Frank J. Matula Jr., secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 396 of Los Angeles and one of the highest paid Teamsters officers in the nation, is dead.
His death last Tuesday was reported in an announcement received from the union's Washington headquarters Monday.
Matula was 76 and died at his home in Palm Springs after a long battle with cancer. At one time he was one of three national trustees of the union.
He was a labor leader who began with the union driving a motorcycle in the 1930s before joining the Los Angeles local as an organizer in 1941. He was first elected secretary-treasurer in 1945 and had been reelected since. In 1982 the Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a dissident union group, reported that Matula was among 53 Teamsters leaders earning more than $100,000 a year. His salary was listed at $187,478.
Part of his responsibilities in Los Angeles involved the drivers for private rubbish collection firms, and in 1959-60 Matula served 112 days in jail for lying when he denied to an Assembly committee in 1956 that he and the union acted as an "enforcement agency" among the private firms by restricting access to dump sites. The committee was investigating an alleged monopoly in the rubbish collection field.