Hoffa Running Mate, Potter, Barred

James P. Hoffa’s victory as Teamsters president was cleared for certification Jan. 28 by Michael G. Cherkasky, the court-appointed election monitor, after a delay due corruption charges against Hoffa slate members. But Cherkasky did bar Hoffa running mate J.D. Potter of Tex. from assuming his vice-president seat on the Teamsters board. Potter was charged with with lying about breaking donation limits. Union rules limited Potter to giving $5,000 to Hoffa’s campaign, and he said that an additional $5,000 he gave came from other members. He also claimed that the original bills (U.S. dollars) they gave him were still in his car, and he produced $4,700 in cash from his trunk. But 13 of the bills were not in circulation at the time he claimed to have collected them. [A.P. 1/28/99]

Buffalo Boss’ Libel Suit Dismissed
Teamsters Local 449 boss Bruce W. LeRoy’s $200,000 libel suit against his local dissidents … Read More ➡

Clinton Appoints Tainted Ex-Boss

Bill Clinton appointed C. Richard Barnes, an ex-Laborer’s Int’l Union of No. Am. business manager, as director of the Fed. Mediation & Conciliation Service on Jan. 14. FMCS assists unions in resolving contract disputes and doles out federal training grants to unions. In addition to being a top boss from one of America’s most corrupt unions, Barnes has a tainted past of his own. In 1982, a Ga. jury returned a verdict against Barnes and two other LIUNA bosses for illegal strike activity, including violence and vandalism against property. The jury awarded the employer $263,166, but Barnes got off on a technicality. Georgia Kraft Co. v. LIUNA Local Union 246, 317 S.E.2d 602 (Ga. Ct. App. 1984). As FMCS deputy director, Barnes was a key player in the Teamsters’ controversial victory over UPS in 1997.

Spy, Union Radical Sentenced
Int’l union activist and his ex-Pentagon-attorney wife were sentenced Jan. … Read More ➡

Ohio Local Charged For Threatening Employee

According to the Nat. Right to Work Foundation, Teamsters Local 473 along with the Akron Beacon-Journal illegally told a newspaper employee he would be fired for refusing to join the union.  In an effort to head off the illegal action and save the worker’s job, NRTWF attorneys filed federal labor charges Jan. 26 and sought a federal injunction. NRTWF’s charges detail blatantly illegal conduct by Teamsters bosses in forcing Roderic Paulk to become a full, formal member of the  union as a condition of employment and to pay full union dues. “Mr. Paulk is being railroaded for the crime of exercising his right to say ‘No’ to union bosses and their politics,” said NRTWF spokesman Stefan Gleason. Under numerous U.S. Supreme Court precedents and Nat. Labor Relation Board decisions — including the NRTWF-won Communication Workers of Am. v. Beck — employees may not be forced to become full members of … Read More ➡

DOJ Extends, Weakens, Controversial Agreement

On Jan. 8, the U.S. Dep’t of Justice and the Laborers’ Int’l Union of No. Am. announced the second one-year extension of the controversial 1995 Operating Agreement that resulted from DOJ’s 1994 draft RICO complaint. The Agreement is now scheduled to terminate Jan. 31, 2000. The National Legal and Policy Center, a union corruption watchdog, reiterated its previous demands that DOJ: 1) remove Arthur A. Coia as LIUNA General President, 2) replace Robert D. Luskin as LIUNA’s “in-house prosecutor,” and 3) impose the full terms of the pending Consent Decree thereby allowing court-appointed officials to clean up LIUNA and stopping LIUNA from “cleaning up itself.”

“The so-called LIUNA ‘internal reform effort’ is a failure. DOJ has placed a great deal of trust in the independence and effectiveness of the ‘internal reform effort,’ but the fact is Luskin and the ‘reform’ team are not independent and are not as effective as … Read More ➡

California Boss Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Union Funds

James E. Jackson, ex-boss of the Int’l Bhd. of Electrical Workers Local 45 in Hollywood, pled guilty Jan. 14 to 6 felony counts of embezzling union funds. He admitted to using the union’s credit cards for unauthorized purposes from 1994-97. Jackson said he charged $1,200 to IBEW to pay for repair work done on his Mercedes-Benz and spent another $1,207 for a Caribbean cruise. He also had the union pay for auto maintenance and insurance and for his adult daughter’s health insurance. Jackson was indicted in Aug. 1998 after a U.S. Dep’t of Labor probe. He will be sentenced Mar. 29. Prosecutors intend to argue at sentencing that the union’s loss was about $280,000. Jackson maintains it was under $41,000. [Hollywood Reporter 1/15/99]

