Laborers for JUSTICE
James McGough, Director
55 S. Northwest Highway
Palatine, Il 60067
January 21. 1999
U.S. Department of Justice
Organized Crime Racketeering Section
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor Management Standards
RE: Mail in ballots required for DOL monitored election of LIUNA Local 423, Columbus, Ohio
Will the U.S. Department of Justice please inform the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards that OLMS is morally, ethically, and we contend, legally obligated to require mail in ballots for the DOL monitored election tentatively scheduled for LIUNA Local 423 on January 30, 1999 in Columbus, Ohio because of promises and representations made to rank and file LIUNA members in the following sections of the "Oversight Agreement" and "Contingent Consent Decree" signed by LIUNA and the U.S. Department of Justice on February 13, 1995.
In the "Operating" or "Oversight" agreement, both LIUNA and the U.S. Government agreed to institute "other reforms". These other reforms are spelled out in the Consent Decree and they specifically include the use of mail in ballots for LIUNA elections. The Feb. 13, 1995 "Oversight" agreement was in effect on Dec. 15. 1998 when DOL issued its election procedures which reflect the bare minimum of "Union Democracy" legally required by law but which do not reflect the agreed upon mail in balloting procedures necessary to help eliminate corruption from LIUNA.
The LIUNA rank and file members are the intended beneficiaries of the stated reform objectives outlined in the "Operating Agreement" and contingent Consent Decree and the rank and file members expect specific performance by the parties involved. The new (Jan4, 1999) "Operating Agreement (s)" specifically provides the Assistant Attorney General with the authority to file the agreed upon consent decree in (his) (her) sole discretion if
the Assistant Attorney General reasonably
concludes that the failure to impose the consent decree would
substantially interfere with accomplishing the purposes of the
Agreement, after giving LIUNA an opportunity to be heard
On January 4, 1999 the U.S. Department of Justice and LIUNA executed a new operating agreement which supercedes the Feb. 13, 1995 agreement and which specifically incorporates the "Consent Decree" signed on Feb 13, 1995. That consent decree in paragraph 45 calls for mail in ballots for International elections and by implication for local elections, especially those monitored by the U.S. States Government.
Please inform the U.S. Department of Labor that mail in ballots will required and are absolutely necessary to install that level of union democracy as envisioned in the LMRDA. Without the use of mail in ballots, reformers and honest union members in LIUNA will not be able to take back control of their union from organized crime. It's that simple and fundamental. The members of 423 remember quite well the murder of a union member in the very hall where DOL expects them to vote in person. The convicted murderer, ex felon, was on the slate of candidates in the election that DOL now has to rerun.
This Agreement is entered into, this 13th day of February 1995, between the Laborers' International Union of North America (hereinafter referred to as "LIUNA") and the United States of America, by and through the Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, James B. Burns.
WHEREAS, LIUNA and the United States have been pursuing various courses of action designed to ensure that all locals and other entities within LIUNA are rid of any corrupting influence of any member of organized crime;
WHEREAS, both LIUNA and the United States seek the complete elimination of any such corrupting influence on any entity within LIUNA;
NOW, THEREFORE, LIUNA and the United States agree as follows:
1. LIUNA shall be allowed to undertake a period of internal reform, lasting at least ninety (90) days, aimed at further investigating and disciplining individuals within any entity of LIUNA for wrongful association with, or corruption by, members of organized crime, as well as instituting other reforms. During this period, the United States may provide any assistance allowed by law to LIUNA
2. If, after this period of at least ninety (90) days from the date hereof (but prior to the expiration of this Letter Agreement), the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division determines, in her sole discretion, that the imposition of a consent decree is necessary or desirable, after having given LIUNA an opportunity to have a meeting to be heard, the parties agree to the filing of the attached complaint and entry and implementation of the attached consent decree.
3. This Agreement shall expire on February 11, 1998.
CONSENTED AND AGREED TO:
DATE: February 13, 1995
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
LABORERS'INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, AFL-CIO,
This matter coming before the Court by agreement of the parties, the United States of America (hereinafter "the United States"), plaintiff, and the defendant, Laborers' (hereinafter "LIUNA"), acting through and by decision of the General Executive Board, (hereinafter "the GEB"), and the Court being fully informed in the premises, FINDS as follows:
A. The organized crime syndicate known as La Cosa Nostra (hereinafter "the LCN") has at various times had a corrupting influence on the affairs of various locals and other entities within LIUNA;
B. By bringing certain criminal prosecutions and related proceedings, the United States has had success in reducing the extent of LCN corruption in various entities within LIUNA, but has not eliminated all of the corrupting influence in entities within LIUNA;
C. By the imposition of certain trusteeships, internal union discipline, the adoption of an Ethics Code and a new system of disciplinary procedures, and other techniques, the current GEB has taken steps to reduce the LCN corruption in certain entities within LIUNA, but has not eliminated all of such corrupting influence in entices within LIUNA;
D. The United States and LIUNA agree that there should be no corruption by the LCN of any entity anywhere within LIUNA, and thus, that further cooperative efforts, subject to judicial supervision and with judicial assistance, are necessary and appropriate.
