December 12, 1997

Thank you for calling Local 225's "Union Issues" Hotline.

This is it -- the final hotline before the trusteeship hearings begin. There's been a tremendous amount of press attention given to this case. And certainly, the General Executive Board Attorney's office has put a great deal of effort into taking control of Local 225 away from its members and leadership. Many have questioned the motives.

The G-E-B Attorney says the amount of money the Local's membership has approved for organizing activities and solidifying relationships with contractors constitutes financial malpractice.

In northern California, Laborers' Union members are outraged because their leaders aren't spending more money on organizing activities and improving union wages. Out there, the salaries of five LIUNA officers cost dues-paying members more than a half-million dollars. They find the action against Local 225 highly suspect -- especially, they say, when compared with the International's spending of more than 12-million dollars unapproved by the membership on a convention featuring dozens of Elvis impersonators.

The G-E-B Attorney has charged Local 225 with undemocratic practices, because one union leader shouted at another. But in Connecticut, in the presence of International President Arthur Coia, a union leader was hit over the head with a water pitcher after he questioned union expenses. Nothing was done. So, in the case of Local 225, reformers are asking: "Where's the Beef?"

The G-E-B Attorney claims that there is corruption at Local 225 because one of the officers is charged with being involved with organized gambling in his private life, away from the union.

But, in California, a union leader was arrested for suspicion of possessing illegal weapons, and possessing and manufacturing speed following an incident at the union's training center. There's been no attempt to take over that District Council.

Many have commented on the apparent double standard being applied to Local 225. And they are watching this case closely.

We thank all of you who have expressed your support and encouragement. And we appreciate those of you who cannot attend the hearings, due to work commitments. Many have complained that an action as drastic as this should be scheduled when the membership can attend.

We know the details of the hearing testimony, as well as the outcome, are vitally important to you. So, each evening after the hearings, this hotline will be updated to keep you abreast of what happened in your absence.

Again, thanks for all the support that has been expressed, from around the country. You have helped us stand strong through this battle. To you, Business Manager John Galioto says, "All we want to do is to continue the extraordinary job we've done for Local 225 during the past two years. Our members deserve it."

Until Monday -- have a great weekend! And continue to support what's right and what's best for all members of Local 225.

Laborers for JUSTICE ©1998 (All Rights reserved)

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