Case against NY’s Top Teamster Boss in Hoffa’s Court

The Teamsters Independent Rev. Bd. (IRB) has accused the top Teamster boss in N.Y. of using union employees for personal purposes, refusing to represent wrkrs. in arbitration cases, and forcing union employees to associate with organized crime.  The IRB charges against Anthony Rumore are now pending with Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters pres. James Hoffa, who can punish Rumore himself, or punt the case back to the IRB.


Rumore is the head of Teamster Joint Council 16 and also president of Local 812 in Scarsdale.  Until her resignation last Jan., Rumore’s wife, Elizabeth, was paid $202,500 as dir. of Local 812’s retirement fund.  In charges filed with the IRB in early May, chief investigator Charles Carberry outlined various ways in which Rumore used the union for personal purposes.  Among other things, he ordered union employees to: set up Christmas trees in his Manhattan apt., drive him and his family to a wedding in Baltimore, work on his house in Penn. and stay there for 4 days to monitor a janitorial crew, and chauffeur his daughters between school and extra-curricular activities.  Former Local 812 official John Russo told investigators that in Nov. 1997, he was representing 17 Coca-Cola wrkrs. at a hearing when Rumore told him to to pick up one of the daughters.  When Russo warned him that the union members’ jobs were at stake, Rumore barked back, “Go get my daughter.”


Most disturbingly, union staffers were reportedly made to drive Rumore’s father, Louis, to medical appts.  The elder Rumore was forced to resign from the Teamsters union in 1990 after the IRB accused him of being a member of the Gambino crime family and barred all contact between Rumore and the union, which would make the union agents’ chauffeuring of him improper, Carberry said.


In 2002, the IRB accused Anthony Rumore of allowing a frmr. Teamster official kicked out of the union for corruption to speak at a union meeting in Miami Bch., Fla.  He ran up $88,000 in legal bills before he was suspended for 2 mos.  In 2003, he ordered the union bus. agents to get members to cough up $100 on their paydays to pay for the chief’s legal bills.  When contributions didn’t come in as fast as Rumore wished, he cancelled 17 arbitration cases involving union-represented employees that the agents were working on.  “When Local 812 business agents protested the suspension of the arbitrations because some of the members might lose their jobs or continue on suspension,” Carberry wrote to the IRB, Rumore referred to those wrkrs. with an extreme obscenity and said they should be left in the street.


Rumore also held up the agents’ paychecks.  “If my lawyers don’t eat, they don’t eat,” he reportedly said at a union meeting.  Rumore’s combined salaries from his different union positions add up to $222,000.  According to Carberry, Rumore claimed that his employees performed the personal services for him and his family voluntarily, without any coercion.  He also claimed that union staffers compensated for the personal services with union work at other times. [New York Times, 5/11/04: Village Voice, 5/18/04]