. They will not tell us what the next step is. Are we just going to keep doing what we are doing? We have the consent decree, we will have the RISE program, we will have the auditors, we will have this, and nothing changes. Unfortunately this is where we are, and we cannot get them into a meaningful dialogue where in the next 6 months we can try to accomplish this goal. Let’s set some goals that we want to accomplish mutually, and then when we accomplish those, we are ready to move to the next step of ending the government's running of the Teamsters Union.

That is what is so frustrating. They will not engage in a meaningful dialogue, and their only answer is more of the same, more of the same. Unfortunately, I really do think that those running this, instead of seeing that progress is being made are digging their heels in saying, "we are going to be here a long time."

Let’s face it. It is a fact that there are millions of dollars going out to law firms, and to people who are working on their second pensions, and I don't think they want this to end. I think they want it to go on forever, and that is very troubling. It is troubling to me because I have a responsibility to the 1.4 million members.

Mr. Kind. Mr. Chairman, I would like to get Mr. Stier's response to that, if I may.

Mr. Stiers, I hope you would agree that when the consent decree is lifted it is very important that it is done in an objective, unbiased and nonpartisan way. It can't smack of any type of political consideration at all from members of this Subcommittee, this Congress or anything that is involved in the political arena. I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Mr. Stier. Let me just pick up on that thought. I think you are absolutely right, that this government intervention has to end on the merits. It has to end because it is the time to end it. If we want to restore the reputation, and self-respect of the union, it has got to be based on the realization that the membership of this union is trustworthy, not that they have more political clout than somebody else does.

I think there is something that has been missing from the process. For those in this room who were former prosecutors, I think you will agree with me that it is very unusual for prosecutors to be able to sit down with people that they deal with and to give them some sort of guidance on how to obey the law. The role of the prosecutor is to say to the public, you do what you are going to do, and we will tell you whether you violated the law when you do it.

Having responsibilities for a trusteeship is a very different kind of role for a prosecutor. In order for a prosecutor to do it effectively, the prosecutor has to stop thinking like a prosecutor and start thinking more like a social scientist, in a more constructive way. A prosecutor has to be prepared to work with the institution that is under trusteeship in order to make the changes that are necessary for the institution to free itself from government control.

The piece that I think has been missing in this process is that willingness on the part of the prosecutors to step forward and say, let us sit down across the table and talk in a very open, informal way about where you are today and what it is going to take to bring this to an end. How much of the restraints that were imposed, after all, 10 years ago when the union was under a heavy influence of organized crime, can we now remove? How much can we step back to give you the responsibility for taking care of your own problems?

Government doesn't have to negotiate an abrupt end to this as if the case were over and there is no longer any court oversight. In the Local 560 case, for example, the court has retained jurisdiction so that if there is backsliding, the court can step back in and can re-impose trusteeship or some other form of relief. But Local 560 is no longer in a trusteeship. It is free to operate just like any other labor union, without any kind of intervention, without the intrusions into the privacy of the union that currently exist.

What I would suggest is that the government begin to think in terms of how it can step back, how it can let us take responsibility, why, how can it stop thinking about this union in a static way as though it is dealing with the Teamsters of 10 years ago, and how can it start thinking about the Teamsters as the Teamsters of the year 2000? If we can begin to open up that dialogue, I think that we will find an answer to this problem very quickly, because I see it from the inside, and I see what this union is made of today, and I can tell you that it is a trustworthy institution that truly represents the interests of its members. Wherever there are problems, and there are going to be problems, this union is committed to finding solutions to those problems and doing something about them. That is really what this whole effort was all about in the first place.

Mr. Kind. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Hoekstra. Just reacting to Mr. Kind's comments there. I am thankful for the oversight by your campaign in 1996 and after the election in 1996. I am thankful that this Subcommittee had the opportunity and the mandate from Congress to take a look at it. My guess is if we would have had patience with the Southern District in their pursuits, and if you hadn't been involved with oversight, and if we hadn't been given the oversight function, today we would be talking to President Ron Carey, and we would be talking about 11 more years of consent decree and another $88 to $100 million.

I don't see much that warrants having patience with them, especially in their criminal investigations. If I remember back to 1996 or early 1997, I think we were days if not hours from Barbara Zack Quindel certifying that election, and that would have been a great travesty. I think we were that close to that happening until you got involved with the oversight. We started looking into it and certification of that election at that time, with the information available was put on hold, because we had to do more looking before we could certify that election, and that wasn't coming from the Southern District.

