Rome Aloise, International Vice President and the most powerful Hoffa-Slate official in the West, has been slapped with charges for massive corruption violations. His career as a Teamster official and Hoffa Slate power broker is likely over.
Aloise holds multiple union positions and Hoffa administration appointments, including International Union Vice President, head of Northern California Joint Council 7, Local 853 and the IBT Food Processing and Dairy Divisions.
The charges against Aloise were issued in a blistering report by the Independent Review Board, an independent anti-corruption panel.
The charges are wide-ranging and involve almost every conceivable labor crime, including:
- requesting things of value from employers during negotiations
- taking employers gifts, including admissions to Playboy’s Super Bowl Party for Hoffa’s Executive assistant and his friends
- trying to leverage jobs for his relatives from employers, including UPS, Costco and others during labor negotiations
- negotiating a sham collective bargaining agreement
- using union resources to punish political opponents and prevent a fair Teamster election
On February 23, Hoffa filed the IRB-recommended charges against Aloise. A panel of the General Executive Board will hold a hearing. The timeline for them to hold a hearing and report their decision to the Disciplinary Officers is 90 days. Thus, by May, this matter should be in the hands of the Disciplinary Officers (the former IRB members) for review and a decision.
The charges are very likely to end Aloise’s career. We expect Hoffa to dump him from his slate, and soon Teamster officials in California, who have been kissing his ring, will fail to return his calls.
Aloise made $346,722 in salaries and allowances in 2014. He can retire with multiple pensions and a million dollar lump sum. But he tried to get even more for himself and his friends under the table. Consider these details from the IRB report:
- In contract negotiations, Aloise used union negotiating leverage to try to land jobs for difficult-to-employ relatives from Teamster employers like UPS, Costco, a bus manufacturer, and SWS (the largest liquor distributor in the United States). He repeatedly pressed employers, with open contracts, to hire his step-son who had criminal charges filed against him for assault, robbery and displaying a weapon.
- Aloise solicited tickets from SWS to the Playboy SuperBowl Party of 2013 worth $9,600 for Hoffa’s executive assistant, W. C. Smith. At the same time he helped SWS “keep a troublesome local official in line with the company’s expectations”, causing Minneapolis Local 792 to get a lesser contract. Aloise later reported to the employer attorney that “Hoffa’s Ex Asst and his friends loved it!”
- Aloise financed and orchestrated a coordinated, illegal attack on members who dared to run for office in Stockton Local 601 against incumbent Ashley Alvarado, an Aloise ally. The IRB report details how Aloise used union resources and employer resources and involved Beeson, a Teamster law firm, as well as Hoffa’s hatchet man Richard Leebove to deny the rights of rank-and-file members. Aloise even bragged to the IRB about advising Alvarado to illegally issue leaflets falsely signed by one opponent attacking another opponent, saying, “That’s my political advice!” The IRB report cites his documented history of trampling on the rights of members who run for union office against his cronies.
- Aloise signed a sham union contract to get union health benefits for a friend, who owned an investment firm.
It’s sad that our union leadership tolerates and promotes people like Aloise, who degrade the integrity of our great union. If Hoffa was not aware of one of his top lieutenant’s criminal activities, he should have been.
We need new International Union leaders who will root out corruption, not reward it.
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