President Hoffa Endorses Teamster Power Slate & Terry Hancock, Mike Cales Announce Candidacies

The Vairma-Herrera 2021 Teamster Power Slate announced today the addition of two new candidates, Terry Hancock, President and Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 731, who will run for International Vice President and Mike Cales, Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 710 will run as Trustee.

“The Teamster Power Slate is deeply honored to have the support of our Teamsters General President and my friend Jim Hoffa,” said General President Candidate Steve Vairma. “I have been honored to serve on the General Executive Board with President Hoffa for the last two terms. I believe we can build on the incredible work achieved by President Hoffa and take our union into an even brighter future and our diverse, experienced slate is the team to accomplish the task.” Vairma added, “I am also extremely excited to have Terry Hancock and Mike Cales from Chicago join our team as candidates for International Vice President and Trustee. Terry and Mike exemplify what it means to be strong Teamster leaders who strive to serve the membership and with Debra Simmons-Peterson, our slate now has a Chicago Dream Team to help us win this election.”

“I am proud to lead America’s Strongest Union. But the Teamsters Union is now at a crossroad and our future is in your hands. You can vote for proven leadership that will keep our Union strong and united. Or you can vote to return to a grim past of failed leadership and a bankrupt Union, “said Teamster General President Jim Hoffa. “I am endorsing Steve Vairma, Ron Herrera and the entire Teamster Power Slate today to lead our Union for the next 5 years. They have proven leadership. They will organize the unorganized. They will hold politicians accountable and protect our pension funds. They will bring diversity and new voices. They are the Teamsters of the future.”

I am asking every Teamster to vote! Vote for the Teamster Power Slate!

Terry Hancock – Candidate for International Vice President

“I am thrilled to join the Teamster Power Slate as a Candidate for the Office of Vice President At-Large and help steer this Union towards a new era of excellence. Chicago Teamsters have long been the most passionate and engaged memberships of any region in the nation.  Here in Chicago, we are Windy City Proud and Chicago Strong! I am excited to join the outstanding team already assembled and their vision for a tougher, stronger and even greater Teamsters’ Union”.

Mike Cales – Candidate for Trustee

“I am humbled and feel extremely privileged to join the Teamster Power Slate. As a candidate for Trustee, I look forward to serving all Teamsters on the General Executive Board.  I believe my experience as union chair of the Local 710 Health Welfare and Pension Fund will serve our members well.  Most importantly, I am excited to work with the rest of the great leaders on the Teamster Power Slate to continue moving our union forward and to bring the voice of Local 710 members to the International Union.”

AFL-CIO Announcement

We are at a pivotal moment to change working families’ lives across the country, not just by electing new Teamster leadership to transition us to the future, but also by taking bold steps to bring all of labor to the table to make real progress toward fairness and justice for working men and women. I want to begin negotiations to re-enter the AFL-CIO as soon as I take office so we can collectively take on the major challenges that face all of labor, including those posed by Amazon, automation and the gig economy. Already, Ron Herrera, my partner and candidate for Teamster General-Secretary, leads the LA Labor Federation, one of the largest labor federations in the U.S. Countless other Teamsters sit on state and local AFL-CIO chapters. Together, we’ve made major improvements by electing a pro-labor President, and flipping the Senate. Now is the time to seize on the momentum to reform labor law, secure voting rights, and protect pensions and retirement security. It’s time for us to rebuild labor’s coalition and make substantial, lasting change.” – Steve Vairma

Teamster Power Slate Releases Teamster Rail Conference Priorities

The Vairma–Herrera 2021 Teamster Power Slate has a plan to assure that the Teamster Rail Conference continues to play a central role in leading the Rail Labor movement.  We are the only Slate in this year’s election that understands the key to successful Rail Conference leadership begins with Rail Conference representation on the IBT’s General Executive Board.

Dennis Pierce is a Teamster Power Slate candidate for Vice President At-Large, acknowledging Brother Pierce’s national standing amongst all of Rail Labor.  Brother Pierce has been the National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, and the President of the Rail Conference, for nearly 11 years.  The BLET is the oldest union in North America, and is the founding division of the Rail Conference.  The 70,000-member Rail Conference also includes the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division and, combined, the BLET and the BMWED represent over one-third of America’s railroad workers, who belong to 12 craft-based unions.“

Under Brother Pierce’s leadership, the BLET has been a consistent consensus builder:

  • from creating and leading bargaining coalitions among Rail Labor unions with common positions and goals;
  • to joint participation in lobbying for rail safety legislation;
  • to fighting against those who would weaken rail safety regulations;
  • to litigating against federal regulatory agencies that allow railroads to weaken or skirt safety regulations.

This coalition solidarity in action has led to consecutive BLET National Freight Agreements containing real wage increases, protection of one of the very best health care plans in the country, and protection of beneficial work rules.  These National Agreements were overwhelmingly ratified by the BLET membership in 2012 and 2017.  Under Brother Pierce’s leadership, BLET is now in bargaining for a new National Freight Agreement and is part of the largest rail labor coalition assembled in recent history.  Eleven Unions representing 85,000 rail workers are part of this BLET-led coalition, a true showing of union solidarity.  And a BLET-led litigation coalition has reversed two anti-worker/anti-safety decisions initiated by the previous Federal Railroad Administration during the past six months.

As union coalition builder, Brother Pierce knows that true solidarity can only be attained by acknowledging and respecting each union’s autonomous right to pursue its members’ interests without interference.  The solidarity built by Brother Pierce’s approach has been long-standing, and is supported by virtually all of the Rail Labor unions.

Steve Vairma and Ron Herrera embrace this approach, and believe that electing Dennis Pierce as Vice President At-Large as part of the Vairma–Herrera 2021 Teamster Power Slate will improve the solidarity-building efforts of the IBT General Executive Board, and strengthen the Rail Conference in its efforts on behalf of all Rail Teamsters.  Support Dennis Pierce for Vice President At-Large and the entire Vairma–Herrera 2021 Teamster Power Slate!