it's time to talk about Jimmy Hoffa, which lets me talk about some of my favorite topics: organized crime, unions, parapolitics, corruption, the mafia, the left, reactionaries. I even think you can see him as a proto-Trump, in some ways. let's get into it.
I'm gonna talk about three things in particular: Hoffa's parapolitical significance (he definitely helped kill at least JFK and possibly Bobby, lol), Hoffa the man, and the union's effectiveness. I'm gonna try to stay organized
without being too specific, a union really got my grandparents the chance at a good life, and helped my parents as well. I'm very pro-union, so it's worth remembering this because I'm probably gonna be pretty critical of Hoffa at times, lol
and then just the obligatory disclaimer that I'm not an expert, I've tried to learn as much as I can, and even though I think people know most of what happened, there are still mysteries about the Teamsters and Hoffa, etc etc.
I'm gonna do a quick chronology of Hoffa's life up front:
1913 - Hoffa's born in Indiana
he got involved with unions in his first job at a grocery store, then left to become a teamster around 1936.

(the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, or IBT)
this was back when organizing and warfare weren't really all that different, although I guess you shouldn't call it warfare, since the violence is mostly against the workers

seriously, look up the Republic Steel Massacre, dubiously called the "Memorial Day Massacre" by Wikipedia
in 1937, Chicago PD shot and killed 10 unarmed strikers, wounded like 70 more, thanks to Republic Steel

this was the state of affairs when Hoffa entered the fight for organized labor, and it's important to remember that
another, even closer to Hoffa, was the Battle of the Overpass, where the UAW fought Ford security guards; the bad press helped the UAW win contracts from Ford, the famous miser and anti-semite
Hoffa's first organizing was working at the Kroger grocery loading docks, where conditions were very unsafe and pay was bad.

when Kroger received a shipment of strawberries that would spoil in the hot weather, Hoffa and his crew unloaded half and then stopped
they won a meeting with management, after which they won a contract, a raise, an improvement of conditions, and a union affiliated with the AFL

Hoffa and his crew were known as the Strawberry Boys, and they were all fired from Kroger, but Hoffa was recruited to become a teamster
1952 - Hoffa becomes VP of IBT
1964 - IBT wins a national agreement
1967 - Hoffa goes to prison
1971 - out of prison
Hoffa barred from leadership till 1980s
1975 - Hoffa disappears (dies)
now, Hoffa knew minor gangsters as a young man, but it was Moe Dalitz who provided the most important connections:

“They said I knew Moe Dalitz and that he was a big deal in the Mafia. Hell, yes, I knew Dalitz."
"I’ve known him since way back when he owned astring of laundries in Detroit and we threatened himwitha strike.”

It was Dalitz who in the 1940s establishedcommunication between the Teamster boss andmembersof the Cleveland organization
Hoffa justified such relationships as “pure common sense. "I don’t hurt them; they don’t hurt me.”

it was through Dalitz that Hoffman met people like Allen Dorfman, who ran the Teamsters Pension Fund, as well as various lower-level guys working for Mickey Cohen, Sam Giancana,
Frank Milano (of the Cleveland mafia), the Bufalino family, the list goes on

Dalitz was the guy to know to make connections
“There is little doubt about the fact that Hoffa, consciously and willingly, protected the rackets in Detroit by protecting their legitimate fronts with the Teamsters Union,” Vincent Piersante says, “And that included those gangsters who were deeply involved in the drug traffic.
so, that Teamsters Pension Fund was incredibly important, because it ended up being a slush fund for organized crime, and Allen Dorfman both goes to prison and gets murdered. more on the Pension Fund later.
now's a good time to drop an opinion: I don't really care if Hoffa played hardball with management, if to win he had to get in bed with the mafia to -some- degree, and that some level of corruption is normal.

