Right to Vote: Priceless

November 4, 2006. With a week to go in the voting for Teamster president, it is not too early to say history is being made in the Teamsters Union.

If the Teamster rank-and-file can win this election for the Tom Leedham Slate, we will not only pull off the labor upset of the decade, we will open a new day for the Teamsters Union, and for the whole labor movement.

That’s the power of the Right to Vote that TDU fought for and won. That power is in the hands of our Teamster brothers and sisters. That fact alone means history is being made right now.

As of November 2, some 260,000 Teamster ballots were received by the Election Supervisor -- 19% of Teamster members. Leedham campaign volunteers are working hard to turn out more votes in the coming days.

The low turnout does not mean most Teamsters don’t care about their union. Some Teamsters are barely aware of the election. Many members are fed up with Hoffa, but don’t know enough about Leedham, so they sit on their ballot. As more Teamsters are reached by the Leedham campaign, more votes come in.

Rick Sather, a Minneapolis newspaper driver and member of the TDU Steering Committee, told us today that "Our seven phone bankers last night had more people ask how to get another ballot than ever before. People are getting more interested late in the voting. Here in Minnesota, we will work hard to the end, and we have a victory party set for November 18."

The low turnout in the election reflects Hoffa’s celebrity business unionism model—where PR slogans and photo ops are substituted for rank-and-file participation.

The Right to Vote is about Teamsters taking ownership of our union. Hoffa’s PR department chose his slate name: “America’s most powerful union.” It’s time to make that a reality.

Take to your fellow Teamsters today. Get five more to mail in their ballots. Be part of making labor history.

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