Philly Emergency Trusteeship Continues

The hearing to determine whether an emergency trusteeship imposed in Nov. on Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 115 in Philadelphia should be made permanent recessed Jan. 7 and is expected to reconvene before the end of the month.   The three-member panel appointed by IBT president James P. Hoffa held three days of internal hearings on whether to continue the trusteeship or return responsibility for operating the local to local elected officers. Once it has heard all the testimony, the panel will make a recommendation to Hoffa who must make the final decision on whether to continue the trusteeship.

During the three-day session, trustee Michael Keyser and John P. Morris, the local’s secretary-treasurer, who was removed along with other officers, gave opening statements, according to an international spokesman who attended the hearing. Keyser then began presenting evidence and testimony for the continuance of the trusteeship. Two 30-minute segments were reserved each day for statements by Local 115 members in favor and against the trusteeship.

Hoffa took control of the 2,700-member local in mid-November based on allegations of abuse of members rights and local officers’ failure to protect the union finances. Morris sought a court injunction to regain control of the local. U.S. Dist. Judge John Padova Dec. 28 found no emergency situation warranting imposition of the trusteeship without a hearing as required by the union’s constitution and ordered the international to return control to the elected officers.  IBT appealed the ruling, and on Dec. 30 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit — Chief Judge Edward Becker, Circuit Judges Leonard Garth and Dolores K. Solviter — in a one-sentence ruling stayed the Padova’s decision, allowing the emergency trusteeship to continue.  [BNA 1/4/00, 1/7/00]