International VP Rabine Defeated
Dave Reynolds and Rank and File Power Slate Win Major Victory
International Vice President Jon Rabine, one of Teamster President James Hoffa’s top associates, was defeated today in Local 763 in Seattle by a large turnout of rank and file Teamsters. TDU member Dave Reynolds won the top position of secretary treasurer, and his slate won 6 of 7 spots. Kirk Stephenson, chair of the Evergreen Chapter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, won the position of president.
Reynolds, Stephenson, and the winning team are determined to make Local 763 into an active Teamster local that involves and trusts its own members and stands in solidarity with the whole labor movement. They will take office on January 1.
It’s a victory for the determined group of Teamsters who won it, and the members of Local 763, and the Teamster reform movement. But also this is a victory for labor solidarity. Rabine had recently stabbed striking newspaper workers in the back when he broke ranks with the Newspaper Guild and undermined their strike against the Seattle Times.
Local 763 has roughly 4,300 members in diverse shops; about half are public workers, and the local also includes bus drivers, factory workers, mechanics, ambulance drivers, service workers, and professionals.
Rabine recently was instrumental in pulling a Florida-style maneuver in Seattle Local 174, where the International Union took control of the challenged ballots and then refused to count the legal votes of some 15 UPS Teamsters, causing TDUer Bob Hasegawa to lose by just two votes. Because Rabine lost by 98 votes, and there are many fewer challenges than that, it appears that such tricks will not be possible here.
Rabine lost by the widest margin of anyone on his own slate.
Losing his post as head of Local 763 means Rabine can no longer head the Washington Teamster Joint Council 28, with some 50,000 members. He is also an International Vice President.
Congratulations to the members of Local 763 and especially those responsible for this victory.