September 27, 2010
By the resounding margin of 75-38, Local 100 defeated a rogue “union” affiliated with the notorious Industrial Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades (IUJAT) in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board on September 24 at Bauman Bus in Ossining, New York. The election was prompted by a representation petition filed by the IUJAT claiming the workers no longer wanted to be members of the TWU.
“It was a clear demonstration that our members didn’t believe the lies and false promises of the IUJAT organizers. We demonstrated to the workers the truth of our commitment and that’s what led us to victory,” said John Samuelsen, President of TWU Local 100.
“The members recognize the strength of the TWU and their support in this election will translate into improved wages and working conditions in the next round of contract negotiations,” maintains John Day, Local 100 Vice President for the Private Lines. Day added that Local 100 has opened a full-service satellite office in Westchester to provide more immediate representation to the union’s school bus division members in that County and nearby Upstate. He also said that the union has initiated a new Shop Steward training program to provide more professional on-site representation.
During the campaign, TWU’s counterattacks focused on the outrageous compensation packages the IUJAT officials pay themselves, and labeled IUJAT “nothing more than a dues collection agency for the officers’ benefit.”
A TWU investigation into the IUJAT’s tax and other federal filings revealed that IUJAT leaders pay themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in wages and benefits from members’ dues. In one egregious example, Steve Elliot, the “former” President of the IUJAT, received $650,000 as “severance” when he “retired” from his leadership post. Ironically, his daughter and son-in-law helped secure the payment as members of the IUJAT governing board, while simultaneously pocketing more than $250,000 each as “National Officers” of the United Service Workers – another “affiliate” of the IUJAT. Elliot remains actively in charge of the IUJAT and its affiliates.
Other raiding petitions have been filed by IUJAT associated groups challenging TWU’s representation at various school bus companies in Westchester. “We’re confident that once the facts are presented to the members, we will win those elections too,” declared Samuelsen.