An updated reading list for the 2021 Teamster election by Joe Allen

Joe Allen
22 min readSep 13, 2021



Posted September 13, 2021

Here is an updated reading list for the 2021 Teamster election. My first reading list was posted in October 2020.

Since last October there have been several major developments in the race for the union’s leadership including, the nomination of the two slates for the General Executive Board (G.E.B.) and their candidates for General President (G.P.), Sean O’Brien and Steve Vairma. The delegates to the Teamster convention passed major reforms and voted down others, while a major campaign to organize Amazon was announced. Meanwhile, Chris Silvera’s independent campaign for GP came to an end and the first major debate between O’Brien and Vairma took place.

It has been a long campaign and in a few weeks on October 4, 2021, ballots will be mailed to the Teamster membership. They will be counted starting at 10:00 am on November 15, 2021, with results announced later that day. We will know, barring any unforeseen events, that night who will lead the union for the next five years. Right now, it appears that following Vairma’s disastrous performance in the first Teamster election debate that the O’Brien-Zuckerman or “OZ” slate have the lead in the race, and are expected to win.

While a change in leadership is welcome after two decades of stagnation under James P. Hoffa, it’s not entirely clear what will come next given the large number of former Hoffa loyalists who populate the OZ slate. O’Brien and Zuckerman have promised a major change in direction of the union. Yet, neither of them has a record of leading the type of campaigns necessary to defeat the giant corporations that dominate the modern, nonunion logistics industry or long established Teamster employers from UPS to Kroger to the older Freight industry.

The Teamsters are in deep crisis, even outgoing General President Jim Hoffa has said that Amazon presents an existential crisis to the union. A change in leadership will be a good first step but there are other indicators we should be looking to about the state of the union. One of the most important of these will be how many Teamsters vote in the election. In 2016, around 15% of Teamsters returned ballots, marking a new low point in voter turnout. Only 213,000 Teamsters returned ballots in 2016, nearly one million did not vote at all which represents a serious disconnect with the political establishment of union.

Voter turnout has been steadily declining during the two decades that James P. Hoffa, the outgoing General President, has led the union. But, election participation is only one indicator of the health of a union, the most important is whether the union is a fighting organization. Unfortunately, the Teamsters for decades, like many other industrial unions the U.S. and abroad, has not been fighting organization. The last time a national strike was called by Teamsters was in 1999 against Overnite trucking. It ended in disaster.

However, two years earlier Ron Carey, the only reformer ever elected to the leadership of the Teamsters, led a three week nation wide strike against UPS that dramatically changed the landscape of the labor movement and won an historic victory over UPS. Tim Sylvester, the former president of Teamsters Local 804 in New York and a candidate for General Secretary Treasurer in 2016 on the “Teamsters United” slate, recalled,

“I was part of the biggest strike we’ve ever had in 1997. It was a glorious time. I was working in Washington. Everybody wanted to be a Teamster. The phone was ringing off the hook because we actually did something.”

The 1997 contract victory was preserved, but Carey was soon witch-hunted out of the union by the federal government. It was a big hit on the reform movement in the Teamsters. That glorious summer demonstrated how big strikes can dramatically expand the horizon for the working class as a whole but that we also face powerful enemies.

While turnout has been low in international elections, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t aware of the crisis of the union. Everyone from the highest officials to the lowliest members spread across industries far-and-wide across recognize that they next five years may make or break the Teamsters.

A. New material on the Teamster convention and election.

Joe Allen, The Teamsters: A new era?, Tempest, available here.

Joe Allen, What’s at stake at the Teamsters’ convention: New direction for the end of the Hoffa era?, June 2021,Tempest, available here.

Joe Allen, What happened at the Teamster convention? From repealing the “two-thirds” rule to the Amazon campaign, interviewed on Working People Podcast transcript, available here.

Joe Allen, Teamster Election Roundtable: The Teamsters Election and the Rank-and-File, Tempest, available here.

Joe Allen, Where is UPS going?, Tempest, available here.

Candace Bernd, Election Will Determine Strike Power of US’s Largest Private-Sector Union, Truthout, October 2021, available here.

Alexandra Bradbury, At a Convention Like No Other, Teamster Challengers Turn a Corner, July 14, 2021, Labor Notes, available here.

Jesse Dreyer and Nick Marrapode, Return to Teamster Power: UPS Teamsters face a big contract fight next year. With the opening created by new union leadership, socialists can help them win, The Call, April 21, 2022, available here.

