In celebration of Labor Day 2012, I would like to honor James Riddle "Jimmy" Hoffa (1913-1982), the American labor union leader who, as general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (1958-1971), catalyzed the development of IBT into the largest and most powerful single union in the United States, with over 1.5 million members during his terms as its leader.
In 1964, Jimmy Hoffa brought all over-the-road truck drivers in North America under a single national master-freight agreement, in what may have been his finest achievement in a lifetime of union activity.
Hoffa's military service deferment during World War II made possible the harnessing of his union leadership skills in keeping freight running smoothly to assist the war effort towards victory of the United States in 1945.
Jimmy Hoffa was an extraordinary exemplar of the democratic counter-hegemonic initiative of trade unionism in perpetual political struggle with the corporatist merger of corporate and state power (fascism).
Jimmy Hoffa was not, as Robert F. Kennedy termed, The Enemy Within, but rather an American national hero, who fought for the political and economic freedom of working-class Americans.
Let us salute Jimmy - Jimmy Hoffa - this Labor Day for his indefatigable efforts on behalf, not only of truckers, but of all working-class men and women in America.
Joseph N. Manago