Union Dissident Darren Fish is now officially the president of the AFSCME Local 494 in Pontiac, Ill., after an AFSCME "judge" in Washington, D.C. announced his decision Apr. 11. Fish and incumbent bosses, Danny Jarrett, finished as the top two vote-getters in the Dec. 1998 election. In a runoff Fish defeated Jarrett by 14 votes. But, Jarrett filed a protest with the local’s board and a new election was held in Feb. 1999, which Jarrett won by 22 votes. Fish then filed a protest with the local and parent union. Fish criticized the revote due to the fact that only 80 out of 750 members caused the second runoff. Fish also said questionable methods were used in the second runoff. Jarrett plans to appeal. [Pantagraph 4/12/99]
On Apr. 9, the Dep’t of Justice filed suit in Kansas City against the Int’l Bhd. of Boilermakers on behalf of two union dissidents allegeding that IBB placed restrictions on their local that amounted to an illegal trusteeship in violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.
On Apr. 15, the dissidents, Ernest "Skip" Patterson, president of the Nat'l Transient Lodge, and Gary W. Boring testified before Rep. John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) House subcommittee about why it took two years for the Dep’t of Labor to take any action on their complaint that rights of NTL members of IBB are being violated. Both called for Congress members' rights under LMRDA to ensure that unions are being run democratically. Patterson testified that as the elected president of the NTD, he has virtually no authority. "We don't elect our negotiating committee...We don't elect our representatives. We don't elect our stewards. We don't ratify our contracts." Patterson said "[DOL] works hand in hand with the internationals on a daily basis...with this kind of influence what kind of justice does the rank-and-file member receive?"
Darren Fish, who lost a rerun election for president of AFSCME Local 494 in Pontiac, Ill., said Feb. 12 that the local's parent union is investigating the rerun. In Dec., Fish and incumbent boss Danny Jarrett split the original vote for president with a third candidate. Fish and Jarrett were the top vote-getters and had a runoff two days later. Fish won the runoff 198-184. But on Jan. 13, Local 494 threw out the runoff results and set another for Feb. 11. Jarrett won the second runoff 250-228. Fish criticized the revote due to the fact that only 80 out of 750 members caused the second runoff. Fish also said questionable methods were used in the second runoff. A member "was telling new employees that I was no longer employed..., when really I was on vacation," said Fish. [Pantagraph 2/13/99]