Mr. Tancredo.

Mr. Tancredo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Hoffa, thank you very much for coming today and for your testimony. It has been elucidative.

I have a question that actually may sound rhetorical to both you and Mr. Stier, but there is a purpose in it, and I think it is just important to get it on the record. Do you agree that along with the efforts that you gave to developing the projects you have described so far, all designed to make sure that the union becomes something that we all can be proud of, Project RISE and the like, that almost as important is the avoidance of even the appearance of impropriety at this point in time in the union's history? Would you agree that that is a very important, if not as important, goal?

Mr. Hoffa. Obviously it is important for us to conduct ourselves according to the ideals that we espouse, and we do that.

Mr. Tancredo. Mr. Stier, would you also agree that is an important goal?

Mr. Stier. I think appearances are important, but unfortunately they can be very subjective, and I always advocate having as objective a set of standards as is possible.

Mr. Tancredo. But in a situation like this, and in situations you have experienced during the time you have been there, certainly you know this union has been through, and you know all of the problems that are inherent in it. Wouldn't it be a judicious point to make at this time, or anytime during your consultation with the people for whom you work, that it is extremely important to avoid even the appearance of impropriety? Would you agree that would be an important point to make?

Mr. Stier. Yes, thank you. I will accept that.

Mr. Tancredo. Thank you.

Let us go back then, with that on the record, to this contribution that someone could construe as a quid pro quo for the Teamsters not to file a RICO lawsuit against Mr. Trumka, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer. There were contributions from AFL-CIO totaling approximately, $600,000 I think it was, $100,000 in work force benefits, and $500,000 for the Teamsters organizing campaign against Overnite. Mr. Trumka had taken the fifth approximately a year earlier. There were certainly a lot of grounds to believe that he would have been an important witness in the RICO case that was being made at the time, and then this contribution comes.

If you want us to step back as you have just so eloquently requested and not look at the year 2000 Teamsters as we would have looked at the Teamsters in the year 1990, then it seems to me that one of the things we need to do is to avoid even the appearance of impropriety that is brought about by something like this.

Although I am sure, Mr. Stier, you did not have any role to play in this or any decision in accepting money, I guess I am wondering Mr. Hoffa, in light of what you have just said about the appearance of impropriety, do you still think it was proper for you to accept the money? Would you even consider returning it at this point?

Mr. Hoffa. First of all, I did think it was proper. I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think it was proper. As I said, we are the largest per capita payer into the AFL-CIO. We are 10 percent of their budget.

Mr. Tancredo. I am not saying anything was wrong in doing it. Don't get me wrong. It may have been absolutely appropriate, legal, ethical, and all the rest of it. I am talking about the appearance of impropriety given the circumstances we have laid out here.

Mr. Hoffa. We did the right thing. This is the proper money for proper union activities. This is not a quid pro quo with regard to anything with regard to Trumka. That being said, there is nothing wrong with it.

Mr. Tancredo. Mr. Stier, may I ask you, if you had been there at the time these decisions were made to take the money, even now if you were asked, as I am going to ask you, what would you say about the propriety of accepting this money?

Mr. Stier. I would have no hesitation to accept it, and I feel no compulsion to suggest to the IBT that they return it. This is the problem with appearances.

Mr. Tancredo. Yes?

Mr. Stier. The AFL-CIO is an enormous organization of which the IBT is a part. The AFL-CIO is not about Richard Trumka. Richard Trumka, I would submit, in terms of the overall relationship between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the AFL-CIO, is rather insignificant.

We needed funds to help pay for Project RISE. A very specific proposal seeking funding for Project RISE was sent to the AFL-CIO in a perfectly appropriate way, and the AFL-CIO responded positively to that proposal.

Now, that is the basis on which we received funds to help support Project RISE. We might not have been able to sustain Project RISE if we had to rely entirely on the resources of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. This is a massive, expensive project. So if you look at what we did and how we did it, it was a perfectly appropriate arm's-length proposal and response by the AFL-CIO.

