Teamsters Ethics Code Behind Schedule

The Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters is several months behind schedule in its development and implementation of a comprehensive ethics code. The code was to have been unveiled in Oct. 2000. But after undergoing two draft versions, it now looks like the final document will not be ready for the IBT board’s final consideration and approval until at least Feb. 2001, according to Edwin H. Stier, ex-assistant U.S. attorney hired by IBT to head internal reform effort.  Also delayed is a comprehensive review of the degree of organized crime influence still found in the union long troubled by a history of organized crime connections. The report originally was due for release this fall.

Announced in July 1999, IBT’s Project RISE (respect, integrity, strength, ethics) is an internal anti-corruption plan intended a remove the influence of organized crime from the union and to set up self-policing procedures to prevent reoccurrences. [BNA 12/29/00] It questionable whether an internal union “anti-corruption” effort is meaningful.  A strong anti-corruption push by the Departments of Justice and Labor as well as Congress would undoubtedly be far more effective to catching and deterring corrupt union bosses.