Overtime Episode 30 PREVIEW – Unions and The Mob: Reputation vs Reality Pt 6

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In the final episode of the Teamsters portion of our examination of the history of allegations of union corruption and mafia collusion, we close out the story of Jimmy Hoffa. We discuss the changing of the guard from Hoffa to Frank Fitzsimmons, Hoffa’s relationship with Richard Nixon and his eventual release from prison, and of course Hoffa’s disappearance, which remains controversial to this day. 

But this is a story not just about Hoffa, but the whole history of the Teamsters, so we also touch on the presidencies of Roy Williams and Jackie Presser, the RICO suit against the Teamsters and resulting 25 year trusteeship, and the rise of the TDU as a rank and file movement to root out the decades of corruption that Hoffa brought with him. Finally, we discuss what this all means for the history of the labor movement as a whole, and what lessons we can draw for workers fighting to rebuild the labor movement today.

Main Sources:
Corruption and Reform in the Teamsters Union by David Witwer
The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hoffa by Walter Sheridan
The Hoffa Wars by Dan Moldea

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