Now, if somebody wants to take a piece of information like the fact that Richard Trumka is an officer of AFL-CIO and connect that with the receipt of funds by the Teamsters Union, I can't help that. Do I feel in any way that it creates a problem by receiving the money? In my view, absolutely not. We needed it, it was done in a perfectly honest, appropriate way, and I am proud of the fact that the AFL-CIO is prepared to support us.

Mr. Tancredo. Mr. Stier, thank you very much. I must say to you, though, once again, I do not have information that would lead me to believe that the money was taken for any purpose other than what was suggested and for any other reason than what was in the proposal. I am not even suggesting anything. I don't know it. I don't have the slightest idea.

All I am telling you is in light of your statement to me and to this Subcommittee a few minutes ago regarding the need for the government to look at this union in a different way, it is extremely difficult to get to that point when something like this occurs. That is my only point, sir.

I appreciate your time. Thank you.

Chairman Hoekstra. Mr. Ford.

Mr. Ford. Real quick, following up on what Congressman Tancredo asked, and President Hoffa again thank you for being here, would it have been better for you to turn down the $500,000 offer by the AFL-CIO for the members of your union to strike against Overnite for unfair labor practices? Would it have been appropriate for you to turn down the dollars?

Mr. Hoffa. No. It would not have been. First of all, it was properly requested because we were involved in a major effort that is important to our union, and as far as my duties as an officer of this union, we needed financial support to carry out this project. A logical place to go is the AFL-CIO, who gave us $500,000, and I think it was proper. I would do it again today, and I would do it right now, because I think it is for the right purpose. It is going to our members. The fact is that we have got an unfair labor practice strike going on against Overnite, and it is going to help us accomplish the goals of our union

Mr. Ford. Is it uncommon for members of AFL-CIO, union heads, to ask for dollars from the AFL-CIO for assistance in projects like this?

Mr. Hoffa. No, it is not. There are a number of loans that have been given. There are a number of grants that have been given. The fact that this is something that helps all organized labor I think is important.

President Sweeney has had a program to make sure that all of the affiliates organize, and I don't think it is extraordinary for them to give us this grant with regard to this particular project. I think that other unions have gotten grants. I think that the SEIU got a million-dollar grant at one time a few years ago. So when we have special projects, especially in light of the fact that we pay an enormous amount of money into the AFL-CIO, this is not extraordinary.

Mr. Ford. So it is not unusual and probably would have been inappropriate for you to turn it down.

I am from Memphis. I am a little concerned about some things that have occurred in my district. I know you didn't mean to imply in your remarks in sort of a sweeping indictment that shootings take place all the time in the district. They don't take place all the time. We have seen a drop in homicide rates, as have many other cities, however, we are still faced with serious crime problems as well.

Nonetheless, the perception exists somewhat. I appreciate your response in your quoting of Chief Crews of the Memphis Police Department. If you would be so kind as to perhaps just reiterate what you know. I know that my colleague Van Hilleary and I appreciate him raising some of the concerns that he raised. We don't have that information on this side regarding the number of shootings or incidents during this strike, but if you would be so kind as to reiterate the evidence that you have regarding links or no links between the Teamsters and violence.

I have here in my possession a copy of the letter you sent to Chairman Hoekstra where you indicate that you are not aware of any evidence that suggests there exists any, quote/unquote, "culture of violence in the Teamsters Union." I think it is important to note, as you have, that I am not here to adjudicate whether or not the claims that you have made or the union has made against Overnite are valid or not. When I say valid I mean, if there is any truth to them, if indeed there is validity to what has been alleged. There are serious violations. Obviously the union is within its right to take the action it has taken. Can you speak a little bit more for the record for all of our sakes regarding this culture of violence and where you think it might be coming from?

I know we talk a lot about the past, and I would hope that the other side would recognize that we on this side don't judge you solely by what happened when Speaker Gingrich was in charge. We now have Speaker Hastert in charge. We are now trying to move forward from there. I think it is important we all look to where we are at this moment and try to project ahead. I appreciate President Hoffa reminding us of where your union is and the steps you have tried to take. I think you understand our concern, however, and I would hope that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would recognize that they, too, have been in the position where they have had some difficulty conveying their message and coming across as compassionate as they would like.

That being said, could you speak a little bit about this culture of violence and perhaps ease or assuage some of the concerns I have about that?

