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Pete Camarata, 67; fought fellow Teamsters for reforms

Mr. Camarata stood under a portrait of Jimmy Hoffa , the former Teamsters president, in Detroit in 1978.
Mr. Camarata stood under a portrait of Jimmy Hoffa , the former Teamsters president, in Detroit in 1978.Credit: Andrew Sacks/New York Times/file

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NEW YORK — Pete Camarata, a rank-and-file Teamster dedicated to reform of the union, died last Sunday at 67.

In 1981, as head of a dissident group, Mr. Camarata ran for president of the union, the first outsider to challenge its leadership. He lost badly, but it was not the end of his mission.

The campaign was one of many fights his group, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, picked with a union that the federal government regarded as corrupt. Some were successful.

In 1989, the Teamsters leadership accepted the group’s proposals for electoral reform. By agreeing to the direct election of international officers, the union avoided a federal trial on racketeering charges, but was subjected to government supervision.

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