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Roy Lee Williams papers

Identifier: IBT0027

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of files from former IBT General President Roy L. Williams' Kansas City office, produced during his tenure from May, 1981 to April, 1983.

The largest section of this collection is a variety of correspondence. The majority is correspondence with IBT employees, IBT joint councils and union locals, and transportation companies. The collection also includes correspondence files relating to specific subjects, such as the Central States Pension Fund and National Master Freight Agreement negotiations, and clerical correspondence relating to the operation of the Kansas City office.

In addition, the collection contains various materials detailing the state and operation of the union during Williams' tenure. These include reports, financial information, General Executive Board meeting material, and subject files on such topics as trucking deregulation, out-of-work benefits and pensions. Of particular note here are the materials detailing the National Master Freight Agreement negotiations, the IBT Democratic, Republican, Independent Voter Education (DRIVE) program, and UPS Master Agreement Contract negotiations.

Of particular interest in this collection are materials detailing the major controversies which marred Williams' presidency, namely the United States vs. Dorfman, et al bribery case, for which Williams would eventually spend three years in prison, the United States vs. IBT Local 560, et al labor racketeering case, which sparked a Federal effort to mediate the influence of organized crime on labor unions. Included here are case files, hearing transcripts and correspondence.

Completing the collection are a variety of miscellaneous materials, including news articles and paper clippings, materials from the inauguration of President Reagan in 1981, holiday cards, blank forms, and drafts of the International Teamsters magazine.


  • Creation: 1974-1983

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Roy Lee Williams, born March 22, 1915 – April 28, 1989, was an American labor leader who was president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from May 15, 1981 to April 14, 1983.

Roy Williams began working as a truck driver in 1935 and was elected business agent of the union's Wichita, Kansas local in 1948. He later was elected president of Joint Council 56 and president of Teamsters Local 41 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Prior to holding the position of General President Williams was the Director of the Central Conference of Teamsters, during which time he was forced to resign from the Central States Pension fund after the US Department of Labor sued him and four colleagues for violating their fiduciary duty. Williams was elected General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters 1981, but was forced to resign his presidency early after being convicted of conspiring to bribe Nevada Senator Howard Cannon to defeat a trucking deregulation bill. He died in April of 1989 shortly after being released from prison.


12.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in its original order. Further processing will sort the materials into series to be determined later.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site, and may require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Guide to the Roy Lee Williams papers1974-1983
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

George Washington University Gelman Library
2130 H Street NW
Washington DC 20052 United States of America