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Jimmy Hoffa: A Stain in the History of Unionism in the US - Research Paper Example

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OUTLINE Jimmy Hoffa: A Stain in the History of Unionism in the US I. Introduction a. What is genuine unionism and what should it struggle for b. Who was Jimmy Hoffa and how did he mar the image of unionism in the country c. Hoffa’s disappearance as a result of his illegal and anti-worker dealings II…
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Jimmy Hoffa: A Stain in the History of Unionism in the US
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Jimmy Hoffa: A Stain in the History of Unionism in the US

Download file to see previous pages... Illegal Dealings d. Links with the Mob e. Investigation and Imprisonment f. Cases IV. Release from Prison and Attempt to Regain Power a. Nixon commutation and conditions b. Immediate actions take after release c. Disappearance V. Conclusion Jimmy Hoffa: A Stain in the History of Unionism in the US Introduction Unionism is a powerful weapon of the workers that could be used to pursue just and legitimate demands. In a system where big businesses are dominant in all spheres in society, the workers do not have any other means of making their voices heard but only through their organized strength. The unions are not just avenues where they could express aspirations and tactical demands in a democratic society. These are also tools which they could use to forge the broadest unity among the working class and to reform society when necessary. In the history of the United States, it could not be denied that unionism plays an integral part in the development of the country’s economic and political policies. However, while the objectives of unionism may be noble, it is unfortunate that there are certain individuals who have only managed to stain its otherwise brilliant history. Instead of making the unions powerful tools for promoting the workers’ agenda, they have instead misused these to acquire wealth and undue influence on politics. When discussing about the abuses committed by the unions because of corrupt leaders, one name is sure to be mentioned: Jimmy Hoffa. James Riddle Hoffa is a name that has actually become synonymous to corrupt practices of union leaders in the US. Under his leadership, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters might have indeed become one of the most powerful unions in the country but it was also the most maligned and feared. Hoffa held control over the Teamster’s leadership as though it was his fiefdom. While the genuine or left-leaning unions would honorably address their leaders with the egalitarian term ‘comrade’, Hoffa was called ‘boss’ by his subordinates in the IBT. Such address would easily remind one of the Mafia, which is only right because he was indeed known to have connections and dealings with the shady characters of the Mob. Hoffa’s character and his brand of leadership had succeeded in giving unionism a bad reputation, a fact that the national media had highlighted. An editorial of Life, a leading magazine then, branded him as the nation’s public enemy number one, expressing that “there is not enough room in this land of ours for both Jimmy Hoffa and a free labor movement worthy of the name” (Editorial 34). Hoffa’s disappearance in 1975 was widely believed to have been a result of his dealings with the Mafia. Jimmy Hoffa and His Entry to Unionism Jimmy Hoffa was born into a working class family in Brazil, Indiana. His father was a coal miner who died while he was only seven years-old. Shortly after his father’s death, the family relocated to Detroit. It was in this city with a growing industrial sector Hoffa grew and matured. It was also in this city that he officially became a member of the working class for the first time. Realizing that he needs to earn more in order to help in paying for the family’s expenses, he stopped going to school in order to work fulltime. Being under-educated, he could not qualify for jobs other than those that are manual, with pay that was quite low by the standards of the time. He got a job as a stock boy in Frank & Cedar’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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