Edgar Esquivel, Mobbed-Up! The Untold Story of Sean O’Brien and Teamsters Local 25: A Rank-and-File Perspective, September 15, 2021, New Politics, available here.

Steve Greenhouse, The Teamsters Are Taking On Amazon: And here’s how they plan to do it, American Prospect, June 28, 2021, available here.

Ryan Haney, Teamster Insurgents Plan for a Win — And What Comes After, October 14, 2021, Labor Notes, available here.

James P. Hoffa, General President James P Hoffa addresses the Teamsters 30th International Convention, available here.

Richard Hooker on Chris Silvera’s campaign, October 2020, available here.

Richard Hooker, “We have to get Fitz Verity Christophe Silvera on the ballot for next year’s IBT election.”

Greg Kerwood, We Must Prepare to Strike UPS in 2023, Labor Notes, August 02, 2021, available here.

Randy Korgan, Amazon’s labor exploitation is a return to the 1920s — and unions are our best hope out, Salon, available here.

Dan LaBotz, Prospects for the Teamsters Under New Leadership, Medium, available here.

National Press Club, Teamsters Union Leadership Candidate Debate, available here.

O’Brien-Zuckerman Teamsters United, OZ News & Updates, available here.

O’Brien-Zuckerman Teamsters United, Fred Zuckerman & Sean O’Brien 2021 Nomination Acceptance Speeches, available here.

Roswell Hub broadcast by David Allen, Questioning the debate, available here.

Andy Sernatinger, Hoffa’s House Divided: The 2021 Teamster Election, Explained: A rank-and-file Teamster describes what’s at stake, In These Times, September 28, 2021, available here.

Andy Sernatinger, What we learned from the Teamster election: A state of the union of North America’s logistics union, Tempest, available here.

Chris Silvera interview on the “What the heck show,” available here:

Teamsters, Constitutional Changes at Teamsters Convention, June 24, 2021, available here.

Teamsters, Jim Hoffa Tribute at the Teamsters 30th International Convention, available here.

Teamsters, 30th International Teamsters Convention (Day 1), available here.

Teamsters, 30th International Teamsters Convention (Day 2), available here.

Teamsters, 30th International Teamster Convention (Day 3), available here.

Teamsters, Teamsters Pass Amazon Resolution, 2021.06.24, available here.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), The Two-Thirds Rule is Over — We Won Majority Rule!, June 23, 2021, available here.

Tempest magazine, T-SPAN: Teamster Election Debate Debrief with Tom Leedham, Tim Sylvester, and Richard Hooker, available here.

Vairma/Herrera 2021 — Teamster Power Slate, Facebook page, available here.

Working People podcast hosted by Maximillian Alvarez, The Teamsters Have Entered the Chat, Bonus episode assessing the 30th Teamster convention with Joe Allen, available here.

A 2021 Teamster Election Primer;

Gangsters, Reformers, and Socialists in the Teamsters

A Reading List

by Joe Allen


Posted on October 25, 2020

The 2021 Teamster election is well under way. After two decades in power James P. Hoffa, Jr. will not be running for reelection but there is a real contest for who will succeed him. The Teamsters are one of the few major unions where the rank and file directly elect their top officers, so it is up to the members to decide. The campaign should produce a vigorous and honest discussion of the Teamsters future. Currently, there are three candidates to replace Hoffa: Sean O’Brien, Steve Vairma, and Chris Silvera. The leadership that the ranks choose and the direction in which the Teamsters go will have a major impact on the established labor movement.

The Teamsters hold a special place in U.S. culture and for socialist organizing. “The Teamsters union has been home to the most-organized and long-term presence of both mobsters and socialists in the American labor movement,” wrote Danny Katch, a former Teamster and Haymarket author, in the Indypendent early this year. Many unions have had mobsters and others socialists but few have had both play such an important role. The struggle between these contending forces at crucial moments played an important role in shaping modern history of the Teamsters.

