Saturday, February 5, 2011

Transcript of my remarks to Supervisor Frank Spencer

On January 27, Supervisor Frank Spencer attended a meeting of Local 157. This was the first time in the 535 days of supervision, that Spencer addressed the membership and answered questions.

Below is a transcript of my remarks to Supervisor Spencer.

In October of 2010 you posted a video message on the councils website, in the video message you said:

"We had the issues with corruption, But that's yesterday."

On December 3rd Review Officer, Dennis Walsh, filed his first interim report, the report is a bombshell and is posted on

According to the Review Officer's assessment, the council remains influenced by the mob and is still a source of cash and illicit benefits for a select few, Walsh wrote:

“My office has deep historical knowledge and is developing current information about actual and attempted influence of organized crime over the affairs of the district council and the funds. We have developed sufficient information to reasonably suspect that there are certain district council employees who have been and are currently under the influence of La Cosa Nostra figures. There are also individuals involved in the governance of certain local unions who are under close scrutiny in this regard. This is a matter of grave import and remains under investigation."

The council has been under your supervision for 535 days and the council remains influenced by the mob.

As supervisor, you supported Pete Thomassen, naming him your assistant over the objections and criticism of many members. Pete Thomassen, among other things embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You supported Dennis Sheil, another unity team embezzler, you approved buying this criminal who betrayed us an $8300 gold Rolex watch as a retirement gift.

You supported Mike Koballa, John Early, and Danny DeMorato, all former trustees of the council and were in office during the period of embezzlement by Thomassen and others.

You supported, former Director of Operations, Maurice Leary, former Regional Manager, Martin Devereaux, former Council Rep, Maurice McGraft , former Council Rep, Mike Murphy...all co-conspirators in convicted Mike Forde's scheme of taking bribes from contractors defrauding our union, our benefits funds and betraying our trust.

In July you supported the hiring of John Thomassen, Petes son, as an organizer, in spite of his lack of qualifications, his removing all his body hair to avoid drug testing, his allege drug use, his allege watching of porn at work, arriving to work late and leaving early, doing little if any work, failing to report to work and embezzling assets of the council.

In a letter to the membership you wrote:

"We must have a more open and transparent union that promotes communication, inclusion and paves the way for a new era. Our stewards are trained to address members questions and concerns, we are building a better district council by taking the highest moral ground, representing the best interest of union carpenters, and ensuring our union operates in a manner that is ethical.”

Your propaganda does not match your actions!!!

There is no transparency in our union, stewards are not given information to address members questions and concerns, council employees are not taking the highest moral ground, instead they use trickery, false arguments, misinformation, fear, scare tactics and violate the UBC Constitution to impose their will.

This is your first time you have attended a membership meeting, you have not completely answered member’s questions, members are given little or no meaningful information, and our union does not operate in a manner that is ethical.

You twice unilaterally altered our collective bargaining agreement based upon unproven theories, with neither the counsel nor consent of the membership.

On July 1, you enacted a 90 day wage freeze. On January 1, you gave back a contract raise cutting our wages by 2.5 percent.

At the same time you cut our wages you increased wages for council and benefit fund employees who have failed us.

Critics say you are negotiating with yourself, you have no right to unilaterally alter a collective bargaining agreement in effect and your actions are in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, and our protected rights.

Under Michael Forde and others, carpenters have been abused in the most egregious ways over a 10-year period.

We are entitled to respect, complete answers and all manner of information about the union.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but your opinion is not fact.

In the latest issue of the Carpenter Magazine you wrote:

"Our members remain our top priority and this council is determined to regain the trust of our brothers and sisters to rewrite our union's history."

History cannot be rewritten, and those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.

My question to you is: What if anything are you going to do different to gain our trust?

(John's note: Supervisor Spencer had no meaningful answer to my question, it's business as usual.)

1 comment:

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.