In a complicated story of union politics, Philadelphia Teamsters Local 107 has elected Bill Hamilton president after the removal of John Morris by Teamsters President James P. Hoffa.

Morris, who launched Local 115 44 years ago, was removed as leader of that local last November and the local put in trusteeship. For more than three years, Local 107 has been at war with Local 115, and Morris has been in charge of both locals.
In 1996, Local 107 backed Hoffa for the national presidency. Local 115 backed Ron Carey. Carey won the presidency and put Local 107 in trusteeship, alleging financial mismanagement and corruption, putting Morris in charge of the rival local. Critics say the move was retaliation for Local 107 not backing him in the election.
In 1998, Hoffa won the re-run election ordered after Carey was barred from running because of alleged campaign fraud. Last fall, Hoffa removed Morris as leader of Local 115, claiming the long-time union power misused union funds by stockpiling shotguns, stun guns, pepper spray and other items and ruling by intimidation. That also ended Morris' control of Local 107.
Last week, Local 107 elected Bill Hamilton president. Hamilton and his vice president, Tony Frasco, are both business agents for the 2,700-member local.
Meanwhile, Morris continues to fight the trusteeship move by Hoffa. Claiming that his removal from office was nothing more than retaliation for his opposition to Hoffa, Morris filed suit against the union. He claimed that the union's constitution only allows for appointment of a temporary trustee without a hearing in an emergency - and that no such emergency existed in this case.
A U.S. District Judge ruled that Morris should be reinstated, saying the union failed to show that an emergency existed. But in January, an appeals court stayed Morris' reinstatement pending the hearing before three union members. The hearings were completed in early March. The panel is scheduled to make a recommendation to Hoffa within 60 days of receiving transcripts of the hearings, then Hoffa will have 15 days to make a final decision.