On August 7th, 2020, Colvin “Johnny” Bolton retired from Teamsters Local 89 after 44 years of membership.
Johnny became a Teamster at the age of 19 when he was hired at American Greetings in 1976. Three years later he ran for and won his first Steward election. He served as a Steward for three years before being elected Chief Steward for his plant.
In 1990, Johnny was hired to work as a Business Agent at Teamsters Local 89 by then President Norman Hug. Nine years later, he ran for and was successfully elected as Vice President of Teamsters Local 89 on the Zuckerman-Washburn slate. Johnny served as Vice President until Carolin Washburn’s retirement in 2004, at which point he became Local 89’s Secretary-Treasurer – a position he has held ever since.
During Johnny’s time as Local 89’s Secretary-Treasurer, he has helped to champion our members causes on countless occasions. He represented members all over Local 89’s jurisdiction, from his hometown of Corbin, Kentucky, all the way up to Austin, Indiana, and everything in between.
Johnny chaired or co-chaired negotiations at dozens of shops, always helping to lead the charge for strong contracts that rewarded members for their hard-work and dedication. He has served on UPS panel committees, and even on the UPS Central Region negotiating committee in the mid 2000’s. After previously having served as Recording Secretary and Trustee, Johnny was also elected as Secretary-Treasurer for Teamsters Joint Council 94 in 2004, covering over 30,000 members in Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia.
“Words can’t express how much Johnny has done for our Local,” said his longtime friend and President of Teamsters Local 89, Fred Zuckerman. “He has stood with us on countless strike lines, has been there for members in their times of need, and has given his all for the cause. He’s one of a kind.”
Johnny’s retirement is bittersweet for the staff of Teamsters Local 89 and the many members whose lives he has touched. Although we are all sad to see him go, we are very happy for him. As one chapter of his life ends, and another begins, we want him to know how much we will all miss him, and how grateful we are for everything he did for our Local Union.
From his good friend and running-mate President Zuckerman, the Officers he has served alongside for many years, the Agents he has mentored and stood behind, and the Staff who he worked with every day – we wish Johnny all the best as he begins his much-deserved retirement. Good luck, brother!