Herman Benson: A One-Man Army Working to Revitalize the Labor Movement

My friend Herman Benson died yesterday, just shy of his 105th birthday. He was an inspiration, a leader, and sometimes a critic for so many of us working to put the membership front-and-center in the Teamsters and in the whole labor movement.

797931291_780x439_thumb.jpgHerman was the founder of the Association for Union Democracy (AUD) which continues his work today. He was a one-man army in the union democracy movement for over 50 years, always ready to support the work of Teamsters for a Democratic Union and anyone and everyone else working for union democracy. 

Benson was still writing to analyze labor developments, both good and bad, at the age of 104. 

I was honored to be one of the speakers at his 100th birthday celebration and conference, along with rank and file dissidents, legal experts, and International union presidents. As always, Herman shrugged off the accolades and spoke about the struggles ahead.

This 24-minute video interview gives a snapshot of Benson’s life-long work, featuring Herman along with some associates, including TDU attorney Barbara Harvey and labor attorney Chip Yablonski whose coal-miner father, mother and sister were murdered by the president of the United Mine Workers, a tragedy that sparked rebellion and reform in that union. 

Herman, we will miss your brilliance, your determination and your wisecracks. But we have learned from you what we need to do. We will honor you by continuing your work.

  • Ken Paff, TDU Organizer

 

 

Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

Rank-and-File UPSers Share Sample Contract Proposals

Rank-and-file UPSers have compiled sample contract proposal ideas for the National Master Agreement. Click here to see what they've come up with. And make sure you attend your local union’s proposal meeting.

Join Sara Nelson at the TDU Convention

Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, has been touring the country with IBT General President Sean O’Brien. Now they are teaming up to headline the TDU Convention, October 28-30 in Chicago. Register by October 1, to qualify for up to $50 in discounts.

View More News Posts