PR Newswire

April 5, 1994, Tuesday

 

 

U.S. LABOR, JUSTICE DEPARTMENTS LAWSUIT AGAINST LABORERS' UNION SETTLED, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE ANNOUNCES

 

 

DATELINE: BOSTON, April 5

 

The lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Labor and the Department of Justice against Local 88 of the Laborers' (Tunnel Workers) Union, alleging that irregularities occurred during elections on June 14, 1992, has been settled and the election has been declared void, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

 

United States Attorney Donald K. Stern announced that the lawsuit filed by his office on April 1, 1993, under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 ("the Landrum-Griffin Act"), has been settled.

 

Under the terms of the settlement, Local Union No. 88 of the Laborers' International Union of North America, AFL CIO, a/k/a Compressed Air Tunnel Workers, with offices at 279 Northern Avenue in Boston, has stipulated that the election of officers, which was held on June 14, 1992, is void. The union will submit to a new election of offices, which will be conducted under the supervision of the United States Secretary of Labor.

 

The supervised election will take place within 90 days, and will be conducted in accordance with the Landrum- Griffin Act. The Court will retain jurisdiction over this case until after the election, when the Secretary will certify the results of the election to the Court. At that time the action will be dismissed.

 

United States Attorney Stern stated that, "This office is committed to ensuring that the goals of the Landrum-Griffin Act are strictly enforced. Elections of our labor leaders must be fair and free from any taint of intimidation, harassment or other improper action on the part of candidates for union office and those who support them."

 

The lawsuit in this case alleged that on June 14, 1992, during the union election, the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 was violated as follows:

 

(1) The union failed to conduct its election by secret

ballot, that is, among other things, that the layout of the room where the election took place was such that the location of the only table where the ballots were marked, together with the short height and proximity of the partitions separating the voting areas on the table where the ballots were marked, made it was possible for voters, observers, and election officials to observe how ballots were marked at the voting table;

 

(2) A candidate for a union office used moneys received by the union by way of dues, assessment or other levy, to promote his candidacy for office during the election, that is, among other things, Mr. Scott R. Boidi, who was at that time Local No. 88's incumbent business manager as well as a candidate for the office of business manager, used the union office facilities for the use and benefit of his own candidacy, i.e., among other things, he used the photocopier to copy campaign literature and the postage meter to stamp the envelops he used to mail his campaign literature to members of the Local; and

 

(3) Members of the defendant union were subject to improper interference by members of Local No. 88 for exercising their right to be candidates for office or vote or otherwise support the candidate of their choice, that is, among other things, members and candidates were subject to financial and physical threats of reprisal should they be a candidate or fail to support a particular candidate.

 

On July 14, 1992, Robert Schleiff, a member in good standing of Local No. 88, protested the election to the International General Executive Board of the Union. Mr. Schleiff failed to receive a final decision on his protest within three months, and filed a timely complaint with the Secretary of Labor on November 10, 1992.

 

The Secretary of Labor investigated the Complaint and found probable cause to believe that Title IV of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 was violated as described above.

 

Further, the Secretary found that the violations may have affected the outcome of the election for the offices of Business Manager, Sergeant-at-Arms, and two Executive Board positions.

 

The Department of Labor asked the Court to declare the June 14, 1992 election for the offices of Business Manager, Sergeant-at-Arms, and two Executive Board positions to be null and void.

 

The Complaint further requested the Court to direct the union to conduct a new election for those offices, under the direction of the Department of Labor. The settlement includes all relief requested by the Secretary in the Complaint.

 

Due to the length of time since the original election, as well as the fact that certain candidates who ran for office during the June 1992 election are no longer qualified to run for office, the supervised election will include election of all offices of the Local Union that were part of the June 1992 election.

 

The case was presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Elizabeth Carmody, Senior Litigation Counsel in Stern's Civil Division, in conjunction with attorneys for the United States Department of Labor.

 

CONTACT: Press Officer of the U.S. Attorney's Office, 617-223-9445


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