IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON

AT SEATTLE

 

VAL ALBERT and GALEN COOK,

 

 

Plaintiffs,

 

 

vs.

 

 

LOCAL 302 OF THE INTERNATIONAL

UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS,

CLYDE WILSON, JACK JAKUBIEC

and BARRY RIEDESEL,      

 

Defendant.

 

    

No. C98-1181C

 

 

DEPOSITION UPON ORAL EXAMINATION OF

LARRY B. JOHNSON

 

 

APPEARANCES:

 

For Plaintiff:

Galen Cook, Pro se

33408 First Lane South, #C

Federal Way, WA 98003

 

Val Albert, Pro se

400 228th Street SW

Bothell, WA 98021

 

 

For Defendant:

David W. Ballew, Attorney at Law

Russell J. Reid, Attorney at Law

1010 Elliott Avenue West, #550

Seattle, WA 98119

 

BE IT REMEMBERED that the deposition of Larry B. Johnson was taken on July 6, 1999, at 818 So. Yakima, Tacoma, WA, before Kay Salveson, Notary Public.

 

WHEREUPON, the following proceedings were had, to wit:


Sandra Baker & Associates Court Reporters and Legal Video Service

870 10th Lane

Fox Island, WA 98333

 

 

 

 

Q.Does this look 1ike a copy of the first and second

page of the fourth quarter of the 1996 Loadline?  

 

A. Yes, it does.    

 

Q.Were you the Executive Edito of the Loadline at this time?

 

A. I pretty much delegated the Loadline to Allan Darr. As business manager, I guess you could call me the executive editor but quite frankly, Allan Darr laid out the news letter and the articles for the news letter.

 

Q. Did you write your own column that appears on page two of this exhibit?

 

MR. BALLEW: I object because I believe now we're getting into violation of the protective order unless you can somehow establish some relevance to your claim.

 

MR. COOK: I will.

 

MR. BALLEW: I think you need to do that sooner rather than later.

 

MR. COOK: I'm almost there if you just let me build a little base to this.

 

A. I believe I wrote that.

 

(By Mr. Cook) On page two of this exhibit under your

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 27

 

 

column, would you silently -- not out loud -- read the full paragraph number two where it begins "We are part of.”

 

A. I've read it.

 

Q. Okay. I'm going to read starting on the second sentence of that second full paragraph it says, “The Membership and Executive Board of Local 302 need to work together in the future to ensure candidates for elective office understand that 'blind hatred' and accusations without a foundation of truth will not be tolerated. The filing of frivolous lawsuits and getting the press involved in your Union elections will only cost you, the membership, money and fuel the skepticism shown by the media towards the labor movement.” Were those your own words, Mr. Johnson?

 

A. Yes.

 

Q. What did you mean when you said, “will not be tolerated." What does that mean?

 

MR. BALLEW: Now, I need to object in terms of this clearly violates the protective order in terms of inquiry into this areA.

 

MR. COOK: I don't think it is. I disagree with you.

 

MR. BALLEW: Well, I do.

 

MR. COOK: Can we have a disagreement on

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 28

 

 

this?

 

MR. BALLEW: I don’t think so. Not with a court order. I think you need to establish your relevance now.

 

MR. COOK: I will. I'd like to introduce Exhibit No. 8.

 

(EXHIBIT NO 8 MARKED FOR IDENTIFICATION)

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Have you read the letter dated November 1, 1996?

 

A. Yes.

Q. Did you have a part in drafting that letter?

 

A. I don't remember.

 

Q. Would November 1, 1996, also the same date as the trial of Val Albert?

 

A. I can’t answer that truthfully in the sense I don’t know because it's been over three years since this took place. It may or may not have been November 1st.

 

Q. So you don't remember?

 

A. I don’t remember if that's the exact date.

 

Q. Do you remember that Galen Cook was Val Albert's campaign manager in 1996?

 

A. Yes.

 

Q. Did you ever have any desire to somehow or other retaliate or punish Galen Cook for being Val Albert's

 

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 29

 

 

 

campaign manager?

 

MR. BALLEW: I object to the form of the question to the extent it calls for legal conclusions.

 

MR. COOK: I'll withdraw that question.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Mr. Johnson, had you ever talked with any of your officers or any Local 302 members about cancelling Mr. Cook's honorary withdrawal prior to November 1, 1996

 

A. Not that I recall.

 

Q. Did you ever -- Is it possible you ever discussed the cancellation of Mr. Cook's honorary withdrawal with Mr. Riedesel who was the election committee chairman in 1996?

 

MR. BALLEW: Let me interpose an objection if you are asking him to speculate. He's already answered he doesn't recall. And now you are asking him if, well, is it possible that might have happened. It calls for speculation.

 

MR. COOK: I was getting more specific in a question. I asked if he remembered a conversation with Mr. Riedesel.

