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Teamsters Local 743: Corrupt Officials Sued by Labor Department

By staff

Chicago, IL – Robert Walston and his gang stole the election in Teamsters Local 743 in October 2004. The members of Local 743 knew this at the time. Now, the U.S. Department of Labor is backing up the charges brought by the reform candidates of the 743 New Leadership Slate.

A suit was filed by the Department of Labor on Aug. 12. It charges Local 743 president Walston and the other officers of Local 743 with election fraud and other illegal violations. The complaint in federal court states they, “denied members the right to vote when Defendant mailed members’ ballots to incorrect addresses, the ballots were marked by individuals other than the designated recipients, and the ballots were returned and counted in the election tally.”

In plain language, Walston’s gang stole ballots from working Teamsters. Then they cast these ballots for themselves. They have done this for several consecutive elections. “We know this because we have caught them – several times!” said executive board candidate Esmeralda Cuevas of 743 NLS. “Finally the government is doing something about it.”

On Oct. 16, 2004, ballots were being counted by Walston and his executive board. Despite their rigging of the election, Richard Berg, leader of the 743 NLS was ahead in the count. Walston stopped counting the votes with just the challenged ballots remaining. The gangsters then cooked up an excuse to conduct a second election.

Hoffa Backs Up the Gangsters

743 NLS challenged their crime, but Teamsters International President James Hoffa’s refused to stop Walston. After that, 743 NLS asked the Labor Department to take the case.

“Hoffa is a joke,” said 743 NLS Secretary Treasurer candidate Tony Caldera. “He looked the other way while his good buddy Walston stole the election from 12,000 workers in Local 743.”

Hoffa will be running for reelection next year. “Hoffa shouldn’t expect to get any votes from Local 743,” said Caldera. “He had his chance. His name doesn’t have any influence here. Hoffa and Walston just take our dues money and make deals with the boss. We need a change.”

743 New Leadership Slate: The Rightful Winners

The Department of Labor suit calls for a new election that they would be run by the DOL, instead of officers of the local.

743 NLS presidential candidate Richard Berg said, “It is time for the rightful winners of the election to take office and it is time for those who stole the election to be prosecuted.

Berg went on to outline a plan to revive the local. “We need to create industrial standards in healthcare, in education, for clerical workers as well as for factory workers. We need to let the companies know that if they try to make us pay too much for health insurance, if they try to pay us too little, if they mess with any of our benefits or if they disrespect us in any way, then they will have a real fight on their hands. Being a Teamster has to mean something again.”

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