The Rank and File Remembers Ron Carey

December 15, 2008: Teamster members have been writing in from across the country to share their memories of Ron Carey and show their condolences to Ron Carey’s family and friends.

Click here to send your personal remembrance of Ron Carey. He touched thousands of us and we will not be able to post all of our remembrances, but we know that he is in the hearts and minds of many in our union.

Read more about Ron Carey's life and work to change our union.

Read more remembrances of Ron Carey.

Read "A Teamster Apart" in The Nation.

Read the New York Times' obituary.

Read the Washington Post's obituary.

 


I was saddened to hear of the passing of Ron Carey. I had the privilege of meeting him, campaigning with him and supporting him both as a rank and filer and as a union officer when he was General President.

Ron Carey’s leadership and vision took the Teamsters Union to new heights. The UPS strike remains the high water mark for the union and may never be topped. Under Ron's leadership, the IBT, for once, ran a smart strategic campaign that not only united the UPS membership but other Teamsters and working people across the nation as well.

Another lasting legacy of Ron’s that may not have been mentioned but needs to be are all the brothers and sisters, who, because of him, became active in their union and stepped up to become either shop stewards, convention delegates, union reps or elected officers. I know that without Ron’s example, I would probably not taken the first step that took me off the truck at UPS and into a lifelong calling representing rank-and-file workers.

Ron you have been and will continue to be missed. Condolences to the Carey family.

Mike Brannan, Local 828, retired
Former member, TDU International Steering Committee
Representative, California Nurses Association


I decided to become a Teamster after reading about Ron Carey in Steven Brill's book, The Teamsters. The chapter on Ron described a courageous UPS driver who faced down company threats while running for local union president. Once elected, Ron proved just as tough and effective in standing up to the corrupt Teamster power structure in New York.

I was thrilled and surprised when I got a phone call from Ron ten years later. He was considering a run for the head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. When he came to Watsonville, California, in 1991, I watched him campaign with members at shift changes in the canneries. Though Ron didn't speak Spanish, he clearly communicated his caring about each member with every handshake. He referred to these members as "forgotten members." After Ron was elected, he didn't forget them or the hundreds of thousands of hard working Teamsters like them. For the first time, he brought the full resources of the International Union to members with the lowest wages and the weakest contracts. Ron often said that a "strong union involves everyone."

During his entire union life, from rank-and-file worker to General President of the Teamsters, Ron did the right thing. I don't think Ron was fearless; it was just that fear didn't stop him. His bravery and consistency is an important example for all workers and leaders.

Like many others, I have missed Ron since he was unjustly expelled from the union and prohibited from contact with the members he loved so much. I grieve over not only his passing but also for not having had the chance to see him and thank him in person for everything he did and stood for.

Ron Carey never forgot where he came from and never forgot the members. Ron raised our hopes and made us all stronger. We will never forget him.

Joe Fahey, Local 948


 

Farewell for now to a great man who served our nation as a United States Marine, our Teamsters Union as a real reform General President, as a friend who provided more encouragement and examples than these pages will allow, and as I am certain, a family man who is dearly missed by those who knew him best. To the Carey family, I echo the heartfelt thanks that have been extended to you for sharing and supporting Ron in the ongoing struggle and efforts to clean up our union. I pray you’ll seek and find comfort in God’s words and promises, such as in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Brother Carey walked and talked in the very fighting spirit and ideals that TDU has championed for many years. His adversaries while serving as General President were the rank and file’s adversaries as well. The very same crooks that put their own greed and self-serving interests way above those of the rank-and-file members. Ron’s efforts to cut and cap fat cat multiple salaries and pensions directly benefited all working Teamsters. His goals and accomplishments were and are in stark contrast to our current leadership.

It is past time for those Teamsters who share TDU’s and Ron’s ideals and vision for an honest and accountable leadership at the IBT to roll up our sleeves and encourage more members to get informed & involved in TDU so that we can finish the job that Brother Carey so courageously started, as our first ever elected General President, in restoring the power of this union back to the rank-and-file members!

