In the best of worlds – justice is blind.  In the worst of worlds – it is all seeing.

Recently, Local 28’s I.A. Trustees saw fit to bring their third set of new charges against Kevin Connors.  Hmmm?  Maybe I.A. justice is used to peeking?

That trial and the trials of three more Local 28 members were scheduled for November 17, 2014.  These November trials were brought on top of several September/October trials brought against four other 28 members.  The I.A. is also preparing even more trials against more Local 28 members.  The guilty are punished with monetary fines and massive inconvenience, all in addition, to denials of SUB and SASMI benefits.

As with all trials held pursuant to the SMART constitution, such trials are secret.  I.A, members are not allowed to observe the proceedings of International Trial Boards or Local Union Trial Boards.

All of these defendant members were charged with violating Article 17, Sections 1(c) (e) (m) of the SMART Constitution.  According to the new charges, these members failed to place their names on the court maintained referral hall list within 24 hours of their last recorded date of employment with a Local 28 contractor.  What was once normal and innocent conduct is now an offense against the I.A. constitution.

Local 28’s I.A. Trustees and the Court have determined that registration on the once voluntary referral hall list is now mandatory.  Failure to register per the newly enforced CBA requirements of Article V, Section 7(d) subjects a member to I.A. charges.

Members will be charged by the I.A. Trustees IF….

The member’s name appears on a so called new hire list which is prepared by a court approved functionary and – the member did not register because he or she went on vacation, or was ill, or hospitalized or did not want to work, or there was a death in the family, or went to school, or left town, or a child was ill, or worked in another profession or registered on the referral hall list more than 24 hours after a layoff or quitting, etc., etc.

A court approved functionary co-compliance administrator from Local 28 searches for all violators of Article V Section 7(d).  The functionary testifies before the trial board along with the I.A. Trustees against all the alleged violators. The search for a violation is supposedly triggered if and when a member’s name appears on a so called new hire list prepared by the functionaryIf a member’s name appears on the functionary’s list, the functionary obtains secret referral hall records to determine if that member had ever registered within 24 hours of his last recorded day of Local 28 employment.

If a member’s name is not on the secret list submitted by the referral hall to the functionary as evidence of having signed with the referral hall, the functionary will then testify with the I.A. against that member for failing to register.  The evidence used against the member is secret evidence.

Perversely, neither the I.A. nor Local 28’s trial board, nor the accused members are permitted to hear or see or cross examine the secret evidence submitted by the referral hall against the defendant member.  An accused member and the trial board members thus have no way to determine if the secret referral hall evidence is true, correct, valid and unbiased or if the member’s records were just plain lost.  Given the referral hall’s poor reputation for competence and transparency among the membership of Local 28, the procedures used in these trials are likely to handicap even a blindfolded justice.

Meaning that, guilty or not, all Local 28 members now charged by the I.A. or who will be charged in the future with violating Article V, Section 7(d) of the CBA will very likely be convicted of that offense based on – secret evidence in secret trials.  Welcome to the new and improved I.A. version of Local 28.  Ughhh!.

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