 

MR. BALLEW: Doesn't make the question proper as asked.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Can you answer that question, Mr. Johnson?

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 30

 

 

A. I don't recall.

 

Q. Do you have personal knowledge that Galen Cook filed the Albert lawsuit requesting an injunction from the court in 1996?

 

A. Yes.

 

Q. Was Mr. Cook a party to that lawsuit?

 

A. I believe you were.

 

Q. Okay. Do you know what being a party to a lawsuit means, Mr. Johnson?

 

A. I would think that anybody who had a contribution to the writing of the lawsuit or the charge or signed their name as delivering the lawsuit to the court or utilizing law professors or attorneys would have a part or parcel of it.

 

Q. That's your definition of being a party to a lawsuit?

 

A. You asked me my personal knowledge and I saw your name on a court document so I would just presume that you were part of that lawsuit. You had something to do with it.

 

Q. So it was just a presumption then?

 

A. You had been deposed before on that lawsuit and I believe some information came out when Russ Reid deposed you that made you -- that kind of gave me the idea that you had quite a bit to do with the filing of that lawsuit. You asked for my personal knowledge, I

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 31

 

 

believe you were personally involved in it.

 

Q. Were you at the deposition that Mr. Reid took of me in 1996?

 

A. I believe so.

 

MR. COOK: Without entering this as an exhibit, I'd like to hand this across to Mr. Ballew and have him show the back page to the defendant.

 

MR. BALLEW: Again it's the Complaint of Injunctive Relief. I tell you I have a problem with this. Now we are doing this with another witness. You know that you've testified twice regarding having signed papers. If this is a paper you didn't sign, you want the witness to say you didn't sign that. But you have an obligation to the court to proceed in good faith.

 

You've already testified on at least two occasions under oath that, yes, you in fact did sign it. Now you are trying to make the witness -- you'll find something you didn't sign and put it under their nose and ask them to identify if your name is on it. You've already established through other witnesses that this is Mr. Talcott's name on it.

 

MR. COOK: But not through the witness, Mr. Johnson.

 

MR. BALLEW: Right. My problem is that you

 

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 32

 

 

have an obligation to the court not to try and deceive the court, stretch this whole process out by asking -- wasting our time to ask the witness about a paper that you know perhaps you didn't sign, but you have testified that you did sign it.

 

Now, what you are trying to do is through a little smoke and mirrors try to make like the witnesses made this up. And I think that breaches your obligation to deal with the court in good faith.

 

MR. COOK: How am I not dealing with the court in good faith?

 

MR. BALLEW: I think in terms of the fact that you already established yourself, your role, in filing the lawsuit and now you're taking a portion of that and trying to get the witnesses to look for your name through here, something you have already gone through, when in fact you already testified that, yes, you did do something.

 

MR. COOK: Mr. Ballew, I'm strictly asking the question of the witness whether or not I was a party to the lawsuit.

 

MR. BALLEW: He's answered that question.

 

MR. COOK: He said I was.

 

MR. BALLEW: Right.

 

MR. COOK: And I want to show him the

 

 

 

EXAMINATION BY MR.COOK

Page 33

 

 

document.

 

MR. BALLEW: You want to show in terms -- ask me to show him the last page where Mr. Talcott's name and Mr. Albert's name.

 

MR. COOK: Can he answer the guestion?

 

MR. BALLEW: He's already answered the question in terms of did he consider you a party. He's answered that question. Now, you're trying to impeach him with something when you know that you've testified that yes there is something that you signed. That's my problem. I think that's bad faith.

 

MR. COOK: Would you have your client take a look at that page.

 

MR. BALLEW: It’s in front of him now. My point is I think this is in bad faith.

 

MR. COOK: I can guarantee you it's not, Mr. Ballew.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Mr. Johnson, did you have a chance to look at that last page?

 

A. I've looked at it.

 

Q. Does the name "Galen Cook" does it appear as a Plaintiff on that page?

 

A. I'm going to respond through my attorney. He's already answered. I've answered your question. I'm

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 34

 

 

not going to answer that.

 

Q. Why aren’t you going to answer that guestion?

 

A. Because your question to me was already answered and my attorney has explained to you why I shouldn't have to go any further.

 

MR. BALLEW: Tell you what, you can tell him if you see his name on that page. That's the question. My objection has to go to him as the questioner asking this question. I think it's in bad faith. That's on the record. You can tell us now this page 4 of the Complaint for Injunctive Relief filed back in July of '96, Albert v. International Union of Operatina Engineers Local Number 302. You can answer his question on page 6 if his name appears.

 

A. I don’t see your name on this page.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Mr. Johnson, would you go back to Exhibit No. 8 that's the November 1st letter. Do you have that in front of you?

 

A. Yes.

 

Q. Do you know what Article XVII, section 4 All Court Actions Superseded means without having to look at the constitution? If you don't, I can give you a copy of this.

