Transit Union Joins Black Lives Matter Strike; Undermines Mission

The social media-driven network of demagogues known as Black Lives Matter these past several weeks has enjoyed a groundswell of support among organized labor. A case in point is the Amalgamated Transit Union. The 200,000-member union is playing a key role in a nationwide protest today against “systemic” racism. “The ATU proudly stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are Striking for Black Lives on July 20,” said International President John Costa. “We must dismantle the racist policies that target our communities to ensure all workers are healthy, safe and secure no matter their race, immigration status, gender, job or where they live.” This overheated and cliched declaration underscores how unions, and not just the ATU, are using member dues to subvert their duties of representation.

Today’s multi-city “Strike for Black Lives” is a joint project of civil rights and labor leaders, especially those affiliated with the Service … Read More ➡

Transit Union Secretary in NW New Jersey Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Angel Garcia was a part-time bus driver. He also was a part-time thief. On June 23, Garcia, former financial secretary for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1614, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to embezzling about $117,000 in funds from the union, listed as based in Morris County and Sussex County, N.J. At various points during June 2014-May 2019, alleged prosecutors, he withdrew funds from three separate accounts to pay for rent, utilities, telephone, and other personal items and services, without executive board approval. Sentencing is set for November 17. He had been charged last December following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Transit Union Secretary in New Jersey Charged with Embezzlement

On December 5, Angel Luis Garcia, former financial secretary of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1614, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey with one count of embezzlement of $117,000 in funds from the Dover (Morris County), N.J.-based union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Independent Counsel Report Concludes NYC Transit Local Was Corrupt

Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union long had been a fiefdom of New York’s Genovese crime family. At least three top officers had to resign over various federal criminal allegations. Now a new report is providing even more powerful evidence of a close working relationship between the Mob and the union. On September 6, dissident local members held a news conference to release the contents of a report prepared by an independent counsel in January, concluding that “organized crime, with the full knowledge of certain local and even international officials, had infiltrated and controlled” the Queens, N.Y.-based 15,000-member school bus drivers’ union. 

 

The independent counsel, Richard W. Mark, called upon the parent ATU to bring internal charges against former Local 1181 President Salvatore Battaglia and former Secretary-Treasurer Julius Bernstein, and to conduct a further probe. Battaglia is facing a federal trial, having been indicted in 2005 for racketeering Read More ➡

Genovese Boss Sentenced for NYC Transit Local Racketeering

At 86, Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello, reputed acting boss of the Genovese crime family of New York, has managed to outlive virtually all of his contemporaries. But the ailing mobster might not outlive a stretch in federal prison, even a brief one. On Monday, April 16, Ianniello was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 18 months in prison on a racketeering charge stemming from his involvement with the Queens, N.Y.-based Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, which represents bus drivers. 

Ianniello pleaded guilty last September to a charge that he’d helped arrange for bus companies to make illegal payoffs to Local 1181 officials. Julius “Spike” Bernstein, the local’s former secretary-treasurer, was convicted on obstruction of justice, extorting money from a bus company, and conspiring with Ianniello and other Genovese mobsters to extort $100,000 from a medical center leasing space from the union. Ianniello became the crime family’s acting boss when Read More ➡

International Union Puts Corrupt NYC Bus Drivers Local into Trusteeship

A growing number of members of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union for months have been demanding more transparency. There are some pretty good reasons why. Local President Salvatore Battaglia was indicted in June 2005 for racketeering and obstruction of justice, yet somehow managed to keep his job, collecting an annual salary and benefit package of more than $225,000. Secretary-treasurer Julius Bernstein had taken a leave of absence this June and is shortly due for sentencing for racketeering. And Ann Chiarovano still heads the Queens, N.Y.-based Local 1181 pension and welfare benefit fund, even though she pleaded guilty this summer to obstruction of justice, and also faces sentencing. 

 

ATU International President Warren George had seen enough. He placed the school bus drivers union, with roughly 15,000 members, in “immediate temporary trusteeship.” Prompting the action was the fact that Battaglia on November 20 had been charged with another offense: shaking Read More ➡

Mob-Controlled Queens, N.Y. Bus Drivers Local Threatens, Ignores Members

Members of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) want some answers about where their money is going. That’s understandable given the caliber of people running the show. The president of the 15,000-member Queens, N.Y. school bus drivers’ local, Salvatore Battaglia, is facing federal charges of obstruction of justice, having been accused of conspiring with members of New York’s Genovese crime family. He’s still in office. The union’s secretary-treasurer, Julius Bernstein, was forced by prosecutors to step down from his post in June; he’s due for sentencing late next month for racketeering. And its pension fund director, Ann Chiarovano, despite pleading guilty in August to obstruction of justice, remains at her job because she is technically not a union officer. Something is amiss here.

 

Some dissenting members think the parent union is a silent partner of the local. “It’s a disgrace,” said member Gloria Flaherty. “The union local is Read More ➡

Members of Bus Drivers Local Seek a National Union Takeover

Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, in Queens, N.Y., consulted for years with New York’s Genovese crime family. Unfortunately, it didn’t consult with its own 13,000 members. Now, in the wake of federal prosecutions of the local’s leaders, the union’s national headquarters are getting an earful from local rank and file, which consist of drivers of school buses, private buses, and vans.

On July 28, federal agents and local police arrested 20 alleged mob members and associates, including Local 1181’s president, treasurer and pension director. The latter three persons are, respectively, Salvatore Battaglia, 58, Julius “Spike” Bernstein, 82, and Ann Chiarovano, 64. The indictment leading to the arrests charged, among other things, that Bernstein conspired with top Genovese mobster Matty “the Horse” Ianniello to extort cash payments from a medical center that rented space from the local. Some local members aren’t too happy about this turn of events. “We … Read More ➡

Genovese Boss, 19 Others Arrested for Various Crimes

Age is no obstacle when it comes to running a business, especially when it’s a Genovese crime family business. Apparently it’s no obstacle to getting arrested either. Matty “the Horse” Ianniello, a longtime Genovese capo, knows the lesson as well as anyone. On Thursday, July 28, federal agents and local police arrested Ianniello and 19 other alleged members and associates on extortion, loansharking and other charges. Ianniello, 85, who at one point allegedly served as acting family boss following the conviction of Vincent “the Chin” Gigante (see photo), was still active. “Don’t let age fool you,” said FBI Agent Matt Heron.  “He’s still an influential player in the Genovese family.”

 

The family has been playing hard these past several years. The federal indictment leading to the arrest alleges that Genovese members, led by Ianniello, infiltrated the Queens, N.Y.-based Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents bus drivers. Read More ➡