Is there any better way that we can collectively honor Ron Carey and his family?

I salute the memory of an honorable man and friend, and bow in condolence to the Carey family in their time of mourning!

Semper Fi.

Matt Studd, Local 327
Cassens, Smyrna, Tenn.


 

I had a copy of a US Senate exhibit on the hearings on Bill Clinton's White House activities. The exhibit is about 8 pages long, with internal and candid views of International Unions, their presidents, their PAC activities and what the President could do to build better political relationships.

Every one of them was really telling.

“Take so-and-so on Air Force One.”

“Schmooze him.” Etc.

When it came to Ron Carey, it said “He cares only about his members issues.”

Larry Hanley, ATU
Staten Island, N.Y.


 

If the rest of the Teamsters stood behind him, we wouldn’t be in this mess today.

Shawn Becker, Local 769
YRCW, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.


 

It was a brave thing to do to take on a campaign to head the Teamsters and to lead that UPS strike. Ron Carey's individual role in both of those campaigns point to what a labor movement has the potential to do (and look like), at least initially, in its efforts to advance the interests of workers. I think the P-9 strike was another (or the other) significant example in recent history (but that just might be my Midwestern location). If anything, perhaps your article understates the influence of those struggles on others in the labor movement. Because folks who are out there struggling every day to turn things around need some concrete examples of success and examples of what can be done—and Ron's struggles provided some of that to countless union activists.

In Solidarity,
David Poklinkoski, IBEW Local 2304
Madison Gas & Electric, Madison, Wis.


 

Ron Carey was a true American hero of the best kind. He brought honesty, integrity, and a passion for the welfare of Teamster members to our union, which had been on the decline for decades.

My fondest memory of Ron and his leadership is the 1994 UPS Safety Strike victory. But the 1997 UPS strike showed the world that rank-and-file power, organization, and smart strategies win victories. Unfortunately, it also proved to the corporate elite that he was probably the most dangerous man in America, because he proved we could shut down the wheels of commerce. It was only one month after that strike ended that the Feds forced him out of office and barred him from any communication with any Teamster members.

Of course, Ron himself would admit it’s never about the person, it’s about the members and the movement. On the other hand, he was the right person at the right time to help guide us onto a new path of democratic unionism and transform our union. He overcame huge opposition to bring out the best in us and our union as a workers' movement.

We owe a huge debt of thanks to the Carey family for having shared his precious (and too short) time with us.

Bob Hasegawa, Washington State Representative
Former Secretary-Treasurer, Local 174, Seattle


To me, Ron Carey was an example of a real labor leader. He cared about all working people, not just those paying dues to his local or organization. He never seemed swayed by the fat cat life style that infects so many union officials and politicians in this country.

The first time I spoke with Ron was at the 1991 IBT convention. We were on the floor of the convention and it was loud and hectic. In the middle of all the turmoil, he turned to me and asked how I was doing. He was the one facing all of the pressure and I was the one who was nervous. He put all of that aside, and wanted to know how I was doing. At first, it seemed very odd and out of place. But that is the nature of a true leader. He was just such a solid guy that he could handle all of that pressure while caring about some guy next to him.

During his re-election, he made one of his campaign stops in Sacramento. The Port Authority was moving six jobs from the Teamsters’ jurisdiction back over to the ILWU's. Our local's leader whipped up anti-Carey sentiment and the six put up a picket line at our meeting. When Carey approached our campaign meeting site, the six raised their picket signs to try to embarrass him. Instead of blowing past them, Ron stopped the car and invited them in to talk. They talked for a while, delaying the start of the meeting, and they left after Carey promised to have someone looked into it at the International level. Our local leader delayed sending the paperwork to the International until after the election. A few months later, jurisdictional hearings were held and the jobs went to the ILWU. Carey was always able to rise above the cheap politics of so many other Teamster leaders.

To me, Ron Carey really stood tall during the hearings to oust him from the union and during the trial after that. He just would not give in to intimidation. When I think of him, I think of that commercial with the Energizer Bunny. No matter what happened, he just kept going. I draw a lot of inspiration from that.