The Teamsters like to boast that they are “America’s strongest union.” It’s hard to take this seriously. The Teamsters organizational strength peaked in the mid-1970s with around 2.2 million members. Today, it hovers around 1.4 million weakened by four decades of concessions. Back in the 1970s , the Teamsters boasted they were the “Largest union in the Free World.” The union was not so free, however. It was ruled by a violent Mafia-approved officialdom. Jimmy Hoffa, its most infamous leader, was murdered in 1975 in an ill-conceived effort to regain control of the union leadership after he was imprisoned for jury tampering. Hoffa’s disappearance’ refocused attention on the union’s corruption

Despite the Teamsters decline from its peak strength in the 1970s, it remains potentially the most powerful transport union in North America. I say “potentially” because that potential hasn’t been used in a long time. The 1997 UPS Strike demonstrated a long dormant strength but that was nearly a quarter of a century ago. There are other unions that represent workers involved in the transport of people or goods, and have admirable records, but what makes the Teamsters different is that it continues to represent about 300,000 workers at United Parcel Service (UPS), the largest logistics company in the world. UPS moves six percent of the U.S. GDP every day and two percent of the world’s economy.

Meanwhile, a hidden potential strength is the Teamster Rail Conference that represents “more than 70,000 rail employees in the United States who work on the five major freight railroads, Amtrak and numerous commuter rail systems and short line,” according to the union’s website. Teamster locomotive engineers, trainmen and maintenance of way workers could shut down the entire economy of North America overnight. While The Teamsters nearly collapsed in the freight industry following the deregulation of the trucking, major freight companies, they still represent tens of thousands of workers at companies such as YRC and ABF.

Today, while corruption is still too widespread, the Teamsters are no longer controlled by the Mafia. Socialists may not have the organized presence they once did, but an interest in socialist politics is greater than any time in the last forty years. For Hollywood, the Teamsters are the gift that keeps on giving. Last year Netflix released for the holiday season, Martin Scorsese’s epic film The Irishman to much acclaim and riveted viewers. Whether Teamsters needed another blood-soaked drama about the Teamsters is doubtful, but it did rekindle an interest in the union’s history.

Below is a wide ranging reading list covering Teamster history, dissent, forecasts, and results. Many of the books listed are available in public libraries and universities, or could be purchased from on-line retailers or bookstores. Almost all of the articles listed are also available on-line or through your public library website. I’ve tried to highlight not only the big stories — like the 1997 UPS strike — but also the debates that raged at important turning points in the history of the union and the reform movement.

The many books and articles listed here represent a diversity of historical and political opinions concerning Teamster history, and the direction of various efforts at reforming the Teamsters. Debates, sometimes very sharp debates, about the direction of the Teamsters and the Teamster reform movement, best represented by the Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), were a regular feature of political discussion. Many times socialists found themselves taking different positions on key political questions.

Readers shouldn’t feel obliged to start from the beginning and try to tackle it all but pick what subject or debate interests you. You will be surprised where it takes you. I hope comrades find this useful guide to the issues that will come to the forefront of the 2021 campaign.

Table of Contents:

I. 2021 Teamster Election.

II. The James P. Hoffa, Jr. Era.

III. United Parcel Service (UPS) and Freight.

IV. Teamsters and Socialists.

V. Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU).

VI. Professional Drivers Council (PROD).

VII. UPSurge: “Use the Union’s Power.”

VIII. Ron Carey Era.

IX. Jimmy Hoffa Era.

X. Teamsters and Racial, Gender, National Oppression.

XI. Regional Histories.

XII. Teamsters and Climate Change.

XIII. Teamsters: The Far Right and Xenophobia.

Reading List:

I. 2021 Teamster Election: An Overview:

Joe Allen, Where Are the Teamsters Going?, December 13, 2019, New Politics, available here.

Alexandra Bradbury, A Bad Day for Hoffa: Chicago Teamster Leader Joins Opposition Slate, February 02, 2019, Labor Notes, available here.

Juan Campos, Interview, October 18, 2019,, available here.

Frank Halstead, Nick Perry, Tony Suazo, and Julian Tysh, Why We Should Join the 2021 Teamsters United Campaign,, October 23, 2019, available here.

David Levin, The Teamster Revolt Against the Hoffa Era, Jacobin, available here.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters website, available here.

O’Brien-Zuckerman Teamsters United slate website, available here.

Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, available here.

Vairma-Herrera Teamster Power slate website, available here.

F. Christophe Silvera for General President of IBT website, available here.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union website, available here.

II. The James P. Hoffa, Jr. era:

A. Forecasts:

Jeffrey St. Clair & Alexander Cockburn, How Much Harm Can Hoffa Do?, June 15, 1998, Counterpunch, available here.

Marc Cooper, Where’s Hoffa Driving the Teamsters? The Nation, July 13, 2000, available here.

William Johnson, Teamsters: Changing to Win?, The Nation, May 30, 2006, available here.

David Moberg, Reforming the Teamsters, The Nation, August 15, 2002, available here.

