Albany Times Union

 

Revote Sought In Union Election

Laborers local insurgents seek aid from national union

 

 

By BRIAN NEARING, Staff writer

May 25, 2004

 

Insurgents at Albany Laborers Local 190 asked national union leaders Monday to throw out the results of last week's election and order a revote.

 

Donald Brady, who was part of a slate that failed Friday to wrest leadership of Local 190 from Business Manager Anthony Fresina, claims Fresina and his supporters won through ballot abuse.

 

 

"I feel the union (leaders) will have no choice but to deem the election invalid and order a new one," said Brady, a construction foreman who was part of a field headed by local President Ramsis Berghela, a one-time Fresina appointee.

 

Local 190 has about 1,300 members and is one of the largest labor unions in the area. Former business manager Sam Fresina was an ally of Mayor Jerry Jennings.

 

Fresina's son, Anthony Fresina, was re-elected to his $95,492-a-year post as business manager by a 336-320 vote over challenger Charles Burometto, and Fresina loyalists won the presidency and seven of 11 union leadership posts.

 

In campaign mailings, the insurgents claimed Sam Fresina and his family were drawing large paychecks from the union at a time when local rank-and-file raises lagged and the pension fund dropped in value.

 

Brady alleged Fresina swelled the ranks of his supporters at the election by giving apprentice union members voting rights and letting union members pay lapsed dues to regain voting eligibility.

 

Eugene Devine, a lawyer for the union, said the election was fair and predicted the Laborer's International Union of North America, headquartered in Washington D.C., will not overturn it.

 

"It was close and I don't blame them for trying, but I think this election stands," Devine said. He said the insurgent slate didn't file any objections to voters during the election. He said he was not familiar with apprentices being provided with last-minute voting rights.

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