AN OVERVIEW OF THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS (IBT)
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters was once the largest and most powerful labor union in U.S. History. Headquartered in Washington, DC in a building known as "the marble palace," the Teamsters union has been in and out of the AFL-CIO on two seperate occasions. The first was its expulsion from the federation in 1957 for corruption (readmitted in the 1980s) then the second disaffiliation was the Teamsters move in 2005 to join the newly formed Change to Win Federation.
Largely built representing truck drivers and warehouse workers, the Teamsters union grew during the 1930s through the 1960s, peaking at a membership of approximately 2.2 million members before falling to a mere 1.4 million members in many different industries today. However, although the Teamsters' union has fallen by more than 60% since its peak, the union's headquarters in Washington still took in $185,595,010 in 2007.
The Teamsters union, however, didn't earn its earned its notoriety due to its size. Rather, the Teamsters earned its unfortunate place in the annals of union history because of its famously corrupt leadership and the "Devil's Pact" the union's leadership had allegedly made with organized crime.
Today, the Teamsters' union is but a shadow of its former self after the primary industry that employed so many of its members—the U.S. trucking industry—became deregulated and the majority of unionized freight companies once employing the unions' members eventually went bankrupt. To read more about Teamsters' company closures, go here.
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