Archive for September, 2014

AN OPEN LETTER TO DiORIO

 

Dear Bob:

Your letter to the members about all the bad guys in Local 28 who just won’t listen to your reasoning is another example of I.A. leadership – shoot the messenger – but don’t blame me.

Your letter is just too massive and pitiful to attempt to refute every one of the ugly allegations against select members of Local 28 – both the active and retired. So let’s go right to the episode that seemed to provoke your sorry-ass letter – the meeting of September 16, 2014- and the division of the house vote which you and your patsies characterized as a deliberate attempt by troublemakers to disrupt your crummy informational meetings.  Take note, Bob, your meetings suck!  They make YOU feel competent and busy, but they do not truly serve the members of Local 28.  No one disrupted a membership meeting.  The members disrupted YOUR PLANS for that meeting.

No one on the dais at these meetings answers to the members of Local 28. They all answer to YOU – just like you answer to Nigro.  Catch a clue.  Stop pretending to be supportive of democratic union meetings with your sop of providing “networking” opportunities to needy members.  You are fooling no one and are insulting the members with your cowardly absentee leadership and failure to stand before them.

The members at this meeting were angry over your conduct. It was you who filed charges against our former Business Manager.  It was you who filed charges YEARS late and after the I.A. constitutional statute of limitations had tolled.  It was you who knew in your heart that this was a show trial to cover your incompetence or I.A. deviousness.  The members have a right to be pissed.  GFUTI.

. Belluzzi and McGrath walked.  End of story.  You cannot dress up that trial as an example of equal justice.  Real I.A. Trials do not “recommend” that guilty defendants pay “any loss of monies” – determined “after an audit” that might or might not occur years into the future.  Real I.A. Trials do not “recommend” the guilty pay for an audit that should have been completed by the I.A. more than four years ago.  Real Trials do not “recommend” justice.  Real Trials exact a fine.  End of story.  Stop with the “recommending” bull shit.  I hope Belluzzi/McGrath ignore your “recommendations.”

The Cuiffo/Connors trial cites chapter and verse of the I.A. Constitution, Article 17, Sections 1(b), 1(i) which were supposedly violated.

Where are the I.A. chapter and verse citations for the Belluzzi/McGrath trial?  Where is their EXACT SPECIFIED FINE?  There are none. Their “recommended” fines and findings of guilt are outright conditional and pure gossip.  Period.  End of story.  You either bungled that trial prosecution or you arranged a pass for both defendants.  And personally I am delighted they walked.  Their “recommend” verdicts helped the members make a decision about your deviousness and your incompetence.  You cannot rig that decision.  The members have already made up their mind.   And there is no appeal.

Very truly yours,

ventlines.com

P.S. The social media (Facebook, blogs) of which you complain are taking the place of your useless informational meetings.

 

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FIGHT ANOTHER DAY

Kevin Connors and Jimmy Cuiffo recently paid the fines leveled against them by Nigro’s, I.A. Trial Board.  That was not a happy moment.  But it was also not a sad moment.  It was instead, a thoughtful, counseled decision by our two true officials”…to fight another day.”

As a result, the taint and guilt that normally travel with payment of fines does not attach here to Kevin and Jimmy – those will be the  stains forever attached to the reputations of Bob DiOrio and Joe Nigro.  Their roles in soiling the spirit of the I.A. Constitution with a trumped up trusteeship, the filing of false charges, the removal without cause of our two elected officials and their repeated abuse of power and democracy will forever be their record in the free democratic labor movement.

The Trial Board fines levied on Kevin and Jimmy also included a contingency punishment that made their attendance at certain I.A. “remedial” programs mandatory.  The ball is now in Joe Nigro’s court.  According to the Trial Board, Joe Nigro supposedly will be informing Kevin and Jimmy as to the particulars of when and where these “remedials” will occur.

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LOST JURISDICTION?

 

 

The hapless and always absent Bob DiOrio claimed in a July 25, 2014 letter to this membership that Local 28 maintains ONLY 30% of its job jurisdiction.

In DiOrio’s letter he stated:

“With Local 28 having only 30% market share of the work, there were several changes made to the CBA. Yes, we went to and eight (8) hour day and yes we are allowing Light Commercial Workers (they are Local 28 union members) who assist targeted jobs with deliveries.  These were changes that needed to be made in order to help crew cost and to be utilized against your competitors in order to try to regain the 70% of the work that is being done by non-Local 28 sheet metal workers and contractors.”

Was DiOrio talking out of his arse? Is he even half-right?  Does Local28 maintain a dismal 30% job jurisdiction rate?

