A Few Bad Teamsters Have Not Spoiled the Whole Union

Harry Bernstein again gives the wrong impression. This time he contends that, because of a few top leaders, the whole Teamsters Union suffers from the "halo" of the past masters of corruption ("Stubborn Teamsters Officers Hurt Reform," Sept. 26).

Now, the federal courts have moved in with a "cleanup trusteeship." On this development, I would like to offer that "a few bad apples do not spoil the whole barrel."

From personal experiences in working with a host of union leaders from 1937 to 1971, including Teamster officials on the Pacific Rim, I learned to admire and respect a long list of labor statesmen. They should not be forgotten because they are among those included, I think, in the observation by Bernstein. "Since the overwhelming majority of the union's members and officers are honest, the (court's) plan should have a chance to succeed."

Keep in mind also that the Teamsters, who were booted out of the AFL-CIO by George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO, 31 years ago, were only last year welcomed back into the AFL-CIO by the current president, Lane Kirkland, and the executive council.

Down the road, as the court's three private "administrators" struggle to reach the goal of democratizing the giant Teamster constellation, perhaps they can call upon the parent AFL-CIO to use its powerful in-house broom to help sweep away the vestiges of corruption and current crooks.

JACK L. PUGH

San Gabriel

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