Divide Over Controversial UPS Contract Defines Teamsters Presidential Election

The 1.2 million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters is one of the largest and most powerful unions in the U.S., with a vast marble headquarters and billions in pension fund assets. But there have been internal conflicts with the union, includ…

The 1.2 million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters is one of the largest and most powerful unions in the U.S., with a vast marble headquarters and billions in pension fund assets. But there have been internal conflicts with the union, including over a controversial 2018 contract with UPS that was implemented despite the membership’s majority “no” vote. Now, in the lead-up to the November election to determine the next Teamsters president, that UPS contract is once again taking center stage.

While the two candidates vying for the presidency have pledged to remove a rule that allows union leadership to implement contracts in certain circumstances against the will of the membership, only one of the candidates, Boston Teamster leader Sean O’Brien,