Former Teamsters chief Carey dies at 72

Dec. 13, 2008 at 4:13 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Ex-U.S. Teamsters Union President Ron Carey, a reformer waylaid by his own scandal, has died at 72, a friend said.

Carey, who led a successful 1997 strike against United Parcel Service only to ousted from the union presidency soon after for campaign finance improprieties, died of lung cancer Thursday at New York Hospital Queens, Ken Paff, a longtime friend and supporter, told Saturday's New York Times.

Carey won the International Brotherhood of Teamsters' top spot in the early 1990s as a reformer who vowed to root out the 1.4 million-member union's long-standing connections to Mafia crime families. He endured death threats during his 1992 campaign for the union presidency.

In 1997 Carey led a 15-day walkout against UPS that garnered widespread public support, forced the company to abandon demands for pension concessions and persuaded it to convert thousands of part-time jobs to full time, the Times said.

But only days after his UPS victory, Carey was hit by allegations of improperly financing his 1996 campaign win over rival James P. Hoffa, son of the famous Teamsters leader. In 1998, a court-appointed review board expelled Carey from the union, the newspaper said.

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