Chicago Union Teamsters Local 700 fight for their Workers

teamsters group 1.jpg Chicago City employees work hard and earn every dime. Daley has ruined the City finances with his multiple scams making it almost impossible for a City employee to make ends meet. Several sources have told me Daley is going to cut workers and take advantage of the mild winter. A consulting company is spinning the press to make the layoffs more plausible for taxpayers. What are the issues?
Repudiation of the Teamsters’ collective bargaining agreement;
Failure to process grievances in a timely manner;
Unilateral reduction in hours of work for hundreds of employees; and
Unilateral changes in working conditions and terms and conditions of employment.
The Chicago Teamsters are going to take the brawl to court and protect their workers. Many unions such as the Journeyman Plumber’s Local 130 are not protecting the workers and the grievance system has been ignored. Several workers have taken their fight directly to the State and Federal government for review and justice. Daley continues to pay millions to politically connect law firms instead of resolving workers issues. I support Teamsters Local 700 for fighting for their union members. I am surprised the Chicago mainstream media did not cover this informational picket. Daley broke the workers contract and he has the city broke. Photo courtesy of teamsters local 700 at 39th and Iron, Chicago Department of Water Management, March 19, 2010.

3 Replies to “Chicago Union Teamsters Local 700 fight for their Workers”

  1. Hay what’s up Pat,the Chairman of the people’s Republic of Chicago,in responding to a new bill introduced in the state senate, that would let CPS teachers live outside of the city.That it is a bad idea because it is letting the middle class leave the city,but the mayor and the alderman have no problem with contracting out are jobs to people who live in the suburbs and are non-union.I belive that we need to make this city a good place to live and work, that will keep the middle class here.

  2. Water Dept. called bribery haven
    December 17, 2004


    Mayor Daley’s Water Department operated as a “racketeering enterprise,” raking in more than $500,000 in bribes for at least a decade, a federal grand jury charged Thursday, greatly expanding the Hired Truck investigation.

    The feds say the criminal conspiracy was headed by Daley’s first deputy water commissioner, Donald S. Tomczak, who had previously been charged with taking bribes. He is now accused of racketeering, just like a mobster.

    Tomczak demanded bribes from Hired Truck companies, the indictment says. Some of the cash went into his pocket, and some of it was used as campaign contributions to various politicians, none of whom were identified in the indictment. At least $20,000 went to Tomczak’s son, Jeff, who lost re-election last month as Will County’s top prosecutor.

    Tomczak also led a patronage army of at least 100 water department employees, who were rewarded with raises, promotions and overtime for helping elect politicians, the grand jury charged in the 46-page indictment.

    Tomczak used city employees to collect rent and maintain his two apartment buildings, sometimes while they were supposed to be working for the taxpayers, the indictment says.

    “His job was to oversee the flow of water, not bribes,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said, announcing the new charges against Tomczak, his three assistants and three trucking officials.

    ”The word should go out to those who think that the way of doing business in Chicago is paying bribes: It’s a way of going to jail,” Fitzgerald said. “We clearly are trying to send a message that this investigation is moving along.”

    Daley pledges city cooperation

    If convicted, Tomczak faces 20 years in prison and the loss of his homes — a condo on the city’s Gold Coast, an apartment building in Bridgeport, a home in suburban Crest Hill and a house in Florida.

    Daley issued a statement once again pledging the city’s cooperation in the federal probe.

    “I want to send one message loud and clear: Individuals who use public resources for political or personal gain, as alleged in today’s indictment, will be held accountable for their actions,” Daley said.

    Fourteen people, including 10 former city workers, have been charged in the federal investigation that was sparked by a Chicago Sun-Times series in January exposing waste and corruption in the Hired Truck Program. This was the first indictment.

    Tomczak reported to Daley’s water commissioner, but the indictment says Tomczak had ultimate control of the department, running it for personal and political gain between 1993 and January, when he was forced to retire.

    3 assistants indicted

    Tomczak, 69, of Chicago, hails from Bridgeport, the neighborhood the Daley family has run for decades. But the Daleys turned their backs on Tomczak when he backed Jane Byrne for mayor in 1979. After Daley became mayor in 1989, he made Tomczak the first deputy water commissioner at the urging of then-Congressman Dan Rostenkowski.

