Teamsters union President Jackie Presser has sent union auditors into two locals to investigate allegations that officials have misappropriated funds, according to a Teamster lawyer. An article Thursday implied that no such investigations were under way.
Teamsters president Jackie Presser retreated yesterday from his statement Tuesday to a Senate panel that he has sent auditors to investigate suspected "hanky-panky" in some union locals.
"As soon as I said it, I wish I could have pulled my tongue back," he told reporters yesterday. He said that he was just trying to explain the process the union follows in dealing with routine complaints, and that there are no formal investigations by Teamsters auditors of locals with records of corruption or criminal convictions.
Presser said he does not have the power to go into locals and clean them up, but "this international doesn't want anything different from what those senators want."
Holding his first news conference since he took the top office, Presser also praised President Reagan's economic program and said the union is "going to go the full route with this president."
Although in this and other matters he is at odds with much of organized labor, Presser said he met last week with AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland to talk about problems of the unemployed and possible reaffiliation with the federation. He acknowledged that Kirkland "has one philosophy and I have another." But, "Personally, between Kirkland and me I find no problem."
Presser said it is premature to tell whether the Teamsters may reaffiliate with the AFL-CIO.
He also called on Congress to enact a Teamster proposal that would put the jobless to work part-time while they draw unemployment benefits.
"Call it work-fare. Call it a new Civilian Conservation Corps. Call it anything you like," he said. "We need some program in this country to give people back their dignity, to allow them to hold their heads up high."