Given that DiOrio has a zero record of accomplishments since his arrival in 2010, given that he is an absentee I.A. Trustee always in need of police protection, given that he only follows orders from Nigro, who himself has presided over the largest hemorrhage of membership in I.A. history, it is surely understandable that Local 28’s membership is left wanting for a valid reason to believe in either DiOrio or Nigro. But if DiOrio is even half-right, then his efforts to win market share, misguided or not, are not unwelcome.  Maintaining or winning job jurisdiction for the members of Local 28 and our union contractors is a noble cause and the real business of Local 28.

Let’s assume DiOrio is correct and that: 1.) his job winning strategies will work perfectly, 2.) that today, Local 28’s unionized industry fully employs Local 28’s 2,400* journeymen and apprentices, 3.) that our job jurisdiction rate is only 30%, 4.) that the number of non-union sheet metal workers exceeds 5000 –  more than double Local 28’s journeymen and apprentice population.

The good news regarding that assumption is that DiOrio might be leading Local 28 to the Promised Land – with approximately, Five thousand (5,000+-) new and additional jobs for Local 28 – all thanks to DiOrio’s eight hour day.  The bad news is that DiOrio already tried the eight hour day in the shops.  How did that work out?  DiOrio is a novice sheet metal worker/cum politician from a Philadelphia local.  He knows squat about NY and does not come close to understanding the size of the metro NY non-union sheet metal industry.  DiOrio’s 30% remark was meant to be insulting and a justification for the controversial terms he imposed without a vote in the last contract.  DiOrio’s claim that there are 8000+- active sheet metal workers and more than 5000 non-union sheet metal workers within our jurisdiction is pure ignorance.

DiOrio made no legitimate attempt to find or define the true size of our union industry or the non-union competition.  (dollar-wise / manpower-wise / or job site-wise ?)  Nuf said.  If DiOrio has the facts or anyone else has the facts to back up those 30% UNION 70% NON-UNION numbers then let’s put them on the table and let’s debate them.  Local 28 is not intimidated by facts – but we are repulsed by BS.

(* a guess)

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DIVISION OF THE HOUSE

A Ventlines tentative report on the union meeting of September 16, 2014:

 

The union meeting of Sept 16 was a rough but proud and special meeting for the membership of Local 28. It was the meeting where the trial results of Belluzzi/McGrath and Connors/ Cuiffo trials were expected to be read to the members and into the record.  It was a long overdue and tense meeting for a membership long denied their regular and official union meetings.  Local 28 members are used to proudly and regularly conducting their own meetings, their own union business with their own elected officials – and not among stasi-like snitches in attendance who report on member conduct to  the always absent I.A. Trustee, Bob DiOrio.

It was a very crowded, noisy meeting. Attendance was estimated at 150 to possibly 200 members.  Members who tried to speak on the issues and ask questions were discouraged or ruled out of order and were not able to have their questions answered.  The V.P held the podium and chair at the meeting.

Members were anxious to hear the results of the long pending I.A. charges against Belluzzi and McGrath. The long and the short of those trial results is that these charges were dismissed as untimely.  They were dismissed because the chief bungler, Joe Nigro and his absentee trustee, Bob DiOrio chose not to hear/file those charges until after the I.A. constitutional statute of limitations had tolled.  Nigro and DiOrio filed and heard the charges knowing Belluzzi/McGrath could not likely be found guilty as charged.  Nigro and DiOrio filed those charges knowing that the trial board would have to dismiss the charges because the charges were in violation of the 90 day notice rule (statute of limitations).  The Belluzzi/McGrath trial was a show trial.  DiOrio will tell you the trial wasn’t fixed. 

Compare that with the Connors and Cuiffo show trial where the trial board on hearing DiOrio’s bogus charges, found them innocent of any intent to do wrong but guilty nonetheless of negligence in using the incompetently and negligently installed I.A. per diem payment system.  HUH??

In the end someone seconded Brother Dan Pasquinucci’s motion for a division of the house vote where those who were satisfied with the dismissal verdicts stood to one side while those who were unhappy with the dismissals of the charges stood on the other.  Among the nearly two hundred members ONLY nine voted with their feet to respect the process which dismissed the charges against Belluzzi/McGrath.  Standing in favor of the Belluzzi/McGraths dismissals were Business Agents Brian McBrearty and Butch Keene in addition to DiOrio appointed Organizer Reinaldo Torres, DiOrio appointed Financial Secy. Soto and V.P. Joe Barbara.

Paraphrasing a report by Dan Pasquinucci, Jr,. as it appeared in NO BULL LOCAL 28 on Facebook;  their also came a moment in the meeting when our deposed President, Kevin Connors got up to speak on the microphone. And WOW!  “When he reached for the microphone to speak his piece but before he could say anything, a good Local 28 member yelled out “…that is our president getting ready to speak.” And with that, emotions filled the meeting hall.  And almost the entire membership, as one, stood up and applauded their elected President, Kevin Connors.  It was like a hero’s welcome home that lasted several moments.  It was a wonderful moment, a proud moment for the integrity of Local 28’s membership.  According to reports, the moment was enough to moisten a few eyes with pride among the more grizzled old timers.

