Puerto Rico Teamsters Acting Like Victor Rodriguez Is A Nobody — LOL
The official Teamster (capital T) union local in Puerto Rico is finally heard from on October 2nd, in an effort to distance themselves from Frente Amplio, which is being referred to by their public relations as a separate, independent group of truckers or teamsters (common noun using a small t).
The Teamsters of Puerto Rico now are emphasizing that they are Tronquistas, to differentiate themselves from the generic camioneros (truckers/teamsters) of Frente Amplio, a group that has been unabashed in their threats to stymie transport on the island.
Frente Amplio is headed by Victor Rodriguez, who entered the consciousness of mainland Americans in recent weeks because of his angry rants and ominous threats about paralyzing truck logistics in Puerto Rico for two years — even during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria — if he and his truckers don’t get what they want from the government.
Who Dominates the Trucking Industry in Puerto Rico?
The Teamsters (capitalized T) affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)…
OR the teamsters (camioneros) of the homegrown Frente Amplio?
Why is it that the truckers union that has been repeatedly mentioned and interviewed by Spanish-language media has been Frente Amplio de Camioneros? The only time the Tronquistas sort of entered the conversation was when the New York Local of the Teamsters they are affiliated with put out various press releases to the usual English-language outlets and a smattering of Spanish platforms that reprinted the releases verbatim.
… politicians not able to get their workers to help …
Coverage of the trucking impasse in Puerto Rico unblinkingly identifies Victor Rodriguez as the leader of the truck drivers (=teamsters).
Victor Rodriguez is all over the place being interviewed about why the trucks aren’t moving.
Those who doubt that Victor M. Rodriguez is the leader speaking for the truck drivers are very out of the loop. Anyone who has even heard of a transport strike on the island in the last two decades knows who he is.
The old man was listed as far back as 2009 in Wikipedia as a notable homeboy of the town of Trujillo Alto. He’s a leftist hero who’s a product of the University of Puerto Rico and he had the cachet to negotiate with the government until he met his match this year with the new governor taking office.
In their statement, the Teamsters aka Union de Tronquistas de Puerto Rico local 901 afiliada I.B.T. insist that truck drivers in Puerto Rico have not refused to move supplies from the ports.
Perhaps the Tronquistas should do more public relations to convince their fellow Puerto Ricans, who have been leaving low reviews on the P.R. Teamsters Local 901’s Facebook page since Hurricane Maria arrived.
For the record… El sindicato Local 901 de San Juan, Puerto Rico, afiliado al Joint Council 16, representa a más de 2,000 trabajadores en toda la isla. The Local 901 affiliated with Joint Council 16 of New York represents a little over 2,000 workers (not just drivers) in the entire island, which has a population of 3.4 million.
The Teamsters of Puerto Rico have argued that the reported non-movement of relief goods from the shipping terminals / ports is actually due to paperwork issues pertaining to the cargo’s release to business owners on the island.
How then will bringing in more volunteer Teamsters from New York speed up the clearing of paperwork?
For me, truckers are heroes, but the truckers of Puerto Rico… Have you decided to leave the people to die? There’s no heroism in that.
The Teamsters have not replied to this particular review.
While the ubiquitous Victor Rodriguez and his Frente Amplio are always in the news for negotiating with the government about transport strikes and legislation…
What are the Tronquistas (big “T” Teamsters of Puerto Rico) famous for? Having a past president — Rey Lebrón Allende — charged with attempted murder in 2011, among other things. His weapon was a tube pipe, his victim a security guard.
We’ll add more information to this page as soon as we get it.
Meanwhile, a throwback to 1964 when “Puerto Rico Faced a Teamster Threat”
From The NYT Archives Vault:
The New York Times reports that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters was allegedly threatening to try to curb shipping to and from Puerto Rico because of the island’s refusal of a gambling permit for a hotel in which an associate of James R. Hoffa, president of the union, has an interest in San Juan.
Translations to be added soon.