Former Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 495, Karl H. Ullman, passed away on the evening of August 10, 2011. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, the Ullman family moved to Los Angeles in 1928.
Karl joined Local 495 after he was discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1945, where he served on the U.S.S., Riddle during the Pacific War Campaign. He first became a Teamster in January of 1945, working as a parking attendant for System Garage in downtown Los Angeles.
In 1949 Karl became a Shop Steward and was hired as a Business Agent for the Local in July of 1952. Karl served as a Business Agent and Organizer until becoming the President of the Local in January, 1965. Karl went on to be elected as the second Secretary-Treasurer of Local 495 in 1970.
Karl served for many years beginning in 1974 as a trustee on the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund. He was influential as a Trustee in developing the wildly popular early retirement Golden Peer Plans which to this day are still going strong throughout the Western States.
Mr. Ullman also served the membership as a Trustee on the Teamsters Miscellaneous Security Trust Fund from 1972 until his retirement.
Karl Ullman served on every major bargaining committee which formed the building blocks of our great Union. Karl served on the Freight National Automotive negotiating committee since the very first National Agreement, and was instrumental in establishing the Master Freight Automotive Supplement, (the green book). He also served on the first National Agreement on the Auto Transport National Automotive Negotiating Committee.
Karl also served as the Automotive co-chairman on the very first National Earl Scheib Negotiating Committee, the first National UPS Automotive Negotiating Committee and was the architect of the very first Western Conference of Hertz Master Garage Agreement.
Karl’s visionary leadership was recognized throughout the Union and in February 1978, Karl was elected as the Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council No. 42, the largest Joint Council in the IBT.
In Joint Council 42, Karl served on a wide variety of industry bargaining committee, including the Teamsters Bakery, Dairy, Food and Rock and Gravel Negotiating Committees.
Karl was always a visionary and a ground breaker. He founded the first Western Conference Master Penske Truck Leasing Agreement, the first Hertz Master Truck Rental Agreement and the Southern California and Southern Nevada Ryder Truck Rental Master Agreement.
Karl Ullman and the founder of Local 495, Frank Hatfield, built the California Race Track Industry into a statewide powerhouse contract. Beginning with just the Parking Attendants, over the years Frank and Karl went on to organize the Security, Outriders, Racing Officials and Patrol Judges as well as the Clockers, Truck & Water Wagon Drivers and Paddock employees.
Under Karl’s leadership the Local remained focused on the basics of organizing the unorganized and achieving first time labor contracts. He ensured that the Local maintained a strong orientation to membership service.
Karl also served as the Western Conference Automotive Director throughout the 1980’s until his retirement.
Karl Ullman retired from Local 495 in 1992, but remained as a consultant to the Local Union until October 2001, when he retired full time.
In 1999, Karl was made the Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the Local Union by the Executive Board in recognition of his historic accomplishments and lifelong dedication to not only members of Local 495, but Teamsters everywhere.