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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 - EXTORTION AND TAFT-HARTLEY VIOLATIONS

Sometimes it's just too easy!

FBI Press Release: June 3rd, 2009

Two Former Board Members of Bus Drivers' Union Arrested For Extortion And Unlawful Labor Payments

My favorite union, Amalgamated Transit Union, made the news again today when the FBI announced they had arrested Nick and Paul Maddalone, former EB members and assistant trustees of ATU Local 1181. The pair were arrested on charges of extortion and violations of the Taft-Hartley Act.

Way to go boys, you made the big time - the family that preys together stays together (perhaps in a federal pen?).

Admittedly, they were "former"members (is a boss ever truly a former member?) but one still has to question ATU International President Warren George's oversight of ATU Locals. Could it be that as long as a local is current in it's "tribute" to the International, he's willing to turn a blind eye to corruption at the local level? Extortion and Taft-Hartley violations? "I zee nothing, I hear nothing, I know nothing" didn't work well  at N├╝rnberg but perhaps it's a better defense in the new millennium.

For those who don't know, I was an ATU Local 1001 (Westminster, CO) member for two years, 2007 -2009. I have questions regarding the way the members money was spent (2008 $120K political donation to left wing Protect Colorado's Future, for example) and for months the local has ignored me. I have contacted the International on more than one occasion and all I get are replies that never address my issues. In my case, however, "circle the wagons and hope he'll go away" is not a workable defense. 

"Hi, boys - I'm still here and watching you! A big howdy to Holman, Howard, Julio & Rudy. Remember, I'm allowed to file suit under LMRDA at the end of July. A special hello to my friend lawyer Jones"

Perhaps Warren George is just jealous of the press that Andy Stern and Jimmy Hoffa have been getting and figures ATU can beat them at their own game. Any press is good press!

Where there's smoke there's fire?

To be fair, this is not my first post about Local 1181 and it's true that President George finally installed trustee's but why did it take so long after members sought help from the International and were the Maddalone boys two of George's trustees? Germane but unanswered questions.

Local 1181 had elections in March, 2009 and members claim that the union is mob free for the first time in years; we hope so. ATU International  has removed the trusties and elected officers run the union.

Some might ask why the trustees spent almost $1,000,000 more that the local received in 2008. Take a look at the 2008 LM-2.

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