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James P. Hoffa

“When I was elected in 1998, I knew the journey to rebuild the Teamsters and the labor movement would be difficult. But if we are to build better lives for our families, our communities and our country, it is a journey that we must make.

“The Teamsters are well on their way to transforming the labor movement into a social force that can improve the lives of all working people. To reach our goal, we must engage people in our struggle for social and economic justice. That means reaching out to those in need. We must remind the world that collectively we can make a difference. That one voice may get lost in the crowd, but together our voices will be heard. And when our voice is heard, its impact will be felt around the globe.

Solidarity is the key to our future, and through solidarity we will prevail in our struggle for fairness and justice.”

Since taking office on March 19, 1999, James P. Hoffa has been rebuilding the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. 

Under Hoffa’s leadership, Union membership has increased and, for the first time in nearly ten years, the Union budget is balanced. As a result of renewed solidarity, Teamsters are winning industry-leading contracts, engaging in vigorous contract enforcement and organizing the unorganized. Teamster positions on the issues of the day — from unsafe Mexican trucks to misguided trade concessions for China — now hold sway in Washington’s power corridors.

James P. Hoffa has spent a lifetime preparing for the challenge of running the Teamsters Union. He knows, first-hand, what Teamsters can accomplish when they work together. He is determined to lead a Union that is a credit to its proud history.

“The thing I’m most excited about is that together we’ve tackled the hardest problems head-on and won,” says Hoffa. “That’s the Teamster way. A national Carhaul agreement, a fair contract at last for Northwest’s flight attendants, keeping unsafe Mexican trucks off our highways, 10,000 new jobs at UPS — all these victories are products of the renaissance of Teamster solidarity.”


James P. Hoffa grew up on picket lines and in union meetings. He is the only son of James R. Hoffa, former General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. On his 18th birthday, Hoffa received his own union card and was sworn in by his father. Prior to becoming Administrative Assistant to Michigan Joint Council 43, Hoffa was a labor lawyer in Detroit for 25 years.


  • 1960’s: Teamster laborer in Detroit and Alaska, loading and unloading freight from ships, driving trucks and buses, and operating heavy equipment.

  • 1968-93: Teamster attorney representing members in workers compensation cases, Social Security, and personal legal matters; represented Teamster joint councils and local unions.

  • 1993-98: Administrative Assistant to the President of Michigan Joint Council 43.

  • 1999-Present: General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters.


  • 2002: President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce

  • 2002: Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board


  • 1959: Graduated from Detroit public schools, National Honor Society, All-City and All-State football player.

  • 1963: Degree in Economics, Michigan State University, played football under legendary coach Duffy Daugherty.

  • 1966: LLB Law Degree, University of Michigan.

  • 1967: Awarded Ford Foundation Fellowship to work in Michigan State Senate.


  • Born: May 19, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan

  • Family: Parents – Josephine and James R. Hoffa; Sister – Barbara Hoffa Crancer, attorney and Circuit Judge in St. Louis, Mo.; Wife – Virginia Harris Hoffa, former teacher and licensed veterinary technician; Children – David and Geoffrey, both Michigan State University graduates.

  • Hobbies: Outdoor activities including fishing, hunting and golf.


  • Organize the unorganized;

  • Negotiate industry-leading contracts;

  • Vigorously enforce Teamster contracts

  • Implement Project RISE anti-corruption program;

  • Continue fiscal reform and budgetary accountability;

  • Fight trade policies that threaten American jobs;

  • Demand stricter health and safety regulations.



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