Archive for August, 2014

CUIFFO VERDICT

It’s in.  It is not a surprise.  Nigro’s hand picked I.A. Trial Board found Jimmy Cuiffo guilty of one of the three charges filed against him by Nigro’s henchman Bob DiOrio.  (Ventlines has no news yet of the Connors verdict.)  (Cuiffo was found not guilty of two additional charges.)

The charge used by the trial board to find Jimmy Cuiffo guilty was an accusation of “financial malpractice“.  Nigro and DiOrio and the trial board did not prove or conclude that Jimmy Cuiffo ever intentionally and deliberately acted illegally in any manner, shape or form in the conduct of his official duties as Financial Secretary Treasurer of Local 28.  Cuiffo was found guilty of “financial malpractice” simply because of and only because his name and Kevin Connors name appear on all Local 28 checks, including the checks used to make the overpayments of per diem allowances.

The “financial malpractice” charge was concocted by DiOrio out of thin air.  It is not a chargeable offense described anywhere in the I.A. Constitution  under Article 17.  (Misconduct and Penalties)  At one time and over a period of months ALL of Local 28’s officials had been erroneously overpaid per diem expenses.  ALL officials refunded the excess per diem to Local 28.  The per diem is paid to officials when overnight travel by officials is necessary in the performance of official duties.  The per diem scheme responsible for making the overpayments was designed by the I.A. and installed in Local 28 by the I.A. and supposedly supervised by Bob DiOrio.  Yet the I.A. trial board found no problems with the I.A. failed system or the I.A’s failed supervisory skills and abilities.  The I.A., simply put, used the faulty per diem scheme they had installed in Local 28 as a way to find fault with Kevin Connors and Jimmy Cuiffo and remove them from office.  Not one cent of Local 28’s money was shown to be stolen, missing, illegally misappropriated or unaccounted for.

If there is any dishonor brought upon the good name of the I.A. and Local 28 as a result of these accusations and trials, history will show it was not the result of the honorable conduct of Kevin Connors or Jimmy Cuiffo – the shame shall forever lie with DiOrio and Nigro for plundering the I.A. Constitution in order to remove two honest officials for political purposes, then impose a 28 trusteeship in order to strip the members of their right to vote on another controversial I.A. imposed labor agreement.

The Cuiffo fine of $9,000.00 is payable in part with $8,000.00 suspended in part.  More later.

 

 

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All Clear?

There were two obstacles holding up Nigro’s issuance of the overdue Connors/Cuiffo I.A. trial verdicts.  One of the two was the law suit filed against Nigro in the US District Court by Connors/Cuiffo and four  rank and file members: Barry Kilpatrick, Billy Miranda, Joe Cangeleri and Art Fitzpatrick.  The second was Nigro’s election.  With Nigro’s election of Nigro now safely in the record books, one of those obstacles now disappears.  Nigro’s strategic release of the show trial verdicts against Connors/Cuiffo inches ever closer.  Transparency and accountability at work.  Stay tuned.

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Memo to DiOrio

They are called PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS.  Not wildcat strikes.

In this country PROTESTS are a protected LEGAL civil right under the U.S. Constitution.  That right cannot be made illegal or denied or abridged by history’s fools.

The membership is PROTESTING an immoral and  illegal trusteeship of Local 28.

The membership is PROTESTING the illegal and politically motivated removal of three Local 28 elected officials.

The membership is PROTESTING the loss of their right to vote on the new labor agreement.

The membership is PROTESTING the loss of free union meetings.

The membership is PROTESTING your appalling cowardice and incompetence as an I.A. trustee.

The membership is PROTESTING the illegal abuse of power and a failure to lead by Joe Nigro.

The membership  is PROTESTING the train wreck inflicted on the  NPF.

G.F.U.T.I.

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NPF and decert

Bill, you voice very valid concerns.  I share them.  I dread to think of the day when the membership would have to decertify their union.  I am sure if cooler heads prevail there will never, ever be a need for that type of drastic action by the members.  I posted the copy of the de-cert document to provoke discussion and to help raise membership awareness to a sufficiently sensitive level so that ALL (including the I.A.) can see what is at stake in this I.A. manufactured crises – and have each of us then consider the consequences to ALL if things ever really spin out of the control of the supposedly responsible parties.  I am truly glad you took note.

Therefore contrary to your suggestion I don’t feel a need to discuss the hypothetical implications of a decertification on the future pension benefits of our members.  It will likely never happen.  But I do think a discussion of the current NPF financial condition begs for discussion.

Myself and many other Local 28 retirees, have been denied benefits that we had expected to receive in retirement.  That’s was not a hypothetical hit.  That was a real and painful financial hit to me and other I.A. and 28 members just like me.  We were promised a cola benefit we never received.

That is all water under the bridge for me now; except that it very painfully reminds me of the very real possibility that there are more $$ hits hidden just around the corner for the younger members of Local 28 if and when the music stops or they ever get to step up to the retirement plate.  NPF promised pensions are just that – PROMISES.

