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1996-12-05

Teamster Elections

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The whole labor movement is watching the Teamsters. The union is in the midst of one of the most heated elections in recent memory. 1.4 million members are eligible to vote for either incumbent Ron Carey or Jimmy Hoffa Jr, the son of the legendary labor leader who controlled the Teamsters during the 1950s and 60s. Unlike his dad, who dropped out of school in the 7th grade and later went to prison for jury tampering, Jimmy Jr. is a labor lawyer who has not worked as a Teamster since college. Hoffa says that the union has lost clout and membership under Carey’s leadership; Carey says he’s balanced the Teamsters budget for the first time in a decade and has weeded out many corrupt local union bosses. Nearly half a million Teamsters have cast their ballots already, the counting begins on December 10th.

GUEST:

Danny Kane, Jr. who was elected Secretary Treasurer of Teamsters local 202 as part of a reform ticket in 1990. Local 202 represents 1300 truck unloaders and warehousemen at Hunts Point, the largest fresh-produce market in the world, and four other fish and vegetable markets. Most members of his local are African American and Latino. Kane is backing Jimmy Hoffa Jr.’s bid to become the new Teamsters President.

Sergio Lopez is a Union Trustee with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and is one of a handful of Latino labor leaders to hold a top office in major U.S. union. As a trustee Mr. Lopez is responsible for reviewing the Union’s financial records. He’s currently running for re-election on Ron Carey’s slate. Lopez has been a Teamster for 32 years, beginning in Watsonville, California where he represented Mexican immigrants working in the food processing industry, and led a groudbreaking strike at Watsonville Canning, one of the few labor victories during the anti-labor Reagan years

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