December 22, 1997
Thank you for calling Local 225's
"Union Issues" Hotline. Here's your final update on
the Trusteeship Hearings that ended on Thursday, December 18th.
If you attended December's membership
meeting, you heard the Local 225 Attorney's opinion that the General
Executive Board Attorney did not prove his case against Local
225. As a result, he feels, the membership should not lose its
control over the Local.
Specifically, on the charge of financial
malpractice, he explained that the G-E-B Attorney couldn't say
how many meals constitutes too many. But he did establish that
there should be a limit. Is failure to establish a limit grounds
for trusteeship? He doesn't think so.
There was another issue that arose
in the hearings that was not mentioned in the Complaint. That
was the matter of the Local spending money to train non-union
workers, so they could be job-ready when the Chicago Public Schools
started their environmental clean-up work. As you may recall,
Schools Chief Paul Vallas announced last summer that the school
system was going to spend more than 70-million dollars on enviromental
On the final day of the hearings,
a contractor and a 225 member who planned to become a contractor
praised the Local's effort to speed up the release of those contracts
and the plan to prepare community members to do some
of the work.
But, as you know, the membership overruled
that plan proposed by two Local officials and refused payment
of any bills associated with it.
The Local feels that the handling
of this controversy is further proof that the practice at Local
225 is to resolve matters in a democratic manner -- contrary to
the Complaint's accusation that the Local engages in undemocratic
On Thursday, the Local also responded
to charges leveled by Michael Palmieri of A-K-W Environmental.
Palmieri -- who did not appear at the hearings -- allegedly told
investigators that the Local repeatedly took legal action against
him, because he wouldn't pay a bribe.
In response, the Local brought in
a volume of records showing that A-K-W Environmental committed
a large number of violations --ranging from the hiring of non-union
labor to failing to forward Health and Welfare benefit payments
for union workers. The Local contends that all actions taken
against A-K-W were appropriate and in the best interest of Local
225 members and denies that a payoff was requested.
Now that the testimony has ended,
the next step is for both sides to prepare written statements
summarizing their cases and validating their positions. Those
documents are due on January 20th. At that point, the hearing
officer will review everything and make a ruling. His decision
is expected on or about the middle of February.
Of course, we will keep you posted
on any new developments. By the way, if you felt this hotline
was helpful to you, please let us know.
If you would prefer a printed newsletter,
instead, let us know that too. Or, perhaps you feel a combination
of the two would be more effective: a telephone hotline for important,
time-sensitive issues that can't wait for publication -- and a
newsletter for standard communication.
Now, more than ever, it's important
to keep the membership informed. We need to know how best to
Until next time, have a great holiday!
And best wishes to every member of Local 225 for a safe and prosperous
Laborers for JUSTICE ©1998 (All Rights reserved)