Improper Election of Rhode Island Boss

RI’s American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Council 94 has been ordered to rerun election of top officers because it allegedly failed to ensure a secret-ballot vote. The investigation was sparked by self-styled dissident Linda C. Riendeau who lost to incumbent union boss J. Thomas Chellel at the Apr. convention. Chellel has run Council 94 since 1979. AFSCME’s judicial panel in Washington questioned whether 71 delegates to the convention, who voted on behalf of 8,000 union members, were able to vote by secret ballot. The panel was also troubled by a plan to change the formula for determining the size of Council 94’s executive board which the panel said was improperly adopted and didn’t allow Riendeau a chance to organize her own board slate. Announced Jul. 10, the rerun will be Aug. 12. [Providence Journal-Bulletin 07/09/98 & 07/11/98]

Lazy Unions In Springfield, IL
Poor work habits by union employees in the Springfield, IL Department of Public Works (SDPW) have been said to be contributing to slow pickup of branches knocked down by recent storms. Ward 5 Alderman Bob Vose said on Jul. 20, “I’ve complained and complained and complained, and everybody’s turned their head . . . (and) looked the other way. This is not right. We’re not getting the work done.” Based on what he’s been told by constituents and whistle-blowers and what he’s observed on his own, Vose said, some employees take 90-minute or even two-hour lunches and crews sometimes don’t get to their first job sites until as much as two hours after their shifts start. Vose said he met with SDPW officials about the problem several months ago. But he doesn’t believe the problem has been adequately addressed. Most are workers in question are members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3417. [State Journal Register 07/21/98]