F.I.S.T. : Johnny Kovak joins the Teamsters trade-union in a local chapter in the 1930s and works his way up in the organization. As he climbs higher and higher his methods become more ruthless and finally senator Madison starts a campaign to find the truth about the alleged connections with the Mob.
While commiserating in bars, Kovak and Belkin are approached by Mike Monahan, who saw Kovak’s leadership. He offers them positions in the Federation of Inter State Truckers (F.I.S.T.). They will be paid according to how many members they can recruit, and they reluctantly join. Given a car for recruiting, Kovak tries to meet a woman, Anna Zarinka (Melinda Dillon). They begin to see each other. At the same time, he starts to gain some members, which attracts attention from business owners. They offer him a deal to join them and be a voice in helping bring more workers to trucking. After rejecting the offer, Kovak is physically attacked. He continues to work on union recruiting. Another leader of F.I.S.T., Max Graham (Peter Boyle), is known by many workers as a hothead. He and Kovak compete for superiority.