Chicago Local 786 members scored a victory for Teamster democracy today when a federal judge issued an injunction to end the trusteeship of their local and restore the elected leaders to office, effective immediately.
Hoffa imposed the trusteeship in July 2019, after Local 786 leaders and members refused Terry Hancock’s demand that they merge into Local 731.
Hancock heads Local 731 and Chicago Joint Council 25, and didn’t take no for an answer. So he went to his friend James Hoffa.
Hoffa’s International Rep Ed Keyser warned the president of Local 786 that if the local’s leaders refused to merge away the local, they would be “trusteed the next day.”
To sweeten the pot, Hancock offered Local 786 president Michael Yauger a $200,000 a year salary as his assistant. Yauger turned down the bribe and, as promised, Hoffa imposed a trusteeship.
Five elected officers of Local 786 filed a lawsuit and won. They will be back in office tomorrow. (Former president Yauger has retired.)
The Local 786 leaders are represented by Tom Geoghegan, a labor attorney who has taken on and won many cases for unions and unionists, including TDU members.
As for Terry Hancock, Judge Joan Lefkow found him to be not truthful in his testimony and not credible as a witness.
The court case revealed that one reason Hancock wanted the merger was that Local 786 has superior contracts to those he negotiated for his own members.
Throughout this ordeal, the members of Local 786, who work in construction and building materials, have stood together in solidarity.
Last year, 871 members signed a petition against the trusteeship. Hundreds showed up at the trusteeship hearing.
In July and August, 769 signed petitions to accredit the O’Brien Zuckerman Teamsters United slate, to bring new leadership to the International union.