Teamsters vice president Fred Gegare will challenge James P. Hoffa next year for the top job at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Gegare, a vice president at large since 1998, is running for Teamsters general president without a slate of fellow officers or as a candidate supported by a group within the union.
Unlike Tom Leedham, who challenged Hoffa in the last two IBT elections with the backing of the Teamsters for a Democratic Union, Gegare is a former Hoffa supporter.
The TDU hasn’t announced a candidate or endorsement for next year’s election.
Gegare, who joined the Teamsters in 1972, is a union trustee at the Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund, head of the Teamsters dairy and food processing industry divisions and president of Wisconsin Joint Council 39.
In a May 25 letter announcing his candidacy, Gegare called Hoffa’s election in 1999 a “turning point for this union.” However, he disagreed with several recent Hoffa decisions. In particular, he attacked UPS’s withdrawal from the Central States pension fund, part of the contract the union negotiated with UPS in 2007.
Gegare also criticized what he called the "top-down" attitude toward local union autonomy by the International union and challenged Hoffa to a debate at the June 2011 IBT convention.
Hoffa is running for reelection with General Secretary Treasurer C. Thomas Keegel and a slate of International union candidates. Hoffa has been Teamsters president since winning a special election in 1998 and five-year terms in 2001 and 2006.
The union this week launched the accreditation process for candidates. Ballots will be mailed in October 2011 and counted in November next year.
--Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.