Mr. Hoffa. Well, as far as the Teamsters Union is concerned there is no culture of violence, and I have never heard the figure of 45 shootings before I came here today. I know that Overnite has talked to a number of my friends. Both Republicans and Democrats have said Overnite lobbyists telling them wild stories have visited them.

I think the best answer is what the law enforcement people found; Officer Crews. Those are the kind of people we have to rely on. The FBI hasn't come up with anything linking these things. As I said, to talk about some injunctions with regard to mass picketing by 10 people and the trucks can't come in so we reduce it to 5 people, is common. That is something that happens all the time an injunction, oftentimes a mutual injunction.

I don't think there is a culture of violence. I think there have been incidents against our people with regard to Donna Stapp and John Culberson and Paul Holder. I have talked about what happened to them. They were beaten up, and I don't know what happened out there. But I do know what we at the International here in Washington have said, and that is this has to be a strike that enlists the support of the public support.

If you remember, the UPS strike that we had in 1997, was probably one that had broad public support. People knew the UPS man that came to their door, and he was a nice young man that was courteous and kind, and they were sympathetic to that person when he went on strike. Do we want to have the same thing with regard to our Overnite members who are on strike, that they be seen as sympathetic figures that have been the victims of over 1,000 unfair labor practices? Overnite has paid out over $3 million in back pay. They have over 1,000 unfair labor practices pending against them. There have been a number of 10(j) injunctions issued. There have been a number of bargaining orders in a number of terminals that have been issued by the National Labor Relations Board. So you have to look at both sides of this.

Now, do people get frustrated on the picket line, whether they are UAW or the Machinists? In this case we have a number of incidents where supervisors have driven through the picket line injuring our strikers. Does that happen? That happened out there. We have had a number of incidents where there have been police reports that our picketers have been run over by supervisors driving trucks, or security people. When you have this many people involved that does happen. I think both sides have to work very hard that it doesn't happen in this strike, whether it be Overnite or the Teamsters. We have done our part in making sure that we tell everybody we have to have the support of the public. We want people to be sympathetic to us, and we want this to be a successful, peaceful strike. That is where we are.

Mr. Ford. I hope the Chairman doesn't mind.

I hear some things in our office. We receive correspondence, as you can imagine, from constituents, and I would love to be able to stay in contact with the office on some of these issues. I would appreciate your response and appreciate your presence and the commitment that you personally have. Clearly the union has to, number one, ensure that we don't see violence permeate the front line here, and two, your commitment to ensure that this perception, from what I hear from you, is an erroneous perception.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for letting me go overboard with my time.

Chairman Hoekstra. I think any time that the gentleman from Tennessee wants to introduce us to the compassionate conservative Teamsters, he is more than welcome to bring that out.

Mr. Ford. When you find a compassionate conservative Presidential candidate, I will be happy to do that.

Chairman Hoekstra. Great.

I am going to yield to Mr. Norwood.

Mr. Norwood. Mr. Hoffa, I am not from Tennessee, and actually I don't think I know anybody in Overnite management, and I say that because my basic interests are two things. I would love to have your union free of government interference, but at the same time, I want to be sure that there is not strike violence directed at employees who exercise their legal right to work during a strike. Nor do I want to see violence toward strikers who have every right to strike. Now, that is the basis of where we are coming from on these questions.

I was listening to Congressman Tancredo in the discussion that I had mentioned earlier about Richard Trumka. We have discovered a lot of interesting things as we looked over all this, and though we couldn't yet get Mr. Trumka to come testify, I am very interested in it because I think he is as guilty in this, my personal opinion, no facts, as Mr. Carey is. I am anxious. There is nothing wrong with your taking money from the AFL-CIO. In my opinion, I don't think you did anything wrong at all. I think that it is perfectly correct for you to have done that. Figuring the amount of dues you pay in, they probably should have paid a lot more.

But I am interested in understanding why in the civil suit that you are going to file that Trumka isn't a proposed defendant? If he is innocent, they will find him innocent, but you know he ought to be, personal opinion again, involved in it, I think, as much as the defendants that you named earlier. That would solve the perception of there being a quid pro quo that Mr. Tancredo was talking about.

Could you give me your feelings about that?

Mr. Hoffa. Well, I think that from what we understand and what I read in the paper, the U.S. Attorney says that she is still investigating the Teamsters affairs. I think there was some hope that Mr. Hamilton might testify for them, but I don't think that ever happened. That was their hope, that the legal process still goes on, and that there are investigations going on of other people still involved that have not been named. And I think I would wait to see what happens with regard to those continuing investigations.

