Analyzing the 2006 IBT Election

December 5, 2006: A Look at the Facts & Figures

  • Hoffa won with 65 percent of the vote, in a 21 percent turnout. That is the same margin as in 2001, but with a slightly smaller turnout this year.
  • The Hoffa campaign spent over $3 million to Leedham's $300,000 according to forms filed by each campaign with the Election Supervisor. The IBT and Central States and Western Conference Pension Plans spent millions more on propaganda attacking TDU and the pension movement.
  • Leedham won a majority of the vote in 82 locals, seven states, and five joint councils. In nine more joint councils Leedham got over 40 percent of the vote.
  • Leedham edged out Hoffa in the overall vote among Leedham’s best 194 local unions with 448,000 Teamsters. These locals account for 32 percent of the Teamster membership, but cast 37 percent of the votes. Where Leedham did well, voter turn-out went up.
  • Among members covered by national contracts negotiated by Hoffa (UPS, freight and carhaul), the election was a toss-up. Leedham won most of the UPS-freight-carhaul votes in the Central and Southern Regions, while Hoffa won more in the Eastern and Western Regions.
  • Among the 175,000 members covered by the Central States Pension Fund, Leedham had strong support.
  • Among locals where the Leedham Campaign and TDU had strong outreach, Leedham was able to split the vote or win.
  • Among members with little or no connection to the International Union, under local contracts and pension funds, and where there is not a strong TDU presence, Hoffa won big. This was Hoffa's winning margin: less involved members, in a low turnout.
  • Among the three newly merged unions in rail and graphic communications, Hoffa won. But in one of them, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), Leedham made inroads, due to TDU activity, a rank and file campaign for the right to vote, and Leedham's running mate for International Vice President at Large, engineer Ed Michael.
  • The Virtue-DiLeo Slate in the East, a two-leader slate running for Eastern Vice President slots, had significant support and strong candidates, but won relatively few votes. This showed, as we have seen in earlier elections, that most Teamsters who vote are choosing between the viable candidates for General President, the power position at the IBT. Independent vice presidential candidates cannot muster the votes needed to win. Leedham attempted to get all those who wanted a new direction onto one slate, but it didn't happen this time.
  • Aside from tiny locals (with less than 20 votes), the most politically unified local in the IBT was St. Louis Local 604, a unit of carhaulers that voted 97 percent for Leedham (and its principal officer John Thyer).
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