The Voice of the Rank & File

Number 32

September 1999

Published by
Laborers for Justice & Democracy
1601 Ocean Avenue, #346
San Francisco, CA 94112

Elections Soon in San Jose Local?

For the last month rumors of an election being held in Local #270 to end Max Warrens illegal trusteeship have been floating around. These rumors were confirmed at the August #270 meeting by Paul Radford. Radford said an election would be held soon. The members of #270 can thank Carlos Lujan and his supporters for bringing an end to this illegal trusteeship.

In 1997 Ray Duran should have been removed for unauthorized expenditures and giving false evidence to a GEB hearing panel. But after a phone call hearing with Peter Vaira the Local was put into trusteeship under the watchful eyes of International Vice President Max Warren. Warren sent his right hand man Ken Casarez to oversee the day to day operations.

Two years later the GEB Attorney meets with Max Warren and Archie Thomas and Ray Duran agrees to resign all positions with LIUNA and not accept employment or office with any LIUNA related entity for a period of five years. (Why would Duran quit a $100,000 a year job at the Local union and a $25,000 a year job at the District Council?) According to a report at the Local 270 meeting Ray Duran is now working for a non-union contractor.

In March 1999 the GEB attorney met with the head of the District Council Archie Thomas and International Vice President Max Warren who was supposed to oversee the trusteeship and failed. They decide to bring ex-Business Manager of Local #185 and ex-Secretary Treasurer of the infamous Northern California District Council, Paul Radford, out of retirement to run the a new trusteeship.

Lujan pointed out this is a violation of the LMRDA act and that Max Warren should be brought up on charges for violating the act by the Labor department. Lujan also demanded that every member of local #270 be given a full accounting of why Ray Duran resigned and how much the past eighteen months has cost Local #270 while Max Warrens cronies run wild.

AFL-CIO hack Sal Lopez was hired by Warren but nobody knows what he does. Frank Romero was hired as Business agent by Duran and appointed to the executive board. Carlos Lujan and his supporters say you can bet if there is an election Warren will have Frank Romero running a slate. Romero has been a member of 270 over 15 years but never worked on a jobsite as a real Laborer until 1999 when he was let go as a business agent for #270.

Carlos Lujan says what we need is real reform and democracy in Local #270. We need a Business Manager who will be available to the membership. We need to set up real organizing programs. We need a dispatch window free of corruption and political influence that does not discriminate against any members regardless of race or gender. We need Business agents to police the field everyday and make sure the correct amount of laborers is being utilized and the contract is being enforced. ###

Have's vs Have-Not's

The Appellate officer has cleared General President Arthur Coia of all important charges against him. Brother Coia was fined $100,000 dollars for a questionable lease on a fancy Ferrari from Carmine Carcieri. This brings up an interesting question. I always read Brother Coia's Message in the Laborers Magazine. In the May/June issue General President Coia wrote of the "haves and have nots" and corporate managers and corporate profits. He said "We live in a time when the gap between the have's and have not's is becoming wider and wider".

Arthur Coia owns a law firm in Rhode Island named "Coia & Lepore Ltd." One of his partners is LIUNA Vice President Armand Sabotoni. Our righteous Labor Leader Brother Coia made a cool $421,794.68 as General President of LIUNA last year. We are not sure how much his Law firm took in but we do know they got money for representing several labor unions in Rhode Island. (See the Coia & Lepore web page at or call (401) 751-5522)

At the 1996 convention the delegates voted to raise his salary to $250,000 a year. The general Executive Board was authorized to increase the salaries, benefits or other compensation of the General President to account for the increase in the cost of living. According to the LM2 form filed by the International Union Coia was overpaid $171,794.68 without the permission of the Laborers members.

Who authorized this cost living the General Executive Board? Was this the cost of living? Who computed the amount? So is Coia a Have or a Have Not? You be the judge - you are paying this guy $421,794.68 a year of your hard-earned dollars to belong to a union with corruption from top to bottom.

High-Paid Organizers

International Vice President Mason Warren was paid $333,639.59. Northern California District Council Business Manager Archie Thomas was paid $205.985.00. These two men have just started an organizing fund in Northern California.

While LJD welcomes an organizing drive we hope the funding comes from the monthly per capita tax paid by the local unions to the Laborers International Union.

In the Laborers magazine they boasted of having 60,000 members in California and 2600 General Contractors signed. (That is less then 1% of the 400,000 active licensed General Contractors working at this time, according to the California State License Board!) We want to know:

Will they organize the construction Industry or public employees with our money?

Are they going to organize using established union wages covered under the Laborers Master Agreements or cut rate deals that bring down everybodys wages and conditions?

When these same people organized the Asbestos Industry they took the work out of the Laborers Master Agreement ($21.22 per hour) and put it in Local 67 at a wage rate of $8.00 These members of Local 67 who do the most hazardous work are now paid the lowest wages and benefits. ###

Circle of Friends?

Last Labor Day Secretary of Labor, Alexis M. Herman, addressed members of LIUNA in the LIUNA MAGAZINE. She was given the whole back page to voice her views. Now a year later she faces charges of influence peddling before she became labor secretary.

Ah but have no fear she is in good hands with LIUNA Appellate officer Neil Eggelston as her attorney. Who recommended Neil Eggleston to LIUNA? ###

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:

Laborers for Justice and Democracy
1601 Ocean Ave #346
San Francisco, CA 94112

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