I mean, he did build the Teamsters into a powerful union, after all
however, he had some pretty negative habits, like ripping off the union and union members, both, and arguably selling his own union out. and using violence against his own union. we'll get into it
one of the worst schemes was Sun Valley Inc., selling basically worthless plots of land in Titusville, FL to union members, the land sourced by a criminal tied to Santos Trafficante.
“There were a lot of really mad people whentheyknewthey’d been taken. But Jimmy justified his position and didn’t apologize to anyone. I loved the guy, but I do hold that against him.”

shitty rip-off land deals, just one of several parallels we'll see
so Hoffa became president of Local 299 in 1946 and shortly became head of the Michigan Teamsters, and was picked as national VP in 1952. by 1955, the Teamsters moved their national office to DC
the Teamsters were under fire even before Hoffa took over. Dave Beck, the president before Hoffa, was hauled before the "Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management" and took the Fifth Amendment 140 straight times, lmao
that Committee, also known as the McClellan Committee, became a vehicle for the political aspirations of the Kennedys, who wanted to suppress labor and score political points.

one of the best things about Hoffa is how much he hated the Kennedys, hahahahah
RFK and Hoffa first met at the house of a DC PR man who knew them both.

Kennedy wrote about the meeting:

"The three of us were alone. Hoffa, I was to discover, can be personable, polite and friendly. But that evening, though friendly enough, he maintained one steady theme..."
“I do to others what they do to me, only worse,” he said.
Hoffa’s analysis of Kennedy wasn’tmuch different: "Robert F. Kennedy was a man who always made abig thing out of how strong and how tough he was,howhe had been a football playeror something at Harvard, and how he always exercised and kept himself in top shape..."
"I was sure, by this time, that Kennedy was a hard-nosedguy who was so spoiledall his lifethathe had tohavehis way in everything nomatter who got hurt. Thekindof guy you had to be as nasty withas he waswithyouor he’d run right over you."
[sorry for the quote formatting]
only a few days after that dinner, the FBI caught Hoffa handing $2,000 to John Cheasty (a former Naval intelligence officer and Wall Street lawyer) in exchange for McClellan Committee info and documents

they hauled him to the DOJ to face off with RFK again
"Hoffa was taken to the federal courthouse, where Kennedy was waiting, smiling. Tense moments between the two men quickly ended when they began a some what friendly debate on who could do the most pushups"
"Hoffa, now forty-three, boasted that he could do thirty; Kennedy, at thirty-one, claimed fifty"

it's my opinion that Hoffa would have absolutely washed Kennedy, but that's just me
"With what appeared to be an airtight case, Kennedy jokingly promised to “jump off the Capitol” if Hoffa wasn’t convicted of attempted bribery."

Hoffa was miraculously acquitted, and he sent Kennedy a parachute
the Apalachin mafia meeting was busted in 1957, when RFK's Attorney General already on the warpath against unions and organized crime. this event caused the FBI to acknowledge the mafia, among other things
at this juncture, I gotta go full LaRouche on why the Kennedys were obsessed with taking down Hoffa
RFK's OC Strike Force at the DOJ was run by Walter Sheridan, a former FBI man who had worked as Chief of the Counterintelligence Section, Special Operations Division, Office of Security, and the NSA. Sheridan who had the ear of Robert Kennedy, often as much as three times a day.
the Sheridan crew "had free access to the files of the McClellan Committee. It was in touch with grand juries throughout the country. It had an undercover air of mystery about it. Its modus operandi was cloak and dagger. . . Its relations with the FBI were highly irregular..."
"Unlike every other unit of the Justice Department, which is organized around subject areas of responsibility, the Sheridan unit's raison d'etre seemed to be not a subject area but a target: Jimmy Hoffa."