DOL Targets Chicago Local
The U.S. Dep’t of Labor has filed suit against IBEW Local 134 in Chicago, seeking to void the 1998 election of a … Read More ➡

Cherkasky Puts Hoffa on Hold

U.S. Dist. Court-appointed Election Officer Michael Cherkasky has delayed certifying James P. Hoffa’s Teamsters presidency due to a protest filed by his opponent Tom Leedham. Leedham contends Hoffa and four vice-presidents elected are guilty of violating the union’s rules and should be barred from office. J.D. Potter of Tex. was charged by the union’s Independent Review Board with lying about contributions to Hoffa’s campaign. James Santangelo of Cal. was accused of wrongly receiving money from a union severance fund. Donato DeSanti of N.J. was accused of associating with a barred member. Thomas O’Donnell of N.Y. was charged with filing a false campaign report concealing a convicted felon on the payroll. The delay means bosses loyal to the corrupt ex-president Ron Carey remain entrenched in the union’s “Marble Palace” in D.C. The D.C. monthly payroll is over $2 million. [Detroit News 1/12/99]

Indicted Kentucky Boss Retires
Lon Fields, Sr., retired … Read More ➡

Probe of Florida Boss Revisited

Betty Jo Bryon, a staffer at the Tampa local of the Int’l Longshoremen’s Ass’n appeared Jan. 12 before a federal grand jury investigating union corruption. Byron’s boss, Perry Harvey, was charged in 1991 with embezzling $225,000 from the union but was acquitted. Prosecutors didn’t comment on Bryon’s subpoena. But Harvey’s attorney said they are looking at how the union’s credit union handled some loans. Byron doubles as an official with the credit union. The union and its credit union are in the same office. [St. Petersburg Times 1/13/99]

Iowa Embezzler Gets 16 Months
On Jan. 8, Jeanette M. Everhart, an APWU member in Des Moines, was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for mail embezzlement. She was ordered to pay $104,680 in restitution. The U.S. Atty.’s Office said she stole food stamps and cash for drug and gambling addictions.… Read More ➡

Tainted New York Election Overturned

U.S. Dist. Judge Constance B. Motley held Dec. 31 that the N.Y. Metro Area Postal Union, a local of the Am. Postal Workers Union, violated election rules of the Labor-Management Reporting & Disclosure Act by “unreasonably” disqualifying seven “dissident” candidates for failing to file required information by an “unnecessarily strict and undisclosed deadline.” The local’s Jan. 1997 newsletter announced the nomination and election dates but failed to mention candidate and election requirements. At the nomination meeting, 32 members of the incumbent bosses’ slate and seven members of a dissident slate were nominated. None of the dissident candidates were informed of the candidate filing requirements. Before the elections, the incumbents’ slate challenged the dissident nominees for failing to submit the required information to the union. The union election committee disqualified all dissident nominees. The court voided the Mar. 3, 1997 election and ordered a rerun under the U.S. Dep’t of Labor’s … Read More ➡

Local and National Bosses Battle in New York

 Over 6,000 members of Utility Workers Union of Am. Local 1-2 in N.Y.C., have signed a petition protesting their ousted leader, Joseph Flaherty, and imposition of trusteeship by UWUA’s parent in D.C.. Flaherty’s supporters, claim that Donald E. Wightman, president of the national UWUA engineered a crude power play to push aside an outspoken critic and potential challenger for the presidency. Flaherty intends to renew efforts for a U.S. Dist. Judge to end the trusteeship this month.

Wightman said UWUA took over Local 1-2 and removed Flaherty to rescue it from insolvency and from a leader who was stifling dissent and democracy. Wightman also alleged Flaherty wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees and inflated payroll. According to Wightman, Flaherty paid a $4,000 weekly retainer to the local’s general counsel, more than $2 million a year for wages and benefits for the local’s 20 full-time officers and … Read More ➡

Texas Bosses Snub Members’ Freedom

Top Texas AFL-CIO bosses blasted a bill introduced in the Tex. legislature to hold unions more accountable to members and increase member’s freedom in choosing how their dues are spent. State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran’s (R) bill would require unions to obtain annual written permission from every member to use their dues for political purposes. The measure would create a simple membership renewal card that would allow members to indicate their desire to have dues used for political purposes. The best excuse Texas AFL-CIO boss Ed Sills could come up with to justify his anti-freedom position is that the postcards would be a “giant, new administrative burden.” If the bill passes, violating the law would be a misdemeanor and bosses would be liable up to $1,000 per violation. [Houston Chronicle 1/6/99]… Read More ➡