Ron Carey was truly one of a kind, but I believe his biggest achievement was in encouraging others to get involved in making changes.

Bob Ream, Youngs Market Company
Local 150, Sacramento, Calif.


 

It is hard to put into words the respect I have and will always have for General President Ron Carey. I had the honor of working very closely with Ron while I was Director of the Field Services Department at the IBT. He gave me the opportunity to run the field campaign for the 1997 UPS contract campaign and strike, which was just one of Ron's triumphs for union members and the working class.

I remember when one of us would bring up an idea in Department Director meetings at the IBT, Ron would almost always ask, “And how will that idea benefit our members?” And you had better be prepared to explain. With the absence of Ron Carey, there’s an empty hole in the labor movement that will be hard to fill. I can truly say I loved him as a leader, a mentor, a friend—and most importantly a brother. I will miss him and miss being able to call him for advice, but memories of Ron Carey will be with me always.

God be with the Carey family,
Dave Eckstein
Former IBT Director of Field Services


Ron Carey was the greatest union leader ever to have lived in my lifetime.

With sheer grit, an intense passion and undeniable and irrefutable integrity, his voice as our leader was the voice of the average working man.

"This is your union!" was his oft-heard battle cry. I can remember vividly Ron speaking to a sea of UPS drivers, surrounding him in a circle and listening to his every word, as he spoke out for the basic rights and needs of his union brethren.

I consider myself extremely grateful and blessed to have met such a man.

Throughout our lives, men like Ron Carey are few and far between.

God bless Ron Carey and may his family stay strong through their loss.

Ted Hlampeas, Local 804
UPS, New York City


Ron set the bar for labor leaders—at a height equal only to the pitch of his voice during his emotional speeches. Years later, I still get goose bumps recalling the first time I met Ron, at a stewards training session shortly after he had been elected as General President. He had come to deliver a speech to the membership. When introduced, Ron first turned his back to the crowd for a few moments and began punching his left palm with his right fist. He was working himself up into a controlled frenzy. When he suddenly turned around, he was yelling about as loud as a speaker could in a speech. The membership sat frozen and mesmerized until he finished, and then broke into a roaring standing ovation.

There was no doubt that this man had come to fight alongside the membership. His emotional speeches were followed up with relentless action. Witnessing Ron's willingness to fight throughout his presidency helped to instill a passion in me along with a sense of pride that I am grateful for.

I'll remember Ron and his family in my prayers.

Bob Randall, Local 559
Enfield, Conn.


Thank you Ron Carey for the leadership and true integrity you showed for the whole Teamster family. Under your leadership, there was no “I” in Teamster.

May God bless you, and your family!

Frances Thomas, Local 41
UPS, Kansas City, Mo.


As a Teamster steward and political activist in San Jose, Calif., I had waited for 18 years to hear a Teamster leader talk about the need to fight back against the corporate attack on the working class. When I was hired as an organizer by the International in the fall of 1992, it was an honor to be paid for fighting for workers’ rights and to reform our union.

One of the first trainings I went to, President Carey sat in to talk with us. At the end of the session he said, “So, here are my instructions. I want you to go out and pick principled fights with Corporate America. I want you to involve thousands of Teamster members and nonunion workers in the process. Now get out there and kick some corporate butt!!” I thought to myself, “I can do that.”

I had worked, waited and hoped for 18 years to hear a Teamster leader talk and act like that.

I think of Ron Carey often and I will never forget that very important day in my life. Thank you Brother Ron.

Bob Marshall, SEIU Local 49
Portland, Ore.


He was an inspiration to reformers and activists in the IBT and beyond. I had friends in the Operating Engineers who formed a reform caucus—they were inspired by Brother Carey's successes.

Kevin Sexton, Local 815
LaGuardia Community College, Long Island City, N.Y.


I never knew Ron Carey, but God bless him for all the good he's done in this greedy world.

Alberto Rodriguez, Local 677
Roadway, Cheshire, Conn.


