Conference coverage in City
"Experts on organized crime's exploitation of the labor movement
..including labor leaders, a former member of Mario Cuomo's Organized
Crime Task Force (OCTF), and the government trustee who took over
Anthony Provenzano's notorious Teamsters local, clashed on some
issues surrounding criminal elements' relationship to labor. But
they all agreed that organized crime still has some unions ... firmly
in its grasp..."
Conference: Confronting Corruption in Labor Unions
Rank and file insurgency? Government intervention? Internal reform? Assessing
a half-century of effort.
On October 14th, 2006 AUD held
a one-day conference to assess fifty years of efforts by unionists
and government agencies to drive out the mob and rid unions of corruption.
The conference was held at the City University of New York and co-sponsored
by the Center for
Urban Research, and Building
Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report. Thanks to Ken Nash and Mimi
Rosenberg of Building Bridges, over the next month or two, we will post
the complete audio.
This conference presented a sometimes upbeat but
often grim portrayal of the struggle against corruption. Eleven speakers
shared their experiences and ideas with an audience of about 90 people,
some coming from as far away as Ohio, Illinois, and even Alaska.
We welcome feedback and encourage you to discuss
the ideas and perspectives presented here in union forums, lists and blogs,
both official and rank-and-file. Please let us know
about discussions or threads on your site and we will post a link on this
NOTE: As you listen, you will hear
speakers praise AUD and testify to the importance of our project. AUD
runs on a shoestring budget. We are providing the audio online free of
charge. If you too value AUD, please give
generously -- we depend on you for our survival.
and answers with Benson, Jacobs, and Stier.
Afternoon Session - reflections
William Kornblum, moderator -- Professor, CUNY Graduate Center
and Director of the Center for Urban Studies; author of Blue Collar
Community; AUD Board of Directors member.
- 18:43 min
Carl Biers-- Education Director of ILA Local 1588
(Bayonne NJ) which is currently under court supervision; Former Executive
Director of AUD.
- 17:26 min
Harvey -- Labor lawyer in Detroit, representing Teamsters for
a Democratic Union in the 2001 and 2006 International elections, held
under government supervision, responsible for winning election rule
requiring a candidate forum and broad distribution of the recording
to the membership; devoted most of her 31 year career to defending
the rights of union reformers and idealists; AUD Board of Directors
Fitch -- Author of Solidarity for Sale which argues that the
labor movement is hopelessly riddled with corruption; teaches LIU
political science department course on American unions; former staffer
several unions and union member since age 15.
Kay -- Former Secretary Treasurer SEIU local 1199; advisor
to reform group in Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 (NYC school
bus and disability van drivers, escorts and matrons).
- 19:08 min
Jennik -- Attorney who served as in-house counsel for a number
of trusteed Teamster locals; former Assistant Attorney General, NYS
Labor Bureau; former AUD Executive Director; currently represents
Longshore Workers Coalition and various unions.
- 18:46 min
Sullivan -- Former reform leader of Roofers Local 30, who experienced
a disastrous federal trusteeship.
- 17:19 min
Sullivan -- Former Trustee Teamster Local 295 who completed
its transition from mob control to court control to member control;
staff in Teamster Local 295 trusteeship; former Teamster tractor-trailer
driver and VP of TWU local 504; former AUD Women's Project Director.
- 14:34 min
Ed Sadlowski -- Holder of many elected
offices in Steelworkers Union; advisor to trustee of Laborers' Chicago
District Council, posted in several Laborers locals.
Afternoon Session - discussion
- 34 min
J. Goldberg, moderator -- Professor,
Widener University School of Law; represented numerous reformers;
represented Longshore Union members in recent U.S. appeals court victory,
finding ILA constitution violated members' free speech and due process
rights and that members were not adequately notified of their democratic
rights; AUD Board of Directors member.
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