Mr. Norwood. You and I may not be young enough.

Mr. Hoffa. I don't know. It is going awfully slowly; slower than what I have seen.

Mr. Norwood. You know, I know that U.S. Attorneys are an awful lot like Congressmen. There are some bad ones, and there are some good ones. Watching this event over the last 2 or 3 years, I think they are pushing paper back and forth, and they are actually doing what you are talking about. They don't want it to end.

Let us go back to where I left off when you said this was one of the most peaceful strikes that you have ever observed. That may be. I won't question that. Let me see if I can clear this up. There are 13,000 employees of Overnite, if I am right, and correct me if I am wrong.

Mr. Hoffa. I think it is about 8,000. I don't think there are 13,000.

Mr. Norwood. I will go with your estimate since I don't know.

Let us say there are 8,000 employees of Overnite, and there are about 750 men and women involved in the strike. I am just trying to see if I have that number right.

Mr. Hoffa. I would think the numbers go like this. I think there are 8,000 people working at Overnite. I think we have had an election where 3,500 to 3,900 have indicated they want to be Teamsters, and their efforts to back Teamsters have been obstructed. So this is, you know, 3,800 or 3,900 out of 8,000.

Mr. Norwood. But the midline there is 750?

Mr. Hoffa. We have roughly 750 to 900 people on strike who have actually come out. As I said before, we have the support of other people who are still working that we know are supportive of us and that for one reason or another have been unable to come out. They have assured us that they voted for us once, but can't come out because of some family problem or whatever, but they are there and with us.

Mr. Norwood. I understand. It works both ways. I mean, I can understand exactly what you are describing to me, but all we can really go on is that the numbers are fairly low in view of the numbers of employees. There have been a number of incidents involved with this, and I don't think for one second that you condone any of those incidents. I have been told there are 8,000 drivers out of 13,000 employees. I think that is where the number comes from.

I think you are doing the right things, but I am concerned that we are seeing too much press on this message, no matter who is right or wrong. There are a lot of incidents that are going on with the guy on the picket line that you have yet to meet because you can't meet them all and are trying to get them to do the right thing. I mean boys will be boy, and girls will be girls. I understand that there has got to be some of that going on because there are strong feelings. The bottom line is that whether they are 29, 30, or 15, the perception given in the newspapers that people read are that we are not so sure you ought to be free of government control yet because of things that are going on in Memphis; whatever ones are right or wrong. I don't know they have got some videotape of people beating up people and that kind of stuff.

I want that to go away because I want to get to where you want to get. I want to get the government out of your life, and I will conclude, Mr. Chairman, by encouraging you to do everything that you can. I am not a big turn the other cheek guy, but this is a great time to be considering that in view of the fact that so many of us want to try to return your leadership to a union that can self-govern itself so the members can be in control of their destiny.

That is the only reason I spent the day dwelling on what is going on with Overnite, because I am afraid that it is giving you a black eye. What you are doing, what you are saying you are doing, sounds to me to be the right things. But in my opinion, the guys down in the trenches, the guys in the foxhole, male or female need to understand there is a bigger picture here than just one strike against one company. Mr. Chairman, I think I have said all I need to say.

Mr. Roemer. Could I just have 1 minute?

Chairman Hoekstra. Yes. I just wanted to build on what Mr. Norwood said. I think what Mr. Hoffa has told us today is that he wants that perception to go away as much as possible, and that is the culture that he is trying to instill within the Teamsters. I think what you have heard from all of us is that is exactly where we hope you end up. And, you know, we are all involved in a process where sometimes things are said or implied about us that have nothing to do with fact. This may or may not be the case with Overnite, but all of us have been involved in situations where we are described in one way that has nothing to do with what is going on right now.

This was not intended to be a hearing on Overnite, and I don't think it has been. I think it really has been focused on the culture and the changes that you are putting in place within the union. It is time to get this union on its own, living under the laws that every other union lives under today. I will yield to Mr. Roemer.

Mr. Roemer. I appreciate it, Mr. Chairman. From my personal point of view, I want to be clear on this issue. We have shifted back and forth today on between a hearing on the consent decree and seemingly a hearing on some purported culture of violence and the right to strike. I want to speak very strongly for the Teamsters' right to strike. I don't want to see any violence in that. I don't want to see any harm or injury in that, and I strongly condemn injury on either side. We don't want to see that violence take place.