I first met Ron Carey in October 1990. Like many, I had read about him, and that was what piqued my interest to attend that meeting. I remember him meeting everyone at the door, shaking everyone's hand, and introducing himself. It was that night, after I heard him speak, that I decided to get involved, and run for delegate. Ron had a way of making you want to get involved, a rare breed that comes around once in a lifetime.

I was honored to serve in his administration. He was a visionary, who lived to make the lives of working men and women better. He will never be forgotten. God bless him and his family.

John Riojas, Local 657
Former International Vice President
UPS, San Antonio, Texas


Ron Carey was what every leader should aspire to be. He was honest. He was frugal. And he was a caring man. Ron Carey did not like being in the limelight. He regretted the time he had to spend away from his family, of which he spoke often, and loved dearly. His time with us was special.

Ron Carey was a fighter. When no one else would step forward . . . Ron Carey did. I was honored to work with him and proud to fight with him through many of those battles.

The members of Local 804 were truly blessed to have Ron Carey as their President. He spoke of 804 with pride and no other local throughout the Teamsters could ever measure up to 804. He loved his 804 members.

I don’t have to tell you what a ‘fiery’ speaker he could be. But I will share a memory of a speech he made to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. following the successful UPS strike. The room was filled with a couple of hundred media and political types. They probably expected Ron to focus on the success of the outcome of the strike. But he stunned them all when he took the opportunity to chastise some political and media members that were present. He said at one point in his speech . . . People elect politicians to come to Washington to represent them. Once these politicians get here they forget the people. They represent the lobbyist and Corporate America. Those politicians should wear the logos of the companies and special interest groups they represent on the back of their suits, like the race car drivers do, to let everyone know who they ‘really’ represent. You could have heard a pin drop in that room because everyone knew he was right. That was vintage Ron Carey . . . saying what no one else would have the guts to say. And he loved every minute of it.

He will be missed but NEVER forgotten.

Aaron Belk, Local 984
Former International Vice President
Walls, Miss.


 

Ron was a wonderful person and the best representative the Teamsters Union ever had! Ron will be greatly missed. My condolences go out to Ron's family.

With Deepest Sympathy,
Patrick A. Hickey, Local 294
UPS, Schenectady, N.Y.


 

I think if it was not for his great leadership, I would not be fortunate enough to be a retired Teamster and living a comfortable lifestyle. I was a shop steward and I always had great respect for Ron as a leader and as a man.

Semper Fi.

Bill Lewis, UPS
Local 804, New York


 

Watching him speak and stand up for working Teamsters, motivated me to run for office this year. He taught me that we can stand up to corrupt union officials and greedy corporations without fear.

He was indeed a model for future Teamster leaders. His legacy will live through our continued fight to reform the Teamsters.

Lawrence Cruz, UPS
Local 396, Ontario, Calif.


 

Ron Carey was an inspiration to those of us at Federal Express who have fought for unionization through the years. He provided important resources and top notch organizers, who were willing to elaborate upon traditional methods by encouraging UPS workers to buddy up with FedEx employees. It's no coincidence that upon publicly blasting corporate America and promising to step up organizing at FedEx in the wake of the huge Teamster victory at UPS, President Carey was illegitimately “taken out.” Teamster organizing at FedEx took an immediate and long-lasting direct hit as a result of that coup.

The finest tribute to Ron Carey would be for FedEx workers and Teamster members alike to empower themselves and rise up united as part of a renewal of rank-and-file unionism throughout the country.

Bob Kutchko
Federal Express Organizing Campaign
Lenexa, Kan.


 

Though I never met Mr. Carey, I have experienced, both as a Teamster and an UPSer, many of the benefits he helped to implement while leading the Teamster Union. I believe he led the union for the benefit of the members, instead of leading the members for the benefit of the union. God rest his soul, and my thoughts and prayers to his family.

Darwin Moore, UPS
Local 243, Clarkston, Mich.


 

Ron Carey was a great man. He was a wonderful person, and was also one of the most dedicated union men I have ever known. He was a man of integrity and always willing to help anyone who wanted to do the right thing. I personally was inspired by his leadership abilities and dedication to bring positive change to the Teamsters Union.

