Thursday, March 02, 2006

Oh where oh where is Teamster Local 804?

In New York City! I should say I grew up in a Teamster household because my father worked the Night Shift unloading furniture trailer trucks and loading Macy's furniture delivery trucks for United Parcel Service. Macy's was started by Nantucket whalers in the South Street Seaport Historic District (hence the red star said to be from a tattoo) and failed a number of times at other businesses. UPS delivered furniture for them of Manhattan and then Abraham & Strauss of Brooklyn, both "merged" or acquired by Federated Department Stores, a Canadian firm I read that's been buying many of the large chains of stores. Federated is currently Macy's owner after the employees sat through its bankruptcy in ownership. UPS also carried toys from FAO Schwartz, unique items from Hammacher Schlemmer, (158 years old) etc. with furniture delivery to all boroughs, "upstate" and out to the east end of Long Island. Eventually they wanted out of the larger item deliveries (rugs, cabinets, chairs, beds, etc.) switching it out to concentrate on the huge volume of packages it carries and manages from its central office across from the Guggenheim Museum in NYC. The car-carrier Leaseway of Shaker Heights, Cleveland, Ohio delivered appliances and furniture for a number of years for Abraham & Strauss before the "merger". I sometimes worked temporarily for "both" (non-union). Ron Carey, the Teamsters union president before the current one, James P. Hoffa, (James R. Hoffa's son) was a United Parcel Service driver in NYC, in Local 804, which my father was a member of. From it Mr. Carey ran on a platform of cleaning up the Teamsters union image and business, which he did very well. Unfortunately, an impropriety within his re-election organization caused a Federal "flag" and an investigation was conducted during his re-election campaign. He was found innocent of all charges, perhaps conveniently after the election that he lost. Mr. Hoffa however, is a lawyer, his sister a judge and beyond reproach in my opinion. The recent split with the AFL-CIO was probably a good move for them, although George Meany, (United States labour leader who was the first president of the AFL-CIO (1894-1980) - WordWeb) was from NYC, a small asphalt park under the El in his honor in the borough of the Bronx. Here's someone else I also worked for in "delivery" Public Citizen, "Organization founded by Ralph Nader, public-interest watchdog organization frequently critical of corporations" and the recent courtcase they joined with the Teamsters on: Feb. 27 - Safety groups and Teamsters sue over trucker hours-of-service (they are only in California and Texas but when I worked for NYPIRG we sold subscriptions to their magazine).

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