A set of election rules and procedures proposed by the Teamsters union is expected to be approved this week, setting the stage for the union's first elections without government supervision since federal racketeering charges were settled in 1989.
The U.S. Attorney's office in New York has already agreed in principle to the rules, according to published reports. The agreement must still be approved by a federal court judge.
The new rules call for the election of delegates to the union's national convention in Las Vegas next June to begin this year. The agreement calls for William Wertheimer, a labor lawyer, to serve as election administrator. Former Federal District Judge Kenneth Conboy will serve as election appeals master, as he has done in previous elections.
Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, who has been lobbying to end the federal government's oversight, says the union's rules are tougher than the ones imposed by the government during the last three union elections.
"The proposed rules are the most comprehensive election rules ever developed by an International union," Hoffa said. The call for the elimination of soft money, as well as reporting and disclosure of all contributions and expenditures.
Last month, Hoffa testified before the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee. The hearing was called to examine the union's efforts to fight corruption and improve its finances. Committee chairman Pete Hoekstra, R-MI, said, "I believe that significant reforms have taken place within the IBT since 1989, and we are finally at a point where the federal government can step aside and the union can reclaim its ability to manage itself."