Jun 10 2022
"I Do to Others What They Do to Me, Only Worse...": Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters, and Organized Crime
The conversation regarding unionism and the Mafia continues in the third BONUS episode of "Union Talkin'" In this episode, Pettengill explores organized crime's infiltration of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Jimmy Hoffa, a rising star within the union movement, was taking on not only the titans of industry but also rivals unions who were competing with him for dues-paying members. On the one hand, Hoffa needed the Mafia to stay out of the way when it came to their union-busting tactics and on the other hand, he needed some enforcers to beat back his union competitors. Hoffa used the Mafia's influence to secure unionism in the late 1930s but, as Pettengill notes, this did not come without a cost. Hoffa became incredibly powerful as a union leader but that power did not always serve the rank-and-file especially well.