Is Dist. Council 37 Back to Old Ways?

As NYC prepares for negotiations with its unions, the bosses of the largest one are honing their bargaining skills — in Las Vegas.

District Council 37 is paying the freight for nearly 400 of its members to the sun-drenched gaming mecca for the convention of its parent union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  The trip comes six months after the Intl. ended its three-year trusteeship of DC 37.  The NYC local was rocked by a scandal in which more than 20 officials were convicted of embezzlement and other crimes.  The presidents of two of the council’s 56 locals were convicted of stealing more than $1 million.  Several council officials were also convicted of stuffing ballot boxes in 1996 to ensure approval of an unpopular contract.

Oliver Gray, Assoc. Dir. of DC 37, insisted that contrary to reports by other union members, the Local was not paying … Read More ➡

La. Local Accuses Boss of Credit Card Misuse

United Steelworkers of Am. Local 8363 in Chlamette, La., found May 22 that its ex-president, Earl Dauterive III, misused the local’s credit card on some 61 occasions. Dauterive now serves as a public official: chairman of the St. Bernard Parish Planning Comm’n. Local 8363 also alleges 18 instances of “double-dipping” on money in which Dauterive was improperly paid salary by both his employer, Murphy Oil, and the union for union activities. The Dept. of Labor has obtained records from the local and is reportedly investigating the case, Thibodeaux said. No criminal charges have been filed yet.

Dauterive, who resigned his union presidency prior to a union trial committee finding, has repaid $1,913 of the money the union claims he owed, according to Joe Thibodeaux, local vice president and chairman of the union trial committee. He said the union is accepting the money only as a partial payment. Allegedly, Dauterive owed … Read More ➡

Minneapolis Boss’ Brother Admits $9,100 Theft

Joseph W. Martin, who with his union-boss brother and Minneapolis City Council Member Joe Biernat (DFL) was charged with corruption, pled guilty June 21 to federal charges of aiding and abetting the theft of $9,177 from union coffers. He is the first in the scandal to plead guilty. Martin confessed  to using union funds from the United Assn. of Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Local 15 for plumbing work in his own home. His attorney, Gerald Yost, reported that Martin claims his brother, Thomas J. Martin, Local 15 business manager, assured him the transaction was all right.

U.S. Dist. Judge Ann D. Montgomery (D. Minn., Clinton) has not set a date for Joseph Martin’s sentencing. That’s probably because he agreed to testify against his brother and Biernat at their trials, which were scheduled for July 1 but are expected to be held at a later date. Biernat is accused of receiving … Read More ➡

Union-Abused Teachers Testify At Congressional Hearings

Two Ohio teachers at the center of a national religious discrimination case involving the National Education Association (NEA) teacher union testified before the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee regarding the need to end forced unionism.

“The teachers’ testimony exposed the harassment that many employees face every day when laboring under compulsory unionism,” said Mark Mix, Executive Vice President of the National Right to Work Committee. “The only way to help workers suffering under compulsory unionism is to make union membership 100 percent voluntary.”

The Subcommittee hearings come on the heels of a nationally publicized determination by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that the NEA union is systematically discriminating against religious objectors by stonewalling objections. The teacher union forces objectors to undergo extensive interrogation on an annual basis before honoring their right to divert dues away from union officials on the basis of their religious … Read More ➡

16 New York Racetrack Tellers Plead Guilty to Tax Fraud

Sixteen N.Y. racetrack tellers pled guilty to stealing bettors’ money for their personal use, then laundering that money through false tax returns, US Dist. Attny Alan Vinegrad announced on June 25.  Three of the pleas were new, while 13 defendants pled guilty last year, but were unsealed along with the three new confessions.  One of those who pled earlier is Robert E. Lodati, president of the the betting clerks’ union, Div. of Mutual Employees, which is a unit of the Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers Local 3 in Queens.

In the scheme, the tellers pocketed bettors’ wagers, compensated the racing assn when their cash drawers came up “short,” then claimed those payments as “unreimbursed employee expenses,” on their federal tax returns.  By laundering the bettors’ case this way, the tellers lowered their taxable income without lowering their actual income.  They face a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a … Read More ➡

New Details on how Knoxville Boss Cleaned Out Local Union

Harry S. Mattice, Jr., U.S. Attny, E.D. Tenn., has revealed new details on how a secy.-treasurer nearly bankrupted a Knoxville Steelworkers union and its members.

