Sunday, January 17, 2016
A line in a story touching on Fred Zuckerman in LEO, Louisville’s alternative weekly, caught my eye as the solution to the problem confronting him of how to put together 200,000 votes to win the 2016 race for the presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The article by Alex Bradshaw and Richard Becker on Sept. 2, 2015 said: “He is not your granddad’s labor leader; he has a vision for the future.”
The key to a victory over James P. Hoffa, the incumbent IBT president, would be Zuckerman’s figuring out how to put his vision in words that would inspire a couple of hundred thousand Teamsters, who didn’t bother to vote in the 2011 election to cast their ballots for him in hopes of creating a better union.
Zuckerman, president of the huge Louisville Teamsters Local 89, has a background to which rank and file Teamsters can relate. A Teamster since 1979, Zuckerman came off a truck to be elected president of his local.
Originally running for an international vice president’s slot, Zuckerman moved up to be the presidential candidate on the Teamsters United ticket after Tim Sylvester lost his bid for reelection as principal officer of New York Teamsters Local 804. Sylvester shifted to the number two slot as the candidate for secretary-treasurer the Teamsters United slate.
A continuation of Hoffa’s downward voting trend in which he recived 137,172 votes in 2011, 40,000 fewer than 2006, of course would be a mighty boost for Zuckerman’s campaign for the presidency.