On page 59 of the Jan 1, 2013 NPF Actuarial Valuation (latest available) there are some numbers worth noting.  These are the numbers (not the actuarial) that IMO tell the real NPF story about future pension benefits to 28 members, including yourself.

On a market value basis as of January 1, 2013 the NPF was worth $3,226,583,524.00.  The NPF has promised pension benefits against that money  in the amount of  $10,736,366,238.00.  Meaning, on hand, the NPF has but 30% of all the pensions it has  promised to our members.  The NPF has promised almost eleven billion dollars in benefits against the almost three and a quarter billion dollars it has on hand. Thirty cents on the dollar.  That number, has not been above the 30% range for at least the last 20 years.  The I.A. has never once in its history achieved the average of its investment return assumption of 7.5%.  Those are Bernie Madoff style numbers that the best of intentions will not cure or make go away.  The I.A. has been aware of those numbers for decades.  Our loss of COLA pension benefits helped stabilize the NPF in one of its many downturns.

If you want to talk about “… being irresponsible” talk about the real NPF – not hypotheticals.

The crime of all this is that unless NPF performance turns around dramatically in the next bunch of years,  more cuts will be coming as of necessity or more contribution increases will be coming as of necessity.  More fingers in a leaking dike.   Just at a time when more and more members are relying so much  more on the ever weakening  promises and financial fundamentals of the NPF.

All this is happening on Nigro’s watch, again.  The NPF is so big and is now so important to so many members it has become the absolute driving force behind the very reason for the existence of the I.A.  There should be absolutely nothing more important to the I.A. (and Local 28) than the NPF.  And yet Nigro has time to play politics against Connors and Cuiffo.  Instead of making the slightest effort to gather those two men behind him in an effort to correct the NPF deficiencies he cloaks its deficiencies.  He doesn’t even sit as a trustee of the NPF.  If the Local 28 eight hour day is needed to protect or save the NPF  –  SAY IT.  Lead.  If there are alternatives -say it.  If there are no alternatives – say it. Do what leaders do.  Face off against your problems (our problems).  Engage local union leaders, engage local union members.  Stop the pettiness.  Lead.  Bring them the truth.  They will know what to do with it if given the chance.  Even if it hurts.

P.S.  Please re-read the previous post re: NPF Chairman, Joe Sellers’ thinking on the need for more NPF pension work hours as opposed to increased hourly contributions.

 

 

 

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Local 28’s 8 hr day and the NPF

The following is an excerpt from a status report of Joseph Sellers, Jr. chair of the NPF.  Nigro’s NPF motivation obviously counts more than Local 28’s right to vote on its forced contract.

http://smwnpf.org/from-our-chairman/

 

 

“…This good news … is offset by a decline in work in 2013 and 2014.  Preliminary figures show the number of members working last year declined by about 2% from the number of members working in 2012.  Consequently, total hours worked were also down a little over 2%.  Contribution income did increase by about 3.2% in 2013, largely because of Contribution Rate increases.  We appreciate the support of you, your Local and your Employers, especially those who elected to make rate increases; however, continuing rate increases is not the long-term answer.  We need an increase in contribution income that happens because more members are working more hours.  We have not seen more work yet.  This year has not started well, which I hope is largely attributable to severe winter weather.”

 

Draw you own conclusions.  Is Nigro’s forced eight hour day on Local 28 the I.A.’s answer to the continued decline of the NPF????

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Petition – NEVER????

1)    PETITION SIGNATURES SHOULD ONLY BE COLLECTED ON NON-WORK TIME, IN NON-WORK AREAS.

2)      THE UNION AND EMPLOYER NAMES MUST BE FILLED IN BEFORE SIGNATURES ARE COLLECTED.

3)      THE EMPLOYER MAY NOT ASSIST OR CONTRIBUTE RESOURCES. 

 

 

IF THESE CONDITIONS ARE NOT MET,  THE PETITION MAY NOT BE VALID.
PETITION FOR DECERTIFICATION (RD) — REMOVAL OF REPRESENTATIVE

 

The undersigned employees of _______________________ (employer name) do not want to be represented by _____________________ (union name).

 

Should the undersigned employees make up 30% or more (and less than 50%) of the bargaining unit represented by ___________________ (union name), the undersigned employees hereby petition the National Labor Relations Board to hold a decertification election to determine whether a majority of employees no longer wish to be represented by this union.

 

Should the undersigned employees make up 50% or more of the bargaining unit represented by ___________________ (union name), the undersigned employees hereby request that __________________ (employer name) withdraw recognition from this union immediately, as it does not enjoy the support of a majority of employees in the bargaining unit.

 

_______________________  _______________________  ____________

Signature                                 Name (Print)                           Date

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We missed you.

If you were not at the 500 Greenwich Street rally today, please know that you were missed.

 

In Solidarity.

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