Sunday, March 7, 2010

FIRTH DEFEATS DEVEREAUX

The Local 608 presidential election of 2010 will be considered by most members as the greatest election upset in Local 608 history. Virtually every prediction indicated that incumbent Martin Devereaux would easily defeat Joseph Firth's Members Choice Slate.

“History was made at Tuesday's March 2, Special Election; at 395 Hudson Street when almost two thousand rank and file members voted and tossed out Martin Devereaux’s incumbent slate, Firth’s supporters said.

Devereaux, vice-president of Local 608, was named acting president on August 10, 2009 after it and 10 other locals were put under emergency supervision by the International following the Forde indictment.

On August 5, 2009 the feds charged District Council of Carpenters boss Michael Forde and nine others, including two mob associates, with taking bribes to let contractors cheat workers of wages and benefits.

Devereaux replaced Local 608 president John Greaney, who resigned the position and is one of the defendants in the Forde federal indictment.

In June 2008, Devereraux and Forde beat a the rap in a case charging they took bribes from a man linked to the DeCavalcante crime family, the mob that inspired the hit HBO series "The Sopranos."

The two were convicted in that case in 2004, but a Manhattan Supreme Court justice tossed the conviction because some jurors had read news accounts of the case.

The pair was acquitted after a second trial in June 10, 2008.

Firth supporters say he won the election by framing the issues on the heavy handed tactics used by UBC International Supervisor Frank Spencer.

Spencer was brought in by the International Brotherhood to supervise the district council in the wake of Forde's indictment.

Spencer made no secret of his support for Martin Devereaux, naming him business manager of Local 608 and firing Joe Firth as business representative for alleged violations of the job referral rules and trashing his reputation in a November 18, letter to 608 members.

Firth’s supporters re-acted with anger to Spencer’s letter and were very vocal at the regular schedule November 608 meeting, forcing Devereaux, in a letter to the membership, warning the members to “act professionally or Spencer will dissolve Local 608.”

This seemed to anger the many Firth supporters even more, the only ones who got on board with Spencer’s "threat to dissolve the local" was Devereaux and his Slate as they were continually heckled and shouted down at each meeting.

Firth and his slate turned the election against Devereaux into a struggle for union democracy, a cry for freedom and a greater voice in running local affairs without the heavy hand of Spencer and the UBC.

Firth still has some obstacles to deal with, he has allegedly been brought up an chargers and the trial board found him guilty with the recommendation of expulsion from the UBC.

Firth is appealing the decision, while the appeal is pending he remains in good standing and president of Local 608.

Also elected with Firth was business rep. John Daly, vice president,  Levi Messinetti and Mike Fitzgerald, trustees and twenty UBC Convention Delegates.

2 comments:

  1. Fan of Labor unionsMarch 8, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    Thanks for the winners info, How about the numbers. How many came out to vote.

    ReplyDelete
  2. firth is a good old boy and the reason the union is shot to begin with...the others are scared cowards out of work blindly going with a big mistake

    ReplyDelete

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