Thursday, May 8, 2008

"BULLSHIT" Angry Local 157 Members Demand Answers

In a huge member turn out, hundreds of union brothers and sisters left the first Local 157 meeting since the trusteeship imposed on November 21, 2007 angry and frustrated (see video).

VP Frank Spencer’s May 7th, “informational meeting outlining the path to restoration” had little if any information.

Other than a tentative meeting schedule announced and nominations from the floor for position of election committee member for the schedule July 21st, local delegate and executive office elections, members learned absolutely nothing.

EST Forde called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm and after the pledge said “we are not looking to hold local 157 hostage, we want to give this local back and this is the first night on the road to getting this local back to you.”

Forde then turned the meeting over to VP Spencer who gave no information about the so-called “improvements and the efficiencies that are apparent at your local union,” stated in his postcard mailing to the membership informing them about the May 7th, meeting.

Members were shocked and outraged when Spencer abruptly ended the meeting after nominations for election committee member (about 10 nominees) by quickly saying “if there is no other business the meeting is adjourned.”

Members shouted from the floor "questions, we have questions," which VP Spencer ignored as he gaveled the meeting closed with the speed of light at 5:17 pm.

Local 157 members, angry about the ongoing trusteeship, blasted Spencer out on the street for not taking questions and for not giving any information about the trusteeship.

Members on the street yelled “Bullshit, I came all the way here for this” asked one disgruntled nail-driver.

Brother Joe Rocco said, “the meeting wasn’t run professionally, wasn’t run like a union meeting, they shut everybody up.”

“No questions means they are not interested in our opinions” said Brother Steve Milano.

“Meeting was a sham, didn’t give members a chance to say anything, didn’t answer any questions” said Brother Hercules Reid.

“Meeting was incomplete, didn’t deal with issues members are concerned about” said Brother Tom Robinson.

“No questions, no good of the order, I waited six months for this, its bull" said Brother Roldan.

“I came here with issues, it didn’t happen” said Brother Jim.

Brother Lee Williams when asked, what did you think about the meeting? said, what meeting!

The comments spotlighted grumblings that the 4,500-member local is fed up with the International Union Trusteeship over what many members believe is politically motivated.

After 6 months, "We're still not being heard, they gave us the heave-ho by canceling our Christmas Party and they're still giving us the heave-ho with this meeting" griped a veteran union member who didn't want to give his name. “It was nice to see all the brothers and sisters— but nothing was really discussed, we’re not happy with the International’s strong-armed tactics” members said after Wednesday's meeting.

Many members in attendance believed International VP Spencer would be addressing the member’s questions and concerns, saying “they'd received emails and letters and we have not received any answers.

"You ask questions and you don't get answers, this is really adding insult to injury" said one member, who didn't want to be identified because he said he is a union steward and didn't want to be "the next to be hauled in there and suspended."

"I was so disappointed by what I saw here, no good of the order, we were rushed out the door” said long time union Brother Bruce Miranda as he prepared for the ride back home on his Harley.

Brother Daniel Franco was also angry and upset, “I sent Spencer a letter on April 8, and again on April 22, asking questions about this supervision and still have not received an answer."

Local 157 members are pretty well injured to these goings-on by now, but could not believe Spencer's actions complaining about how they're kept in the dark.

As supervisor of the trusteeship, Spencer has come under attack and criticized for his refusal to answer members questions posted on this blog, and for possible violations of the UBC Constitution and the LMRDA regulations.

I spoke with VP Spencer several times about the questions posted by members and with his assistant Mike Capelli. On April 11, Mr. Capelli told me "UBC lawyer Brian Quinn, is drafting an answer to the questions and I should have them in a few days."

I spoke with Mr. Capelli at Wednesday’s meeting and he told me “UBC lawyer Quinn is still working on the answers.”

An outraged member that is familiar with the issue, and wishes to remain anonymous said, “In the amount of time that has past since the membership has asked Spencer questions…Extreme Makeover Home Edition has built 12 houses, and the membership of local 157 still have not received an answer to six simple questions raised regarding this trusteeship.”

Below is six questions posted on this blog and sent to VP Spencer on March 4th, on behalf of the membership of local 157, which Spencer has refused to answer...

1. General President McCarron's letter to local 157 members dated December 3 cites section 10H of the constitution that granted full supervisory authority. Specifically where in section 10H does it state that the General President has the "authority to remove elected officers" of a local? This would seem to bypass Section 52, which guaranties the right to a fair and impartial trial.

2. Where in section 10H does it give the General President the authority to appoint officers to fill the vacated positions in a local? Section 10M gives the General President the right to appoint interim officers in NEWLY, CONSOLIDATED and MERGED Locals, which does not apply to local 157.

