Hoffa set to win re-election as Teamsters president

November 18, 2011 http://detnews.com/article/20111118/AUTO01/111180337

Hoffa set to win re-election as Teamsters president

/ Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — James P. Hoffa is expected to easily win re-election to another five-year term as president of the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, officials said Thursday.

Hoffa, who has been president since 1999, had 57 percent of the vote, with two challengers splitting the remainder, according to a tally posted on a union website.

Hoffa, a native Detroiter, has 97,046 votes, outpacing challenger Fred Gegare with 42,480 votes and Sandy Pope with 30,279.

To date, the vote has been counted in the southern, central and eastern regions. Ballots for the western region and Canada still need to be counted. The remaining regions will include about 65,000 votes to count, officials said.

In an interview Thursday, Hoffa said he expected to win with more than 60 percent of the vote.

“This is a vindication for everything we’ve worked for,” Hoffa said. “We’ve worked to keep the union strong during the worst economy in 80 years.”

Hoffa said the union is talking to airline pilots as part of its current organizing efforts.

“It’s hard to organize right now, and people are looking to the Teamsters,” he said.

On Thursday, the union announced a majority of the nearly 20,000 correctional, probation and parole officers with the Florida Department of Corrections voted to join the Teamsters.

The union has voiced support for the Occupy Wall Street movement and said the economic climate is encouraging more people to join unions. “People need a union more than ever today,” Hoffa said.

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