Bosses and Union Liable for $45.5 Million

On Jun. 23, U.S. Dist. Judge Joe Kendall in Dallas held the Allied Pilots Ass’n, its president, Rich LaVoy, and its vice-president, Brian Mayhew, jointly and severally liable for $45.5 million in damages for violating a court order to call off a sickout against American Airlines, Inc., in Feb. 1999. The amount was aimed at compensating American for the losses sustained by canceling thousands of flights. “By their deliberate and contemptuous actions, these Defendants inflicted millions of dollars in financial losses on Plaintiff American and needlessly disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of travelers,” wrote Kendall.

LaVoy had the audacity to lash out at a U.S. Dist. Judge for enforcing a court order. LaVoy accused Kendall  of making “highly derogatory and totally gratuitous remarks” and portraying the pilots as undeserving of sympathy. APA said that Kendall appeared more interested in pushing “political hot buttons.”  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

The ruling “more than wipes out assets” of APA said a union spokesman. APA has already paid $20 million which the Court will hold in escrow. The remaining $25.5 million plus interest is due after appeals are exhausted. It’s a clear victory for justice and the rule of law. And, it sends a strong message to union bosses: if you contemptuously violate a court order, you may obliterate your union. [BNA 6/25/99]

Corruption Charges Oust New York Boss, But Not Family
Boss Edward Doyle ended his fifteen year reign over Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 456 in Elmsford, N.Y., on Jun. 14.  Doyle opted for a seven-year suspension and resigned the $172,000-a-year Local 456 presidency when faced with embezzlement and bribery charges that could have led to a lifetime expulsion.

IBT’s Independent Review Board began investigating Doyle after his name came up on tapes recorded during an investigation of John A. Gotti of the Gambino crime family. IRB accused Local 456 of buying twelve cars for its bosses costing $377,630 (about MSRP) from Park Lincoln Mercury in Yonkers and trading in old cars for less than fair value. In return for favorable exchange, Doyle and other bosses were reportedly able to repurchase the union’s used vehicles for their private use at sharply discounted rates, saving about $18,335 per boss. IRB held that such discounts constituted a bribe for future union business. The U.S. Atty.’s Office in Manhattan is also reportedly probing Doyle.

Doyle’s power with Westchester County can’t be understated. When Doyle holds a golf tournament for a charitable foundation named for his parents, the guest list is a “Who’s Who in Westchester,” said State Sen. Nicholas A. Spano (R). Local 456 attorney Roy Barnes said, “I would say that anyone who runs for office in Westchester comes to see Eddie Doyle. Eddie can deliver votes and can deliver manpower and contributions.” His office is full of political trophies including a recently received proclamation from Westchester Dist. Atty. Jeanine Pirro (R).

But Doyle will retain most of his influence. He will remain as head of the Westchester-Putnam Building and Construction Trades Council, an umbrella group of seventeen construction unions. Further, the new Local 456 boss is his younger brother, Bernard, and Local 456’s seven-member executive board includes his son, Edward, Jr., and his brother-in-law, George Graff. Doyle’s father, also Edward, ran Local 456 from 1940-60. [N.Y. Times 6/27/99]