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Zuckerman vs. Hoffa for Teamster Presidency

By staff |
January 9, 2016
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Louisville, KY - Fred Zuckerman announced he will challenge Jim Hoffa for President of the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters. Zuckerman is known in the Teamsters for his outspoken opposition to the “give back” contract negotiated with UPS. Current Teamster President Jim Hoffa and his underling Ken Hall are responsible for that “give back” contract.

In making his announcement, Zuckerman said, "Hoffa has failed to organize in our core industries of carhaul, freight, warehousing, and grocery... He's negotiated concessionary contracts, even during a time when companies like UPS were making billions of dollars.  To protect the members we have, we need to rebuild organizing efforts in each and every one of those industries."

Zuckerman made the announcement on a nationwide conference call to supporters January 10, 2016.

During the last contract at UPS, Zuckerman as President of Teamsters Local 89 set an example when his Local union overwhelmingly, repeatedly, and consistently voted down the UPS contract and its supplements. Teamsters Local 89 with reform Teamster leaders across the country formed the central leadership of a “Vote No” campaign in opposition to Hoffa’s bad deal with UPS.

Despite this, in a move that stretched the legality of the Teamster constitution, Hoffa signed the concessionary agreement.

“Hoffa’s sellout looked like a done deal until Fred Zuckerman’s Local 89 and other reform leaders stood up to the sellout,” said Teamsters Local 344 activist Adam Frederick, “this gave me the strength to speak out as part of a national movement fighting for all UPS workers.”

Zuckerman will run with other reformers on the Teamsters United slate. Initially, Teamsters United announced Tim Sylvester would run for President, but moved Zuckerman into the slot after Sylvester was defeated in a local union election.

Zuckerman joined the Teamsters when he helped organize Houston’s Chemical Express workers in 1979. Later he took a job as a car hauler in Kentucky which made him a member of Local 89. As an active member, he became a steward for 7 years, then a business agent, and was elected Local 89 President in 2000.

Zuckerman also held the important national position of Grievance Panel Chair under Presidents Ron Carey and Jim Hoffa. Then he was the IBT Carhaul Director until he broke with Hoffa’s failed leadership. Along with being president of Teamsters Local 89, Zuckerman is currently the President of Teamsters Joint Council 94. Under Zuckerman’s leadership, Local 89 is known for its organizing of new union members and fighting the boss to protect their members’ standard of living.

Zuckerman wants to fight at UPS as well as for the national freight truckdrivers, carhaul drivers, and other core Teamster industries. He argues for mobilizing the membership to fight for a better standard of living for all Teamsters. This stands in stark contrast to Hoffa’s “Let’s make a deal!” approach.

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