Our Elected Leaders In action

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by 804brown, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    IRB Charges IBT V.P. Sean O'Brien for Threatening Members
    UPDATED Oct. 23, 2013: International Vice President Sean O'Brien has been charged by the Independent Review Board (IRB) for threatening to "punish" members for running for local union office in Rhode Island Local 251.
    Watch the WPRI (CBS Affiliate) news report.
    O'Brien issued his threats at a campaign event for the incumbents, declaring that Local 251 head Joe B was "one of his closest allies" and that anyone running against him would have a "major problem" after the election and would "need to be punished."
    O'Brien's threats violate the Teamster Constitution and federal law (the Landrum Griffin Act), which makes it illegal to threaten to retaliate against members for exercising their union rights.
    In addition to being an International Vice President, O'Brien is the President of New England Joint Council 10 and the head of the UPS and Freight grievance panels.
    As explained in the IRB charges, O'Brien's "explicit declaration that B' political opponents in the Local Union had a 'major problem', 'need to be punished' and 'need to be held accountable for their actions trying to divide and tear down this Local' was made by a union official with the power to retaliate against these political opponents. The only actions of the opponents involved were challenging the incumbent slate in an election and taking positions within the local different than those B and O'Brien advocated." [IRB charges, pg. 6]
    O'Brien claimed in the same speech that he was speaking on behalf of General President Hoffa and Teamsters Local 25.
    B, the current head of Local 251, proudly had his campaign post the threats against members on Youtube. The video features O'Brien denouncing the idea that Teamsters should put politics to the side after an election and work together as brothers and sisters:
    "You know, TDU's famous for saying how we're all brothers and sisters, we're all taking care of each other and when this is over we'll all be friends. I've got news for you, anybody who takes on my friend, Joe B and his team, or Local 251, they've got a major problem. They'll never be our friends. They need to be punished. They need to be punished and they need to be held accountable for their actions." [IRB charges, pg. 5]
    UPDATE: After this report appeared on TDU.org, the B campaign removed the video broadcasting O'Brien's threats from Youtube.
    When testifying under oath on October 4, O'Brien claimed he was the victim of a "poor choice of words" and that Hoffa actually had not endorsed his actions. But the IRB report noted that he never asked B to take it down from Youtube or made any retraction.
    Local 251 members are currently voting in the election—at least the members who have not been illegally denied a ballot.
    United Action has filed extensive election protests, documenting that Local 251 members at Rhode Island Hospital have been denied ballots by the Local and falsely told they are ineligible to vote, in an attempt to steal the election by the incumbents.
    Nearly 2,500 Teamsters are employed at the Hospital.
    The IRB, whose three members include one appointed by Hoffa, one by the US Attorney, and one jointly chosen, is charged with ridding the IBT of corruption.
    The IRB sent the charges to Hoffa for action on October 17, but the IRB has the final say on O'Brien's punishment. Hoffa has ninety days to hold a hearing and make a decision on punishment, and then the IRB makes the final decision.
    At the Local 25 meeting on Sunday, Oct. 20, O'Brien told members that he faced a suspension from union office.
    O’Brien appears to be looking to cut a quick deal to resolve the charge so he can serve any suspension ahead of June 2014. Candidates for International Union office in the 2016 International union election have to be in good standing for 24 consecutive months, beginning that date.
    At the Local 25 meeting, O’Brien blamed TDU and the internet, not his own illegal threats, for his pending suspension.
    For an official so quick to declare that members "deserve to be punished" just for running for office, O'Brien is slow to take responsibility for an actual serious infraction of Teamster ethics and federal law.
    - See more at: IRB Charges IBT V.P. Sean O'Brien for Threatening Members | Teamsters for a Democratic Union
  2. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    Something tells me this is just the tip of the iceberg. .

    But what do I know ..;)
  3. alwaysoverallowed

    alwaysoverallowed Active Member

    Oh it's the tip of something alright.
  4. kingOFchester

    kingOFchester Well-Known Member

    Yes, this does not look good. However, I feel as though it is a bit overblown. A lapse of judgment during a rally. I do not support what he said, but I understand that we all say things that we shouldn't.
  5. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    Bingo. Let the first person who has never said something from a lapse in judgement cast the first stone.
  6. TimeForChange

    TimeForChange Active Member

    But when you're a Local Union officer, a Joint Council officer, and an International Vice President with aspirations of becoming the General President, then you damn well better be careful what you say out loud to a large group of people, many of whom carry video cameras.
  7. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    Exactly. His comments were tasteless but not worthy of an IRB hearing. If he had threatened the 251 UA slate with violence or with terminations from their jobs, it might be a little bit different.
  8. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Sure he shouldn't have said it, but are they that insecure that they actually felt threatened by that???

    I'd give him a mulligan.
  9. not what i voted for

    not what i voted for Active Member

    Since you are concerned how are elected officials act why don't you and TDU explain to the members of Local 804 how to file charges against the VP, Business Agents and Organizer who threatened our members. If the people who were threatened were TDU members they would know how to cause trouble for these elected officials but they are just hard working members and stewards, so why don't you help them out! I also remember that the President berated a member on the floor of a membership meeting, wasn't very nice but I guess that is what you get if you disagree.
  10. Inthegame

    Inthegame Well-Known Member

    You should call TDU for help preparing charges. See what happens. But since you need hand holding I'll give you a little hint...L804's bylaws explain the procedure of how to file charges. Read your bylaws. The evil incumbent slate, in an obvious effort to keep the members uninformed, has posted the bylaws on the L804 website. There it is, they've cleverly hidden the rules right in front of your face! In another equally egregious attempt to keep up the info "brownout", they haven't posted an audio version with explanations. What nerve they have to actually expect members like you take the time to read them. What will they do next...expect member participation at meetings? This is too much....
  11. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

  12. member6045

    member6045 Active Member

    It's amazing! 804 sticking there nose in other locals business when there are proven facts that at least 4 members of executive board has threatened or caused monetary harm on members in past 4 years!!!