Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An interview with the author of THE TRUCKERS

An interview with Kenneth C. Crowe, author of THE TRUCKERS, by the $100 Plus News of the Association for Union Democracy (www.uniondemocracy.org)
The interview appeared in $100 Plus News on Jan. 6, 2011:

$100 Plus News: What made you write the story now? Were you working on it for some time?
Ken Crowe: The original version of THE TRUCKERS was completed ten years ago in July, 2000. My agent figured there was no market for a labor novel. So, I put the book away with other novels I had written, seemingly doomed to gather dust in a closet. Along came the e-book and online publishing revolution in 2008 led by Amazon’s CreateSpace and Smashwords. I took the novels out of the closet and began rewriting them and putting them on the internet as e-books and
paperbacks. Last summer, I reached THE TRUCKERS. I rewrote the ending to accord with the emergence of Sandy Pope as the TDU-backed, rank and file candidate for IBT president.

$100 Plus News: There is a tension between Helmut Knall and Tommy Kerrigan about whether the International Pres. should get involved in local elections, with Kerrigan believing it was inappropriate despite Knall’s attempts to persuade him that he must support local reformers against the “old guard” which still ran the majority of the locals. Do you believe that dynamic was present
in the Carey administration? Is that meant to be a lesson for reformers?
Ken Crowe: Ken Paff has always believed in reforming the Teamsters from the bottom up. When Ron Carey was elected the IBT’s general president he thought that Teamsters at the local level shared his vision of unselfish, committed leadership, that the good guys would follow his example and the membership would oust those who didn’t. Ken Paff was right in that winning the top
is not enough.

$100 Plus News: Was there any merit to Kerrigan’s position to stay out of local politics?
Ken Crowe: No. That is like the President of the United States staying out of Congressional and Senate elections. A sympathetic base (local union officials in the case of The Truckers or the Teamsters) makes governing so much easier and leading so much more pleasant.

$100 Plus News: After the novel ended we are left with the irony that despite Kerrigan’s successful efforts to win the battles against the companies for the rank and file, it was union enemies from within that were his undoing. In that regard it’s a sad story, though Kerrigan comes across as a hero who gave his life for the working person. Any thoughts?
Ken Crowe: The sophisticated, vicious, unrelenting campaign to destroy Truckers Union president Tommy Kerrigan had its parallel in the Hoffa campaign operatives’ continuous onslaught to undermine Ron Carey from the moment he was elected. Just as in my novel, THE TRUCKERS, the Teamsters old guarders were aroused by self-interest and some rather sordid consultants to turn
out their supporters in their locals or risk losing their comfortable life styles to an awakened rank and file. Myths are built on the bodies of the assassinated, the murdered, and the martyred.

A suggestion: my novel, THE TRUCKERS, has been described as a fun read. It is serious and tragic too. Try it free on KindleSmashwordsBarnes and Noble, or Apple.

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