The Teamsters Union: A Study of Its Economic Impact

By Robert D. Leiter | Go to book overview

Chapter 12
THE ROLE OF THE TEAMSTERS UNION IN THE ECONOMY OF THE UNITED STATES

THE TEAMSTERS UNION has had a hectic and interesting history. The strife which filled its early years has continued to envelop its organizational activities to the present day. Although there have been periods of relative quiescence and peace, the union has had to struggle with serious questions involving jurisdiction, racketeering, leadership, and governmental regulation of the trucking industry. Over the years, it has largely used methods and tactics approved by most of the labor movement but its notoriety and successes have been due to the greater vigor which it has applied in pressing its campaigns, the strategic position which its members occupy in the economy of the United States, and the huge size of its membership. In 1957, however, revelations disclosed financial and political corruption among leaders of the IBT during the past decade to a degree beyond the pale of condonation.


The Philosophy of the Union

Much of the philosophy of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its leading officials is in the spirit and tradition of Samuel Gompers and the other founders of the American Federation of Labor. The main objectives of the union are economic, not political. Business unionism--improvement of

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