For the first time in nearly two decades, reformers have won seats on the Teamsters’ international executive board—and come within a hair’s breadth of unseating the incumbent administration led by President James P. Hoffa.

The Teamsters United coalition slate, headed by Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman and backed by the longtime reform group Teamsters for a Democratic Union, contested all 12 at-large seats and nine of the 15 regional seats. They ran on a platform of refusing concessions, reviving contract enforcement, defending pensions, rooting out corruption, and organizing in the union’s core industries.

The challengers scored 49 percent of the vote. A swing of about 3,000 votes would have put new leaders in charge of the union.

Buoyed by the strong showing, candidates and supporters plan to keep building the Teamsters United coalition as a force to organize bottom-up contract campaigns, help members run for local union office, and expose corruption.
In Election Squeaker, Teamsters United Nearly Topples Hoffa | Labor Notes