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Jacksonville hosts Teamster debate watch

By Fernando Figueroa |
September 1, 2016
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Jacksonville, FL - About a dozen rank-and-file Teamsters gathered at a local bar in downtown Jacksonville to watch the debate for the upcoming International Brotherhood of Teamsters election. This October's union election will be one of the year's most important events for organized labor.

Teamsters United general president candidate Fred Zuckerman proposed several debates to the Hoffa/Hall slate before vice presidential candidate Ken Hall finally accepted. It is unknown why current General President Jimmy Hoffa Jr., refused to debate reform candidate Fred Zuckerman, but many have speculated that Hoffa was afraid of being exposed as a lapdog of big business.

Fred Zuckerman received cheers from around the bar as workers listened to his plan for rebuilding the Teamsters. Zuckerman promises to end corruption in the union, refocus on organizing core industries, and end the practice of agreeing to concessionary contracts. Ken Hall repeatedly tried to attack Zuckerman's legacy with half-truths and made bizarre statements indicating that apathy towards the union from the membership was a sign of good leadership.

Jacksonville rank-and-file Teamsters who watched the debate heckled the TV screen as Ken Hall dodged questions, including questions about the recently exposed corruption of Rome Aloise, Hoffa's top leader out west. Many Teamsters in Jacksonville and around the nation are tired of seeing their union collaborate with big business and are getting involved with the Teamsters United campaign to fight for stronger leadership and a stronger union.