I believe with all my heart that Ron Carey would have really built this union into a union that we all could have been proud to say, “I'm a Teamsters member and proud of it”. Ron Carey will certainly be missed by many. May God bless Ron Carey's legacy and may he rest in Eternal Peace.

Everette Cole, ABF
Local 728, Atlanta


 

I'll never forget Ron Carey and how he empowered members of the Teamsters Union. My husband is a shop steward who has driven for UPS for 18 years. Our two kids were less than three years old during the strike, and I wasn't working, but we both knew how important this strike was for our family in the long run and for working people in general.

Mr. Carey was an inspiration to us, especially since he'd worked as a UPS driver. I thank him for making his vision a reality for working families, and we send our regards to his loved ones.

Kim Rodriguez, Spouse of member at UPS
Local 278, Pacifica, Calif.


 

Accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of a great IBT leader. President Carey was the exemplar of leadership and integrity. A man that could not be cajoled, corrupted or convinced. It was an honor to serve as one of Ron's stewards at Local 804.

Men like him seldom pass in our life time. God rest an honorable soul.

Ronald Izzo, UPS
Local 804, Lynnbrook, N.Y.


 

I wish we had more people like you, Ron. Sorry to hear that you are gone. My prayers go out to and your family.

Michael Trahan, UPS
Local 177, Hillside, N.J.


 

I’m so sorry to hear of Ron Carey's passing. He was an inspiration to thousands of Teamsters and other union members throughout our struggles in the 1990s.

I met him twice during campaign stops, and wholeheartedly supported him during our 1994 freight strike, and as an elected Delegate to the 1996 IBT Convention in Philadelphia.

He was a leader to be respected, a speaker that lit a fire, and the best thing to happen to organized labor in the 1990s. He will be missed by many.

Dennis Anderson, Consolidated Freightways
Local 413, Columbus, Ohio


 

Ron Carey was a Teamster leader that didn't disappoint. He had vision, courage and intelligence. He took on the mob, corrupt union officials and employers. He showed us what a union that works for and empowers its members looks like.

I'll never forget Ron Carey and those good years that we had under his leadership.

My condolences to Ron's family and friends. God bless you.

Wes Epperson, UPS
Local 41, Kansas City, MO


 

To many of us in California, Ron Carey was an amazing leader, who inspired us to “do the right thing” and that always meant “putting the members first.”

Ron Carey was a ferocious, fearless hero, who believed with all his heart and mind that together we could right all the wrongs of our great union. He gave us hope, leadership, and showed us what brotherhood and sisterhood really meant. He walked the talk, and by his example gave us courage to participate in our future.

Ron Carey stepped up to the plate and told us we could make a difference. Together, we were on a monumental mission to challenge the status quo. This was a defining moment for most of us that only comes along once in a lifetime. Ron Carey inspired us to participate in our future and make a difference, which changed our lives forever. Ron Carey's legacy is in what we did together.

I hope these memories give comfort to his family.

Chris Schweitzer, Anheuser-Busch
Local 896, Chatsworth, Calif.


 

My heartfelt wishes go out to the family of My President, my mentor and role model. Ron was a true leader that cared for the working class. He knew what it meant to work for the members, to always keep the members informed at all times throughout the good and the bad, and to keep up the fight, against all opposition.

Ron, you will always have a place in my heart.

Semper Fidelis.

Jairo Reyes, UPS
Local 804, New York


 

Ron Carey typified all that is great about the Teamsters. Loyalty to the membership, honesty, aggressive representation, intelligent strategies and a true interest in helping his fellow man (and woman). Ron was poorly treated by our court system and his ultimate vindication was proof positive that he was indeed “the man of the hour.”

Ward Allen
Local 87, Sacramento, Calif.


 

Ron Carey was always a true inspiration to many of us at Local 439, in good times and tough times. Ron inspired me to get members involved in their union. In 1999, the members elected me principal officer. The members thought the previous officials were self-serving and did not want to hear what they had to say. I remember Ron saying many times, “For a local to be successful, the members must involved and heard.”

