Some Canadian members say that despite the
extraordinary amounts of money being spent on a so called reform
program within the Labourers' International Union of North America,
the corruption continues to grow.
For at least 20 years LIUNA Rank and File
Members have felt like they have been without control of their
organization and their money which is held in trust by LIUNA's
Some of these rank and file members have
been subjected to violence and intimidation including loss of
opportunity to earn a living to support their families.
That's right LIUNA appears to have grown
with the changing times; In the early days of Unions violence
and physical intimidation were used to control the members, but
now they don't need to beat their members everyday just every
now and then instead it appear that some LIUNA Officals prefer
to hit their members where it really hurts in the pocketbook or
should we say the kitchen table.
A Sarnia Man who has been a member of LIUNA for over 40 years was pulled away from his job duties this week. He was asked why he wasn't wearing a LIUNA Sticker on his hardhat. When he
responded by saying that because the sticker
says honesty on it & he didn't believe that LIUNA Officals
have always been honest with him, he was told to either put the
sticker on his hat or he would lose his job. He was the only person
to be reprimanded for not wearing the sticker, yet no one else
on the job site was wearing the LIUNA sticker either.
Coincidentally, this member had sent a letter
via fax the day before this incident to Mr. W. Douglas Gow, LIUNA
Inspector General outlinging numerous concerns especially regarding
Local & International Union Officals.
Recently a member of LIUNA Local 1089 attended
a LIUNA monthly membership meeting and requested yet again a copy
of Local 1089's 1997 Financial Statement which according to the
OLRB Act should have been available to the membership much earlier
Not only was this member refused a copy of
the financial statement but it was also suggested by a Local 1089
Executive Board Member that perhaps this member hadn't learned
The following day the member was laid off
by the unionized contractor which he had been employed for.
The Contractor claimed the lay off was due
to work shortage but then requested an additional four labourers
form Local 1089.
The worst part is that Local 1089 provided
these other labourers to the contractor with no regard for the
member that had been laid off.
Where LIUNA Local 1089 Officals using influence
with the contractor as an attempt to "teach this member a
lesson " ? Or is it just coincidence ?
This week that very member was served with
charges laid under LIUNA Constitution. These charges were filed
by Robert Leone, Local 1089's Business Manager.
In these charges Leone claims Laura Portiss
contacted the contractor in question, in regard to this matter
and therefore the wrongfully dismissed member is in violation
of LIUNA Constitution as well as the collective bargaining agreement.
So now Leone wants this innocent member penalized for Laura Portiss'
actions, because Leone has denied Portiss a LIUNA membership application
Portiss is not subject to the LIUNA Constitution and therefore
can not be penalize under it so instead Leone will penalize an
Some people say Leone is calling the kettle
black. How is it a Business Manager who has so frequently failed
to abide by LIUNA Constitution and EDP can charge an innocent
Prior to the member being served with the
charges Portiss contacted LIUNA Inspector General's office and
was advised to attempt to resolve this matter with Leone.
When Portiss attempted to contacted Leone,
he didn't return Portiss' call. Portiss then faxed a letter to
Leone excepting responsibility for her actions and clearly stating
that if charges were filed against this member, the facts wouldn't
be true or accurate. Once again Leone didn't respond.
Now the charges have been served so it appears
more of LIUNA members money will be spent on a Trial Board which
is being used for malice purposes.
In November 1995 Rick Vani, President of
Local 1089 was convicted of Sexual Assault. Regardless of how
many members have launched complaints to LIUNA GEB and various
members of LIUNA's so called reform program, Mr. Vani remains
as President of Local 1089.
Carl Booker former assistant to LIUNA General
President Arthur Coia, was recently elected by LIUNA GEB to serve
as LIUNA's General Secretary-Treasurer. It appears that LIUNA
finds Mr. Bookers history of Criminal Sexual Offenses acceptable.
However, another LIUNA member was convicted
of sexual assault more thatn 13 years ago as recently expelled
from LIUNA for such convictions. More details are available in
the latest issue of the The Laborer, a magazine published quarterly
for LIUNA members.
In October 1998, a man by the name of Ronald
Pink sent correspondense to the Portiss family claiming that Pink
was the LIUNA Canadian GEB Attorney, however last week a source
from LIUNA Inspector General's office says Pink doesn't hold the
position of GEB Attorney, he is defense counsel for LIUNA.
Pink himself admits that he has represented
LIUNA in the past.
How can LIUNA's rank - and - file members
have faith in LIUNA's reform program when LIUNA's legal counsel
makes such a blantant attempt to mislead the rank-and - file ?
Of course, Pink's response is that he will
become the Canadian GEB Attorney in the future. So if you believe
you may become Prime Minister of Canada in the future is it okay
for you to say you are now ?
You can email Laura Portiss at :