E. The parties thus have agreed to the filing of a complaint, seeking equitable relief pursuant to the civil remedies provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. 1964, and to the contemporaneous filing of this Consent Decree;
F. The United States and LIUNA agree that one of the purposes of this Consent Decree is to ensure that the affairs of LIUNA should be maintained and conducted in a democratic fashion, with integrity, for the sole benefit of its members and without unlawful outside influence;
G. This Consent Decree has been entered into on behalf of the rank-and-file members of LIUNA; and,
H. The United States and LIUNA, by and through its GEB, have consented to the entry of this order.
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED as follows:
45. The parties shall jointly select an Elections Officer to be appointed by the Court. If the parties fail to reach agreement on selection of an individual to serve as the Elections Officer, the parties shall follow the procedures set forth in paragraph 58 below. The Elections Officer shall supervise direct elections by the rank-and file membership of LIUNA of persons to serve as members of the General Executive Board of LIUNA, that is, the positions of General President, General Secretary-Treasurer, and the positions of eleven International Vice-Presidents.
46. It shall be the mandate of the Elections Officer to ensure that free and fair, direct, referendum elections based on the principle of one member, one vote are held for positions on the General Executive Board of LIUNA. In achieving this mandate, the Elections Officer shall adhere to the guidelines set forth below and shall have the following powers, rights and responsibilities
(i) All direct rank-and-file voting by secret ballot described above shall be by mailed ballots, in accordance with procedures developed by the Elections Officer.
( j) To the extent that the Constitution of LIUNA is inconsistent with the procedures for election of members of the GEB as set forth above, such Constitution is hereby amended to read as provided in sub-paragraphs (a) through (i) of this paragraph.
This Agreement is entered into this 4th day of January,1999 between the Laborers' International Union of North America (hereinafter referenced to as "LIUNA") and the United States of America, by and through James K. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, and Scott R. Lassar, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. This Agreement modifies the prior agreement of the parties dated February 13, 1995, supersedes the prior agreement of the parties dated January 14, 1998, and incorporates the contingent consent decree that was part of those agreements.
Whereas LIUNA and the United States have been parties to prior agreements entered into in good faith and intended to ensure that LIUNA and its affiliated entities are not subject to the corrupting influence of any member of organized crime;
AND WHEREAS LIUNA working in cooperation with the United States has adopted, implemented, and supported various internal reform programs which have enabled LIUNA to demonstrate and achieve substantial progress and commitment toward the goal of eliminating any such corrupting influence on LIUNA;
AND WHEREAS the parties have agreed to continue their formal, cooperative relationship for an additional period of time in order to continue such progress;
NOW THEREFORE, LIUNA and the United states agree in good faith as follows:
1. LIUNA will continue its internal reform efforts to investigate and discipline individuals within LIUNA or any of its affiliated entities pursuant to its Ethical Practices Code, as well as its other internal reform programs. During this period, the United States may provide any assistance allowed by law to LIUNA.
The parties recognize and agree that all such internal reform must take into consideration reasonable budgetary constraints and priorities so as to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of these reform programs while also recognizing LIUNA's legitimate need to maintain other programs and services for members and affiliates and to operate in a fiscally sound and prudent manner consistent with applicable provisions of the LIUNA Constitution and with principles of fiduciary responsibility. LIUNA will inform and consult with the United States prior to making material changes in the internal reform budget.
2. This Agreement will take effect on February 1,1999, and shall continue to January 31, 2000. During this Agreement the United States shall not exercise its discretion to impose the consent decree unless the Assistant Attorney General reasonably concludes that the failure to impose the consent decree would substantially interfere with accomplishing the purposes of the Agreement, after giving LIUNA an opportunity to be heard
Laborers for JUSTICEŠ1999 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Scanned, formatted, and web published as a service for LIUNA members and the public by Laborers for JUSTICE. Not for republication on any other web site without specific written permission from Laborers for JUSTICE