A credible N.Y. dissident, Paul Pamias, filed a complaint Oct. 12 with Manhattan Dist. Atty. Robert M. Morgenthau requesting an investigation in his local, Serv. Employees Int’l Union Local 32B-32J, for alleged violations of local election laws in connection with N.Y.C.’s Sept. 25 Democratic primary.
Pamias alleged that on Sept. 11, the original primary day, many of the local’s staff were forced to volunteer to campaign for mayoral candidate Mark Green. Staffers were allegedly forced to sign vouchers stating they were taking a vacation day so they can go campaign. Again, on Sept. 24, Staffers were allegedly told at a meeting that they would be campaigning all day Sept. 25. Allegedly, this time they were not ordered to fill out vacation vouchers. After the primary, however, outraged staffers reportedly confronted various bosses, and the bosses avoided a “possible mutiny” by allegedly giving the staff a day off with pay.
On … Read More ➡
U.S. Atty. for the the S. Dist. of N.Y., Mary Jo White, lost the Ron Carey case. On Oct. 12, a federal jury acquitted the corrupt Teamsters boss of all seven counts of perjury and making false statements in connection with a $885,000 money laundering scheme that sent union treasury funds into Carey’s 1996 reelection campaign.
Even though the union was able to expell and punish Carey, White and her office failed. Losing a such a high-profile case should be a total embarrassment for White, a Clinton-appointee. Blunders–like 1) bring the case almost 5 years after the events took place and 2) putting a hostile witness, convicted union embezzler William W. Hamilton, on the stand only to have him undermine your case against Carey–demonstrate White’s incompetence.
Many have been calling on President Bush to replace White since Jan. 20. What further evidence does he need?
That said, there may finally … Read More ➡
Trustees of the Nat’l Elec. Benefit Fund must pay more than $4.9 million to reimburse the fund under a consent order settling Dep’t of Labor charges that they breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by investing in a Fla.. real estate limited partnership. The two trustees, Jack Moore and John Grau, also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $555,000 under the consent order signed Oct. 16 by the U.S. Dist. Judge Deborah K. Chasanow (D. Md., Clinton). The order resulted from a suit filed in May 1999 by DOL’s Pension & Welfare Benefits Admin., alleging that the trustees imprudently loaned pension plan assets to a corporation for certain real estate purchases linked to tainted Clinton family fundraiser and Democratic Nat’l Committee Chairman Terence McAuliffe.
Moore and Grau denied the allegations, but entered into the agreement with DOL after Williams ruled in July that DOL could proceed with its suit. … Read More ➡
According to politicalmoneyline.com, several int’l unions have failed to file their basic financial disclosure reports (LM-2) with the Dep’t of Labor. These include five unions: the Int’l Ass’n of Asbestos Workers, Int’l Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen Union, Bhd. of Maintenance of Way Employees, Am. Fed’n of Musicians, and Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees. [politicalmoneyline.com 10/19/01]
New Mexico Boss Admits Bogus Recordkeeping
On Oct. 3, in the U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of New Mexico, Ygnacio Angel, ex-president of Am. Postal Workers Union Local 402, pled guilty to an information charging him with false recordkeeping in violation federal labor law. [Dep’t of Labor 10/3/01]
Pennsylvania Staffer Charged with Theft
On Feb. 28, the Dist. Atty. of Armstrong County (Pa.) charged Gail McGranahan, an ex-staffer of Mine Workers Local 1378, with 20 counts of forgery and 20 counts of theft and is seeking $6,610 in restitution to the union. [Dep’t … Read More ➡
U.S. Dist. Judge Helen W. Gillmor (D. Haw., Clinton) ordered the Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 996 in Hawaii to pay nearly $1 million to a dry cleaning firm and its owner for union bosses’ “reckless disregard” as to the truth of statements they made regarding the firm’s financial state during contract bargaining and in advance of a strike vote. Local 996’s bosses “acted with malice in making statement…[at a membership meeting] while being aware of the probable falsity of the statements” about the company’s resources, said Gillmor. The firm’s owner claimed he was defamed by the union’s false and malicious statements that the firm was making money and that he had hidden the money in a separate entity while demanding that employees accept a concessionary contract.
