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Hoffa upsets Incumbent Carey in voting at Teamsters Convention.

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 19, 1996--Challenger Jim Hoffa Thursday upset incumbent Teamsters general president Ron Carey in nomination voting at the union's convention, setting the stage for a November membership election that would catapult the son of the legendary union leader to the top position in the 1.4 million member organization.

Hoffa defeated Carey by a 55 percent to 45 margin in voting among the 1,776 delegates. The vote total was 954 to 775 with some not voting. The results underscored Hoffa's dominance of the convention that precedes the election five months later. Elected officials serve five-year terms in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

"I am proud and pleased to have the support of the majority of the convention delegates," Hoffa said. "The Teamsters has suffered for the last five years under the current administration. The members cannot afford five more years of Ron Carey," Hoffa said.

The results stunned the Carey Administration, which had publicly gloated it had the support of nearly 1,000 delegates. Carey hired a battalion of high-paid consultants in his attempt to crush the Hoffa insurgency.

"The members know it is time for a change and Hoffa is the right man for the job," said Carl Legensky, a truck driver from Local 470 in Philadelphia. "We have to strengthen our locals and win back the respect we so much deserve," he said.

After four days of meetings, Carey had refused to consider any constitutional amendments written by Hoffa supporters would reform the union, including measures that would increase the strike benefit for members and cut the pay for top officers. "Carey talks a lot about democracy but he rules like a dictator," Hoffa said. "The members are paying a high price."

On Thursday, Carey ignored the protests of Hoffa supporters and adjourned the convention with business unfinished, so he could host a fund-raiser to finance his November campaign. "For reasons known only to you, you have chosen a path of delay," wrote Hoffa to Carey at the end of the session. Hoffa asked Carey to "put politics aside" and help pass the strike fund measure.

The Hoffa victory capped a series of votes that showed Carey's support steadily slipping among delegates, including many who originally said they were supporting the incumbent. Even though Carey was left with a minority of the delegates, the incumbent administration continued to control the convention using stall tactics, quick gavels and other blatantly undemocratic means, Hoffa said.

CONTACT: Delacorte/Shinoff

Toni Delacorte or Paul Shinoff, 215/418-2260
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 19, 1996
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