Local 225 HOTLINE

for December 2, 1997

Thank you for calling Local 225's "Union Issues" Hotline. It was created to keep our members informed of any issues challenging their rights as workers.

Initially, the local planned to produce a newsletter. But the board felt a telephone hotline would be more cost-effective -- and it could enable them to get any urgent news to the membership much faster. This hotline will be updated daily.

Now, the latest: Members of Local 225 are in danger of losing control of their union. Efforts currently are underway to transfer control from you, the dues-paying members.

By now, you have received notice that the LIUNA General Executive Board Attorney has filed a complaint to put the local in the hands of a trustee. Some may have misunderstood the charges in the complaint. And, unless you attended the last membership meeting, you do not understand how the complaint -- or the trusteeship -- impacts you personally.

The first thing you should know is that this complaint was not filed in a court of law. These are internal proceedings, conducted by the union's G-E-B Attorney.

You also should know that none of the officers of Local 225 personally has been charged with any misconduct, associated with his union activities.

Hearings recently were held, involving officers of LIUNA'S Chicago District Council. In those hearings, there reportedly was no proof of any wrongdoing by any Council officer or delegate. The leadership of Local 225 is confident the upcoming hearings on this local will have the same result.

Typically, in hearings such as this, there are some common allegations that warrant an outsider coming in to wrench control of a local away from its members and officers: Namely, contract violations...failure to police the field...failure to negotiate contracts for the members, and abuses of pension and welfare funds.

In your copy of the Complaint, you'll notice that none of these allegations has been made against the officers of Local 225.

To quote a recent letter from the Chicago District Council, "Your pension and welfare funds are safe and sound. They are among the best-managed and best-invested in the United States."

The trusteeship complaint does not charge any of the Local 225 officers with neglecting his duties or failing to protect the rights or the pensions of its membership.

In fact, members who currently are working under contracts negotiated by this leadership team overwhelming agree that they never have had better wage and benefits packages.

Local 225 officers are highly visible in the field. Members who've called in work site violations can attest to the swift response and on-site appearance of the Local 225 field reps and officers. It is not uncommon to see members of this team on a work site vigilantly protesting violations before dawn or near midnight. To date, Laborers' Union members have paid more than five million dollars to fund this internal investigation.

Tomorrow and the days that follow, we will take a closer look at what it will cost you, if the local is controlled by a trustee.

In the meantime, mark Monday December 15 on your calendar. That is the date the hearings begin. If you are concerned about how trusteeship will impact your rights as a member of Local 225-- and how it may affect your ability to work, your safety on work sites and your paycheck--you will attend the hearings. Stay tuned for details. And tell other members of the local to call this hotline everyday for the latest updates.

If you have any questions or comments, please record them at the sound of the tone. Speak slowly and clearly. Always leave your name and social security number, so we can verify that the comments are coming from a member of the local. If you want us to respond to your comments, please leave your telephone number and a time when it would be convenient to reach you.

To all callers -- have a great day!

Laborers for JUSTICE ©1998 (All Rights reserved)

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