You will be missed but never forgotten by members of Local 439. To the greatest labor leader of our lifetime. With Respect, in Union.

Howard R. Rempfer, UPS
Local 439, Stockton, Calif.


 

I had the pleasure to talk with Ron Carey several times during those wonderful days in 1996 and 1997. He stood for honesty and integrity and I was proud to be part of the rank and file that helped him get elected.

Craig Stotenburg, UPS
Local 150, Rocklin, CA


 

I met Ron while I was a TDUer at Pan Am. He was a great guy and a real leader. I put up a little tribute to him at my comic strip site (andycomix.blogspot.com), and as I said there, the actions of workers the week he died (the auto caravan to DC, the Republic Windows occupation, the Smithfield union recognition victory) are the best kind of tribute to him.

Andrew Pollack
Formerly Local 732, Pan Am
Brooklyn, N.Y.


 

Ron Carey—a man among men! Ron was the best public speaker I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of them! My most cherished memories as a Teamster were going to as many places as I could to see Ron speak. He brought tears to my eyes and my hair stood up on my neck.

Since then, I have thought about Ron often. Memories such as him riding in my Mustang around Toledo, Ohio visiting Teamster sites asking members to vote for Ron. Raising funds in the UPS center at Sandusky, Ohio, then taking the funds to Columbus to personally hand to Ron at a rally. Memories of driving to Columbus while my three daughters were singing union songs on the way down. A special memory is the neon green t-shirts we wore at the Teamster convention in Orlando, Florida (I still have mine). Fellow brothers and sisters of the Teamster union you can't buy memories like that!

Thank you, Ron, from the bottom of my heart!

Jerry Simon, UPS
Local 20, Garfield Heights, Ohio


Sam Talbert and Ron Carey Campaign in MississippiSam Talbert and Ron Carey Campaign in MississippiHe was the greatest.

Thanks to Ken Paff, for bringing us together. I read what was written about Ron in a chapter of a book, and I instantly fell in love with this man.

I felt like a nobody—but Ron Carey treated me no different than he did anyone else. I traveled with Ron during his campaign for IBT president. I’m 77 years of age, and the time I spent with Ron Carey was the highlight of my life.

Ron Carey: He will be sadly missed by all that knew him and the Lord will have a wonderful companion up in heaven.

Sam Talbert, Cook Motor Lines
Local 175, Charleston, W.V.


William RileyWilliam RileyA human being like Ron Carey is hard to come by. He had the valor to take on UPS greed and union corruption. He was the heart, the engine that inspired that the rank-and-file, who admired him so much.

My local, Local 804, lost its moral compass once Ron was no longer able to be our voice.

Yet even though away he was close to us...just knowing he was alive and supporting our cause for the greater good gave us hope for a better future. He taught us that it is not what we do for us but what we can achieve for future generations.

Because of Ron Carey my part-time pension is protected. Because of Ron Carey I have a full-time job.

He was a giant among us and his name will echo in the halls of Teamster and labor history for decades and decades to come.

Finally I want to add what my friend and brother Pat Gambino wrote in honor of our beloved Ron: "Ron Carey, Warrior for the common man, selfless Hero Forever in our hearts." My deepest sympathy to his wife, children, grandchildren, family in general and close friends. Let’s carry on his legacy.

Always,
William Riley, UPS
Local 804, New York


Ron Carey was by far the best president the Teamsters ever had. He will be missed by many. Being the true warrior that he was, he won the first democratically elected presidency of the IBT.

I pray his legacy will live on forever, and all he fought for will not be lost.

Dennis Germain, USF Holland
Local 299, Southgate, Mich.


I met Ron Carey on several occasions. I campaigned for him, and alongside of him.

I believe he was the man to turn this union around. Everything he did not accomplish for the good of the union and it's members was because of resistance from within the union. Will there ever be another Teamster leader that has the members in their best interest?

