December 17-18, 1997

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

Here's your update for Thursday, December 18 -- It covers testimony from Tuesday's and Wednesday's trusteeship hearing.

On Tuesday, some of the testimony focused on the issue of the Local's financial practices. But, the hearing also delved into the charge of undemocratic practices, with testimony from former Executive Board member Mary Williams.

She testified that John Galioto was highly upset when he heard her allegation that someone had tried to bribe her to resign from the Executive Board.

Did he try to retaliate against her, as the Trusteeship Complaint has charged? Following the incident, according to the testimony of Local 225 secretary Linda Kosiarek, Brother Galioto insisted that Williams be referred to a job -- even though the contractor had passed her by.

And Sister Williams testified that her earnings hadn't fallen, either. Her 19-96 earnings were the same as 19-95. This year, her income actually rose.

On the topic of undemocratic practices, Secretary/Treasurer Dan Dumo also testified that policy disagreements within the Executive Board are fully aired and decided in a democratic fashion by Local 225 members.

Brother Dumo also gave his personal opinion on the spending practices and organizing efforts of the officers. He testified that he felt the officers had not misused union funds. But, he feels the number of meals they expensed was too high.

He testified that, on the few occasions an officer used the union credit card for personal items, the funds were reimbursed within a reasonable time.

He appeared to disagree with the Inspector General accountant's position on the financial condition of the Local. The accountant testified Monday that the union lost money in the past year. By contrast, Brother Dumo testified that the financial condition of the Local is stable -- and that income had increased in the first nine months of 1997.

Wednesday, Inspector General investigators Dineen and O'Rourke took the stand. Both testified that Local 225 took action against A-K-W Environmental because owner Michael Palmieri wouldn't pay-off John Galioto.

The investigators provided no proof of any attempted bribery. And both of them admitted they never looked in the Local's files on A-K-W. Thursday, those files will be put into evidence, to show the Local had legitimate reasons for its actions against A-K-W.

The investigators also claimed that Galioto runs a "major" bookmaking operation out of his home on Monday nights. They testified that the operation is well-known by authorities. But they conceded that no law enforcement agency has ever photographed anyone going in or out -- or raided the so-called bookmaking operation. Again -- they provided no proof and put no witnesses on the stand who could say, first-hand that such an operation ever existed.

After their testimony, the G-E-B Attorney rested his case.

The Local opened its defense with the testimony of the outside auditor.

After auditing financial records through October 31, 1997, he testified that Local 225 is in solid financial shape. His records show that the Local's net worth for the ten months of 1997 is greater than all of 1996.

Testimony further indicated that the membership in the Local has increased -- now totaling more than 22-hundred. The Local also introduced charts showing substantial improvements in the contracts negotiated by business manager Galioto.

In addition to presenting evidence solidly refuting the unsubstantiated attempted bribery charge, the defense today expects wrap up its case with more documents proving the Local's position, and more testimony from Local 225 members and contractors.

We'll present what may be the final hearing highlights tomorrow. Until then, have a great day!

Laborers for JUSTICE ©1998 (All Rights reserved)

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