If I'm ever sued, this site will go up for sale for the amount of damages sought, along with posting any documents I receive. If you think you can copyright a letter you send to me, go for it.
I'm still learning about blog design and I've found a problem when viewing this blog. It does not behave properly in small browser windows and if your display resolution is less than 1280 pixels wide and/or you are viewing the blog in a window less than 980 pixels blog wide, the right side bar is pushed below any visible post. I've searched the web and looked at the code for hours but can't find the problem. My next step, when I get the time, is to recreate the blog with a new template. Advice is appreciated.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 - Oakland, CA

Dangerous and Inhumane Conditions on Oakland Buses

I sincerely hope that conditions have improved since last year - shame on AC Transit for buying buses without A/C to save a few bucks and shame on Local 192 for allowing it! 102F? You can't safely drive a bus when the inside temp is that high.

Did ATU Local 192 hold the December 20th, 2008 election as scheduled? If so, who are the newly elected officers? Be proud - post the results on  the ATU Local 192 website. Perhaps it's in the members only area. Just a reminder, 2008 LM-2's were due April 1st, 2009. The information I have is for 2007.

I'm on my soapbox again. Why is it that many LU's think they have to spend every penny (and often more) of members dues? I'll say it again - the officers and employees of the union are the hired help! Demand accountability.

Typical of locals, ATU Local 192 had officer and employee disbursements of $801,050, 36% of the 2007 receipts of $2,252,023. With the economy the way it already was and the very high unemployment in California, did the officers (whoever they are) make any sacrifices in 2008? How about 2009?

I'm not privy to the usual union practices but $626,000 in 2007 legal fees seems excessive. Another 27% of the receipts into the black hole. Just out of curiosity,  when a local receives a Wage and Hour litigation settlement of $74, 156, what happens to the money?

How many members of ATU Local 192 drive cars built before 1994? Do you think the officers could have squeezed out one more year and saved a little money? Only $7200 for the 3 Saturns you (the members) owned? One would hope that the members (who already owned the cars) got to drive them home but alas, that doesn't seem to be the case since they were listed as trade-ins. I'd have given $201 for a 2003 Saturn L200, book value $4,585 and the union would have made an extra dollar. It seems odd that the union would let all 3 cars go to the Saturn dealer at 47% of the listed book value. Perhaps someone out in Oakland needs to learn a little about "horse trading".

But happily, all 3 clunkers were replaced with brand spankin' new 2007 Saturn Aura's for only $80,129. Who gets to drive the XE and not have to settle for one of the crummy XR's? I do have a couple of questions about the whole process of buying and selling cars at the local, mostly with  the way the transaction was listed on the LM-2.

I haven't bought a brand new car since my 40th birthday present to me in 1986 (I'm cheap) but I suppose that local bosses, like all politicians have a certain image they have to maintain. Not being an "expert" on buying and selling cars, the transaction confuses me.

The LM-2 shows the cars were traded-in for $7200 and the new cars were bought for $80,129 - a difference of $72,929. I look at the Fixed Asset and Loans Payable schedules of the LM-2 and get totally lost.

It's obvious that the local (members) own at least one other car/vehicle and I don't know what it is (all vehicles lumped together as an asset) so that's part on my confusion. The Loans Payable is where I'm really stymied:


Source of Loans Payable at Any 
Time During the Reporting Period 
Loans Owed at 
Start of Period 
Loans Obtained 
During Period 
During Period 
During Period 
Other Than Cash 
Loans Owed at 
End of Period 
Total Loans Payable$34,103$80,129$29,464$3,487$81,281
Totals will be automatically entered in...Item 31
Column (C)
Item 44Item 62Item 69
with Explanation
Item 31
Column (D)
Saturn of Oakland - Autos$32,957$80,129$28,318$3,487$81,281
GE Captial Copier Lease$1,146$0$1,146$0$0

It looks like the $7200 trade-in (47% of book) actually became $3,487 when the deal was closed. Very, very confusing! Click here and take a crack at figuring it out for yourself.

Image courtesy of Cowboy Clip Art

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