 

A. Well, I never like to take things out of context and try to give a decision so I just can't answer your

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 35

 

question under this letterhead here.

 

Q.Okay. I'm going to hand an actual copy of the constitution with Article XVII, section 4 highlighted hand it over to Mr. Ballew and he can hand it to the witness and have him take a look at it.

 

A. I've read it.

 

Q. Okay. Under that particular section 4, does that pertain just to members of the Union?

 

A. Since I'm not an attorney, I would refer to the general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Union counsel of which we use before we make decisions as an Executive Board or a business manager when there is a doubt as to -- because I don't have the legal background to make these types of interpretations.

 

Q. Do you see the word "members" in there in that paragraph one or more times?

 

A. Yes.

 

Q. What does that mean to you?

 

A. Means a member.

 

Q. Member of Local 302?

 

A. Uh-huh.

 

Q. Was Galen Cook a member of Local 302 on November 1, 1996?

 

A. I don't believe so. You had a withdrawal card from

 

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page36

 

 

Local 302.

 

Q. Does a person who holds in his possession a withdrawal card is that person still a member?

 

A. I believe that a person who takes a withdrawal card is bound under the constitution and bylaws of that Local. After he leaves the local, yes. Because you sign an oath of office or you sign an oath when you join a Union that you will uphold certain standards as a member, and I believe when you take a withdrawal card you are agreeing that you would continue to uphold those same standards when you leave.

 

Q. So then --

 

MR. BALLEW: Hang on. Let me interpose an objection. Listen to his question. Question was somebody on a withdrawal card a member?

 

A. I would say no.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Now, look back again at the letter dated November 1st that's in front of you.

 

A. Uh-huh.

 

Q. It says "Dear Brother Cook: Due to your violation of Article XVII, section 4." Can you answer this question: How could I have violated that Article in front of you if I wasn't a member?

 

A. Well, I would refer back to what I said before.

 

Q. I'm asking you the question, Mr. Johnson, how could

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 37

 

 

Brother Cook have violated Article XVII, section 4 if he wasn't a member on November 1, 1996?

 

A. I would go back to what I said before and the fact that you were instrumental in the filing of the lawsuit the year before therefore violating these tenants.

 

Q. The year before?

 

A. The 1996 lawsuit that you filed before the election.

 

Q. Just months before?

 

A. Could have been months before.

 

MR. BALLEW: Just testify from what you recall.

 

A. The fact you were instrumental with Mr. Albert's lawsuit against the Local several months before, you violated those tenants of membership. Whether you had a withdrawal card or not, you were a part and parcel of that lawsuit, and therefore I believe the Executive Board ruled that you had violated your tenants of your membership.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) So then I was not a member but for purposes of cancelling my withdraw I was a member?

 

MR. BALLEW: Object to the form of the question. You're mischaracterizing testimony trying to get him to adopt your terminology.

 

MR. COOK: Withdraw the question.

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 38

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Even though as you stated previously, I was not a member of Local 302 either at the time the lawsuit was filed or on the date of this letter November 1, 1996, in which I was not a member during that time, I still violated this particular Article of the constitution; is that correct?

 

MR. BALLEW: Object to the form of the question.

 

A.  May I have -- I,d like to take a time-out here and confer with our counsel.

 

MR. BALLEW: There is a question pending right now. So why don’t you answer the question to your recollection. He's only asked you about one provision of this constitution. And if the witness needs to review other aspects, I think that's appropriate. But in terms of while there is a question pending, if you can answer based on your review of that one section he's shown, you should try to answer.

 

A.  It's almost like I would like to have a time-out before the question was asked before we go any further. Would you repeat the question to me, please.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Do you want to consult with your counsel?

 

A.  No. I want you to repeat the question to me and I'll

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 39

 

 

answer it and then I'll consult with counsel.

 

Q. Wouldn’t you rather consult with counsel before you answer?

 

MR. BALLEW: Just answer the question. He's ready to answer the question.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Mr. Johnson, if I was not a member at the time the 1996 lawsuit was filed and if I was not a member on November 1, 1996, at the time this letter notifying me of my cancellation of my honorary withdrawal, how could I have violated Article XVII, section 4?

 

MR. BALLEW: Okay. Now let me object to the extent, type of conclusion. He's already answered that question factually. Now, you are trying to elicit opinion and he's described all the factual occurrences.

 

You know there are other provisions of the constitution that other witnesses have directed you to regarding withdrawal cards and you haven't shared that with this witness and you want him to adopt what you are saying. He's answered the question factually. If you have anything more to add, that would be appropriate but the question has been asked and answered.

 

MR. COOK: I believe it hasn't.

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 40

 

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) What I want to know, Mr. Johnson, is

you already stated that I was not a member at the time

the lawsuit was filed; is that correct?

