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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

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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Here's 30 Billion Reasons Why Mexican Trucks Are No Joke

(2) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 1:59 PM

The Mexican trucking industry has repeatedly failed to get its own carriers to participate in a cross-border pilot program created in 2011 to study whether Mexican truckers are meeting basic safety standards set up in the wake of NAFTA. But instead of working harder to do so, the industry is...

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Tax Dodging by Big Businesses Hurts Our Kids and Is Not Sustainable

(20) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 2:02 PM

Imagine sending your child to kindergarten in a school district that is in such a budget crisis, her school no longer has a library, or an arts program, or music classes, or a science teacher. To save money, her classes have been cut to a half day.

Now, imagine that...

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NAFTA Shows the Damage Fast Track Could Bring

(16) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 9:51 AM

Congress will kick off 2014 by likely considering legislation that would allow bum trade deals to speed through Capitol Hill with little debate and no amendments. The Teamsters and others have been vocal on what a bad idea that would be. And it isn't hard to prove why.

Big business...

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It's Time to End the Secrecy Surrounding TPP

(2) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 3:21 PM

The Teamsters, other unions and fair trade advocates have for years criticized a proposed Pacific Rim trade deal for its lack of transparency. Now trade officials with the 12 nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are paying the price for not having an open process as they can't seem to...

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Corporate America: 'Have You No Sense of Decency?'

(33) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 10:43 AM

Today the Teamsters and American workers face a moment of reckoning. The time has come where people must stand up and say enough is enough to companies that seek to take advantage of employees and taxpayers.

Anyone who has followed the U.S. economy in recent years can...

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Lawmakers Increasingly Realize Fast Track Is a Fraud

(9) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 5:42 PM

The Teamsters for years have been an outspoken critic of fast-track trade authorization which allows bad proposed trade agreements to move through Congress on just a quick up-or-down vote. And in the last week, we were joined by 185 House lawmakers who feel the same way.


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Unions Need Global Solidarity

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 4:17 PM

In a few short decades, our country and our world have changed dramatically. In the last 30 years, America has gone from the world's biggest creditor nation to the one holding the world's largest debt.

Unfair trade agreements have gutted American manufacturing and other industries. Millions of good jobs have...

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Living Wage Now!

(14) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 12:03 PM

Low-wage workers don't have the luxury of taking the summer off in the fight for a living wage. Hard-working Americans from coast-to-coast have stood up to their corporate bosses in the trucking, warehouse, fast-food and retail sectors. They are demanding fair treatment. And the battle has just begun.

This week...

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Congress Shouldn't Outsource Its Trade Negotiating Authority

(8) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 2:36 PM

The looming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is potentially the biggest so-called "free trade" agreement in the world. And you've probably never heard about it.

TPP negotiations are being held in secret. Right now. Behind closed doors. Even the U.S. Congress, which is granted sole authority under the Constitution to debate and...

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CEOs Want to Hide Riches Through Repeal of Wage Gap Disclosure Requirement

(4) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 12:04 AM

The divide in pay between top executives and regular workers is out of control. A recent Bloomberg News calculation concluded that chief executives on average take home 204 times more than their rank-and-file employees.

But that average gulf in pay is merely a stream compared...

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ALEC's War on Workers

(13) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 12:13 PM

Corporations are upping the ante in their attempt to take control of the political process. Under the guise of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the nation's most powerful are drafting legislation that is appearing in statehouses across the country. And the target is not just union members, but the...

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Playing Doomsday Politics

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 3:25 PM

No one was elected to Congress because he or she promised to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

But now some members of Congress, mostly Republicans, are demanding what America rejected: cuts to Social Security and Medicare and tax breaks for a few of the richest Americans....

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Remember When Romney Cracked Down on Outsourcing? Me Neither

(19) Comments | Posted November 4, 2012 | 7:25 PM

Millions of Americans need good-paying jobs. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney doesn't have a plan to create them.

That's just what you'd expect from a man who made his fortune sending American jobs overseas and profitable companies into bankruptcy.

Our standard of living is falling because too many jobs are outsourced...

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Carnage and Crime In Mexico Offer More Reasons to Keep Unsafe Trucks Off U.S. Roads

(10) Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 2:35 PM

The State Department recently warned Americans against taking unnecessary trips to vast, dangerous sections of Mexico. Nearly all the states along the border are awash in violence, and there is no safe road to Mexico City.

Mexico's 5-year-old narco-war is only getting worse. More than 12,000 people were killed in...

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A Shameful Attack on Working Families in Indiana

(90) Comments | Posted January 6, 2012 | 5:46 AM

The central battleground in the war against workers today is the Indiana Statehouse. Anti-worker lawmakers are frantic to pass a bill that would weaken unions and shrink Indiana's middle class. The legislative fight over the measure could make the Super Bowl look like a stroll in the park.


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Good Jobs

(151) Comments | Posted September 4, 2011 | 11:35 PM

Labor unions raise workers' wages, give them a voice on the job and protect them from financial and medical insecurity. They help turn a job into a good job. Good jobs create more jobs. Well-paid, secure workers spend money in their communities. They support local businesses, which can then grow...

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Global Capitalism Is Destroying the Middle Class, Say the Global Capitalists

(48) Comments | Posted May 6, 2011 | 10:33 AM

Some of the most trusted institutions in the world are finally awakening to the dangers of unrestrained global capitalism.

Unions, of course, have for decades warned about the emerging global order. The reason for integrating regional economies into global networks has always been to shift power away from workers....

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Walker's Political Theater, Brought to You By the Koch Brothers

(196) Comments | Posted April 14, 2011 | 12:03 PM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be among friends today when he testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Nearly half the Republican committee members receive funding from the notorious union-busters, Charles and David Koch. Three of the witnesses -- including Walker --...

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The War on Workers: L.A. Is On!

(4) Comments | Posted March 24, 2011 | 9:59 AM

Fasten your seatbelts--because Wisconsin was just the beginning! We are ramping up our fight in the war on American workers and the assault on the middle class by taking to the streets in Los Angeles on Saturday.

It's not just about red states and blue states, it's not about...

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