But I don't want this to be a hearing on when somebody takes the final step of going out on a picket line and striking, they risk everything in order to do that. I have been on picket lines with UAW workers at 2 weeks and 2 months and 6 months, and people are worried. They are worried about their families, they are worried about their incomes, they are worried about their jobs. I will protect that right to do that as an economic right and a social right for our workers in this country. I am proud of the unions setting up that right for our workers. I hope nobody is saying that in order for the consent decree to be removed, we don't strike. There shouldn't be violence. We don't want to see violence. I think we all condemn the violence that takes place.

Mr. Hoffa, you have three dedicated employees sitting behind you that have been hurt. They have been beaten up, they have been threatened, and they have been injured. We don't want to see that happen to either side.

So I want to be clear. Let us make sure that we are not confusing issues here today. I want to make sure that anybody who has ever been on a picket line, anybody who has ever been out there with our working people that are risking everything in order to make a point and stand up for what they think is right, has the right.

Mr. Norwood. Would the gentleman yield?

Mr. Roemer. I would be happy to yield.

Mr. Norwood. Thanks, Tim, I fear perhaps you heard it wrong. I don't know whom you would have to protect from the right to strike. That is not what this is all about. It certainly was not intended in any discussion that I had, and I don't think I said that. What I am saying is that what is presently going on and the perception of what is going on is causing problems with the bigger picture of us trying to accomplish the same goal you are trying to accomplish, which is self-determination of the membership.

I know it has got to be driving you nuts to have the Federal Government poking you in the eye every time you turn around. I frankly think, Mr. Hoffa, under your leadership that can happen. The only reason Overnite is up is because it is in the darn papers every day, and the perception that all three of you have said at one time or another that you are after is that you must have the support of the public. That means you have to have the support of the public to get rid of that consent decree, and I don't want anything to happen down in Memphis that interferes with that.

Mr. Roemer. Reclaiming my time, I will make this last statement. I just want to make sure I have heard you right that we want to make sure that these three people sitting behind Mr. Hoffa are not beat up or not injured. We don't want violence to take place against either side. Mr. Hoffa has firmly stated that he doesn't agree about or he hasn't heard about these 45 shootings, and we hope there is not another shooting out there.

But I think we want to be clear here. We strongly condemn violence on both sides of this. We want to see a peaceful resolution here. Anybody who has ever been on a picket line knows that when workers take this step, it is a very difficult step and they often are injured out there on the picket line.

I am not saying you said it, Charlie. I think you have clarified your remarks.

Mr. Norwood. They weren't confusing to start with.

Mr. Roemer. Well, I think they were ambiguous to start with, and I hope you have cleared them up. So I think we have made our points, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Hoekstra. Actually whether there is or is not violence in the Overnite strike is something for future discussion, and has absolutely nothing to do with the reason you are under a consent decree. The consent decree goes back to 1989 and where the union, was "wholly owned" or whatever it was by organized crime.

The actions that go on in a strike once you start breaking a law are covered under a normal legal framework. There is a legal framework established to handle both the complaints that the Teamsters may have against Overnite and that Overnite and others may have against the Teamsters or against illegal activities. That is separate and distinct from the reasons that a consent decree was entered into. If that now becomes an issue or becomes an influence on whether the consent decree is warranted, it is just, as Mr. Hoffa described earlier, a group of people looking to keep their jobs forever because at that point in time they are going to take on the watchdog role of ensuring that you meet every law every day.

Mr. Roemer. But, Mr. Chairman, this all got confused when there were some statements made about violence in a strike. No matter what side it is on, that hurts the Teamsters image even if it is violence against them, and makes it difficult to remove the consent decree.

Chairman Hoekstra. I am trying to clarify that statement and that the Chairman doesn't agree with that statement.

Mr. Roemer. Good

Mr. Hoekstra. That means I may disagree with some of my colleagues on my side of the aisle.

Mr. Norwood. Would the Ranking Member allow me one? You all are talking about a bunch of nonsense. I didn't say that at all. I made it very clear that there shouldn't be violence on either side. My concern is getting rid of the consent decree for these men and women, and you can't do that with what is going on in the papers.

