Wednesday, August 12, 2009

EATING THEIR OWN: Union elections are not pretty...

An election for the leadership of Teamsters Local 237 is getting ugly, according to the New York Daily News.

On one side of the ring is incumbant Greg Floyd and, on the other side, challenger Eunice Rodriguez, a member of the group Members for Change.

Of course, whenever there is a battle over power and control, things can get a bit testy, as seems to be the case here.

[Jakwan] Rivers, a former union business agent, said Floyd and the current union leaders "don't have the best interests of members at heart."

He pointed to Teresa Roberts, a 43-year-old Housing Authority worker who was assaulted on the job.

He said the union has failed to take her problem seriously.

Workers who have tried to campaign on behalf of Members for Change said they have been harassed by Floyd loyalists, and they described some thuggish behavior.

Randy Thorne, a 48-year-old Housing Authority worker, said he was trying to hand out campaign information to workers at the Seth Low Houses on July 29 when he had a confrontation with Local 237 Business Agent Curtis Scott.

"He was distributing Greg Floyd information and I started handing out my information," said Thorne.

"He started snatching my paperwork, ripping it up and cursing. He called me stupid," Thorne added.

Union bosses degrading and fighting members who are trying to change their union? Wow! Now that's a new one....NOT!

Monday, August 3, 2009


The Chicago Sun Times is reporting Teamsters El Jefe, Jimmy Hoffa has put Chicago Teamsters Local 726 into trusteeship--which means kicking the elected leaders out while the big boss' appointees move in.

According to the charges, Local 726 leaders are charged with:

  • Taking $125,000 out of local pension funds and moving it into local union coffers without pension fund approval or any documentation noting interest rates and repayment terms.
  • Breach of fiduciary duties by the three union leaders who also serve as pension fund trustees. They are accused of skipping at least 12 months of mandatory payments to the pension fund and failing to maintain pension fund records.
  • Told by an accountant that it was a no-no to transfer money from the pension
    fund to the local, the officers took steps to pay the money back. When Local 726 could not cover the payment, the three officers allegedly made $112,000 in personal loans to the local, a violation of the Teamsters constitution.
  • Misled the international union on at least two occasions about financial iabilities and steps being taken to improve those conditions.
  • Waiving one year’s worth of membership dues for 27 different members without approval.

Hmmm. Teamster leaders? Corruption? It seems these two have danced this playlist before.

Coincidentally, it would appear that this is the same Teamsters local that rejected Chicago Mayor Daley's cost cutting measures, which resulted in layoffs that which was posted on 1-888-NO-UNION.COM's blog (here).

We wonder: Were the union's actions based purely on corruption? Or, were there some old-fashioned, Chicago-style politics at play as well?