Rest in peace, Ron. I’ve always believed in you!

Terry Randall, Local 325
Loves Park, Ill.


As a former shop steward at United Parcel Service and a member of Local 804, Ron was not only a great leader for the Teamsters, he was also a great person and friend.

God must have taken Ron to settle a labor dispute up there. He will be missed dearly. God bless him may he rest in peace.

Larry Perrin, UPS
Local 804, New York


My condolences to the Carey Family. I only wish we still had Teamster leadership like Ron Carey gave us.

Ron stood up and fought for his brothers and sisters. He has been missed as our union leader and will now be missed by all who knew him.

Richard Young, UPS
Local 639, Laurel, Md.


Ashley McNeeleyAshley McNeelyI first met Ron Carey at the 1996 IBT Convention in Philadelphia—my first IBT Convention—and certainly one of the most contentious gatherings of Teamsters in history.

Ron did a great job at the podium trying to conduct the urgent affairs of the union while supporters of the old guard did their best to disrupt the proceedings.

Several times I made it to the microphone to speak for more democracy and openness in our union, even though I was terrified. Near the end of the convention at a rally outside the hall to support Ron, he came up to me in the crowd and told me how proud he was of me for speaking out.

His words gave me the impetus to get more involved with our union, and Ron Carey provided the greatest assistance and support that our local, Local 2000, ever received from the IBT.

The Northwest Airlines Flight Attendants owe Ron Carey a great debt for helping us form our own local and find true democracy—even though we are no longer Teamsters. It is my belief that if Ron Carey had remained President of the IBT we would still be Teamsters today. God Bless him.

Ashley McNeely, Local 2000 (Now AFA-CWA)
Northwest Airlines, New York


May God bless you. And now you are with the union angels.

Keep on fighting.

A. Inniss, UPS
Local 804, Valley Stream, N.Y.


I too, loved Ron Carey. I had the privilege of spending time with him in Seattle when he came through on a whirlwind campaign stop in 1991. I never felt more empowered as a worker than when I was in his presence. Even today, when I see video footage of him, I still smile and get goose bumps, and he makes me feel proud to be a Teamster.

When I heard the news this morning that he had died, I was truly sad. We need more labor leaders like Ron Carey, now more than ever.

Doug Frechin, Ruan
Local 17, Seattle
Alternate Delegate to the 1991 Teamster Convention


May all Teamsters remember Ron Carey as a brother who made us understand the truth that we, the rank-and-file members, are the true strength of our union. He reminded us what our fathers before us knew very well, but which we had forgotten, that we the members built this union.

I pray that we can all be worthy of the sacrifices he made—not only for Teamsters, but for all union members!

John Strysniewicz, Riviera Hotel and Casino
Local 995, Las Vegas, Nev.


Glenn CiscoGlenn CiscoCondolences to the Carey Family. Ron Carey, you are in my prayers.

It was an honor to become involved in his campaign. After his victory, the reforms initiated changed the direction of our union, and rank-and-file representation was better for it.

Ron Carey's leadership style and hard work brought about profound changes for organized labor. Educating for our rank-and-file, bottom-up recognition and top down democracy, the rights of our members and our responsibilities as Teamsters were better served. His inspiration stands as a solid tribute for the good of our union members.

Our family is humbled in remembrance of a great union leader, whose time was cut short, to the detriment of our union and the labor movement as a whole. I can only imagine the profound changes which could have come about, had things been different.

In Solidarity and Sorrow,
Glenn Cisco, Retired SuperValu Driver
Past Evergreen TDU Chapter Co-Chair
Local 313, Tacoma, Wash.


Thank you Ron for all that you did and all that you stood for. You brought integrity back to the union movement.

Rob Sloan, UPS
Local 162, Portland, Ore.


Ron Carey was the most loyal leader we had for the Teamsters. He will be missed. The union has went downhill since he was forced out by Hoffa. God bless Ron and his family. He will be missed.

Lynn Barr, USF Holland
Local 325, Rockford, Ill.


