In a stunning upset that reflects the growing militancy of workers and union members, a rank-and-file slate swept to victory in Teamster Union elections last month. The Teamsters United slate routed the incumbent slate that has ruled the union for years by a margin of about two-to-one. The incumbent backed slate had the backing of James P. Hoffa who is retiring. Hoffa has headed the union since 1998.

Defying Hoffa and his slate, the Teamsters United slate captured all national offices, from president down to a majority of the international executive board. Heading the slate, to take office in March, is the President-elect Sean O’Brien, currently President of Boston Local 25 and General Secretary-elect Fred Zuckerman, currently President of Louisville, Kentucky Local 89. They will serve five-year terms.

O’Brien has been sharply critical of the current contract with United Parcel Service and has vowed a campaign to take a more militant stand on future contracts with the company. He is also committed to a full-fledged campaign to organize Amazon drivers.

The vote signals a growing sentiment in the union movement that are fed-up with contracts that  have left millions of workers behind while corporate profits soar.

NY Times, 11/19; Labor Notes, 11/18; Teamsters for a Democratic Union website