HARD HAT Spring 1998


General President Arthur Coia has been charged under the LIUNA Ethical Practices Code by General Executive Board (GEB) Attorney Robert Luskin.

The specific charges have not been made available to Laborers Union members or the press.

Coia has prostate cancer. This is his second battle with cancer.

The Inspector-General's (I-G) budget has been reduced by LIUNA. Since the I-G's office conducts the investigations that are essential to the reform effort, this means less over-sight is the order of the day

Reports continue to come into Hard Hat of hiring hall abuse despite two hiring hall directives from the GEB's office, and many such reports to the I-G.

In Connecticut, one member was beaten in a local Executive Board meeting in front of LIUNA Vice-President Vere Haynes. No charges have been brought and Haynes has not issued a statement.

In another incident, the Business Manager of one local was assaulted by the Business Manager of another local at the Connecticut Laborers Training Center.

This attack took place in front of LIUNA Vice-President Armand Sabotoni. Again, no charges and no statement by the GEB member who witnessed the assault.

In California. LIUNA Vice-President Mason Warren put San Jose Local 270 into trusteeship then left in office the very officials convicted of back-dooring jobs and financial wrong-doing Convicted Local 270 Business Manager Ray Duran then put his younger brother on the payroll as a field agent.

One Local 270 member said, "We have no faith in the I-G's office." The entire Northern California District Council was recently re-election without opposition. Some officials were nominated for their offices by the District Council head. Archie Thomas. despite their convictions for Ethical Practices violations

The Agreement between LIUNA and the Justice Department has been extended until January 31, 1999. This is well short of the next LIIUNA general election, which could be run without supervision by the government

Was the original Agreement between LIUNA and the Justice Department politically influenced by large financial contributions from the Laborers to the Clinton Administration? Until it is investigated, this question cannot be laid to rest.

A recent U.S. Senate hearing looked into possible campaign finance violations by the Democratic Party, yet could shed no light on the relationship between the Laborers Union and the White House.

This despite evidence that Harold Ickes, President Bill Clinton's close advisor, was on the payroll of LIUNA at the same time Clinton's Justice Department was moving to end years of organized crime domination of the union.

Hardhat MagazineŠ1998