Laborers for Justice & Democracy
1601 Ocean Avenue, #346
San Francisco, CA 94112
On December 2,1999 a letter
was sent to all local unions in Canada and the United States increasing
the member's dues a dollar a month. The reason for this increase
became clear three days, later on Sunday December 5. While most
Laborers were busy preparing for the Holiday and doing their Christmas
shopping, the General Executive Board met and Appointed Terrence
O'Sullivan General President of LIUNA effective January 1,2000,
replacing mob puppet, Arthur A. Coia.
It appeared the rank &
file members of LIUNA had finally gotten rid of Coia. But at this
meeting the General Executive Board also appointed Arthur A. Coia
President Emeritus and decided to pay him a salary for the rest
of his life in addition to a very fat pension check from LIUNA.
David Roscoe, spokesmen for LIUNA, says that Coia's salary and
pension combined "would not exceed $250,000." A quarter
of a million dollars every year out of the pockets of the working
Coia is a person who used his
position as General President to get "kick-backs" from
companies doing business with LIUNA and to promote his law practice
and steer contracts to his friends. Coia was found guilty of a
conflict of interest and fined last March by Peter Vaira. Who
knows how much he stole from the members over the years? It is
criminal (and illegal) for the General Executive Board of LIUNA
15 men to create a position of "President Emeritus"
and pay this crook even more money.
By his own admission, Mr. Coia's
did nothing to free the members of LIUNA from mob domination and
exploitation until the US Governments threat of criminal charges
forced him to "make a deal" in 1994.
Many of the current General
Executive Board members held office prior to 1994. They were well
aware of mob corruption and participated in it either actively
or by simply keeping their mouths shut. They gained personal finical
wealth for "looking the other way" and betraying the
members whom they had sworn an oath to protect. And now they are
doing it again with this "President Emeritus" robbery.
Something is rotten in San
Jose. Brothers who were present the Local 270 election said the
first count took about five minutes and nobody was showed the
count. A half-hour later two other counts were taken and Jim Homer
declared the winner. According to the "official" count
Homer won by 40 votes. The other slates never physically counted
the ballots. Then the ballots were left in the 270 safe overnight.
270 Members said acting Supervisor
Paul Radford openly campaigned for Homer and may have actually
transferred his book into Local #270 in hopes of Homer keeping
him on the payroll.
During the election campaign
Homer and his slate were given special privileges in clear violation
of the election rules. Homer's slate ran an ad in a local building
trade's publication, which was then sent to every member of the
local at union expense, although the union had never sent this
publication to its members before. None of the other slates were
told about this secret plan, so only Homers slate appeared in
Candidates were not allowed
to do their own mailing, but wer forced to pay for the local union
put the address labels on their campaign mailers. One slate had
more then 60 envelopes returned by the Post Office because they
had no labels.
Jim Homer used a letter from
Robert Luskin to Max Warren in his literature detailing a secret
deal in which Warren was ordered to remove Ray Duran , George
Ramirez, and Frank Romero. Then Coia would appoint Paul Radford
Max Warren's old friend from Local 185.Then Warren himself would
How did Homer get these letters?
Who gave them to him? Was it Max Warren or Paul Radford? Did
Homer steal them from the 270 files for personal use?
On the other hand, an official
from the Inspector General's office tried to intimidate opposition
candidate Carlos Lujan because his literature included a copy
of a check for $10,000 to Homer for back pay from Local 270 that
Homer was not entitled to receive.
Very disturbing accusations
were made in a letter to the members sent out by former Business
Manager Joe Guttierez. Guttierez said that while he was in office,
he tried to file charges against Homer for making illegal dispatches
from the 270 hiring hall, but GEB Attorney Robert Luskin would
not investigate the charges. Copies of the illegal dispatches
showed up in one slates campaign literature and proved to be true.
Several Slates we talked to were filing protests and said they
have no faith in the in-house LIUNA reform program. One member
said "too many back room deals have been cut."
The Laborers International
Union of North America has dropped out of a racketeering lawsuit
it brought with government prosecutors against Laborers Local
210. After a federal judge questioned whether the parent union
could sue the local it has run for nearly four years under a trusteeship.
Federal prosecutors said they
would continue on their own. Attorneys for rank & file members
said they would continue their effort to have the trusteeship
ended and the union returned to local control. In a Buffalo newspaper
article LIUNA Attorney John Curran said "the International
still feels it has earned the right to bring the suit, as a result
of a cleanup that saw more than a dozen alleged mobsters bounced
from Local 210."
One member said "this
is strange, LIUNA can get rid of alleged mobsters in Buffalo
but then the Executive Board votes to give the big thief, Arthur
Coia a salary for the rest of his life at the expense of the members
Voice of the Rank & File is published by the Laborers for Justice and Democracy. We are dedicated to winning justice and true democracy for all members of the Laborers International Union of North America, working within the parameters of the LIUNA constitution. If you have an article or other useful information for the members of our Union please mail it to us at:
1601 Ocean Ave #346
San Francisco, CA 94112