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James P. Hoffa
James P. Hoffa
A Biography

James P. Hoffa has a mission – to build the Teamsters Union into the strongest, most powerful voice in North America for working families – and he is well on his way to this goal.

Under Hoffa’s leadership, the Teamsters Union is winning industry-leading contracts, engaging in vigorous contract enforcement and organizing the unorganized. Teamster positions on the issues of the day – from unsafe Mexican trucks to misguided trade policies – now hold sway in Washington’s power corridors.

Hoffa has spent a lifetime preparing for the challenge of running the Teamsters Union. He knows, first-hand, what Teamsters can accomplish when they are united. He is determined to lead a Union that is a credit to its proud history.

Hoffa is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on Union issues. As the most visible and outspoken critic of government trade policies and anti-worker corporate agendas, Hoffa is recognized as a leader on issues that affect working people.

Hoffa has also received honors from national organizations including the 2004 Man of the Year award from the D.C. Friends of Ireland, 2001 Man of the Year award from the Bay Area Union Labor Party, the 2001 Labor Initiative Award from the Center for the Disabled and the 2003 Government, Labor, Management Good Scout Award from the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

“We are fighting for the soul of our nation,” says Hoffa. “We must step up the battle for good jobs, fair trade and health care and retirement security. We must fight the corporate anti-worker agenda at every turn with all our might.”


James P. Hoffa grew up on picket lines and in union meetings. He is the only son of James R. Hoffa, former General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. On his 18th birthday, Hoffa received his own union card and was sworn in by his father. Prior to becoming Administrative Assistant to Michigan Joint Council 43, Hoffa was a labor lawyer in Detroit for 25 years.


1960’s: Teamster laborer in Detroit and Alaska, loading and unloading freight from ships, driving trucks and buses, and operating heavy equipment.

1968-93: Teamster attorney representing members in workers compensation cases, Social Security, and personal legal matters; represented Teamster Joint Councils and local unions.

1993-98: Administrative Assistant to the President of Michigan Joint Council 43

1999-Present: General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters


• 2004 Friends of Ireland Man of the Year
• Member of the President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce
• 2003 Government, Labor, Management Good Scout Award, National Capital Area Council (NCAC) of the Boy Scouts of America
• 2001 Irish-American Labor Coalition Honoree
• 2001 Labor Initiative Award, Center for the Disabled
• 2001 Man of the Year, Bay Area Union Labor Party


Born: May 19, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan

1963: Degree in Economics, Michigan State University

1966: LLB Law Degree, University of Michigan

Family: Parents – Josephine and James R. Hoffa; Sister – Barbara Hoffa Crancer, attorney and Circuit Judge in St. Louis, MO; Wife – Virginia Harris Hoffa, former teacher and licensed veterinary technician; Children – David and Geoffrey.


• Organize the unorganized;
• Protect worker pensions and retirement security;
• Negotiate industry-leading contracts;
• Lead the fight for universal health care;
• Continue fiscal reform and budgetary accountability;
• Promote Fair Trade Agreements that encourage job growth in the United States;
• Fight for labor law reform;
• Demand stricter health and safety regulations.

Entries by James P. Hoffa

Retirees, Workers Deserve to Receive Their Pensions

(41) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 9:19 AM

The golden years of everyday Americans who worked hard for decades to put away money for retirement are increasingly being jeopardized by the nation's pension system. But the Teamsters and a top presidential contender are working hard to change it.

Earlier this month, several hundred...

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Vocational Training Makes for Better Paid, Better Prepared Workers

(11) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 9:11 AM

America needs a 21st century workforce to better compete in the global economy. And the Teamsters are doing their part to make sure workers have the training they require so they can join the workforce of the future.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the union...

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Mo. Legislature Must Remember Workers While Mulling RTW Veto Override

(20) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 2:41 PM

Corporations, not satisfied enough with their sky-high profits, are trying yet again to rally Missouri lawmakers in an attempt to override the veto of Gov. Jay Nixon and pass so-called right-to-work (RTW) legislation that would drive down salaries and hamper workplace rights of everyday workers.

The Missouri Legislature...

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China's Currency Manipulation Should Serve as a Warning About TPP

(38) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 10:14 AM

Currency manipulation has long been a drag on the U.S. economy and our jobs. But China's decision last week to devalue the Yuan shows the kind of damage such tinkering can bring to America. And it's why Congress cannot approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) until something is done...

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A Blueprint for Getting America Back on Track

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 7:17 AM

The American economy is not working. This is not news for millions of U.S. families who have increasingly strained under a system that brings most of its gains to the nation's top earners. But finding a way to counter it has been much more challenging.

As the...