Thaddeus Russell, “Restore Teamster Power”: Militancy, Democracy, and the IBT, New Labor Forum, Spring-Summer, 1999, available here.

John D. Schulz, “In Love with Hoffa,” Traffic World, May 1, 2000.

Jim West, Can Hoffa “Restore the Power”? Labor Notes, January 07, 1999, available here.

B. Results

Joe Allen, The Other Big Election, 8–25–2016, Jacobin, available here.

Joe Allen, Hoffa’s Numbered Days, Jacobin, 12–02–2016, available here.

Chris Kutalik, Reforming the Teamsters: An Interview with Tom Leedham, Labor Notes,

March 2006, available here.

Jim Larkin, Which Way for the Teamsters? Hoffa faces Tom Leedham in his re-election bid, The Nation, September 20, 2001, available here.

Ken Paff, Teamster Election: Why Five More Years for Hoffa? Labor Notes, November 2011, available here.

Ken Paff, Hoffa Threatens Teamster Democracy, Labor Notes, July 16, 2014, available here.

John Schultz, End of an era: Hoffa Jr. to leave top Teamsters post in 2022, Logistics Management, March 9, 2020, available here.

III. United Parcel Service (UPS) and Freight


Joe Allen, When Big Brown was shut down: The UPS strike ten years on, International Socialist Review, November-December 2007, available here.

Joe Allen, The Package King: A Rank and File History of UPS, available here.

Joe Allen, James Hoffa’s Anti-Democratic UPS Catastrophe, 10–12–2018, Jacobin, available here.

IBT, America’s Victory: The 1997 UPS Strike, video, available here.

Mark Day, A Brief History of the UPS Teamsters and the Communication Techniques Leading Up to the 1997 UPS Strike, senior paper.

Mary Deaton, How do We Beat the Big Brown Machine, Hera Press, 1979, available here.

Danny Katch, ‘Package King’ Delivers a Modern History of the Essential Worker, Indypendent, May 19, 2020, available here.

Deepa Kumar, Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization, and the UPS Strike, available here.

Dan La Botz, The Fight at UPS: The Teamsters Victory and the Future of the “New Labor Movement,” Against the Current, December 2009, available here.

Greg Niemann, Big Brown: The Untold Story of UPS, 2007, available here.

Matt Witt & Rand Wilson, The Teamsters’ UPS Strike of 1997: Building a New Labor Movement, March 1, 1999, available here.

B. Freight:

Joe Allen, Worked to Death at FedEx, Jacobin, 2–24–19, available here.

Michael H. Belzer , Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation, 1999, available here.

Barbara Kopple, American Standoff, a documentary about the Overnite strike that was part of HBO’s “America Undercover” series, 2002.

Dan La Botz, Conspiracy in the Trucking Industry, International Socialists, 1979, available here.

Ken Paff, Failure to Organize in Core Jurisdictions Costs Teamsters Bargaining Power, Labor Notes, January 2003, available here.

Gary Stevenson/ Hugo Hernandez, The freight industry is going to be organized by members in freight, in The New Rank and File edited by Staughton and Alice Lynd, available here.

Steve Viscelli , The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream, 2016, available here.

IV. Teamsters and Socialists:

A. Minneapolis Trotskyists:

Against the Current, The Year 1934: Three Reviews of Bryan Palmer’s Revolutionary Teamsters, July 8, 2014, available here.

Farrell Dobbs, Teamster Rebellion, Teamster Power, Teamster Politics, and Teamster Bureaucracy, available here.

Charles Rumford Walker, American City: A Rank and File History of Minneapolis, available here.

1. Carl Skoglund

Joe Allen, How a Revolutionary Was Born: Carl Skoglund’s early life as a militant worker in Sweden prepared him for leadership in the 1934 Teamster Strikes, Jacobin, 12–21–15, available here.

James P. Cannon, The fight to stop deportation of the ‘man who has no papers,’ reprinted in The Militant, 8–13, 2018, available here.

David Riehle, Recollections of a Striker, Workday Minnesota, available here.

B. Minneapolis Teamster Trial 1941

Joe Allen, Free Speech in the Shadow of War, Socialist Worker, available here.

Jeff Blackburn, When Socialism Was Put On Trial, Socialist Worker, available here.

James P. Cannon, Socialism on Trial: The courtroom testimony of James P. Cannon, available here.

Donna T. Haverty-Stacke, Trotskyists on Trial: Free Speech and Political Persecution Since the Age of FDR, 2016, available here.