3. Why is Section 32D being bypassed, which gives the recording Secretary of the Local the right and duty to call a meeting to order and in the absence of a President and Vice President those Present shall elect a "President Pro Tem"

4.Why is the District Council involved in the supervision by appointing business reps, business manager and involved with the locals finances and books? This right, under supervision is the Internationals not the District Council.

5. Why is the District Council paying the bills when the only thing the LMRDA limits is the ability of the Councils or International to move money out of the Local to either one of them? It does not require the International to freeze the local’s accounts and stop them from paying their own bills.

6. What is the reason for the continued supervision? If Hanley and Kennedy resigned on November 21 and the District Council fired Dilacio and no accusation of financial impropriety or other fraud was found isn't the problem solved?

14 comments:

  1. I say we file a complaint with the Department of Labor and bring charges against Spencer and Forde for defrauding the union!

    ReplyDelete
  2. yea we got to do something. we as a local got to, but are we going to, are we going to hide and do nothing. i was there and saw what happened, it showed me that they were scared of causing a riot!!!!! we got to do something!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where do we start. You had an informational meeting which provided no information. It was called to order by the Council EST who had no business being on the podium let alone calling the meeting to order. In what capacity was Mike Forde at the meeting. If it was Council EST he should have stayed home. If it was as a part of the Supervision team he should have sat in the corner and shut up because if it was not an official meeting but an informational meeting than why was it called to order and why was it closed with asking if their was any business from the floor.These actions alone show that this was an official 157 meeting and NOT AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING. If this was a official meeting it had to be called to order by an Elected Officer of Local 157 Next in line Lawerance Dericco. If you want to bring someone up on charges how about Dericco for violation of his fiduciary duty under the LMRDA.
    Spencer just had an Official 157 meeting which was called to order and membership by vote should have elected a pro tem President.
    How is it possible to hold elections for Election Committee at an informational meeting???? Second .Is it common practice to take nominations form the floor for election committees. Is their going to be a vote for election Committee members. I did not see it listed.Who is going to decide who is on the Election Committee.Let me guess. Mr.Forde.Dericco. Bullshit. Section 31G clearly states that "All Local Union Elections shall be conducted by an election committee appointed by the PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL" Which neither Forde or Dericco are. Any committee appointed by them is null and void and a direct violation of the UBC Constitution. How long are the members going to allow this BS to continue. Now we move out of Title 3 Violations of the LMRDA but move into Title 4 Election Violations.Which has a very interesting part"All members of executive boards or similar governing bodies of local unions must be elected by secret ballot among the members in good standing." How about taking some of thsoe notices Spencer sent out saying the Locals eBoard was to be appointed down to the DOL. Get on the phone with the boy at the DOL and demand he do his job and prosecute these clowns. Is this some kind of joke.

    ReplyDelete
  4. hold elections for Election Committee at an informational meeting???

    Should have read"Hold Nominations for Election Committee at an informational meeting"

    ReplyDelete
  5. What I also do not get was how 300 members allowed TWO suits to tell you the meeting was over. Why didnt the 300 tell the TWO to shut up and sit down the meeting was NOT over.These peole work for you. The members are not here to serve the whim of these TWO suits. What was it. The 300 were awed by the fact that Spencers tie matched his suspenders?? Always me want to bow and grovel. Did any one of the 300 Brothers and Sisters present bring their testicles. You could have at least shut out the lights and walked out.

    ReplyDelete
  6. WELL, that meeting (if you want to call it that) sucked...
    I hope once we get our local back it's not alot of the same shit. It's amazing how they don't have to tell us ANYTHING. IS THERE ANY THING WE CAN DO. Thank you again Jonh for this web sight. At least there is some one out there taking a stand and trying to keep us informed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. John great job.I was at that meeting and this is bullshit. How can we stop Spencer from running our local with following the constitution.

    ReplyDelete
  8. just answer the question, why does he need a lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  9. John is there anyway the members can stop Spencer from doing what ever he wants? Why no June meeting?

    ReplyDelete
  10. While waiting for John to respond to questions I thought I might jump in. Can you do anything. YES YOU CAN. First. Draft a letter to the International signed by as many members as possible requesting an investigation into the trusteeship and Spencers actions and qualifications to supervise a Trusteeship. Have members each individually send the Defranco letter and the Defranco follow up letter to McCarron over and over until McCarron gets the message that the members are not going to accept his BS response.

    DOL. The DOL never wants to do its job.When dealing with them do not take no for an answer. Once they realize you are not going to go away until they act you will be amazed how right you really are and how lazy they really are. The LMRDA is the only thing that is going to stop Spencer,McCarron and Forde. THAT IS WHY IT WAS CREATED. The DOL must act to investigate these violations. Get as many members as possible to file the same complaint regarding the trusteeship.

