Sean O’Brien wins Teamsters presidency

The Teamsters have elected Sean O’Brien, a critic of the union’s leadership, as their new president. He bested IBT First Vice President James Hoffa, who was the son of Teamsters’ President James P. Hoffa.

Two rivals who ran on different slates for the presidency dropped out of the race after Teamsters-turned-card-carrying-Democrat Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. withdrew from the race and endorsed Mr. O’Brien.

It was Jimmy Hoffa, Jr.’s decision to drop out that left Mr. O’Brien as the sole candidate of the faction loyal to Jimmy Hoffa, Sr. He was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, former Libertarian Senator Bob Barr, corporate power broker Howard Milstein, the family of Teamsters founder James Hoffa and others.

No candidate with a proven record of union service won any of the five electoral seats on the executive board at the Teamsters convention that started Tuesday. The Teamsters, the second-largest union in the country, is undergoing major turmoil, having lost leadership after Jimmy Hoffa Sr. stepped down as president in January. Four longtime officials were removed from leadership or resigned amid internal corruption scandals. That was in addition to a grueling fight with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the International Longshoremen’s Association that took its toll on union funds. The president’s ouster and the leadership overhaul did not help the union, who received a D+ from a federal audit in 2015, and a B on public trust, according to a preliminary rating from the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law.

Teamsters officials have indicated they will push back hard against management moves to union busting and mismanagement.

Mr. O’Brien, who lives in New York City and drives a limousine, was elected as national president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1993. He was elected to the union’s Board of Directors in 2009.

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