what kind of fucking losers would wear this shirt I found, btw?
"If Kennedy himself was obsessed with getting Hoffa, the machine behind him found the campaign a convenient ruse for three reasons. First, it badly damaged the biggest and strongest trade union in the country, which had consistently used its power to press for industrial growth."
"Second, the publicity it engendered was a good diversion. And third, it was a good cover for going after local Mafiosi who might object to a tightened drug syndicate and the rise of the new black mafia to service the cities."
"While Sheridan's "Terrible Twenty" burned the small fry, Meyer Lansky and Max Jacobs went untouched. That five-year period was for Lansky one of the most active, and profitable, eras he had known."
so, if LaRouche's people are right about this, the Get Hoffa squad and the upcoming mafia takedowns are really just corporate downsizing

and it makes sense that the Kennedy brothers would do it, since their dad was in the pocket of Lansky, Bronfman, and the British
back to Hoffa, here's a couple fun facts: he did 30 pushups every morning and his favorite meal was a well-done porterhouse steak

apart from the pushups, the well-done steak is also a Trump thing, lol
meet Rolland McMaster, one of Hoffa's key goons.

"Epitomizing the stereotype of a “Teamster,”McMasterwas six-foot-four and weighed 245 pounds. Hishands were asbig and as firm as shovels, and hisface looked as if it had been struck repeatedly with a chain, because it had
they'd have McMaster act like Hoffa's bodyguard, so most people didn't know that McMaster was actually one of the most important Teamsters.

"McMaster was a personal liaison to Lansky, Santos Trafficante, the Dorfmans, the syndicate in Chicago, and the Genovese mob"
McMaster was also generally the goon deployed by Hoffa and Fitzsimmons whenever they needed to beat up dissident Teamsters, which is another terrible legacy, since they'd beat down anyone who opposed the Hoffa leadership
in one chapter of the Hoffa Wars entitled "The Oppressed Become the Oppressors", McMaster's goon squad literally brings a machine gun and opens fire on said rebel Teamsters
the descriptions of street brawling in this book really remind me of like, the actual book Gangs of New York, where half of being tough was being fat, and literally everyone could probably kick your ass
back to McMaster, "According to a former Hoffa aide—later a government informant—who believes his bosswas the CIA’s initial go-between with the mob in the Castro murder plan, McMaster was Hoffa’s liaison to Santos Trafficante during the planning of the assassination"
the Castro murder plan, of course, sort of morphed into a different murder plan
even earlier, the Teamsters worked with the mafia to sell weapons to both Batista and Castro, as depicted in the Irishman
Hoffa tried to score points with the new Cuban government by forming Akros Dynamics selling them a fleet of C-74 planes

“The whole [Akros Dynamics] thing was purely and simply Hoffa’s way of helping some of his mob buddies who were afraid of losingtheirbusinesses in Cuba,”
unrelated to Hoffa, but check out Trafficante's oath upon being inducted to the syndicate:
So long as the blood flows in my body do I, Santos Trafficante, swear allegiance to the will of Meyer Lansky and the organization he represents. If I violate this oath, may I burn in hell
the wording is pretty interesting, huh? sort of raises some questions
Castro said “I’m going to run all these fascist mobsters, all these American gangsters out of Cuba. I’m going to nationalize everything. Cuba for Cubans!”

and he actually did it, the madman. that's why the CIA and the mafia were trying to kill him
after the JFK assassination, Hoffa sent RFK the following letter:
"The undersigned is going to solicit from the membership of our union that each one donate whatever they can afford to maintain, clean, beautify and supply with flowers the grave of Lee Harvey Oswald"

I'm not gonna go into all the trucking industry in the 1970s stuff, but I was pretty obsessed with the hilarious acronyms, like FASH, the Fraternal Association of Steel Haulers
there was also TURF, Teamsters United Rank and File, also. FASH and TURF both fought the IBT as rebel groups, usually getting beat down by the McMaster goon squads
another thing I thought was hilarious was that McMaster called expenses "stealing money", which is a pretty frank assessment of how expense accounts are used
for some color, the cops busted McMaster one time and found what they called "rumble gear", which sounds like West Side Story or the Warriors:

a bent tire iron, a slingshot with a bag of fifty marbles,a broken ax handle with a double-bladed head, and aloaded .38 revolver
so, remember the Gas Crisis of 1973? I remember learning about it in school, usually paired with something about the OPEC embargo, stagflation, and something uninsightful about Jimmy Carter.

what I didn't know is that the country nearly erupted in civil war over it
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