In 2005, the Journal of Transportation Law, Logistics and Policy published an authoritative essay by law professor Michael J. Goldberg, entitled Teamster Reformers: Their Union, Their Jobs, Their Movement.
How the Reform Movement Has Changed the Teamsters Union (1976-1979)
In 1976 the Teamsters Union was in big trouble. Union leaders had allowed organized crime to infiltrate the highest levels of the union. Read more.
Winning the Fight for Democracy (The 1980s)
The 1980s were a difficult time for working Teamsters. They were years of economic recession, freight industry deregulation, and concessionary bargaining. Read more.
Rebuilding Teamster Power (1991-1997)
Rank-and-file Teamsters won the right to vote for top Teamster officers after a decade-long fight led by TDU. In the 1990s members used that right to elect new leaders and change our union’s direction. Read more.
The Fight to Save Our Union (1998-2007)
After the UPS strike victory in 1997, the Teamsters stood at the forefront of the American labor movement. But there were tough times ahead. The coming years would see Ron Carey’s reform efforts as IBT President ended and the restoration of old-guard leadership at the IBT. Read more.
2006 Teamster Election Archive
Reports and stories on the 2006 Teamster Election and the organizing efforts of Teamster members to elect the Tom Leedham Strong Contracts, Good Pensions Slate. Visit the archive.
2011 Teamster Election Archive
Reports and stories on the 2011 Teamster Election and the organizing efforts of Teamster members to elect Sandy Pope for General President of the IBT. Visit the archive.
More Teamster and TDU History
September 19, 2013: On September 18 in 1976, a small group of courageous Teamsters met in Kent, Ohio, to form Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU). They had little going for them except guts, principles, and a vision of a union driven by rank and file power.
We have a legal right to a fair and informed vote on our national contracts. But our rights have not come without Teamsters for a Democratic Union taking on big battles. Here is a summary of some key legal – and membership – victories involving our rights in national Teamster contracts.
September 11, 2013: Teamster members do have power and democratic rights when it comes to voting on their contracts. It was not always this way. But Teamster members united through TDU to win key rights at contract time.
November 26, 2012: It started in the mid-1970s, with an organization called PROD, the Professional Drivers Council. PROD collected hundreds of LM-2 financial reports on Teamster locals, joint councils and the International and began to analyze them, tracing all the multiple salaries, family connections, and more.
March 14, 2012: TDU celebrates the contributions of Teamster women to our union and to labor struggles for social and economic equality.
July 15, 2011: In 1976 our Teamsters Union was in big trouble. For years, top leaders allowed organized crime to infiltrate the highest levels of the union. The mob was raiding the Central States Pension Fund to build Las Vegas casinos. The members were shut out.
May 20, 2011: In 1997, Teamster members and leaders beat UPS in a two week strike—the biggest victory for labor in the past three decades.
When TDU was founded in 1976, Teamster members didn’t have the right to vote for top officers and the union was controlled by organized crime.
January 14, 2011: We celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, because of his leadership in the nonviolent movement for civil rights for all Americans.