The case arose out of a collective bargaining dispute in 1998 between Young Laundry & Dry Cleaning and Local 996 that resulted in … Read More ➡
U.S. Dist. Judge Patti B. Saris (D. Mass., Clinton) ruled Sept. 28 that Am. Airlines passengers whose flights were canceled as the result of a union “sickout” in Feb. 1999 can proceed with claims against the Allied Pilots Ass’n. Saris denied APA’s motion for summary judgment. The court, however, granted summary judgment to the APA’s president finding he was immune from personal liability in connection with the sickout.
APA Pilots represented engaged in a sickout between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9, 1999, that resulted in cancellation of more than 1,600 flights. Am. Airlines obtained a temporary restraining order on Feb. 10. However, the day after the TRO was issued, the number of flight cancellations increased. U.S. Dist. Judge E. Joseph Kendall (N.D. Tex., H.W. Bush) on Feb. 12 found APA, its president, Richard Lavoy, and another union boss in contempt for violating the TRO. Kendall levied a $45.5 million fine … Read More ➡
U.S. Dist. Judge Gerald E. Rosen (E.D. Mich., H.W. Bush) denied the Am. Fed’n of Musicians Local 5’s motion for summary judgment on the sex discrimination claim by a female opera house worker, Diane Bredesen, ruling that federal labor law does not preempt a claim that the Detroit-based local violated Mich.’s anti-discrimination law by purposefully negotiating a contract that caused her to be paid at half the rate paid to men in her position under other union contracts. However, Rosen rejected Bredesen’s claim that the union breached its duty of fair representation, finding that Bredesen failed to exhaust internal union remedies available for that complaint.
Bredesen worked as a “house contractor” for the Detroit Opera House. When Bredesen began her job in 1996, she was the only woman to hold that position in any major Detroit-area venue and the first female house contractor to be represented by the local. She … Read More ➡
U.S. Dist. Judge William C. Lee (N.D. Ind., Reagan) ruled against an employee finding that a union’s insistence that the employee provide “independent corroboration” that his religious beliefs precluded his funding or participating in the union did not violate Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Lee granted summary judgment to United Auto Workers Local 2209 in Fort Wayne, Ind., on the claim of employee John M. Bushouse that the local failed to accommodate his religious belief by allowing him to donate his union dues to a charity. Lee found that Bushouse did not adequately establish that he held sincere religious beliefs that conflicted with UAW’s requirement that he pay dues.
Bushouse works a Gen. Motors plan where UAW and GM’s the collective bargaining agreement contains a union security agreement forcing unionization on employees. From 1978-99, Bushouse was a member of the union who voiced no religious objections to … Read More ➡
Oklahomans voted to become the twenty-second Right to Work State on Sept. 25 with a surprisingly large margin of victory 54.2% to 45.8%. “We’re alive,” Okla. Gov. Frank Keating (R) exclaimed in a victory speech. “For too long, we’ve been held back and held down. We are now open for business.” The official returns showed that State Question 695, the Right to Work proposal, garnered 447,072 votes for versus 378,465 against. SQ 695 places Right to Work language in the Okla. Constitution as of Sept. 28.
Right to Work laws secure the right of employees to decide for themselves whether to join or financially support a union. According to the Okla. Dep’t of Labor, violation of the new law is a misdemeanor, which can be prosecuted by a dist. atty. Individual employees may also seek relief through the courts. The new law will apply to employment contracts entered into after … Read More ➡
N.Y.C. has reportedly appointed four independent monitors to make sure that anyone affiliated with organized crime is kept off clean-up site of the World Trade Ctr. massacre. The Manhattan Dist. Atty.’s Office is conducting a grand jury probe into mob-connected truckers who allegedly stole tons of scrap metal and sold it instead of bringing it to a landfill where it was to be examined as evidence. Reportedly, at least five of the trucking companies being used to haul wreckage from the site are flagged on a city list of vendors involved in alleged corruption or with mob ties. City officials are reportedly now examining subcontractors. One firm, Scalamandri Trucking, is charge by federal investigators as being controlled by Steven L. Crea, the alleged boss of the Luchese crime family.
Further, many of the workers at the site have been provided by the United Bhd. of Carpenters Local 608, which allegedly … Read More ➡