Secret Ballot and the Teamsters

Cesar Conda at the Corner looks back to 1989 and the landmark consent decree between the Justice Department and the Teamsters union regarding mob-related criminal activity that was prevalent within the union. As we approach the 20th anniversary of the agreement, Conda encourages readers to “review the media’s coverage of the March 1989 settlement between the Teamsters and the Justice Department, and the subsequent coverage of the Teamsters’ first secret ballot presidential election in 1991. The secret-ballot reform was widely hailed by labor experts and editorial pages as a major breakthrough in the labor movement that would make the nation’s largest union more democratic and accountable to its rank and file members. At that time, Dennis Rivera, the head of the New York health-care workers union and the current chairman of the SEIU’s health-care task force, even suggested that federal labor law be changed to require secret-ballot elections of every labor leader in the country.”