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Teamster Facts

June 26, 1988

Regarding Harry Bernstein's June 7 labor column, "Teamsters Union Singing a Tune of Glasnost These Days":

Bernstein neglected to explain exactly what kind of "leader" Weldon Mathis, the new acting general president of the Teamsters Union, is. I would like to point out a few facts.

First, Mathis recently chartered a new local in Atlanta, Ga., for himself and his sons to run. He needed a new local since he, his family and his friends reportedly are under investigation by the Department of Labor for massive election fraud in his old local. The new local will split the members and assets with the old local, all without consulting the membership. Also, there will be no election for at least 18 months.

Second, Mathis was "elected" to his position as secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters Union by the hand-picked delegates to the Teamsters Convention in Las Vegas. None of the members of the Teamsters General Executive Board ever participated in a free, open, democratic election. If they ever did, it is pretty clear that very few would retain their positions.

Third, Mathis is one of the highest-paid union officials in the world. He is paid for several full-time positions by the local, conference and international union.

For your information, I have been a working member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for over 18 years.

WILSON L. OVERALL

Bellflower

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