January 30, 2006: What Happens When Elections Are Not Supervised! Members Prove Chicago Local Rigged Election January 30, 2006. “We knew the election was stolen from us. But I don’t think we expected to get the black and white proof, and see how they did it,” explained Richard Berg, leader of the New Leadership Slate in Chicago Local 743.
Berg referred to documents obtained by his attorney, Tom Geoghegan, from the U.S. Department of Labor showing that hundreds of ballots were diverted to the addresses of employers, stewards and even a Russian bath house that the union president frequents. Those ballots were then voted and counted in the December 2004 local union election.
The phony ballots, which were mailed in bulk to stewards, employers and cronies, kept Robert Walston in office instead of the New Leadership Slate, which would have won the election. The election was already a “do-over” that Walston called after Berg won two months earlier by seven votes (despite the ballot box stuffing!).
The local leadership was named as corrupt in the April 2004 report by former Teamster anti-corruption czar Ed Stier, before he resigned his position in protest. The officers also use Hoffa’s political advisor Richard Leebove as a consultant. The Department of Labor has gone to federal court against the Local 743 leadership to overturn the vote.
New Leadership Slate is also planning their own legal action in addition to the Department of Labor action. And they continue to build their support among the rank and file. The New Leadership Slate plans to run a slate of delegate candidates to represent Local 743 with honest leaders at the IBT Convention. With an independent Election Supervisor in place, they believe they can get a fair election there.