New York Dissident Request Federal Probe of Local

N.Y.C.’s Serv. Employees Int’l Union Local 32B-32J dissident Paul Pamias requested that the Dep’t of Labor to investigate his local Mar. 1 for apparent violations of the Labor-Mgmt. Reporting & Disclosure Act (a.k.a. Landrum-Griffin). Excerpts of his letter are below:

“Our union president, Michael P. Fishman, conducts general membership meetings in total violation of the LMRDA, our Local’s constitution and basic parliamentary procedure. Mr. Fishman, at every general meeting he has conducted, refuses to open the floor for new business, refuses to take unrehearsed questions and refuses to open the floor to independent motions. Members are not provided information relevant to issues, which are voted upon. We are denied a meaningful/informed vote. Everything is presented in a confusing manner and relevant information is withheld from the members. The opposition is denied every opportunity to debate or present opposing views.

Other than staged events at general meetings, members are not allowed to participate in deliberations upon meeting business. Members are not allowed to ask unrehearsed questions on finances nor questions on corruption and organized crime activities in our union. Our union was raided last November by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and our staff has been scared into silence. Our Joint Executive Board rubberstamps all Mr. Fishman demands. Mr. Fishman
conducts these meetings in total secrecy, a clear violation of our Local’s constitution.

Mr. Fishman has secretly impaneled a Constitution and Bylaws Committee. His goal is to change the constitution to take away the few rights we have. He informed the membership on February 28 that “open hearings” would be conducted on March 5th. Only one in one thousand members have a copy of their constitution, as the union does not inform the members of their rights under the constitution, the LMRDA or any laws.

I cannot write to the SEIU because Andrew Stern, the international president, is the mastermind behind this. Mr. Fishman was Stern’s former chief of staff. It is obvious that Mr. Stern is looting our treasury, suppressing dissent and consolidating his power.”