Now, Mr. Chairman, one quick question. It just dawned on me as I was leaving the door, if you gentlemen would allow it.

Chairman Hoekstra. I will allow it. I will yield.

Mr. Norwood. Mr. Hoffa, walking out it dawned on me to ask if anybody has come to you or come to your board and suggested that Trumka shouldn't be included in the RICO civil suit?

Mr. Hoffa. No, they haven't.

Mr. Norwood. The U.S. Attorney didn't send you a signal about that?

Mr. Hoffa. Not from the U.S. Attorney.

Mr. Norwood. That is the main one I want to know about.

Mr. Hoffa. We have very little communication with them.

Mr. Norwood. They don't talk with us either. I understand that.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Hoekstra. Thank you, Mr. Norwood. Mr. Scott.

Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I hope these questions will be kind of quick, because I have a statement to read.

I was concerned at the last go-around that the government didn't pay all it owed for your rerun election. Are you making a claim at this point for additional expenses to be paid for at this time?

Mr. Szymanski. There is no money being claimed. There is an amount of money, $200,000 that was put up by a joint council in Minnesota and if there is money left from what was provided it should be returned to them. Since we have basically taken that over, it really should be returned to us. We don't have a final accounting from the 1998 and 1999 rerun elections yet, but we are hoping that there is at least $200,000 left.

The one thing that I think the Subcommittee should be pleased with is that our agreement with the U. S. Attorney with respect to the 2000 and 2001 elections provide that we are going to shoulder the financial burden for the next election, assuming that the district court approves our agreement.

Mr. Scott. Well, is there any question at this point that you will be able to work out a reasonable and fair process for the 2001 election?

Mr. Hoffa. We have.

Mr. Szymanski. We have done that. I think we have provided our signed agreement with the U. S. Attorney certainly to the Majority Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member.

Mr. Scott. So we shouldn't have any concerns about that?

Mr. Szymanski. As long as the district court approves what we have done with the U. S. Attorney, you shouldn't have any problems with that.

Mr. Scott. Thank you, and I want to thank you for coming.

Mr. Chairman, we had a little exchange about those subpoenas, and what you had suggested wasn't quite exactly the same recollection that I had. So I have been able to refresh my recollection by reading the Minority views that we wrote back when the report was issued. In Chapter 2 under Abuse of Congressional Investigative Process, paragraph F (1), Abuses of Subpoena Power, it reads as follows from the Minority views:

"Congressional subpoena power is a very powerful tool. Congress has the ability to subpoena books, records and testimony from entities and individuals without judicial review of its demands. Congressional subpoenas are exempt from numerous restrictions on judicial and executive agency document demands, including financial secrecy laws and applicable privileges."

It goes on under, A, General Executive Board Tapes, to say, "the March 10th, 1998, subpoena of the IBT requested production of, quote, ‘all minutes of the general board, executive board, executive council and all standing committees.’" "On April 3rd, 1998, the Chairman expanded this demand in a letter stating, quote, ‘this request includes all audio and/or video tapes of meetings held by these bodies.’"

"This request included all matters discussed by the IBT's governing body from 1991 to 1997, including discussions pertaining to strike activity, collective bargaining, political activities and other privileged matters. The IBT objected to the request on the grounds that it was beyond the scope of the Subcommittee's jurisdiction and included many matters that were not pertinent to the investigation."

"In an apparent recognition of the impropriety of its broad request, the Majority offered to appoint, quote, ‘an independent outside party to review the tapes to redact material related to collective bargaining strategy and matters of general labor policy that are unrelated to misconduct under investigation by this Subcommittee,’ unquote."

"On May 6, 1998, the IBT agreed to the appointment of an independent third party, a tremendous concession given that the materials that would be produced were far beyond the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee and included significant protected matters. The Majority and Minority then agreed to select Raymond Mariah as the expert, and on June 4, 1998, the Committee unanimously voted to approve the contract of Raymond Mariah to serve as the independent third party to review the tapes and, quote, ‘delete portions as directed by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in order to accommodate the IBT concerns that certain information remain nonpublic,’ unquote."

"The agreement to hire Mr. Mariah was supposed to be followed by agreed instructions for his work, which the Majority promised to draft and circulate."

