Teamsters' Head Continues Crusade against Corruption CLEANING UP IMAGE

Article excerpt

HE calls it the "New" International Brotherhood of Teamsters. In a Monitor interview, Ron Carey, president of the international union, talks about his efforts to clean up the organization:

What progress are you making on cleaning up the Teamsters, and where are you going?

Wherever corruption raises its ugly head, we have gone in there and just cut if off. It won't be accepted in this union. We put together an Ethical Practices Committee, which is doing a fine job. But if there are allegations of corruption that I hear about, we don't wait for the Ethical Practices Committee. I act on it immediately. We've got 20 something trusteeships, which is probably a record in this union. And we're taking on some of the most difficult local unions.

When I first got into office, we had no mechanism to do investigative work on the people we appointed. So we appointed {William F.} Genoese and that was indeed a mistake on our part. {Last month, Carey ousted Mr. Genoese, whom a mafia defector identified as a major mob associate in the union's airline employees division.} But now we have a safety net in place by having an investigative firm that investigates all these appointments.

What effect did the Genoese appointment have?

That caused a tremendous rift between the government and what we were trying to do.

Didn't they argue against the Genoese appointment?

Yes they did, but they had information I didn't have.

Why didn't they share it with you?

I have no idea. I think that has been part of the problem. I think there seems to be a better communications network in place now.

Where do you stand now - is the union cleaned up?

No, I have no sense of how much is really out there, but I can tell you this. I think a lot of folks out there are running for cover. I have been a union officer for many years and I am tired of being embarrassed and I think we have got that quite behind us. …