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TAA Will Offer Little Help to Workers Hit Hard by Trade

(1) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 11:43 AM

For years, the Teamsters have been strong supporters of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislative efforts that have offered support to thousands of workers who have lost their jobs due to bad trade deals. But not this time.

As lawmakers get ready to consider TAA legislation in the House in an...

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Latest Trade Push Is a War on Workers

(24) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 9:10 AM

Manufacturing jobs have been the backbone of the American workforce. During the heyday of U.S. middle-class growth in the mid-20th century, millions toiled at work that may have been hard on the body, but brought home enough to support a family.

Times have changed. Bum trade deals like

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Congress Is Facing Its Last Call to Stand Up for Fair Trade

(32) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 3:02 PM

The moment has arrived. Worries about Congress allowing secret trade deals to be enacted with little oversight are no longer theoretical. Legislation that would allow agreements like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to slide unscathed through Capitol Hill has been introduced and will soon be considered by the Senate Finance...

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TPP Investor Language Will Leave Taxpayers on the Hook

(5) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 1:40 PM

The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has for years been shrouded in mystery. But last night, WikiLeaks gave U.S. workers a real gift when it pulled back the curtain on a portion of the proposed trade deal that shows what a boondoggle the agreement would be for big business.

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Port Driver Efforts Show the Long, Hard Fight for Justice

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 7:52 AM

Over the last 18 months, port truck drivers at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have dramatically escalated their decades-long struggle against trucking companies. These employers have misclassified them as independent contractors, which is just a wonky way of saying they engage in wage theft....

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No Time to Waste in Letting Public, Lawmakers Know About Fast Track

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 8:59 AM

For years, big business has pushed for fast-track trade promotion authority so it can get secret trade deals it helps craft like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) enacted. It's had the support of some in Congress. Now congressional leaders want to move on fast track, and soon. That means those standing...

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Walmart Needs to Show More Thanks for Its Workers

(6) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 7:00 AM

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday where family and friends gather together and express gratitude for everything in their lives. But those who work at Walmart have little to be thankful for, at least when it comes to their employment.

At a time when income inequality is increasingly rampant...

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Drug Distributor Punishes Vets While Receiving Billions From VA

(19) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 7:35 AM

McKesson Corp. is the nation's largest drug distributor and earns roughly $4 billion a year serving as the primary pharmaceutical vendor for the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs. But it doesn't pay employees like Claude Hickerson, a veteran himself, enough to afford health care.

Ranked 15th...

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The Ballot Box Is the Great Equalizer for Workers

(4) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 9:37 AM

American workers are facing significant challenges. Whether it's low pay, a system that favors corporations over citizens, a gender wage gap, the effects of unfair trade or a voting system that hampers the most disadvantaged among us, these problems are...

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Trade Deals Set Their Sights on Public Workers

(1) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 8:23 AM

For much of this decade, Tea Party-backed lawmakers have been at war with public sector employees across the country. They've tried, and in a few cases succeeded, in taking away public servants' ability to collectively bargain. But now the battle is going abroad.

Under the guise of crafting...

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Weary U.S. Workers Are Still Experiencing Hard Times

(12) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 10:42 AM

Labor Day is seen as a day of rest for many hardworking Americans. But for a growing set of U.S. workers, there is no break from trying to earn enough to support their families. Despite a dip in unemployment during the past few years, low pay continues to plague many...

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It's Time to Terminate Temp Abuse, Pass Calif. Bill AB 1897

(10) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 9:43 AM

Cecilia Ceron has worked at the Tracy, California, plant of the world's biggest salad processor Taylor Farms for the past 11 years. But she doesn't work for the company. Instead, she is a long-term temporary employee trying to raise two daughters who has no health insurance. Often, Cecilia is forced...

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Cerberus Loots Bankrupt Airline's Health Care Account

(15) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 10:06 AM

Private equity firm Cerberus Business Finance, LLC, is looting a bankrupt airline that for 66 years ferried troops and equipment to war zones in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Cerberus' greed has tragic consequences for pilots and flight attendants now without a job, a paycheck or health insurance.

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Republic Nuclear Dump Fire Threatens Investors, Workers

(2) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 5:08 PM

Since 2010, a landfill fire has been moving toward 8,700 tons of unlined illegally dumped radioactive waste in Bridgeton, Missouri. The site is in the middle of working-class neighborhoods, right next to the Saint Louis airport, and near a hospital, schools and a great number of businesses.

The Teamsters believe...

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So-Called Right to Work Is Still Wrong for Workers

(25) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 11:12 AM

The annual state legislative folly that spurs pro-corporate lawmakers to introduce legislation to hack away at workplace rights and wages for millions of middle-class families is well underway. And it is failing -- again.

Despite the best efforts of the Koch brothers and their friends at the American...

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