Now that is where I think we ended. The Minority views go on to say: "The Majority never circulated the promised instructions. Instead, the Majority rescinded its agreement with the Minority and the IBT to have an independent expert review the tapes and continued to threaten the IBT with contempt of Congress. Following the agreement between the Majority and Minority and the IBT to employ an independent expert, the Majority consulted Mr. DiGenova, agreed to the IBT delivering the tapes to the FBI in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Mr. DiGenova agreed that the FBI should copy the tapes and to provide a copy to Mr. Mariah."

"Thereafter the Majority reneged on its agreements, and on June 9th, 1998, without notice to the Minority that is required by the Committee rules, Chairman Goodling issued forthwith subpoena to the FBI and to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The Majority threatened the U.S. Attorney with contempt unless the tapes were produced that day, despite concerns of grand jury secrecy and other valid law enforcement prohibitions on the release of information produced to a grand jury."

"The matter in which the Committee used its subpoena power to obtain the general executive board tapes illustrates the Majority's deceitful and abusive use of authority granted by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Majority broke a carefully crafted agreement between itself, the Minority and the IBT to avoid production of protected discussions. Moreover, to end-run the IBT's constitutional objections, the Majority deceitfully agreed to have the tapes sent to the FBI to copy and then subpoenaed the full tapes from the FBI. The Majority used these deceitful tactics and threats of criminal contempt against the IBT and the Department of Justice to force the production of records filled with information unrelated to the Subcommittee's investigation, as well as items clearly protected by the first amendment."

"The Majority's use of tapes in its report demonstrates the dangers of such actions. Despite its assertions that the tapes were required because they included unspecified evidence of unidentified criminal activity, no criminal activity is identified in the Majority report. Instead the Majority report recites a discussion from the IBT general executive board meeting regarding the IBT's political activity. Constitutional rights regarding freedom of expression and association are seriously infringed when the government compels disclosure of private discussions regarding political activity."

Mr. Chairman, I just read that into the record so that we can be reminded of my concerns about the release of the tapes and the overbroad subpoena of the tapes. I yield back.

Chairman Hoekstra. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I think you were correct when you started reading that.

Those are the Minority views. I appreciate you reiterating the Minority views of this Subcommittee regarding our actions as we dealt with an uncooperative IBT, an uncooperative president of the union, and a union executive committee that ripped off its own members, and that is why it is a Minority report.

Thank you very much. I hope I am never in a situation where I have you on the other side of a picket line. You have worn out the Majority of this Subcommittee, and thank you for your patience. Thank you for giving us an update on where you are and, the great progress you have made. We look forward to working with you and to future updates as to what is going on. Thank you very much.

Mr. Hoffa. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for having us here. I want to thank the Members of the Committee for their interest and their patience, and I will look forward to coming back and giving you another update. I am always available, and I am here to help you or to discuss issues with you and to exchange ideas with you. If you want us to give you an update, we are more than available to do that and to cooperate with your Subcommittee.

Chairman Hoekstra. I appreciate the offer. I thought about inviting you back, but I don't think it is our responsibility on an ongoing basis to have you report to Congress on what is going on. You know what is going on with your union. That is not the job of this Subcommittee.

A couple of years ago there were extraordinary circumstance where I think Congress should have become involved, but on an ongoing basis it is not necessary to have you come. I think we might be interested sometime in the future having you come back and update us. I think we also look forward to having you come back and testify on issues of labor law reform, China relations, trucking and those kinds of things that are legislatively important, and move beyond this.

Mr. Scott.

Mr. Scott. Mr. Chairman, as much as I hate to end this on a cooperative note, I think I would want to agree with you on this. And the discussion that we have heard today, rather than being aimed at Congress, really ought to be aimed at the membership. When your membership democratically is satisfied with the leadership, then that is where the case needs to be made and not to Congress. So as much as I hate to end on a cooperative note, Mr. Chairman I will.

Chairman Hoekstra. It has to happen every once in a while.

Mr. Roemer.

Mr. Roemer. I would just say we wish you luck with RISE. We hope you will have a report out soon, and that you can go in the same direction that Local 560 went. We look forward to hearing your testimony up here, maybe not on this, but on worker rights in this country, and paying people a decent wage in this country, and the right to have strikes in this country. Best of luck.

Chairman Hoekstra. With that, the Subcommittee will be adjourned.

Whereupon, at 5:00 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.