    The indictment also charged Tomczak’s three assistants –Flenory S. Barnes Sr., Roger E. McMahon and Gerald Wesolowski — with collecting bribes from truck companies. Barnes and McMahon are retired city workers. Wesolowski was fired in October.

    Barnes, 66, retired from the city last year and moved to Las Vegas. A longtime water department employee who served as Tomczak’s assistant, Barnes retired as a deputy sewer commissioner.

    McMahon, 77, of Edison Park, was the water department’s finance director when he retired in 1998. He became a consultant for the sewer department. The Sun-Times has previously reported that McMahon was cooperating with the investigation, and has secretly recorded conversations.

    McMahon and Barnes are associates of John Kosiba, the mayor’s former deputy chief of staff and a former city sewer commissioner.

    Wesolowski, 46, of Chicago’s Gold Coast, replaced McMahon as the water department’s finance director. Wesolowski is a longtime friend of the Tomczak family.

    Also indicted were the owners of Ignoffo Trucking and LR&C Truckline of Blue Island.

    Joseph S. Ignoffo, 42, of Niles, had previously been charged with paying bribes so his trucks could earn an average of $430,000 a year from the water department. The company was certified by the city as a woman-owned business.

    Ignoffo is “remorseful” and is cooperating with the feds, according to his attorney George Collins.

    LR&C owner Leroy Peters, 63, of Crete, and his daughter Commelie Peters, 37, of Chicago, are accused of paying bribes since at least 1995, often to Barnes, who allegedly passed the money to Tomczak. LR&C earned an average of $550,000 annually from the water department. Commelie Peters is accused of lying to the grand jury.

    City worker fired after fugitive contractor says he took bribes

    BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

    A Streets and Sanitation Department foreman fingered by corrupt city contractor Marco Morales has been fired from his $37.85-an-hour job amid allegations he accepted $10,000 a year in bribes from Morales.

    The foreman is the second high-ranking city official to be implicated by Morales, who fled the country to avoid a prison sentence and is now sitting in a Mexican jail awaiting extradition.

    Sources said Morales described the bribery scheme during a jailhouse interview in June with investigators for Inspector General Alexander Vroustouris. Debris-hauling work that was supposed to be done by Morales’ Polmex Construction was shifted instead to city crews.

    Says he wore a wire for feds

    Polmex was being paid to transfer debris from city construction sites to a Far Southeast Side landfill. Morales said Polmex trucks would dump the debris at a closer city lot and — in exchange for bribes — the foreman would arrange to have city trucks haul the debris to the landfill. This would free up Polmex trucks for more city work and private jobs.

    Morales told the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this year he would call the foreman and ask, “Hey, I got some loads I got to get rid of, where do I go? He’d tell us where to dump, and we’d leave it.”

    Morales told city investigators he paid the foreman $40 per truckload roughly 10 times a day and that the pattern was repeated “at least a couple times” each month for several years in the 1990s.

    Authorities caught on, according to Morales, and he even wore a wire as part of a federal investigation. Morales and the employee met at a Chicago bar with investigators staked outside in a van, but Morales said he took off his jacket, put it on the back of a chair, and the recording didn’t work.

    The Sun-Times reported earlier this year that Morales paid “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in bribes to “a bunch of people” at City Hall — and showered them with gift certificates and all-expense-paid trips to Las Vegas — according to a woman who identified herself as his mistress.

    Sources said the mistress has since implicated the foreman in an interview with city investigators.

    Foreman denies taking bribes

    When investigators confronted the foreman, he acknowledged knowing Morales and acting as a middleman or “broker” for Polmex and other private truckers in the 1990s, sources said. But the foreman denied accepting bribes. Investigators subpoenaed his bank records but so far have only received the most recent ones — not records dating back to the 1990s, when the alleged scheme took place.

    The foreman acknowledged he was still brokering trucks for private jobs, in apparent violation of personnel rules that require department approval for all secondary employment. That’s the violation for which he was quietly terminated in August, a decision he is appealing.

    Contributing: NATASHA KORECKI

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