Local 82 Members Will Clean Up Their Union

February 26, 2010: On trial for assaulting a member. Caught using thugs to dole out jobs under a sham contract. Under grand jury investigation.

IBT Trade Show Director John Perry is out of control. But Hoffa tells members there’s nothing he can do.

John Perry and JoJo BurhoeJohn Perry and JoJo BurhoeThe International Union’s Trade Show Division Director is on trial for assaulting a member after he filed a grievance. So is his number one enforcer, a violent criminal named JoJo Burhoe who is on trial for beating a union member unconscious and sending him to the hospital.

Now, a grand jury is investigating them for intimidating witnesses to try to get the assault charges dismissed.

And an embarrassing affidavit has been leaked in which Perry, the Secretary-Treasurer of Boston Local 82, details how he put Burhoe and other thugs in charge of doling out trade show jobs under a sham contract.

Local 82 members have repeatedly contacted the International Union for help. Hoffa’s response? A signed letter saying the International Union can’t investigate members’ complaints or protect them from violent threats made by union officials.

In fact, Perry remains on Hoffa’s payroll to the tune of sixty grand a year.

Sham Contract

TDU has obtained a confidential NLRB affidavit signed by Perry that reveals a scheme that puts Burhoe and other Local 82 enforcers in charge of doling out trade show jobs from nonunion employers.

According to Perry’s own testimony, a nonunion trade show employer contacts Perry about doing work in the local’s jurisdiction. Perry instructs the company to contact Burhoe who lines up the workforce. Burhoe’s friends are then put to work paid by “Union Payroll” which advertises itself as providing weekly “payroll processing and timely payroll delivery” in keeping with union contracts.

Under the scheme, Local 82 members who work or shape for legitimate trade show employers have no chance of performing this work. Union Payroll is, in fact, signatory to a collective bargaining agreement with Local 82. But the hiring procedure outlined in Perry’s affidavit makes a mockery of that agreement.

Local 82 members cannot shape for Union Payroll. Their only chance at employment is being on the private list of JoJo Burhoe or another of Perry’s enforcer pals.

Thugs, Assaults & Threats

The Union Payroll scam is just the latest example of what members say is a devil’s pact that Perry has made with a Boston goon squad. They provide Perry with muscle to control Local 82, in exchange for their control over who gets to work lucrative trade show jobs.

Burhoe’s rap sheet includes a conviction for armed bank robbery. Court documents reveal he has served as an FBI informant since his release from prison. He is currently on trial for violently beating Local 82 member Eddie Flaherty, who criticized Perry.

Perry himself is also on trial on charges he assaulted a Local 82 member.

A grand jury convened on Feb. 23 is investigating allegations that Perry and Burhoe threatened and intimidated witnesses to try to get the assault charges against them dropped.

The intimidation of witnesses included threats from Burhoe that he would “put them in a trunk of a car” or otherwise cause them severe bodily harm.

In January, Perry used the same threats in a letter to Local 82 Teamster Dave Corbitt who wrote to Perry that he was facing intimidation and retaliation for testifying before the Independent Review Board.

“To help clear up your stated confusion,” Perry wrote, “what would actually constitute intimidation or retaliation would, for example, be, someone threatening to put someone in a trunk of a car, intimating severe bodily harm; being followed and battered and punched for engaging in protected activity; having your ribs broken and being hospitalized for freedom of speech.”

Hoffa Turns a Blind Eye

Coming in the context of the legal proceedings against Burhoe for his threats against witnesses and his brutal assault of a Local 82 member for criticizing Local 82 officials, Corbitt took Perry’s letter as a threat and contacted the International Union.

In response, Hoffa sent Corbitt a signed letter saying, “the International Union does not have agents in the Boston area to provide protection to you or your family” and “does not have the capacity to investigate all of your numerous complaints.”

The Independent Review Board (IRB), the independent panel set up to investigate corruption in the Teamsters, is interviewing Local 82 members.

Local 82 Teamsters have shown they will take action to straighten out their local and build a strong union. They need protection to make it happen. They’ve asked Hoffa for help and been turned down flat.

Local 82 members will clean up their union.

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