Teamsters Will Have Choice in 2006

April 22, 2006: Delegate elections continue as Convoy goes to press, but one key outcome has already been decided. Tom Leedham will have the necessary votes to be nominated at the 2006 Teamster Convention.

“Teamsters will have a choice in the 2006 election thanks to the thousands of members who ran for delegate and supported delegate campaigns,” Leedham said.

Delegates who have pledged to nominate the Tom Leedham Slate come from every region and jurisdiction, including the recently merged unions.

“A growing number of Teamster leaders know that our union needs a change of direction if we’re going to meet the challenges we face. We will continue to reach out to Teamster officers and members who feel shut out by the Hoffa administration,” Leedham said.

The Hoffa Campaign coordinated a nationwide effort to deny members a choice—and openly bragged on their website about their efforts to keep the Leedham Slate off the ballot.

“Hoffa tried hard to block any election. He poured money into local delegate elections to keep any opposition off the ballot, but he failed,” said J. Dennis, a delegate from Kentucky Local 89, who will support the Tom Leedham Slate at the convention.

“The decision about our union’s direction and leadership will be where it belongs—in the members’ hands,” said Local 805 President Sandy Pope, a candidate for Vice President At-Large.

I Supported Hoffa But His Leadership Has Failed

“I supported Hoffa at the last convention. The idea was to strengthen the union by all of us coming together. But uniting behind Hoffa didn’t put more power behind the locals or the members. Instead, it’s become all about Hoffa and the top officials in his administration—not about the union or the members.

“We have failed in our mission since 2001 because of a lack of leadership from the top. A real leader brings people together and makes a team. Jimmy Hoffa thinks Teamster leadership is about him pretending to be his daddy. He’s got a politician’s mentality, a celebrity mentality—not a Teamster mentality.

“Hoffa has no relationship with the membership or the local officers he’s supposed to be leading. He’s too busy talking to consultants to talk to a Teamster. Membership apathy is at an all-time high in this union because Teamsters aren’t given any real role in our union. That’s what’s giving employers the upper hand.

“Hoffa can put on whatever show he wants in Vegas. Teamster members will tell you they’ve had enough of Hoffa’s act and so will most officers when they’re talking to you on the level. Our job at the convention is to give members a choice in the election. I’m confident they’ll set our union on a new course come November.”

John Thyer, Candidate Central Region Vice President
Secretary-Treasurer, St. Louis Local 604

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