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Chicago IBT 705 leader Juan Campos boosts fight to take Teamsters in new direction

By staff |
February 3, 2019
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Chicago, IL - Teamsters from all over Chicago descended upon Teamster City, January 31, to celebrate the announcement that Juan Campos, secretary treasurer of Teamster 705, will be running for vice president at-large for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 2021 on the O’Brien-Zuckerman Teamsters United slate.

“We’re building a coalition for a new direction,” stated Campos. “A stronger Teamsters union and a stronger labor movement.”

Teamsters United was born out of a struggle against weak union leadership and concessions from employers such as UPS, ABF and UPS Freight. After a historic rejection of the national master UPS agreement in 2014, Fred Zuckerman, president of Teamsters 89 in Louisville, gained national fame as his local voted in record numbers to continue to reject Hoffa’s concessions.

After multiple rounds of ‘no’ votes, Hoffa forced the contract on Local 89 and other parts of the country, weakening health benefits, leaving loopholes in the contract that allow UPS management to relentlessly harass and fire drivers, as well as concessions to the record-profit-making UPS.

Shortly after, Zuckerman announced he was running for general president against Hoffa in the 2016 International election. With the power of the rank and file, Zuckerman’s Teamsters United took on Hoffa’s money and loyalists and won the majority of the United States and a majority of UPS votes, yet narrowly lost by a few thousand votes due to a larger vote for Hoffa in Canada, where Hoffa doesn’t negotiate contracts. Teamsters United did win six regional vice presidency seats.

Moving forward, ousted package division director and president of Teamsters 25 in Boston, Sean O’Brien, joined Teamsters United and has made plans to run a general president of the Teamsters on the Teamsters United slate, backed by Fred Zuckerman as his secretary treasurer.

“The addition of Juan Campos as vice president at-large on the Teamsters United slate makes the reformers and fighters in the Teamsters union the frontrunners in the next international election,” commented Chicago package car steward Daniel Ginsberg. “Myself and many others will be campaigning vigorously for we want to see a leadership with as much fight as the members.”

Campos joins the slate at a time when his Local 705 stood up and fought back against the IBT and UPS during the most recent contract. With the odds stacked against them in terms of a strike, Local 705 proved that even tough negotiations and a threat of a strike can win improvements, winning the best UPS/Teamster contract in the country.

“Hoffa’s capitulation at UPS comes during a wave of successful strikes and labor actions that has revitalized the union movement across the nation,” read a press release issued by the O’Brien-Zuckerman slate at the time of Campos’ announcement.

While Hoffa may not run again, his cronies are scrambling to put together a Hoffa-like slate. By Campos joining Teamsters United, and with the anger of Teamsters everywhere, change is quite possible.

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