Hoffa Removes Sean O'Brien as Package Director

Hoffa has removed Sean O’Brien as the head of the Teamster Package Division and as the union’s lead contract negotiator at UPS and UPS Freight, saying the union needs to move in “another direction.”


After 70 percent of UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters voted for Teamsters United in the International Union election, Hoffa knew that he needed a new front man at the Package Division and he tapped O’Brien for the job.

In his short tenure, O’Brien took initial steps toward a more aggressive posture with the company.

He publicly announced on the UPS Rising website and Facebook page that Fred Zuckerman should be on the National Negotiating Committee. Hoffa ordered O’Brien’s words be removed.

Hoffa didn’t want anyone leading contract negotiations that he couldn’t control. Now O’Brien is out. UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters need to be ready to fight for themselves.

In a statement today, Teamsters United leader Fred Zuckerman said, “I don't care what side of the fence you were on in the last election. This is deplorable when you remove the lead negotiator because he is willing to stand up for the members and against the company."

Denis Taylor, an IBT Trustee and the principal officer of Baltimore Local 355 was named as O'Brien's replacement. Taylor carried his local by just 13 votes in the IBT election last year, hardly a vote of confidence by the members.  

Step Up or Get Sold Out...

The future of the UPS and UPS Freight contracts will not be decided by Hoffa or his petty political power plays.

It will be decided by UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters. We have the right to vote on our contracts—and we have the power to reject givebacks if we’re organized.

Teamsters United has launched a contract campaign to unite UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters to stand up to the company and win the contracts that members deserve.

Hoffa has once again put politics ahead of the members. The lesson is clear. If we don’t want to be sold out again, we need to organize ourselves.

UPS Teamsters--click here to get involved in the Teamsters United campaign for a good contract

UPS Freight Teamsters--click here to get involved in the Teamsters United campaign for a good contract.

Click here to read Fred Zuckerman’s statement on Hoffa’s removal of Sean O’Brien.

Showing 11 reactions

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  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2018-07-19 15:21:08 -0400
    “Step up or get SOLD OUT”..,
    Look what has come to pass (7-20-2018)..
    Deja Vu all over again & again.
  • John Palmer
    commented 2017-09-08 17:05:55 -0400
    Statement by Southern Region Vice President John Palmer:

    Once again, Hoffa has put his overinflated ego before the members’ best interest by his firing of Sean O’Brien as Package Director. He replaced Sean with his loyalist Denis Taylor, a political hack, a “yes man” whose greatest accomplishment was helping Hoffa bust the unionizing drive with the IBT organizers.

    Let’s be perfectly clear – Sean did lots of damage to UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters when they chose to force givebacks on our members during the last contract. He stood with Hoffa in the last election. He participated in that embarrassing display of thuggery with the rest of the red vested juveniles at our convention. Sean has a history of threatening and attacking those who have opposed him and Hoffa.

    After the election, Sean heard the members loud and clear; he saw where 70% of the UPS and UPS Freight members voted against Hoffa. He saw Hoffa as nothing more than a “dead man walking” politically speaking—then he began to adapt.

    To be certain, Sean knew he had little political future going forward, and zero chance of passing a contract at UPS, if he didn’t reach across the aisle to Fred Zuckerman and Teamsters United. Our members are demanding we push back against UPS now.

    Sean is the only Hoffa GEB member to reach out to us, regardless of his motives. I attended UPS national hearings early this year and was told to leave the room by Hoffa’s staffers. Sean stepped in, and demanded they stop. Couple that with Sean’s request to add Fred, Avral, and Tony Jones to the negotiating committees. In Hoffa’s eyes, it became treasonous; and as usual, his petty politics trump our members’ needs.

    He had no choice but to support the members. More importantly, the members deserve the credit. It was our members who turned up the heat in VOTING NO against givebacks, and our members who voted for Teamsters United and rejected Hoffa.

    That’s why Sean went from pushing for givebacks to talking tough with UPS. That’s why he went from threatening Teamsters United supporters to reaching out to us.

    My point is this: we need to keep up the fight, to continue turning up the heat. No matter who Hoffa sends to the negotiating table, we have the power to defeat concessions and win better contracts if we organize.

    Let’s hold our locals accountable. After all, we voted for Teamsters United in the U.S. Please join us in our ongoing Teamsters United contract campaigns.

    As your elected Vice President, I will stand with you against concessions. Let’s work together, and let’s go out and win stronger and fairer contracts.
  • Richard Stahl
    commented 2017-09-07 23:07:03 -0400
    Sean is a stand up guy and a fighter. Worked as a steward at UPS when he was my business agent. Went to war with him before, will go to war with him again. I am shocked by the current state of affairs. He is absolutely the man we need leading these negotiations. He knows UPS inside and out. He does not fear them, and he always fights for the best interests of his members. With him leading, we were in a strong position. Now?
  • Steven Whitecross
    commented 2017-09-07 14:38:38 -0400
    Picken pockets ? Maybe but after finally reading the news in BLACK & WHITE I see a twinkle in Mr. Obriens eyes that says I’m pulling the plug on this asshole . Steve Whitecross . Local 25 resting and reloading .
  • John Palmer
    commented 2017-09-07 10:32:52 -0400
    Denis Taylor his replacement surely is no upgrade. He union busted the organizers at the IBT while they fought for a contract.
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2017-09-07 09:52:34 -0400
    Hoffa MUST GO
  • Michael Savwoir
    commented 2017-09-06 22:36:32 -0400
    Did Mr. O’Brien not learn how to kiss the ring from his predecessor Ken Hall? Maybe, O’Brien actually has a pair. We stand with you Sean if you stand for members. It is never too late to have a union that serves the interests of its members and not its corporate puppeteers!
  • Thomas Downing
    commented 2017-09-06 20:03:24 -0400
    time to show Hoffa the door. Sean O’Brien is a stand up guy! Tom(TD) Downing Trustee Local 25 Retiree
  • Nick Williams
    commented 2017-09-06 19:51:06 -0400
    Another absolutely deplorable move by Hoffa. How many times do we need to touch the stove before realize it’s hot? Hoffa should have been dumped YEARS ago. Now UPSers will most likely suffer a sub-par 5 year deal before their collective voices will be heard again in the next election cycle.
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2017-09-06 16:52:53 -0400
    Is Ob’rien picking HOFFA’S jacket pocket in the above 📷..???
  • Teamsters for a Democratic Union
    published this page in News 2017-09-06 15:41:07 -0400
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