Six International UTU Union Vice Presidents To Go On Trial before UTU Executive Board
|Six International UTU Union Vice Presidents To Go On Trial before UTU Executive Board-Federal Judge Denies Temporary Restraining Order
by Dave Walsh, TCU Local 1089 Boston Amtrak Baggagehandler
On January 30, 2009 at 1:00 P.M. Judge John R. Adams held a telephonic hearing on the motion by Joyce Goldstein, who is the SMWIA paid attorney for the six UTU International officers who have charges pending against them before the UTU Executive Board. On February 3, 2009 at 9:00 A.M. the trials of these officers is scheduled to begin but a motion for a TRO had been filed to block the trials.
After hearing from Ms. Goldstein on behalf of the six Vice Presidents; Baffoni, Babler, Boling, Cumby, Iannone and Fitzgerald, Judge Adams asked several pointed questions to clarify their position on the propriety of the trials.
The attorneys for the UTU International, the UTU Executive Board and the charging defendants also further clarified their positions citing the reasons why the trials should not be halted or delayed any further. The UTU Executive Board has a constitutionally required duty to promptly investigate charges against International Officers and to determine their validity.
Judge Adams referred the parties to the charges filed by the defendants. In doing this the judge stated that the charges covered many issues that dealt with dual unionism, failure of the officers to meet their obligations of their oaths of office and attempting to usurp the power of the UTU President under article 16 of the UTU Constitution while acting on behalf of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association. He stated that the constitution did reference the Vice Presidents being subordinate to the UTU President. He compared that to the precedent setting manner in which the SMART merger, which lies at the genesis of this dispute, was secretly negotiated by then UTU President Paul Thompson and only a few select others who placed the finished merger agreement as a fait accompli before the UTU Board of Directors and demanded their immediate approval.
In closing Judge Adams denied the intervenors' motion to grant a TRO to stop the UTU Executive Board from holding the trials. The Executive Board will begin these hearings on February 3, 2009 at the UTU International Headquarters in Cleveland, OH, at 9:00 A.M.
More information will be posted on the www.saveourunion.com website.
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