Why do the Teamsters love assholes?

When I worked for the Seattle School District, I discovered that my union, a branch of the National Education Association, is totally corrupt. I also noticed that union officials seemed to hang out with derelict teachers (many of them assholes) while giving good teachers the cold shoulder.

I became an activist and whistle-blower. They got rid of me (laid off) in 2002. Today, I’m working for UPS, where I’ve worked at two hubs.

At the Seattle hub, I worked next to one of the most senior shop stewards in the building. He was one of the slimiest assholes I’ve ever met in my life. His best friend was one of my co-workers, a guy so disgusting, no one could figure out how he kept his job. Of course, he kept his job because the Teamsters protected him!

When the Seattle night shift was shut down, I transferred to the hub in Redmond, Washington. I staked out a table in the break room that was very close to a table where a shop steward sat. Talk about déjà vu!

I sat near this clown for NINE YEARS and never heard him say anything intelligent. He always hung out with the same two guys—two of the biggest assholes in the building. One of them got fired after he threatened to bring his assault rifle to work and blow away the manager. However, the Teamsters helped him get his job back.

There are even bigger assholes in the building who cannot get fired because they’re virtual Teamster mascots. I’ve been harassed mercilessly by these shitheads. I’ve been physically assaulted by four or five UPS employees. On one occasion, I was standing under a security camera and had a witness standing just 15 feet away. I reported it, and the guy never got fired!

In the meantime, I’ ve seen countless good people get fired for the most mundane things. The difference? For starters, most of them are decent people who come to work on time and do their jobs. That’s something the Teamsters seem to despise. Of course, they don’t pal around with trailer park trash, either, and that’s a category that includes most shop stewards and the people they care most about.

When I attended a Teamsters initiation meeting years ago, some big-mouthed union official got up and said something I’ll never forget . . .

“Now you’ve probably heard stories about the Teamsters protecting bad workers. I want you to know those stories aren’t true!”

If it isn’t true, then why are there so many stories swirling around? Why did this union thug feel compelled to get up in front of a bunch of new hires and deny all these stories?

As a teacher, I witnessed corrupt union officials who were joined at the hip with Seattle’s scummiest teachers. When I went to work for UPS, I watched a union official angrily denounce similar stories about UPS. When I went to work at the Seattle hub, I worked right next to a shop steward who proved him wrong. When I transferred to the Redmond hub, I witnessed the same thing!

Clearly, there is a pattern here.

So, what about your hub? Have you met any shop stewards that you would describe as trailer park trash, thugs, or sellouts? Do your shop stewards seem to be awfully chummy with co-workers who are scabs? Do the biggest assholes in your hub seem to get more help from the Teamsters than decent people who actually do their jobs, instead of harassing their co-workers?

Another important question to ask is why?

Is this just some bizarre coincidence that has no explanation? Or do the Teamsters deliberately seek out and bond with assholes, because they know assholes won’t blow the whistle on their fellow assholes?

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