Members Move to End Local

 Asserting rising disgust with their union, nearly 100 KCAL-TV employees in L.A. have decided they no longer want to be represented by the Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers due in part to union corruption. Members petitioned the Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. Aug. 5 requesting Local 45 be removed. The petition was withdrawn, but they are still looking for alternatives. In a complaint letter to Local 45 bosses, members stated their motivation includes “the financial mismanagement of our money” and the strike fund “which we’ve paid into for years, is now non-existent, and no one from IBEW has satisfactorily answered our questions as to where the money has gone.” The corruption reference is to James E. Jackson (see: UCU 1.6 8/24/98), Local 45 business manger, who was recently indicted for allegedly embezzling over $63,000. [Daily Variety 8/25/98]

45 Days & $21K for N.Y. Boss
 James T. Russo was sentenced Sept. 2 to 45 days in jail for stealing over $20,000 union funds. The former treasurer of the Civil Service Employees Association in Warren County, N.Y., was also ordered to pay $21,700 in restitution and put on probation for 5 years. Russo was charged with 38 felony counts for cashing some 36 forged checks from the union’s bank account in 1993-97. He forged the union vice-president’s signature and had the checks made out to himself, to cash and to a local restaurant. Russo pled guilty Jul. 22 to grand larceny and waived his right to appeal. The Assistant District Attorney Marcy I. Flores said, “The defendant was put in a position of trust. …He betrayed that trust.” [Glen Falls Post-Star 9/3 & 1/16/98]

“C’est la vie.”
 -AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard L. Trumka at an Aug. 30 Kansas City union rally responding to a reporter’s question on whether or not the U.S. Attorney’s Office in N.Y. will prosecute him for his role in the Teamsters money-laundering scandal [K.C. Star 8/31/98]. Trumka has invoked the 5th Amendment to avoid investigators’ questions. Allegedly, he routed $200,000 to Ron Carey’s campaign.