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“Today, New York City Dock Builders have made a clear choice to remain affiliated with the New York City and Vicinity District Council Carpenters,” said District Council leader Michael Bilello, in a statement released just after the votes were tallied. “We had faith in their prudence that was in the best interest of themselves and their families.
“They refused to be misled by false promises of those that have proven in the past that they cannot be trusted. Our members have rejected corruption,” he added.
A representative for the District Council put the count at 361 to 186, though the official results of the vote had not yet been released.
“I’m extremely happy,” said Ivan Schweikert, 45, a 27-year veteran with the Dock Builders who voted for the District Council. ”We did a lot of legwork to get the vote to turn out this way. Everybody was well-informed of the issues and as concerned as I was. I was fairly confident that it would go this way.”
Bilello had portrayed Amalgamated as a group trying to escape federal regulations after they were “weeded out” of a system that was plagued by years of corruption. He and Dennis M. Walsh, a federal review officer put in place in 2010 to monitor the trouble District Council, contended that the dock builders stood to lose their health benefits and pensions if they sided with Amalgamated.