July 12, 2007: The members of Chicago Local 743 will get a different kind of election this fall thanks to action taken by the 743 New Leadership Slate in proving ballot fraud in the last election. This time, the U.S. Department of Labor will conduct the nominations and election, instead of the incumbents.
“We voted the corrupt ‘Old Guard’ out, but they stole the election. This time when we vote them out, they will really be gone,” said Local 743 member Gina Alvarez, “We are organizing workers to fight for their rights and now it’s paying off.” Alvarez is a steward at the Central States Pension Funds office.
The Department of Labor charged in federal court that hundreds of ballots were mailed to wrong addresses, including addresses of employers, and those bogus ballots were then voted.
Further, it was charged, and finally admitted by Local 743, that their hired henchmen shredded the evidence to avoid a DOL subpoena.
To prevent the details from coming out in open court in August, Local 743 officials threw in the towel and settled the case.
Nominations are scheduled for September with a mail ballot vote to follow.
“Local 743 officials spent thousands of dollars of our dues money to cover up their criminal actions,” said Richard Berg, a candidate on the New Leadership Slate. “They lost the last election, but took office anyway.
“Since then, they have negotiated dozens of bad contracts. They’ve made deal after deal with employers that serve their own interests and sell out the members. Local 743 members know what’s going on—this is the end for Bob Walston, Reggie Ford, and Richard Lopez’s illegal reign as union officials.”