New Jersey Boss Admits to Conspiracy

An undisclosed financial settlement was reached Apr. 12 between the Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters and Rod Carter, a former Miami Hurricanes linebacker who was beaten and stabbed during IBT’s 1997 strike against UPS and later sued IBT officials for provoking the attack. Carter is barred from revealing details of the agreement in return for dropping a racketeering and civil conspiracy suit pending in Fla.’s Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County against IBT Local 769 in Miami.

“Rod and his family are very pleased with the settlement and feel that the union has finally been forced to pay a price for its involvement. The settlement should send a message to union officials across America violence does not pay.” said Stefan Gleason of the Nat’l Right to Work Legal Defense Fdn. The Defense Fdn. helps victims of union violence. It hired Ft. Lauderdale attorneys John W. McLuskey and Earthly McLuskey to represent Carter.

Carter continued to work during IBT’s strike and appeared on TV during the local news to say he did not support the strike. His wife testified that threatening phone calls began at their home that night. The next day, Aug. 7, 1997, Carter was pulled from his truck and attacked. Six striking teamsters participated in the beating. Benigno Rojas served time for aggravated assault for allegedly stabbing Carter six times with an ice pick. The remaining assailants pleaded guilty or were convicted of lesser charges. Carter then filed a civil suit against IBT for encouraging and condoning the violence.

Carter was unable to work for two months after the attack. He is no longer a driver or a union member. He now is a UPS supervisor in Hialeah. [Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), 4/13/01]

New Jersey Boss Admits to Conspiracy
Joseph P. Rizzo, ex-president of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 1262 in N.J., admitted Apr. 16 to a conspiracy to accept money to ensure labor peace.  He was charged last year with four counts of bribery for allegedly demanding and accepting payments from Foodtown and Shop-Rite employers. Prosecutors dropped other counts in exchange for the plea to the conspiracy charge. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing Aug. 7.

The initial indictment accused Rizzo of demanding payments of cash and groceries at Christmas in exchange for the local’s cooperation, which he ran 1989-96. He was also accused of receiving payments during a 1993 strike. [Record (Bergen County, N.J.) 4/17/01]

Oklahoma to Vote on Right-to-Work Law
Okla. voters will decide in a special election Sept. 25 whether Okla. should become a right-to-work state under a measure given final approval by the Okla. Senate Apr. 30. The House approved it Apr. 26. It will amend the state constitution to prohibit employment contracts requiring workers to be union members or to pay union dues.

Okla. Gov. Frank Keating (R) said he was pleased that the legislature had agreed to 2001 vote: “Right-to-work is an important economic development tool, but for too long it has been stifled by politics. I am grateful to the legislative leadership of both parties that they have agreed to a date that is certain to be a milestone.” Okla. last voted on the right-to-work question in 1964, narrowly defeating it. [BNA 5/2/01]

“[I am] frankly surprised that you would treat this as a raiding opportunity.”

 -Douglas McCarron, United Bhd. of Carpenters president, in a Apr. 5 letter to Charles W.  Jones, Int’l Bhd. of Boilermakers president. The fight resulted from IBB’s attempt to have contractors reassign work to IBB (AFL-CIO affiliated) following UBC’s Mar. 27 withdrawal from the AFL-CIO. [BNA 4/13/01]