December 10, 1997

Thank you for calling Local 225's "Union Issues" Hotline. If you've been keeping up with our daily reports you're not alone.Local 225's trusteeship battle has attracted a national audience of Laborers' Union members.

Laborers for Justice & Democracy a national organization pushing for total reform of LIUNA is posting all of the hotline reports on their Web Site,

As you know, Laborers for Justice & Democracy wants the entire International to be taken over by the government. But, in the case of Local 225, they seem to think trusteeship unjustified. Here's what they say. And I quote:"...The International Union spent 12-million, 119-thousand, 715 dollars on a convention and not one member approved this expenditure. The entertainment included Little Richard, The Village People and 50 Elvis impersonators. And they want to take over a local for a few lunches!"

They go on to say that at the convention, delegates voted to raise members' dues and increase the salaries of International Union officers. Part of the increase, they say, is to finance the internal investigation which, so far, has cost Laborers' Union members about five-million dollars. They say dues will go up again in January.

The reformers have been watching this investigation with a keen eye. And they've observed a pattern. They've detected what they call "selective prosecution". They say some individuals and Locals are being targeted some aren't. Those targeted for prosecution, they say, have Italian surnames.

Business manager, John Galioto, has maintained that this is a witch hunt, targeting Italians.

The reformers don't know Galioto or anyone in Local 225. And, they are not of Italian descent themselves. But they agree whole heartedly. They cited instances from the West coast to the East, in which individuals who don't have Italian names have been allowed to run amuck in the course of their union activities.

Not so with Italian members.

The reformers feel there really is no effort underway to clean up LIUNA. They say the International makes it appear that way by using the media, who will buy any story about Italian mobsters. A highly- publicized mob investigation, they say, makes it appear to the government that the union is policing itself so the government won't swoop down and trustee the entire International. To make the ploy work, they say, there must be some sacrificial lambs routed from the union, as proof that the International is policing itself.

In the case of Local 225, reformers say, if there is corruption here, why didn't the government file charges?

Something to think about until our next hotline report.

If you have any questions or comments, simply leave a message at the sound of the tone. Always remember to speak slowly and clearly and leave your social security number, so we can verify that you're a member of Local 225.

And don't forget to be in the audience, as the curtain rises on the next act of this drama. The hearing on Local 225 trusteeship begins Monday at 10 o'clock, in the lower level of the Midland Hotel.

Don't take anyone else's word for it. Come see for yourself, if your Local is being treated fairly. Witness the evidence for your self. And decide whether this Local deserves to be taken over by a Trustee!

Until then Always Take Pride in Union Labor! And, stand strong for what's best for every member of Local 225!

Have a great day, everyone!

Laborers for JUSTICE ©1998 (All Rights reserved)

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