Just before we went out on strike in '97, someone stopped my package car at a traffic light in downtown D.C. I had to think a minute before I realized this Irishman was Ron Carey. My condolences to his family.

Sam Lyons, UPS
Local 639, Washington, D.C.


God Bless you Ron.

Joseph Hernandez, UPS
Local 952, Anaheim, Calif.


Ron Carey WAS Local 804. I will always remember how he led us in 1997 during the strike and was always there to help the members.

He was down to earth and never thought he was better than the membership who elected him. May he rest in peace, and his legacy live on forever.

Ernest Suter, UPS
Local 804, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


Ron Carey was part of the reason that I helped organize my bargaining unit, and rejoin the Teamsters Union in 1994. Ron taught me the true meaning of rank-and-file power.

I met him personally three or four times when he came to Cleveland and Akron. He was well respected in our barns. It's a shame that he was railroaded out of our Union because of politics.

Greg Smith, Yellow
Local 407, Cleveland, Ohio


Ron Carey was a great leader in union history. We need more people like him. God bless you!

Thomas Malden, UPS
Local 705, Crestwood, Ill.


What a great man. The times I met him, I saw the greatest of the great. He was an up front man. I’m sure he will be missed.

Tommy Vinciguerra, UPS
Local 177, Secaucus, N.J.


Ron always took time from his busy schedule to check on his friends in West Virginia. He will always be remembered for his compassion for the hard-working class of people.

Ron was such a gentleman with such strong speaking abilities. I heard him speak for the first time at Rick Blaylock's funeral in Boone County West Virginia. He came without hesitance when Sam Talbert requested him to do Rick's eulogy.

With the greatest admiration,
Lynn Mooney, Friend of Local 175
Charleston, W.V.


Ron was a true warrior for the working men and women of this country. I doubt we will see the likes of him for a long, long time.

Jeff Brooks, UPS
Local 391, Pembroke, N.C.


Ron Carey was one of the greatest leaders of my 30 years in the union. He stood up for the working class.

He was the greatest leader of the past 30 years—and of our present. He took on the largest company, UPS, and made this union stronger in solidarity. He will be always remembered and missed by many of us who were there during his years in office and on the picket lines.

Dave Vallone, DHL
Local 25, Stoneham, Mass.


Rick SatherRick SatherThe Teamsters and labor have lost a great man that will surely be missed. I never met the man myself. But I lived it second hand as the son of a dedicated Teamster and union man, who happens to be my father, Rick Sather.

Growing up in the middle of Mr. Carey's drive to reform the Teamsters Union, going to local TDU meetings, and seeing the dedication of the men and women there are all I need to know that Mr. Carey was a great individual, and he was second to none in motivating people. My father Rick and I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the Carey family. Mr. Carey's leadership will be greatly missed.

Luke Sather, Son of Teamsters Local 638
Minneapolis


Mark Woods and Ron CareyMark Woods and Ron CareyI am saddened at the death of former General President Ron Carey. It was my honor to have met the greatest General President in the 105 year history of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. I can guarantee you Ron would have never negotiated with DHL in such a weak manner demonstrated by the current leadership.

He inspired me from just showing up to work and collecting a paycheck into becoming an involved member and union steward. May Almighty God console his family and welcome him into eternal life.

Mark Woods, DHL
Local 249, Pittsburgh


The news of Ron’s passing leaves me with a very heavy heart. My condolence to his wife, children, and grandchildren, for they and we—his Teamster family—have lost a very beloved friend.

Ron was the most impressive person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in my life, and I am thankful that I had just a little part in his history-making election. I will always cherish the time that I worked under his leadership because there never was nor ever will be another like IBT President Ron Carey.

Wayne Sharp, UPS
Local 89, Louisville, Ky.


Ron, you will be truly missed as my strong leader. You and your staff worked long and hard for us UPSers.

I would not have been able to retire with a great pension, if you didn’t stand up and fight for us. I send my condolence to your family.

Bruce Vesloski, UPS
Local 804, Uniondale, N.Y.

Click here to send your personal remembrance of Ron Carey.


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