LABOR: Leave It to Jimmy

In New York's Governor Clinton Hotel one February morning, 200 officials of the International Longshoremen's Association beamed with delight as a guest speaker from Detroit rasped out an announcement of a cynical power play. The speaker: tough, chunky James Riddle Hoffa, a vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. His announcement: as part payment for a pact binding the teamsters and longshoremen to joint organizational drives and cooperative action during strikes, three regional teamster groups—the Central, Eastern and Southern Conferences—were prepared to lend the I.L.A. more than $400,000.

Hoffa's proposed alliance with the debt-ridden I.L.A. outraged A.F.L.-C.I.O. brass, who...

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