C. International Socialists:

Ken Crowe, Collision: How the Rank and File Took Back the Teamsters, available here.

International Socialist documents, 1966–1986, available here.

Steve Kindred, Who is this I.S., outfit, anyway?, Workers’ Power, Teamster Special 1976, available here.

Dan La Botz, The Tumultuous Teamsters of the 1970s in Rebel Rank and File: Labor Militancy and Revolt From Below During the Long 1970s edited by Aaron Brenner, Robert Brenner and Cal Winslow, available here.

Bryan D. Palmer, Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934, available here.

Worker’ Power, newspaper of the International Socialist, available here.

D. Democratic Socialists of America:

Joe Allen, Working at UPS: Prospects and Challenges for DSA, Midwest Socialist, August 2019, available here.

Joe Allen, Rank and file reds: A reply to The Call’s “Life As a Rank-and-File Teamster, Tempest October 16, 2020, available here.

NYC DSA, Labor Perspectives, available here.

Eli R., Life As A Rank-and-File Teamster, The Call, September 2020, available here.

Sally Goldenberg & Janaki Chandra, Democratic Socialists look to take over New York’s powerful labor unions, 8–14–2019, Politico, available here.

V. Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU):

A. History and Assessments

Samuel Friedman, Teamsters Rank-and-File Organize Nationwide, Chapter 10 in Teamster Rank and File: Power, Bureaucracy, and Rebellion at Work and in a Union by Samuel Friedman, 1982, available here.

Dan La Botz, Rank-and-File Rebellion: Teamsters for a Democratic Union, Verso, available here.

Dan La Botz, Steve Kindred: Irrepressible Radical, Jacobin, available here.

Staughton Lynd, Where is the Teamster Rebellion Going? in James Green’s Workers’ Struggles, Past and Present, a Radical America Reader, available here.

Anne Mackie & Cal Winslow, TDU Holds 2nd Convention: An Analysis of the Teamster Reform Movement, Socialist Worker newspaper, October 1977, available here.

TDU rank and file newspapers, available here

Dave Wolfinsohn, TDU: Problems & Prospects, Against the Current, Fall 1980, available here.

Steve Zeluck, The TDU Convention and the Fight Against Givebacks, Against the Current, Sprin 1982, available here.

1. Ken Paff: TDU National Organizer

Ken Paff interview in Hope Dies Last: Keeping Faith in Difficult Times by Studs Terkel, available here.

Ken Paff, The History of Teamster Corruption, Rebellion, and Reform, Against the Grain, available here.

Ken Paff, American Labor Leader, People Pill, available here.

Mark B. Solomon, The gadfly: interview with Ken Paff, DC Velocity, March 17, 2011, available here.

2. Pete Camarata: ‘best-Known Insurgent’

Stephen Franklin, Pete Camarata, Teamsters’ ‘Best-known Insurgent,’ Had a Resolve of Steel, In These Times, February 24, 2014, available here.

Dan La Botz, Teamster Dissidents Expelled, Workers’ Power, April 4, 1977, available here.

Douglas Martin, Pete Camarata, Who Fought Fellow Teamsters for Reforms, Dies at 67, New York Times, available here.

Ken Paff, Pete Camarata, 1946–2014: A Courageous Teamster, available here.

Lee Sustar, Learning the Lesson and Passing Them On, Socialist Worker, February 12, 2014, available here.

VI. Professional Drivers Council (PROD): History and Assessments

Arthur Fox records, available here.

Dan La Botz, The Prod Report: A Workers’ Power Analysis, Workers Power newspaper, June 21, 1976, available here.

International Socialists, Perspectives on Prod: For the IBT Steering Committee, available here.

Ralph Nader, PROD, Teamsters, Truckers, available here.

VII. UPSurge: “Use the Union’s Power”

Joe Allen, UPSurge at the Package King, Socialist Worker newspaper, October 8, 2014, available here.

Anne Mackie & Celia Petty, UPSurge and the rank and file rebellion of the 1970s,, available here.

Cal Winslow, Fighting Dictatorship at United Parcel: Interview with Anne Mackie, Workers’ Power newspaper, November 21, 1975, available here.

Cal Winslow, The Fight for Control at UPS, Counterpunch, July 8, 2013, available here.

VIII. Ron Carey Era and His Legacy

Joe Allen, Smearing Ron Carey and the TDU, March 11, 2006, Counterpunch, available here.

Joe Allen & Bob Fitch, An Exchange on the State of Organized Labor, March 23, 2006, Counterpunch, available here.