The Connors/Cuiffo trial results were NOT read to the members or into the record because meeting chairman Joe Barbara adjourned the meeting after the division of the house vote. Hopefully the membership will get a chance to hear that record at the next informational meeting in L.I.

 

More as the story develops.

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ISIS

The I.A. may attempt to read the trial decisions of Kevin Connors and Jimmy Cuiffo into the minutes of their next informational meeting.

It would be a proud moment in 28’s history if the members in attendance were to take that opportunity to assert Local 28’s integrity and repudiate those trial decisions.  If the members vote against the adoption of these trial minutes and reject the I.A.’s trial board decision, it would represent a major moral victory over Bob DiOrio and an I.A. run amuck.

If the membership wants to keep the faith with the honest officials they had once elected to Local 28’s highest offices, a NO vote on those minutes would be the perfect time and place to do so.  These two stand-up union men have done nothing to deserve the maltreatment they have suffered at the hands of the ISIS style leadership now running our I.A.

A membership repudiation of the trial board’s guilty verdicts may be futile, but it will at the least symbolically inform Nigro that 28’s membership still has a pulse, still has self-respect, still knows right from wrong, and has not been scammed by DiOrio’s show trial of two innocent Local 28 officers.

Under normal constitutional I.A. trial procedure, when a local union conducts a trial board, the trial verdict must be read to the membership at the next membership meeting.  The members at that time would normally have the right to vote to adopt the verdict or reject the verdict of the local union trial board.  If the members reject a “guilty” trial verdict, the case is closed and the accused members are deemed to be innocent of all charges.

Along with the right to vote on the 28  labor agreement, the I.A. trusteeship of Local 28 took away the right to vote on a trial verdict.  We can get used to this treatment – or we can make the effort to assert Local 28’s integrity along side the I.A.’s ever increasing moral squalor.

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CONNORS VERDICT

Kevin Connor’s verdict is in.  He was found guilty of the same negligent “financial malpractice” charge as was Jimmy Cuiffo.  Kevin was also found not guilty of a second charge.  Like Jimmy, Kevin was fined $9.000.00, payable in part with $8,000.00 suspended conditionally.

Financial malpractice is a charge that does not appear anywhere in the I.A. Constitution under Article 17.  (Misconduct and Penalties)   It was wholly fabricated by DiOrio and Nigro when all else failed and was designed specifically to target Kevin and Jimmy and stand as a legal justification for the I.A.’s bogus trusteeship of Local 28.

The term “financial malpractice”  is a catch phrase used by the US DOL.   Under US labor law if a parent labor organization alleges to the US DOL on its LM 15 reporting form that “financial malpractice” has occurred in a subordinate local union, the parent labor organization may, theoretically, justify a trusteeship on that local union.  The problem with the law is that once an allegation has been made or a trusteeship has been imposed, as was the case in Local 28, the officers of that subordinate local have no fair and unbiased venue in which to argue against the I.A.’s allegations.  Unless, as was done in Local 28, the officers and members file a separate law suit in a Federal District Court against the parent organization in order to argue against the allegations and challenge the trusteeship.

The “financial malpractice” alleged in these trials occurred when Local 28’s officials in good faith utilized the I.A. imposed per diem payment system that turned out to be incompetently installed by the I.A.’s own representatives.  The trial board states in their own CONCLUSION that Kevin and Jimmy “…did not act with intent,” to practice financial malpractice.  Nevertheless the trial board found Kevin and Jimmy and not the I.A. Representatives guilty of  neglect in using the I.A. imposed per diem payment system which, under the terms of the trusteeship, the I.A. had a duty to supervise and monitor.

It is important and worthwhile to note here that the findings of the I.A.’s own trial board, as disappointing as they may be to all fair minded 28 members, is a country mile from the original criminal allegations made by DiOrio during the I.A’s trusteeship hearing in November of 2013.  Originally, Kevin and Jimmy and a group of hand selected 28 Business Agents were publicly and negligently accused of  criminal “double dipping” by I.A. Representative Bob DiOrio.  Those defamations were repeated by General President Nigro in his letter of Notice of Trusteeship to the membership of Local 28.  Those defamatory accusations have now been proven false by this trial.  DiOrio owes all concerned an outright and unequivocal apology for smearing the good names of all concerned.

We will wait on the apology.

In the meantime there will be appeals by Kevin and Jimmy.

 

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