Chicago, IL - Two days after Teamsters Joint Council 25 suspended Richard Berg and Gina Alvarez from office over trumped up charges, the International president, Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. has granted them a stay of effectiveness. This will be in place until the international hears their appeal. Berg and Alvarez will be restored to their positions in the union immediately.
The two reform leaders of Local 743 were charged with corruption. Ironically, neither of them was accused of personally benefiting in any of the charges brought against them. In fact, Secretary Treasurer Alvarez and President Berg had worked to put the local union back into the hands of the members after decades of true corruption. The officers of the local for years before Berg and Alvarez had stolen elections and forced sell-out contracts onto members. These practices were accepted by the Joint Council.
In recent months, Berg and Alvarez helped lead the workers at SK Hand Tools to a victorious strike to defend health care benefits. That strike gained national attention, including coverage in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The leader of the executive board in the local that charged them is Larry Davis, who played no role in the SK strike.
President Berg expressed to Fight Back! the gratitude he and Secretary Treasurer Alvarez felt for the outpouring of support they received from friends, allies and workers in the local since the news of their removal from office broke on Monday evening.