Jon Bekken, Reforming the Teamsters, Libertarian Labor Review, Summer 1993, available here.

Robert Brenner, Samuel Farber, Christopher Phelps, and Susan Weissman, A View of the Teamster Tragedy, Against the Current, available here.

Ken Crowe, The Vindication of Ron Carey, Union Democracy Review, December-January 2002, available here.

Steve Early and Rand Wilson, A Teamster Apart: Ron Carey Remembered, The Nation, December 16, 2008, available here.

Bob Fitch, Solidarity for Sale: How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and Undermined America’s Promise, January 23, 2006, available here.

Martha Gruelle, New Teamsters v. Old Guard, Against the Current, September-October 1996, available here.

Peter T. Kilborn , Carey Takes the Wheel, New York Times, June 21, 1992, available here.

Brian King, Why You Should Read Solidarity for Sale If You Care about Unions in the United States, July 3, 2006, Monthly Review online, available here.

Chris Kutalik, Is the Fight for Union Democracy Corrupt? A Review of Robert Fitch’s Solidarity for Sale, June 23, 2006, Monthly Review online, available here.

Chris Kutalik, The Teamsters Today: An Interview with Ron Carey, Labor Notes, March 01, 2006, available here.

Phil Kwik, The New Teamsters, Against the Current, March-April 1992, available here.

Kim Moody, Who Reformed the Teamsters?, Against the Current, March-April 1992, available here.

Henry Phillips, Teamster Reformers 2, Old Guard 0, Against the Current, March-April 1997, available here.

Henry Phillips, Teamster Rank and Filers Look Forward, Against the Current, January-February 1998, available here.

IX. Jimmy Hoffa Era:

A. Overview: Bios and Critical Assessments

Farrell Dobbs, Hoffa and the Teamsters (1966), A review of Hoffa and the Teamsters: A Study of Union Power by Ralph and Estelle James, available here.

Barry Eidlin, We Shouldn’t Be Nostalgic for Jimmy Hoffa, Jacobin, available here.

Steven J. Harper, Crossing Hoffa: A Teamster’s Story, available here.

James R. Hoffa, The Trials of Jimmy Hoffa, available here.

Harold Meyerson, What did Hoffa want? The American Prospect, January 2020, available here.

Dan Moldea, The Hoffa Wars: The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Hoffa, available here.

Thaddeus Russell, Out Of The Jungle: Jimmy Hoffa And The Remaking Of the Remaking of the American Working Class, 2003, available here.

Arthur A. Sloan, Hoffa, available here.

Lester Velie , Desperate Bargain: Why Jimmy Hoffa had to die, available here.

Chris Wright, The Life and Times of Jimmy Hoffa by, Counterpunch, November 29, 2019, available here.

B. Jimmy Hoffa vs. Robert F. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy, The Enemy Within, available here.

James Neff, Vendetta: Bobby Kennedy versus Jimmy Hoffa, 2015, available here.

Walter Sheridan, The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hoffa, 1972, available here.

Youtube, Jimmy Hoffa versus Bobby Kennedy, available here.

C. Harold Gibbons: The ‘Socialist’ Alternative to Hoffa?

Gordon Burnside, Harold Gibbons: St. Louis Teamster Leader and Warrior Against Jim Crow, available here.

Robert Bussell, Fighting for Total Person Unionism: Harold Gibbons, Ernest Calloway, and Working-Class Citizenship, available here.

Steve Early, Left Cover for Hoffa? The Rise and Fall of a Model Teamsters Local, Counterpunch, May 17, 2016, available here.

X. Teamsters and Racial, Gender, National Oppression

A. African-American Teamsters

Joe Allen, Black Lives at Big Brown, Jacobin, available here.

Anne Balay, Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers, available here.

Clarissa Hawes, Calling out racism in the trucking, Freightwaves, June 9, 2020, available here.

IBT, John H. Cleveland: A Teamster’s Life, available here.

Richard Leone, Negro in the Trucking Industry, 1970, available here.

Juliana Feliciano Reyes, How this black UPS worker challenged powerful union leaders in Philly, and won, The Philadelphia Inquirer, available here.

Chris Silvera, Interviewed on the ‘What the Heck Show,’ 9–27–20, available here.

Teamster National Black Caucus website, available here.

Teamster Voice, Bilal Chaka — Rest in Power, APRIL 21, 2020, available here.

David Witwer, An Incident at the Statler Hotel: A Black Teamster Demands Fair Treatment during the Second World War, Summer 1998, Pennsylvania History, available here.

