Collision: How the Rank and File Took Back the Teamsters

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Scribner's, 1993 - Business & Economics - 303 pages
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In December 1991 the International Brotherhood of Teamsters - the most vibrant, militant, tough, and interesting union in America - ended a half-century of domination by organized crime and corruption. The unprecedented election of Ron Carey, a rank-and-file reformer, to follow in the footsteps of Jimmy Hoffa and Jackie Presser as Teamster president signaled one of the most important events in American labor history. To anyone familiar with the union's turbulent past, the outcome seemed miraculous: the culmination of a thirty-year drive by dissident Teamsters, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the U.S. Labor Department to cleanse the union of organized crime. Kenneth C. Crowe, three-time recipient of the Front Page Award for his labor reporting, has followed the story for some fifteen years. He has enjoyed close access to the key players at every level. In this gripping account, he reveals for the first time just how the union of bosses changed into the union of reforms. Crowe takes readers behind the scenes into three explosively different worlds. There were the powerful union oligarchs, bloated and rich on multiple salaries and luxurious perks paid for by rank-and-filers, who ruled their domains - and their elections - with shameless self-interest and ruthless control. There were the ambitious Justice Department attorneys who challenged the union leadership, first with a RICO suit, then with the stringent terms of a consent decree - only to have their legal brilliance challenged in turn by canny veterans of past Teamster wars against government do-gooders. There were the union dissidents who endured intimidation, ridicule, and often brutality to sound the call for reform year afteryear, evolving from a small band of tenacious idealists into a force ready to stand up to the union hierarchy as coequals in power. The emergence of Ron Carey as victor in the Teamsters' first secret-ballot election of a General President by the direct vote of the union membership was front-page news across the country and a watershed in labor history. In his triumphant saga of the Teamster takeover, Crowe brilliantly conveys the complex tangle of idealism, greed, politics, ambition, violence, power, betrayal, and ultimate triumph that is the fabric of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Collision is essential reading for anyone interested in organized crime, organized labor, and current affairs.

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COLLISION: How the Rank and File Took Back the Teamsters

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The gritty, well-told tale of an overdue change in leadership at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Newsday labor correspondent Crowe (America for Sale, 1978) recounts how Ron Carey ... Read full review

Collision: how the rank and file took back the teamsters

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The December 1991 election of Ron Carey, a rank-and-file leader, as the reform president of the Teamsters' Union, was a reversal of fortune for the nation's largest private-sector labor organization ... Read full review


The Origin of the Teamster RICO Case
The Creation of TDU
The Racketeering Case Surfaces

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