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Day two of Teamster convention votes out ‘2/3 rule’

Por staff |
June 24, 2021
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Washington DC - The International Brotherhood of Teamsters 30th Convention entered its second day, June 24. Congratulatory videos were shown for outgoing General Secretary Treasurer Ken Hall, as well as videos from labor leaders such as SEIU leader Mary Kay Henry.

Today began the first series of contentious votes between rival factions vying for leadership in this year's international election. The O'Brien-Zuckerman Teamsters United Slate, a coalition slate that includes longstanding leaders and rank-and-file activists who want to bring back increased union militancy and rank-and-file involvement to the labor movement announced its candidacy early on. The Vairma-Herrera Teamster Power Slate, a grouping of old guard candidates backed by President Hoffa, opposes them.

O'Brien-Zuckerman (OZ) Teamsters United candidates and supporters put forward a series of resolutions and constitutional amendments, including an end to the "two-thirds rule" that the current leadership used to force ratification on contracts that were rejected by the membership; a requirement that rank-and-file members be on all bargaining committees; a requirement that top leaders have at least two years of experience working as a rank-and-file member to win office; improving benefits when members engage in a strike; supporting maintaining a 5% minimum threshold for nomination for International Union office, and capping the salaries of International Union leaders at no higher than what the general president makes.

Many of these resolutions and constitutional amendments were opposed by the Vairma slate. Several crucial amendments did pass today, including an end to the two-thirds rule, and one for required rank-and-file membership on bargaining committees. These amendments are historic and will change the face of negotiations with corporations and companies both large and small.

Nominations began today for leadership in the International Union. Candidates representing Canada had no challengers and are expected to be elected accordingly.

Fred Zuckerman and Teamsters United won the overall vote in the United States in the 2016 election on thanks to a grassroots campaign backed by huge numbers of rank-and-file volunteers, but lost narrowly after totals came in from Canada. Thursday will see delegate voting to formally nominate the candidates.