B. Latinx Teamsters

Ken Brown, Behind the Teamsters Raid on the Farm Workers, Workers’ Power newspaper, November 21, 1975, available here.

Tim Goulet, We are a sanctuary union, Socialist Worker, available here.

Miriam Pawel, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography, available here.

Henry Phillips, The Battle of Iowa Beef: IBP Teamsters Lose a Strike but Build a Union, Against the Current magazine, January-February 2000, available here.

Eric Schlosser, Tyson’s Moral Anchor, The Nation, June 24, 2004, available here.

Peter Shapiro, Song of the Stubborn One Thousand: The Watsonville Canning Strike, 1985–87, 2016, available here.

“Watsonville on strike” film (excerpt), available here.

“Watsonville cannery workers strike,” available here.

C. Women Teamsters

Joe Allen, Sent Packing: Pregnancy discrimination and work-induced miscarriages are rife at freight giants like XPO Logistics, available here.

Richard Archibold, Sharon Cotrell, first female dock worker on West Coast and civil rights leader, dies at 77, Press-Telegram, available here.

Diana Kilmury, How I became a Teamster, Teamster Voice, March 12, 2020, available here.

Labor Notes Staff, She Was the Sparkplug’: Gillian Furst, 1933–2015, Labor Notes, August 06, 2015, available here.

Liz Sawyer, Obituary: Gillian Furst was a warrior for workers, women’s rights, Star Tribune, August 1, 2015, available here.

Terry Spencer Hesser, I Am a Teamster: A Short, Fiery Story of Regina V. Polk, 2008, available here.

IMBD, Justice on Wheels: The Diana Kilmury Story, 1996, available here.

Teamster Voice, Diana Kilmury: From First Woman Construction Driver, To First Woman Teamster Vice President, available here

Vicki Starr, Thank you, Thank you Thank You (organizing IBT Local 743 at the University of Chicago) in The New Rank and File edited by Staughton and Alice Lynd, available here.

Leah F. Vosko & David Scott Witwer, Not a Man’s Union’: Women Teamsters in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s, Journal of Women’s History, Autumn 2001, available here.

1. Sandy Pope campaign for General PresidentAgainst the Current, To Rebuild Teamster Power: An Interview with Sandy Pope, Against the Current, September- October 2011, available here.

Stephen Franklin, Sandy Pope: The Woman Who Would Rule the Teamsters, In These Times, available here.

Jennifer Gonnerman, Would Any of These Guys Buy Jimmy Hoffa a Drink?, New York Magazine, APR. 29, 2011, available here.

National Public Radio, Sandy Pope Tries To Unseat Hoffa As Teamsters Head, available here.

Ari Paul, Can Sandy Pope Revive the Teamsters?, The Nation, MAY 4, 2011, available here.

Sandy Pope: 1st woman to seek Teamsters top spot, CBS early Morning report, available here.

Sandy Pope talks about her campaign for President of the Teamsters Union, Youtube, available here.

XI. Regional Histories: Boston, New York, Chicago & the West Coast

A. Boston Teamsters

Michael Damiano, The Boss: Sean O’Brien and the Teamsters Attempt an Extreme Makeover, Boston Magazine, November 11, 2016, available here.

Denise Lavoie, Union leaders plead guilty, Associated Press, April 26, 2003, available here.

Selwyn Raab, Top Teamster Informer Told F.B.I. That McCarthy Asked Mafia Help, New York Times, March 17, 1989, available here.

B. Chicago Teamsters

1. Local 705

Joe Allen, He Fought for the Union: Jerry Zero, left behind a complicated legacy, May 26, 2017, Jacobin, available here.

Alexandra Bradbury, Chicago Teamsters Mull Strike at UPS, October 12, 2018, Labor Notes, available here.

Robert Bruno, Reforming the Chicago Teamsters: The Story of Local 705, 2003, available here.

Stephen Franklin, Upset in Teamster elections, December 8, 2003, Chicago Tribune, available here.

David Moberg, Local Opposition: Teamsters Gerald Zero and John McCormick greeted Ron Carey’s election as the beginning of reform in Chicago. They’re still waiting., June 3, 1999, Chicago Reader, available here.

2. Local 743

Convoy, An Interview with Richard Berg: Reformers Chart New Direction for Local 743, available here.

Kari Lydersen, Hoffa Affirms Ouster of Teamsters Local 743 Reformers, In These Times, May 17, 2010, available here.

