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Teamsters Timeline 1950-1971

1850 - 1949 | 1950 - 1971 | 1972 - 1984 | 1985 - present





April 17-19: Second annual organizing conference is held in Chicago.

June 18-23: Second National Truck Check held.

Membership at 1.2 million.





May 13-18: Third national Truck Check held.





May 11-16: fourth national Truck Check held.

October: JRH quits as Trustee and becomes 10th VP.

October 13-17: 16th convention held in Los Angeles; Dan Tobin steps down as IBT General President; Dave Beck is elected his successor. Convention approves moving IBT headquarters to Washington DC and endorses Adlai Stevenson for president. KTTV (LA) covers convention proceedings, it is the first union convention to be televised.





January: International office is moved to Washington DC, temporary offices rented from NALC, 100 Indiana Ave. NW, space in the Bowen Building – IBT Washington office – is also used; Einar Mohn is transferred from San Francisco to serve as assistant to Beck; national research and statistical division and publicity and promotion division are established, a national legislative division is planned; trade conference and division offices opened in Washington.

"Operation Newark,” an organizing drive for NJ brewery workers is a success, seen as a model for future organizing efforts.

April: Central States Conference officially launched, JRH as chairman.

June 14-19: National Truck Check.

August: Montgomery Ward organizing drive begins.

October: Eastern States Conference launched.





President’s Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program issues “A 10-Year National Highway Program”, Beck is a member of this Committee.

June 5-10: seventh National Safety Truck Check.

First conference of Teamster lawyers held.

November 4: New headquarters building is dedicated at 25 Louisiana Ave NW.

AFL and CIO merge to form AFL-CIO.

Ward organizing drive ends successfully.





McClellan Committee hearings begin, among others Dave Beck and JRH are called to testify.
Beck steps down as IBT General President; on October 4, convention elects JRH as GP.

December: IBT expelled from AFL-CIO.
JRH is brought to trial on a NY grand jury wiretap indictment, ends in hung jury.





January: IBT put into receivership by a federal court and a three-man Board of Monitors is assigned oversight; JRH stays on as “provisional president”, new IBT election set for 1959; JRH sets up a 3-man Anti-Racketeering Commission: former Senator George Bender, F. Joseph Donohue, and Judge Ira Jayne.

Wiretap charge retried, JRH acquitted.

August: representatives of the Teamsters, NMU and ILA hold a Conference on Transportation Unity in Washington.

Office of Public Relations and Publications established.

Membership at 1.5 million.





McClellan Committee ends its investigations.

Landrum-Griffin Act is passed by Congress.

May: IBT convention elects JRH president by overwhelming vote.

Legislative and Political Action Department established.





Twenty-two general organizers are on IBT payroll.

First area-wide bakery contract won in New England.

February: National Over-the-Road Freight Study completed.

March: DRIVE launched at rallies in several locations across the US.

IBT Executive Board endorse neither Kennedy nor Nixon.

Membership at 1.7 million.





Attorney Robert F. Kennedy launches Justice Department campaign against organized crime with JRH a specific target (“Get Hoffa”).

February: Judge Letts rules favorably on IBT motion seeking new convention. Canadian Over-the-Road Freight Study published.

July: 18th IBT convention held in Miami, JRH reelected president.

August: Airline Division established; IBT and Mine, Mill and Smelter sign mutual assistance pact.

September: DRIVE launches major membership campaign. JRH meets with Bakery and Confectionery Executive Board to discuss merger.

DRIVE sets up Women’s Auxiliaries in 16 states.





March: Laundry Workers vote to affiliate with the IBT.

May: JRH indicted on charges of accepting illegal payments from an employer in violation of the Taft Hartley Act (Test Fleet case), JRH acquitted in December.

June: Canadian Conference disbanded and Canadian locals join US regional conferences bordering their provinces of operation.

November: membership at 1.7 million.





JRH indicted for jury tampering in the Test Fleet case.

IBT Executive Board, General Organizers, Joint Council presidents and representatives of freight locals meet in Washington to formulate plans for a national freight contract in 1964.





January: JRH signs National Master Freight Agreement. Jury tampering trial begins in Chattanooga, TN.

March 12: JRH sentenced to eight years in federal penitentiary.

April: JRH goes on trial in Chicago for defrauding Central States Pension Fund relating to Sun Valley, FL, real estate development project, receives five year sentence (13 years total).

Computers introduced in S-T’s operations (payroll, mailing lists, out-of-work benefit forms).

June: Kroger signs a national contract with IBT warehouse locals.

Teamster locals launch Hoffa defense fund drive.





U.S. Supreme Court reviews the case, upholds conviction, Earl Warren dissenting (Byron White and Abe Fortas withdrew).

IBT convention delegates approve establishment of the James R. Hoffa scholarship program.





January: JRH files new motion with Supreme Court on new evidence, Court decides not to reconsider its decision.

March 7: JRH begins serving his 13 year sentence in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary; Frank Fitzsimmons begins serving as “caretaker” president.





July 23: The executive boards of the IBT and UAW agree to establish an Alliance for Labor Action.

IBT membership hits 2 million.





January: Pan American World Airways clerical and cargo employees vote to affiliate with the IBT.

February: John F. English dies.

May: GEB arrives the establishment of the Teamster Labor Institute; Alliance for Labor Action holds founding convention in Washington DC.

October: JRH applies for parole, is denied.

Joint Council 42 in partnership with UCLA’s Institute of Industrial Relations get Labor Department approval to launch the Transportation Opportunity Program (TOP).





January: GEB approves restructuring of trade divisions, eliminating and/or consolidating a number of divisions (see IT 2-70), from almost 20 to 7 major divisions.

May: IBT joins Operating Engineers and Laborers in setting up a national committee to resolve disputes among them that cannot be resolved at the local level.

September: Canadian Teamsters meet in Winnipeg to devise means to better coordinate Teamster activities in Canada.





JRH resigns as General President.

June 21: Frank Fitzsimmons becomes General President at a special meeting of the GEB.

July: Fitzsimmons elected GP at 20th IBT convention, Dave Beck in attendance.

August: JRH’s parole application is denied.

October: Fitzsimmons named to Nixon’s Pay Board.

December: President Richard M. Nixon commutes JRH’s sentence; he is freed on December 23.

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