Sean O’Brien and Fred Zuckerman announced at a joint event in Boston on May 29 that they will be leading a slate in the 2021 Teamster election with O’Brien running as General President and Zuckerman as General Secretary Treasurer.
The surprise announcement has sparked discussion and debate among TDU members and Teamsters United supporters.
Three years out, TDU is not making any endorsement for the 2021 IBT election. We will continue to work with Teamsters United on the UPS and UPS Freight contract campaigns and other issues.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union partnered with Fred Zuckerman and other Teamsters to build the Teamsters United coalition which came within a few thousand votes of defeating Hoffa in the IBT election in 2016. Six International VPs on the Teamsters United slate were elected.
TDU urged Zuckerman to run for re-election as General President in 2021. Zuckerman opted to run for the number two position alongside O’Brien.
O’Brien and Zuckerman were opponents in 2016 when O’Brien ran on the Hoffa slate. As an International Union Vice President and Joint Council leader, O’Brien has been a critic of TDU and an opponent of Teamster reformers.
Following the 2016 election, O’Brien reached out to Teamsters United leaders to work together on UPS contract negotiations, the ABF contract, and other issues.
The International Union election is in 2021, three years from now. The immediate tests ahead are the fight against contract givebacks at UPS and UPS Freight and local elections where reformers are taking on Hoffa-aligned local officers.
TDU will be in these fights. Our immediate priorities are working for good contracts, reforming locals, defending pensions, educating members and building the voice of the rank and file.
We will work with Teamsters United to pursue these goals. TDU will make endorsements and IBT election plans at a later date.