Liesl Miller Orenic, The Base of the Empire: Teamsters Local 743 and Montgomery Ward, Labor: Studies in Working Class History, available here.

3. Local 777

Edward McClelland, When the Teamsters Dumped Cabs in the Chicago River, Chicago Magazine 2019, available here.

Maurice Possley & Rick Kogan, Everybody Pays, 2001, available here.

C. New York/ New Jersey Teamsters

Steve Brill, The Teamsters, available here.

Jonah Furman, Brooklyn Teamsters Protest UPS Harassment of Black Shop Stewards, Labor Notes, July 30, 2020, available here.

Local 804 History page, available, here.

Jane Slaughter, Big Brown Waves White Flag, Labor Notes, April 10, 2014, available here.

David Witwer, Corruption and Reform in the Teamsters Union, 2008, available here.

D. West Coast Teamsters

Samuel R. Friedman, Teamster Rank and File: Power, Bureaucracy, and Rebellion at Work and in a Union, 1982, available here.

Donald Garnel , Rise of Teamster Power in the West, 1972, available here.

J.B. Gillingham, The Teamsters on the West Coast, 1965, a pdf is available here.

David McDonald, The 1970 Los Angeles-Cleveland Teamster Wildcat Strike, February 2014, available here.

XII. Teamsters and Climate Change

Dermot Cole, Amazing Pipeline Stories: How Building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Transformed Life in America’s Last Frontier Paperback, 1997, available here.

Steve Fraser & Nelson Lichtenstein, Teamsters and Turtles: Let there be one, two, many Seattles, New Labor Forum, Spring-Summer 2000, available here.

IBT, Hoffa Call on N.D. Governor to help Pipeline Workers, press release, 9–01–2016, available here.

IBT, Teamsters Call For Zero Emissions In The Private Waste Industry, October 16, 2020, available here.

IBT, Teamsters Applaud Executive Orders Advancing Pipeline Projects, January 24, 2017, available here.

John B. Judis, Dirty Deal, New Republic, April 1, 2002, available here.

Michael Sainato, Striking sanitation workers decry low pay as company makes millions for Bill Gates, October 17, 2019, The Guardian, available here.

Teamster National Pipeline news, First Piece of Disputed Keystone XL Pipeline Finished,

May 22, 2020, available here.

Potter Wickware, Crazy money: Nine months on the trans-Alaska pipeline, 1979, available here.

XIII. Teamsters: The Far Right and Xenophobia

A. Iraq War

Joe Allen, Danny Katch, Sam Putinja, and Donny Schraffenberger, Opposing Hoffa’s support for war: A letter from rank-and-file Teamsters, Socialist Worker, 2003, available here.

Uprise!, Teamster local opposes Iraq war, available here.

B. Teamsters and LaRoucheites

Chris Bohner, Hoffa Junior: A study of his connections and to corrupt elements in the labor movement, Commissioned on behalf of the Ron Carey reform campaign, 1996 available here.

Douglas Foster, Teamster Madness: Fanatic Who Want the Wheel, Mother Jones magazine, January 1982, available here.

Dennis King, Lyndon La Rouche and the New American Fascism, available here.

C. James P. Hoffa, Jr. and Pat Buchanan

Associate Press, Teamsters Won’t Endorse Buchanan, November 28, 1999, available here.

Associated Press, Buchanan Pledges to Appoint Teamsters President Hoffa, April 12, 2000, available here.

Alicia Montgomery, Pat Buchanan courts the Teamsters, April 13, 2000, Salon, available here.

David Nakamura, Teamsters’ Hoffa stands by Labor Day remarks about tea party, Washington Post, September 6, 2011, available here.

D. Teamsters and Donald Trump

CNBC, Hoffa: Pledge to work with Trump where it helps organized labor, available here.

Dave Jamieson, Teamsters Leader Says Trump ‘Could Have Done More For Us,’ Huffington Post, 10–31–2019, available here.

E. Xenophobia

James P. Hoffa, Jr., Hoffa Condemns Mexican Truck Pilot Program,, available here.

PBS News Hours, Why the Teamsters president supports Trump’s new tariffs, May 14, 2019, available here.

Ken Wong & Elaine Bernard, Labor’s Mistaken Anti-China Campaign, New Labor Forum, Fall/Winter 2000, available here.



Joe Allen

Joe Allen is a former Teamster. He writes regularly for Tempest magazine, Counterpunch, and is the author of The Package King A Rank and File History of UPS.