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 ➡
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 ➡
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 ➡