UAW nabbed in election-law violations

United Auto Workers Local 551 members at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant will conduct a new representation election to replace a June 2007 vote that was ruled flawed by the U.S. Department of Labor. The department overturned the June local officer election in December, based on a lack of timely notice of the election and other concerns about how the election notice was distributed, according to one of the candidates.

The decision was challenged by the officers of Local 551 who won the election, but the decision was upheld. The officers then sued the department over its decision, the candidate said.

The challenge and lawsuit, which both proved fruitless, have drawn the ire of at least a portion of the local's members.

"They spent the local's money to sue the Department of Labor, even though they weren't officially elected and don't have the right," said a member, who asked not to be identified. "We're mad about that. They're wasting the local's money."

On March 17, a voluntary compliance agreement was reached between Local 551 and the Labor Department, according to a notice the department sent to candidates in the June 2007 election.

The department will supervise a new nomination process and the election of the local's president, vice president, financial and recording secretaries; three trustees, guide and sergeant-at-arms, as well as the nominations and election for the office of unit chair, the notice said.

Ryan Rettig, acting unit chairman, was appointed to the position by the local's board when Anthony Tallarita, who won his second term as chairman in the June election, took a job with the UAW International in August.

The department will conduct a pre-election conference at 2 p.m. April 26 at the Local 551 hall, 2620 E 136th St., Chicago. Its representatives will explain the department's role in supervising the election process, review the local's nomination and election procedures, and establish rules and a timetable for the election, the notice says.

The department has a policy not to comment on "open matters" and refused to provide information on Local 551's 2007 election, or any other information concerning the matter, said Claudia Guerra, who signed the notice.

No one from Local 551 returned calls for comment.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is no surprise that the International UAW didnt step in since Anthony Tallarita (a crook)is now at the International level. He and the current Union President Charlene Davis were big buddies when he was in Chicago. Charlene puts on a good show when she needs to but has proven to be a 'snake in the grass'. I understand there is proof out there where Charlene and her husband used $35,000 for their own travels, etc. CROOKS CROOKS CROOKS. These people should be in jail for STEALING from the workers.

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