Thomas W. (Teddy) Gleason will not seek reelection after 24 years as president of the International Longshoremen's Assn., the union said.
Gleason, the nation's oldest union president at 86, will announce his decision today at the union's executive council meeting in Tampa, Fla., ILA spokesman James McNamara said.
Gleason cited his age as the main reason he will not seek a seventh term. Earlier this year, Gleason was hospitalized for undisclosed ailments.
Gleason has endorsed John M. Bowers, 61, the ILA's executive vice president, for the job.
The labor leader is best known for negotiating a guaranteed annual income and for bringing relative peace to a strike-prone industry. The union represents longshoremen in Atlantic and Gulf ports. West Coast dock workers are affiliated with another union.
Gleason will retain his post until after the union's quadrennial convention scheduled for July.