Department of Labor Says Election Was Rigged

A recent suit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) charged Local 743 President Robert Walston and the other officers of Local 743 with election fraud and other violations. This comes as the result of a local election challenged by longtime TDUer Richard Berg and the New Leadership Slate.

The complaint in federal court states Local 743 officials, “denied members the right to vote when Defendant mailed members’ ballots to incorrect addresses, the ballots were marked by individuals other than the designated recipients, and the ballots were returned and counted in the election tally.”

Local 743 members were not surprised by the ruling. “We know this because we have caught them—several times!” said Esmeralda Cuevas of the 743 New Leadership Slate. “Finally the government is doing something about it.”

The Department of Labor suit calls for a new election that the agency would run instead of Local 743 officers. In the impartially-supervised 2001 IBT delegate race in Local 743, the New Leadership Slate won the majority of the spots.

It is time for justice for the 12,000 Teamsters in Local 743: the rightful winners of the election should be installed, and the Walston group removed.

Walston and his executive board actually stopped counting the votes last fall when Richard Berg, leader of the New Leadership Slate, was ahead in the count with just the challenged ballots remaining. Berg, Antonio Caldera, and other New Leadership reformers knew that bogus ballots were being counted, but won the election anyway. So Walston stopped the count, conducted a second election, and made sure the count would go just right that time. After the Hoffa administration took no action to correct the injustice, the New Leadership Slate implored the Labor Department to act.


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