Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 3,2009

Chicago Tribune Clout Street

August 03, 2009

National Teamsters takes over City Hall truck drivers' union

Posted by Dan Mihalopoulos at 4:06 p.m.

The local labor group that represents City Hall's truck drivers was taken over today by the Washington, D.C.-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

In a telephone interview, IBT spokesman Galen Munroe confirmed the move affecting Teamsters Local 726.

"Local 726 was put into trusteeship today," Munroe said. "Beyond that, we can't comment."

Local 726 leaders did not return calls seeking comment. City sources said the local's top official, Tom Clair, resigned Friday.

Last month, Clair and other local leaders rejected Mayor Richard Daley's demands for pay cuts, including unpaid furlough days and compensatory time off instead of overtime pay, which is promised under the union's contract with the Daley administration.

Daley then laid off 141 city truck drivers whose duties include driving garbage trucks and snow plows. The Teamsters were one of two labor groups that declined to make contract concessions.

City truck driver Vince Tenuto Jr., who lost the last union election to Clair in 2007, said today he and other members had brought allegations of wrongdoing against the local's leadership to the attention of union officials in Washington.

But Tenuto said he supported the local leadership's rejection of the mayor's demands.

"This does not hurt the Teamsters," Tenuto said. "Daley will not beat the Teamsters."

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