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Local 743 Gangsters Rob Chicago Teamsters of a Fair Vote

by staff |
January 2, 1999
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Chicago, IL - In an election to decide control of Chicago's powerful Teamsters Local 743, the Hoffa Take Back Slate (HTB) has declared victory over the reformers in the 743 New Leadership Slate (NLS). The Hoffa Slate is closely connected the Chicago underworld crime scene.

Because corrupt Hoffa forces controlled the previous 743 executive board, they were able to hire an election officer to do their work for them. They chose Julie Hamos, a "liberal" Democrat from the Chicago Suburbs, to run the election.

Hamos was happy to look the other way while ballots disappeared. She challenged and refused to count over 600 ballots, most of them from Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center. In fact, she refused to count a single ballot from Rush, which was a New Leadership Slate strong hold, and key to winning this election.

In every election protest filed, Hamos ruled in favor of the HTB. In one case, former 743 boss Robert Simpson wrote a letter supporting the HTB. Simpson was barred from the Teamsters for life because of his relationship to the La Cosa Nostra crime family. In the letter, Simpson admitted that he was paying for the pro-HTB letter with his own money.

This violates the election rules. Incredibly, rather than believe Simpson's own words, Hamos ruled that the HTB had paid for the production and distribution of Simpson's campaign letter.

In the face of a rigged vote, supporters of the 743 NLS ran a valiant campaign. They hammered away at the corruption of the past. They told workers that they had the power to make a difference.

NLS Presidential candidate Donnie Von Moore said, "743 members working in nursing homes, hospitals, universities, factories and warehouses often can barely get by on the sub-par wages and benefits negotiated by corrupt, lazy, or inept union business agents."

Von Moore continued, "Our campaign focused on uniting workers, the real power, in the fight for Teamster wages and Teamster benefits for all 743 members."

Richard Berg, NLS Secretary Treasurer candidate and a worker at the University of Chicago Hospitals, echoed Von Moore's words, "They make enormous super-profits from our labor. We believe working people can overthrow a corrupt union. We believe that when we are united we can force management to act fairly."

The 743 NLS is part of a nationwide movement in the Teamsters to rid the union of corruption. This movement, led nationally by Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), seeks to end the days of mobsters skimming union dues money while making deals with management.

TDU International Steering Committee member and NLS executive board candidate Homer Lambert said it best, "We in TDU are on the side of the working class. We do not apologize for that because it is right."