February 21, 2008: Wayne Shatkoff, president of Pittsburgh Local 249, was suspended from office on Feb. 8 for a year by the Local Executive Board, after the Board heard charges of blacklisting Teamsters in the movie industry. On February 13, a judge found the Shatkoff administration guilty of the same offense.
An administrative law judge who heard charges filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered Local 249 to pay some $70,000 plus interest to the three Teamsters who lost work. Some Local 249 members are planning to ask Shatkoff to reimburse the local for what will have to be paid out.
The three Teamsters had complained to Shatkoff and to the International Union about contracts that Shatkoff had bargained and about how he ran the movie division of the local. The Executive Board and the NLRB judge ruled that Shatkoff punished them for their union activity.
Shatkoff told us: “I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s a political year in this local.” The Local 249 election will be later this year. The members of the E-Board ran on Shatkoff’s slate, but he now considers them political opponents.
Shatkoff has appealed the decision to Joint Council 40, and General President Hoffa has issued a “stay of effectiveness.” This is a common procedure, to allow someone to stay in office during the appeals process. Hoffa stipulated that Shatkoff must have nothing to do with job referrals in the movie industry.
One steward we spoke with called Shatkoff a “little dictator” and several others predicted that he will not be in office past the end of the year.
It looks like Local 249 may be headed for big changes in the near future.