Teamster President James P. Hoffa, son of the late labor union leader and organized crime figure Jimmy Hoffa, has strongly condemned ICE raids on Wednesday as a practice that “tears families apart” and hurts the Teamsters’ “brothers and sisters in the labor movement.”
United Food & Commercial Workers, the labor union which actually represents the 680 illegal workers that were nabbed in the raids on food processing plants in Mississippi, has not issued a public statement regarding last week’s events. This makes Hoffa, 78, the most prominent figure in the labor movement to address the situation, which he did on Thursday in a politically charged statement.
“The Teamsters Union is speaking up in support of hardworking union members and their right to a fair and secure workplace,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President.
“The assault on workers must stop now. We want UFCW members and all our brothers and sisters in the labor movement to know that we support you. Our strength is in our unity, and we are calling for an end to policies that hurt workers and tear families apart,” the union leader stated.
This is not the junior Hoffa’s first foray into the political sphere, as he was caught on tape telling the audience at a 2011 rally for President Barack Obama “Let’s take these sons of b**ches out,” in reference to the Tea Party and the Republican Party.
The Teamsters’ official statement continued:
“The Teamsters Union stands with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) as it works to protect its members against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that are tearing families apart. Federal authorities raided two Mississippi food processing plants represented by UFCW yesterday and arrested scores of union members there.”
The anti-ICE position taken by Hoffa and the Teamsters is an increasingly popular one, with many Democratic presidential candidates already having vowed to immediately abolish the organization if elected to the White House.