Teamsters in Puerto Rico Demand Democracy

March 19, 2010: Teamster members in Puerto Rico demonstrated outside their union demanding new elections in Local 901.

Members rallied at the union hall and tried to present a petition to the Executive Board. Local 901 officials locked the doors and hired armed security guards to keep members out of their union.

The press called the move a “coup d’etat in the union.” If that sounds extreme, consider the extreme circumstances in Local 901.

Germán Vázquez was removed from his position as Secretary-Treasurer after being found guilty by an internal union panel of taking more than $72,000 in unauthorized salary increases. But the Local 901 officials who did nothing to stop Vazquez’s unauthorized pay hikes kept their positions and installed Alexis Rodriguez as the new secretary-treasurer.

The Department of Labor is already suing Local 901 for election violations, charging that the local ran the 2008 vote to illegally favor the incumbents. And the National Labor Relations Board has charged local officials with retaliating against members for supporting the reform candidates for union office.

“When they removed Germán, they didn’t remove the corruption from our union,” Jose Budet told the media. “The corruption is inside our union with [the officials]. They represent themselves, their pockets; and the employers of this country. They don’t represent the Teamsters. The Teamsters are here in the street demanding elections.”

“A vote should be held immediately to return our union to the members,” said TDU member Mara Quiara. “The future of Local 901 is at stake.”

Click here to read an earlier TDU report: Teamsters in Puerto Rico Unite for Change.

Click here to watch TV coverage in Spanish of the demonstration.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Five Things the IBT Can Do to Fix the UPS Contract Disaster

Denis Taylor has repeatedly promised local unions and members that he will return to the bargaining table with UPS. But no date has been set. Here are 5 things the IBT can do fix the disaster at UPS. They will only happen if UPSers keep the pressure on.

Put Our Issues on the Table at UPS

Despite declaring the contract ratified, Denis Taylor says he will “return to the bargaining table to address a number of member concerns with the National Master UPS Agreement.” When bargaining resumes, UPSers expect our issues to be addressed.

View More News Posts