Fight Back! has been a supporter of the reform movement in the Teamsters since we began publishing, but the struggle inside Teamsters Local 743 began years earlier. We interviewed Richard Berg, the president-elect of Local 743 about the history and meaning of the victory over the sell-out gangsters that dominated that union for so many years.
Chicago, IL – A cheer rang out Oct. 22 as the U.S. Department of Labor announced the winners of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) officers’ election for Local 743. Richard Berg and the 743 New Leadership Slate beat the incumbent Ford-Galvan Unity Slate. After twelve years of difficult and sometimes frustrating campaigning, a new day is dawning in Local 743.
Chicago IL – Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 743 are looking forward to a fair election this time around. In a flurry of action, Robert Walston, former president of IBT 743 resigned under pressure, to be replaced by Walston’s former Recording Secretary, Richard Lopez, as president of the local.
Chicago, IL – Teamsters Local 743 officers admitted their guilt. Through their attorneys and in front of U.S. District Court Judge Kennelly they submitted a motion that admitted that they sent Teamster ballots in their own election to the bosses. And guess what, the bosses voted.
Teamster International president Jimmy Hoffa has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. He will probably raise millions in an attempt to fend off a largely rank and file effort to unseat him. Why is he afraid of the Teamster members? Because under his watch workers have lost ground, pension benefits have been cut, widespread corruption continues and working Teamsters are mad as hell.
Chicago, IL – Richard Berg stood with workers who are members of Teamsters Local 743 in front of the Russian Turkish Bathhouse on Division Street. “This place is run by the mob. Everyone knows it,” stated Berg, presidential candidate for the Teamsters Local 743 reform group, the New Leadership Slate (NLS). “Our local is run by gangsters as well. We want it back.”
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.
Chicago, IL – The company and the union officials agreed: The workers would get nothing. These workers that had made the company owners rich by making lamps to be sold to wealthy people around the world, these workers, would now get nothing. The company was being sold and their jobs would be eliminated. Most had worked in this factory for more than 25 years and now they would get nothing.
Chicago, IL – It wasn’t the usual lunch hour. Everyone that walked past the University of Chicago administration building saw it. Students, community activists, members of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 73, the Illinois Nurses Association and the Teamsters Local 743 marching together, all united to fight for reform Teamster, Richard Berg.
Richard Berg, a rank-and-file leader in Teamsters Local 743 has been fired. Fight Back! received a copy of an open letter that’s being circulated by Berg that calls for a protest on Jan. 11. The letter is reprinted below.