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IBT Presidential Candidates Face Off Sept. 14

On September 14 at 5 p.m. Pacific, at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Sean O’Brien of the Teamsters United Slate will debate Steve Vairma of the Teamster Power Slate. Both men are candidates seeking to become the General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) after James Hoffa announced he will not seek re-election after 22 years holding the position. The event will be held in person, and it also can be seen via livestream at

The candidates will take questions from a panel of three women journalists who report on labor issues: Rebecca Rainey covers employment and immigration for POLITICO; Caroline O’Donovan follows topics related to the workplace and technology for Buzzfeed; and Sarah Jones reports on labor and inequality for New York Magazine.

Wages, jobs and healthcare are all major issues, but the Las Vegas debate also is likely to see questions related to the Hoffa legacy, strategies for organizing Amazon as well as other delivery and warehouse workers, challenges faced by essential workers who work for grocery stores or delivery services (25 percent of IBT members are employed by UPS) and topics related to the film and television industry, gaming, airlines, railroads, healthcare, construction and the many other industries that employ Teamster members.

This is the second of two presidential election debates. On September 1, the candidates faced each other at an in-person debate sponsored by the National Press Club in Washington, DC. A third debate with the two candidates vying for the position of IBT Secretary-Treasurer is scheduled to be held in Chicago on September 29.

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