June 9, 2009: Local 722, based in La Salle, Illinois, filed for bankruptcy yesterday, rather than settle with a member who they illegally denied employment opportunities.
“He [Steve Mongan, local president] told me he would bankrupt the local union before he would admit he was wrong to deny me work,” Mark Serafinn commented.
Local 722 has 1300 members, but maintains three full time officials, who all took raises last year. They also bought a $30,000 Mercury last year, and found money to send Mongan to golf outings.
Rather than cut any fat, they endangered the union and the membership by bankrupting the local.
Serafinn, who previously headed the local and ran for International Vice President on the Tom Leedham Slate in 2001, was dispatched to a maintenance job after he lost office to Mongan. Mongan claimed that he violated hiring hall procedures and had him expelled from the union in 2002.
Serafinn offered to settle in 2002 for zero money; he simply wanted his membership restored and a place on the union job referral list. Mongan instead spent union funds in court for years, where Serafinn decisively won a jury trial against the Local 722 officials. Now the union owes $286,000 to Serafinn and his attorneys, Robin Potter and John DeRose.
Even that would be easy to pay off by cutting back one full-time official, which would save $120,000 per year in salary and benefits.
Mongan did not respond to an offer to comment.