Laborers for Justice & Democracy
1601 Ocean Avenue, #346
San Francisco, CA 94112
To all members of LIUNA,
We have received a ton of letters on California's Proposition 226, the so-called "Gag-the-Worker Initiative."
I urge you to vote NO on
226. This proposition
would remove you, the member, from the political process.
In California the eight-hour
day is gone for non-union workers. Prevailing wages will be the
next to go for everybody.
Remember: union members are
a minority in California, 16% of the work force is union. Have
you noticed nobody wants to take away Big Business's rights? Just
the little guy's.
by Alex Corns
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I support Proposition 226
for the following reasons:
It assures the union members
of California that their union leaders must have rank-and-file
approval before giving money to a political candidate.
This is democracy.
This is American
I was going to vote "no"
until my union showed a video of Arthur Coia opposing it. I am
inclined to support anything that "mob puppet" is against.
Why should we have our dues
money used by this cockroach to buy and peddle influence, insulate
himself from the law and squashed indictments?
If you are a union member who
really believes in democracy, how can you deny the members the
right to choose how their union dues are spent?
by a concerned LIUNA member
In 1990, investigators looking
through the rubble of the looted Heritage Loan & Investment
Company found a mysterious bankbook in the vault. That bankbook
recorded the fact that a secretive customer, the North American
Laborers' Defense League, kept $420,000 in a savings account at
the Providence, Rhode Island, bank owned by convicted embezzler
This was no ordinary account.
It paid no interest, a fact that helped conceal the League's financial
affairs from the government. And the name on the account contained
a name well known to LIUNA members - Arthur Coia.
This defense fund was formed
in 1980 to defend union officers in the New England area. It is
alleged that in Connecticut, members were asked to donate $25
a head. Boston Laborers allege their donations were $100 a member.
In 1986, the President's Commission
on Organized Crime criticized the Laborers Union's extraordinary
expenditures. Who received the money from the league is still
a mystery - and where the money is.
As we went to press, Charles
LeConche, the Business Manager of the Connecticut District Council,
was going to sue Steve Manos, editor of the Laborer Voice. LeConche,
who took over for mob-associate Dominic Lopreato, wrote a letter
to Inspector-General Gow and asked that Steve Manos be charged
with "barred conduct" for talking to Brother Gary Wall,
another member of Manos's Local.
The Inspector-General's office
refused to investigate the charge. Brother Wall has taken legal
action against Charles LeConche and his crew.
Several years ago, Wall was
accused of putting a good ass-kicking on LeConche in a gas station
after LeConche tried to intimidate him.
Now, LeConche is suing his
only oppostion in the Local, Steve Manos.
This is how REFORM & DEMOCRACY
work in LIUNA - if you speak up or run for office, you should
be prepared to go to war with your District Council and the International
Union (and all their lawyers) just because you choose to exercise
your rights as a LIUNA member.
Jonathan Googel, one of the
partners and principal architects of the Colonial Realty empire,
is cast as the Government's star witness in the wire and mail
fraud case against Colonial Realty.
Googel testified that Connecticut
Laborers Union leader Dominick Lopreato was receiving bribes for
greasing the skids in a scam to lure the investment of pension
funds by the Laborers International Union. Lopreato is now serving
a 51-month sentence in Pennsylvania for taking $350,000 in bribes
from Colonial principals to steer $5 million in union investments
into the failing development company.
The Albany, New York, Laborers
Local invested an additional $3 million. Lopreato's sentence included
a $250,000 fine.
Dear Laborers for Justice and Democracy,
I am a Hod Carrier in San Jose.
International Vice-President Max Warren has left two people convicted
by the Independent Hearing Officer in office - Ray Duran and George
The charges were pretty serious.
Business Manager Ray Duran lost $180,000 playing the stock market
with union members' money and no permission
from the Local Executive Board.
He also used the union credit
card at Disneyland while on vacation, and said he was on union
But Max Warren has left him
in. The guy Max Warren put in charge of our Local, Ken Casarez,
is a real dictator. He rules this one brother out of order every
meeting when this member tries to speak.
He also has people taking pictures
of the members in the meetings.
This Brother they will not
let speak is getting to them. He has been pushing them to open
the hiring hall to the members.
Now they have agreed to open
the hiring hall some time in April.
The other over-sight guy, Sal
Lopez, needs watching, too. He is with Duran and people say he
has accepted donations from the Local for his wife's charity.
I wasn't there, but another Hod Carrier told me Lopez went nuts
when asked about the donation.
Would it be possible for #270
to get a government monitor? It doesn't look like Reform or Democracy
with Max Warren and Ken Casarez, Sal Lopez and Ray Duran. We pay
$27-a-month dues and we don't have one officer honest enough to
be a dispatcher - we had to hire a woman from the outside.
This Local has been under trusteeship
or supervision at least three times under Max Warren and we still
have a criminal element running the show.
How can the Inspector-General
allow a guy like Max Warren, who has failed three times, take
over again and leave the same convicted officers in charge?
A federal judge in Dallas has
ruled that the Laborers International Pension Fund, which covers
about 15,000 retirees and beneficiaries and 16,000 active workers,
is entitled to more than $7 million in damages for improper investments
in derivative securities.
The ruling may be the first
such recovery by a Taft-Hartley multi-employer pension plan.
The judge ruled that the investment
manager breached ERISA's "prudent man" standard of fiduciary
conduct by investing $11 million in plan assets in a class of
securities known as interest-only strips, or "IOs."
The investment - which the court described as new,
exotic, and more risky than junk bonds - triggered losses of some
The defendants in the case
were ANB Investment Management and Trust Company and the First
National Bank of Chicago.
What great Laborers Union Leaders were Trustees on this fund?
Could somebody have steered
any money their way, like in Lopreato's case?