I have been a member of LIUNA for over 30 years.
In 1981 my friends and I were attacked and beaten at the Laborers International Convention when we introduced resolutions and ran for office. I have been threatened with beatings and lawsuits over the years. I have been in fights, shoving matches and even had guns pulled on me. I have opened my door and had my friend standing there with his face covered in blood.
One of my friends was shot at after raising questions about pensions at a political rally. 2 of the 3 people who have nominated me for union office have been beaten up. A fourth man who was a second found a purse with a dead rat in it
on his lawn.
I have seen a LIUNA General President, Angelo Fosco, take the Fifth Amendment 125 times before the President’s Commission On Organized Crime. The Commission later designated the Laborers one of the four most corrupt unions in America. The last two candidates for International President were thrown out of the union and banned for life on corruption charges. (Arthur A. Coia and Bruno Caruso.) The Justice Department officials refer to Coia as a “mob puppet”and Caruso, they figure, is the “mob”.
On January 18,1995 the Laborers International Union was forced by the United States Government to adopt an Ethics and Disciplinary Procedures. Over 400 LIUNA officials have been expelled at the local levels but nothing has happened to any of the International Vice Presidents who voted to give, Arthur Coia, a $250,000 a year, lifetime salary as President Emeritus. Joe Thomas sees nothing wrong with this.
This $250,000 guaranteed salary is paid out of the honest laborers pocket. This is a direct violation of the Ethics and disciplinary procedures. So far this “reform” effort has cost our members over $35 million dollars according to LIUNA Attorney General, Robert Luskin.
I have seen pension swindles involving millions of dollars and thousands of workers. In Oregon, under the watchful eye of our International Vice President Chuck Barnes, John Abbott, Business Manager of the Oregon, Southern Idaho and Wyoming District Council of Laborers, plead guilty to taking kickbacks to steer funds to a union money manager, Capital Consultants. John is now living with his mother-in-law and cooperating with the government.
I will submit these resolutions and support all resolutions that help establish democracy and accountability for LIUNA members.