    File a civil suit in Federal District Court. The time frame for the International to resolve these issues under the LMRDA is 4 months. If after 4 months the issues are not resolved, or as is the case here, the Union refuses to respond then your Internal remedy Requirement is exhausted and you can proceed with a lawsuit. DO IT.

    Make it PUBLIC.PUBLIC.PUBLIC. Make it very public. Post all complaints and letters in a public domain. Call every reporter that will listen. Picket Fordes House. Attract the media. That way when King Dougy moves to dissolve your Local in retaliation for wanting whats is your right in a Union and guaranteed by the LMRDA and UBC Constitution you will have a public record to show a Federal judge when you spank Forde and McCarron for taking retaliatory action against free speech and members rights.

    Most important is not to let the District Council divide you. When the Council sends skippy and the boys to attack those demanding members rights send them packing. It is a sign of desperation and a common ploy of the UBC called diversion. Remember that 3000 can make 5 rats pee themselves. It may seem cliche but it is as easy as"Just Say No" The single reason that this small group of rats play golf while you work is because you let them. The single reason this small group of rats holds you vacation money ransom and rips you off for 30cents an hour organizing fee is because you let them. What is funny is that you should not fear them. They should fear you.

    Help yourself. Gather interesting evidence. Leverage is always good. Ask Mr. Forde why he Thomassen,Oliveri and the rest are Trustees on the NYS Labor Management Council a PO box in Oswego NY which has nothing to do with the NYCDCC and is part of the Empire Council. What does that make about 3or 4 Labor Management Funds this same group are Trustees on??? Ask Forde why the CPAs failed to report this association as required on the LMS or 990s. Ask Forde and Thomassen if the members realize that their yearly pension contributions are listed on the 90s and that Forde got a base salary of $233,623 and had $117,737 listed as given to his Benefit and Deferred Compensation Plan. Thomassen had a base of $219,927 with a contribution of $111,693. Sheil had a base of $206,181 and a contribution of $105,628. So basically the members have given Forde $351,360 to stick it in their ass. This is not counting all the others expense money he is raking in on multiple funds. Check out their LM 30s to see what they reimbursed themselves for a week of fun and sun at the Westin resort in Hollywood Florida. Forde according to room reimbursements stayed in a room that cost the members over $400 a night. Thank god you pay up on your dues,assessments,vacation fund and organizing charges. Nothing but the best for the District Council. Where is Callahan in all this gravy grabbing at the expense of the members. Even after all this Gravy Forde still needed to garb more. How much was he convicted of taking.The problem for these clowns is they leave a trail of interesting information for the day the members start to give a damn.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Daniel J. FrancoMay 20, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    Are there at least six* other Local Union 157 members who are willing to put their name forward who want to have a meeting June 16, 2008 to which Spencer and Forde would be requested to attend to answer questions put forth by the members pertaining to at least the trusteeship and if “Supervisor”/EDVP Spencer and “Assistant Supervisor”/EST Forde fail to attend the meeting and/or answer questions would those members be willing to rally at and picket the NYCDCC and/or the Local Union 157 office until our questions are answered directly and in earnest and the trusteeship ended? Are there any legitimate reasons as to why questions about the trusteeship should go unanswered and that our local union should continue to be in trusteeship until, what appears to be, AT LEAST late October?

    *2006 UBC Constitution, Jurisdiction and Powers of Local Unions, C Section 25. At any regular or special meeting of the membership of a Local Union, duly called for the transaction of any business, those present shall constitute a quorum, provided seven (7) or more members are present. For any regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee of a Local Union, those present constitute a quorum, provided a majority of the members of the Executive Committee are present. The terms special meeting and special called meeting have the same meaning.

    ReplyDelete
  12. John M.

    Is There Any Truth to This Slate ?
    Now, Or In The Future ?

    Please Fill Us In !

    Delegates to the NYC District Council of Carpenters

    John E.Greaney - Martin Devereaux Maurice R. Leary - Thomas J. McKeon - Joseph Firth - Ed McWilliams - Maurice J. McGrath -Michael K. Harrington - Ron Rawald Vincent Taddeo - Bill Lacey - Martin Lydon - James O'Reilly Steve McInnis - Stephen Philbin Jose Bernard - Erik George - Elley Spicer - Sean Brosnan

    www.videovoice370.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Charles, sounds true to me, they are delegates running for reelection

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great article as for me. I'd like to read a bit more concerning this matter.
    BTW check the design I've made myself Female escorts

    ReplyDelete

I would ask that if you would like to leave a comment that you think of Local 157 Blogspot as your online meeting hall and that you wouldn’t say anything on this site that you wouldn’t, say at a union meeting. Constructive criticism is welcome, as we all benefit from such advice. Obnoxious comments are not welcome.