On Feb. 11, ex-secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers of Am. Local 35-8681 Donald G. Martin was sentenced to five months at a half-way house and five months home detention for embezzling $10,591 from the union.  A jury took one hour to find Martin guilty on Oct. 10, 2001.  According to Dist. Attny Mattice, Martin wrote checks from the union’s acct. for supposed “lost time” on union business, and wrote checks to himself that he recorded as paid to other members.

According to Mattice:  “the prosecution of union embezzlement cases, including this one where the embezzled funds totaled only $10,591, is vital to preserving the function and financial integrity of local unions in this country.  Congress has not based the union embezzlement statute on dollar figures.  Instead, … Read More ➡

New Yorker Admits $57,700 Theft

Nancy Barber pled guilty June 24 to one count of embezzling an estimated $57,769 from Int’l Assn. of Iron Workers Local 12 in Albany, N.Y. As the local’s primary bookkeeper between 1993-99, she regularly pocketed cash received by the union for dues and other payments, stealing money in small increments that went undetected for years. Allegedly, by a “check substitution scheme,” Barber used payments made with checks to cover the receipts issued for cash she stole. Barber quit her job in 1999, shortly before union bosses learned of the theft and notified federal officials.

Reportedly, Barber’s plea was the result of a ongoing investigation involving the FBI and the Dept. of Labor. The local’s former financial secy. and business agent, Michael Burns, who also is Albany County Democratic chairman, stepped down from the union post last year after the Local 12 leaders disclosed the federal investigation into the missing money. … Read More ➡

Fed. Investigation of Mobbed-Up Bos. Local Chalks up First Conviction

The Fed. Govt. investigation of extortion and embezzlement by the hierarchy of Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25 won its first conviction on July 1.  John J. “Mick” Murray, a Local 25 member and alleged associate of fugitive organized crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, confessed that he plotted to steal up to $1 million worth of computer equipment and guns with the help of Teamster drivers working for United Parcel Service.  He also confessed to exerting influence over frmr Local 25 President George Cashman to help him receive fraudulent health benefits from Local 25’s insurance plan.  Murray alone took in some $35,000 in undeserved health care benefits.

Perhaps, most heinous of all, acc. to Asst. U.S. Attny. Fred Wyshak, Murray participated in a terrifying extortion scheme with Bulger lieutenant Kevin Weeks in 1994, when they hauled a bookie named Kevin Hayes into a South Boston basement for a lesson in … Read More ➡

NLPC Urges DOL Check Up of Big Labor’s “Arthur Andersen”

When the Thomas Havey firm brags about the $42 billion in union funds it audits as its”Labor..specialty,” the Fed. Govt. needs to see if that includes the same cover-up of embezzlement revealed in the case of the Intl. Assn. of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers (IAIW).  That’s the message in a petition that NLPC filed with the US Dept. of Labor June 24.

NLPC filed the petition after Havey partner Alfred S. Garappolo admitted in federal court that he concealed from DOL investigators IAIW officials’ demands that Havey falsify reports of disbursements to its officers on the IAIW’s annual financial report (LM-2) filed with DOL.

On June 4, Garappolo pled guilty to two felony counts.  First, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3, he confessed to helping Kerry J. Tresselt, a bookkeeper and daughter of ex-vice-president Raymond J. Robertson, to hide her embezzlement from the union training fund. … Read More ➡

Unions Appeal OK Right to Work Ruling

Union lawyers have filed an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to overturn Oklahoma’s new Right to Work Law, a measure making union membership voluntary while creating new jobs.  “The decision to file an appeal is another slap in the face to the voters of Oklahoma who rejected the unions’ cynical campaign of misinformation last fall,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, whose legal-aid attorneys will be representing employees defending the Right to Work law at the appellate court.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, Oklahoma has led the nation in the creation of jobs since the passage of Right to Work last September.

“The workers of Oklahoma are already seeing the benefits of living in a Right to Work state,” said Gleason.”When will union officials end their hostility toward employee freedom … Read More ➡