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Tough Guys, Teamster Power on Day Four Agenda

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Teamsters attending the 28th International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention can add to their autograph collections on Thursday as brother and boxer Micky Ward holds an autograph-signing session. A former WBU light welterweight champion, Ward’s story was featured in last year’s Oscar Award-winning film, “The Fighter.”  As a proud member of Teamsters Local 25, he can expect a rapt audience.

Actor Danny DeVito, who directed the movie “Hoffa,” tweeted his Thursday appearance at the convention to his 1.3 million followers. “Vegas tomorrow 28th annual Teamsters Convention Danny D speaking to the Brothers and Sisters. The thing of it is…that’s the thing…” he tweeted.

General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Keegel delivers his retirement speech, which will undoubtedly be a bittersweet moment for many Teamsters in attendance. Keegel may bring down the house if he finishes his remarks with his trademark, “Kiss my ass!”

Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the NAACP, will be a featured speaker. International Vice President Rome Aloise will introduce him as a man who, like many in the room, had dedicated his life to achieving social, economic, and racial dignity for all Americans.

Dennis Pierce, president of the Teamsters Rail Conference, will tell the gathering what Teamster Power has meant to railroad unions since they joined the Teamsters.

The crowd will also hear about the Teamsters fight to prevent extremist politicians from privatizing Amtrak and the importance of high-speed rail to America’s future. 

Bob Lennox, secretary-treasurer of Local 495, will provide a shining example of how Teamster unity keeps us strong: the Southern California Grocery contract that was overwhelmingly ratified by members in 2010.

“Strength in numbers” and “solidarity forever” are great labor slogans, but they don’t mean anything without a willingness to join with other unions and stand up to corporate greed. The UFCW and the Teamsters have always stood together, and the food-workers’ president, Joe Hansen, will speak.

Resolutions and reports will also be featured as the Convention approaches its fifth and final day.