Roy L. Williams, a labor leader who has retained the swagger and tough talk of his truck-driving days, easily overrode vocal but token opposition today to win election as the sixth general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Williams, 66, defeated Peter Camarata, a warehouse worker from Detroit and leader of the Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a small dissident group that lost every legislative battle here during the union's 22nd constitutional convention.
Camarata cut short what could have been a lengthy roll-call vote by conceding defeat.
Wiliams' elevation to the presidency of the 1.89 million-member union, the nation's largest, has been virtually assured since May 15 when he was chosen by the Teamsters' general executive board as the interim replacement for Frank E. Fitzsimmons, who died of cancer May 6 while in office.
Williams' no-nonsense style and penchant for tough talk, amply displayed during his reign here as convention chairman, often has prompted comparisons with James R. (Jimmy) Hoffa, the legendary Teamsters leader who has not been seen or heard from since he disappeared under mysterious circumstances in July 1975.
Like Hoffa, Williams also has had problems with the law. His most recent legal difficulty involves an 11-count indictment charging him and four associates with conspiring to bribe Sen. Howard W. Cannon (D-Nev.) in an attempt to stop a trucking deregulation bill approved by Congress last year.
Williams has been indicated four times. Two of the indictments ended in acquittals, and one was dismissed.
In a concrete expression of faith in their new leader, delegates gave Williams practically everything he sought on major changes in the union constitution, significantly increasing his control of the organization. The approved amendments include:
A provision effectively restricting the ability of seasonal or part-time workers who are Teamsters members to seek elective office in the union. Such workers would have to continue paying union dues, whether they are employed, in order to be "in good standing" and retain eligibility for office.
A loyalty oath forbidding members from discussing without authorization union business with nonmembers.
A change forbidding election of business agents -- local union troubleshooters -- unless the existing local bylaws currently provide for their election. The approved change will concentrate power in the hands of local leaders largely dependent on the international leadership for things such as strike benefits and final approval of local contracts.
An amendment allowing the union executive board to appoint key officers without regard to geographical considerations.
Charges designed to increase the Teamsters' organizing of public employers and to strengthen the union's strike fund.
A 40 percent pay increase for the union president, raising his straight annual salary for a five-year term from $156,250 to $225,000, and a 60 percent pay hike for Secretary-Treasurer Ray Schossling, 74 -- also elected today to another five-year term -- to $200,000.
The convention did not take up the issue of reaffiliation with the AFL-CIO, from which the union was expelled in 1957 because of allegations of corrupt practices by its leaders.Teamster officials said here this week that it is unlikely that reaffiliation will come about any time soon.