November 12, 2010: Anti-union employers say the Teamsters are a bunch of thugs and members have no voice in our union. Why is Hoffa VP Randy Cammack helping union-busters make their case?
On November 6, some 60 Teamsters showed up at the nominations meeting of Los Angeles Local 63 to support a candidate for secretary treasurer, Dan Kane.
They were met by an intimidating mob led by the staff of International Vice President Randy Cammack.
Most of Kane’s supporters work at UPS. They’re used to a tough boss, but expect the union to be their ally. They expect solidarity in the face of intimidation. At the Local 63 meeting, they found something much uglier.
Cammack, who is Hoffa’s main man in Southern California, packed the hall at the nominations meeting, including officials from many other locals. They formed a screaming mob.
The meeting hall had no chairs, where members could sit in an orderly fashion. Instead, Cammack ruled over the crowd with police and a squad with “Teamster Security” on their shirts.
A local union nomination meeting should be an exercise in democracy, not intimidation.
No union official likes to be opposed in an election. But Cammack has every possible advantage: incumbency, unlimited money from a dozen six-figure appointees, a giant local, the backing of the International union leadership.
So why is Cammack so afraid of a little democracy? And why is he giving fodder to anti-union employers who highlight thug tactics like his?
This crew has a history of violence and intimidation when it comes to democratic dissent.
At the most recent Teamsters Union Convention in 2006, members of Local 63 knocked a delegate unconscious because he criticized Hoffa. And they were caught at it. This case is detailed here.
Maybe Cammack thinks that mob rule gives him a “tough” image. Hoffa and Cammack should try getting tough on employers instead – and learn some respect for Teamster members.
Do you think this is the way to build our union in the 21st century?