A longtime Teamsters Union official whose family helped send the late Teamsters Boss Jimmy Hoffa to prison has been accused of threatening the Louisiana-based Formosan Plastics Corp. officials during contract negotiations in 2001. Keith Partin was charged by federal prosecutors on Oct. 18 with blackmail, a misdemeanor that carries up to one year in prison.
Prosecutors said Partin threatened to report the company for violating an unspecified federal law if it did not pay the wages of eight union members for hours they would miss during contract negotiations in March 2001. Union workers struck the Baton Rouge plant for five days in June 2001 before signing a new contract.
Partin is the son of Edward Grady Partin, who was the business manager for Teamsters Local No. 5 during a turbulent period of labor unrest in the 1960s and 1970s in the chemical industry along the Mississippi River. In 1964, the elder Partin testified in federal court that Hoffa had tried to tamper with a jury in an earlier trial. Hoffa was eventually convicted and imprisoned. [Associated Press, 10/19/04]