 

A. Yes.

 

Q. You already stated I was not a member at the time this letter was written to me notifying me of my cancellation of withdrawal.

 

A. Right. You had a withdrawal card.

 

Q. How is it that I violated Article XVII, section 4 if

that Article clearly states it only applies to members and I was not a member at the time?

 

MR. BALLEW: Object to the form of that question.

 

A. Do I have to answer even though you object?

 

MR. BALLEW: Yes.

 

A. I thought I answered it before.

 

MR. BALLEW: Well, that can be your answer. If you don’t have anything to add, that's one thing.

 

A. I don't have anything to add to the answer to the same question the three other times you posed it in a different format.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) But you know for a fact that I did violate Article XVII, section 4?

 

MR. BALLEW: Object to the form of the

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 41

 

 

question.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Is that correct, Mr. Johnson?

 

MR. BALLEW: Same objection.

 

A. I believe that as I said before, there is tenants that you signed upholding the constitution and bylaws of the International and the Local Union; that those tenants follow you with your withdrawal card. Withdrawal card allows you to reapply at some other time without paying and going through conditions that a nonmember has to go through. Okay.

 

So I believe that you should still honor, and I

believe this is what this means, that you still have

an obligation to honor your original tenants that you

signed when you became a member. I have nothing else

to add to that.

 

Q. (By Mr. Cook) Well, I might have more questions. So a nonmember of Local 302 still has certain things to honor under the bylaws or the constitution of Local 302; is that correct?

A. A person coming off the street obviously is different

than a person with an honorary withdrawal card

 

Q.I'm talking about members versus nonmembers. And you

already told me that Galen Cook was a nonmember on those dates and yet he somehow or other violated this part of the constitution. And I want to know how he

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. COOK

Page 42

 

 

could do that if he was not a member?

 

MR. BALLEW: Object to the form of the question. I'm going to object that it's been asked and answered several times now. If you have more questions about withdrawal card status, I'm going to ask that you allow the witness to review part of the constitution that addresses withdrawal cards.

 

MR. COOK: I'm not asking about withdrawal card status, Mr. Ballew. I'm asking about the violation and about membership regarding a violation and I don't believe your witness has answered the question.

 

MR. BALLEW: I believe he has four or five times.

 

A. Now may I have --

 

MR. COOK: I believe at this time we're going to take a five- to seven-minute recess and then Mr. Albert will resume the questions.

 

(BRIEF RECESS TAKEN)

 

MR. ALBERT: This is Val Albert now.

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. ALBERT.

 

Q. Mr. Johnson, have you ever been charged or convicted

of a crime in any state?

 

A. No.

 

EXAMINATION BY MR. ALBERT

Page 43

 

 

HORIZONTAL SPACE LINE

 

EXHIBIT No.7

 

LOCAL 302 LOADLINE

Fourth Quarter

1996

On Site

Larry B. Johnson

Business Manager

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

The officers and staff of Local 302 thank you for your continued support.

 

We are part of an era where combat tactics have begun to dominate the political arena. The membership and Executive Board of Local 302 need to work together in the future to ensure candidates for elective office understand that “blind hatred” and accusations without foundations will not be tolerated.

 

The filing of frivolous lawsuits and getting the press involved in your union’s elections will only cost you, the membership, money and fuel the skepticism shown by the media towards the labor movement.

 

Through the efforts of our Organizers and COMET program graduates, we have signed Volker Stevin to a full compliance agreement in western Washington. The company is an international construction company working in both the Northwest and Canada. They average about $30-35 million per year in predetermined wage construction. They will now be able to take advantange of our training programs and the operators we have signed-up will be able to have year round medical coverage and an opportunity for skill improvement.

 

Recently, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries predetermined our wages and benefits in Chelan and Kitittas counties at our contract rates. For several years the predetermined rate for operators was set at $15.88 per hour with no benefits.  Through the efforts of Allan Darr, Hank Scott, Lou Hurst, and out contracts office working with L&I statisticians, we were able to prove that thousands of hours were not calculated when these lower rates were established. The state recognized our rate of pay and benefits because of the records we submitted.

 

This is a major step in providing our Union contractors in eastern Washington an opportunity to bid state funded public works projects. It will help our operators and agents to create jobs and organizing opportunities.

 

In Alaska, the signing of agreements with the BIA will create work in the villages. The Earthmover contract is out for bid and might have been awarded by the time this issue is mailed.

 

The passing of Frank Polsak,former Business Manager and International Vice President , and Rod Fraser, former Financial Secretary, leaves us with a deep sense of loss. Both Frank and Rod lives their lives with a high degree of integrity and honesty. They both carried a great respect for Local 302, its history and traditions. There have been few labor leaders in the Northwest and Alaska that earned respect from their peers as Frank and Rod.

 


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