United States. Congress. Senate. Select Committee.

Investigation of improper activities in the labor or management field. Hearings before the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (Volume pt. 54) online

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not go for a rimofl'. As a matter of fact, I think he did make that
statement, and I think Mr. Abrams will verify it, down in Mr. Bloch's

Is that right, Mr. Abrams ; as far as he is concerned there would be
no runoff?

Mr. Abrajms. Yes. I have a recollection that at the last meeting
that he attended, when we gave our ruling in connection with this,
that he would not recognize it.

The Chairman. Let me ask you this : What is your practice ? Do
you certify those who are elected back to the local ?

Mr. Abrams. Yes.

The Chairman. Did you certify the election of all the other officers
at that time ?

Mr. Abrams. We certified originally on December 23, 1958, those
that were elected without any problems.

The Chairman. You certified them as being elected.

Did you certifj^ anyone as being elected secretary-treasurer ?

Mr. Abr^vms. No, sir.

The Chairman. Instead, you certified that there should be a runoff ?

Mr. Abrams. Correct.

The Chair3ian. Another election as to that office ?

Mr. Abrams. That is right. We issued no certification as to the
election of secretary-treasurer.

The Chairman. So if there was an agreement in the union that they
would abide by the certification or results as determined by your
organization, then there has been no determination by your orgnniza-
tion that anyone was elected to the position of secretary-treasurer ?

Mr. Abrams. Correct, sir.

The Chairman. In other words, you have certified that in order for
you to determine who should be elected, you have certified that there
should be a runoff election or another election as to that office?

Mr. Abrams. That is correct, sir.

The CiiAiRiMAN. And the decision to abide by your action, the deter-
mination made by your board, is not or has not, up to now, been
fulfilled with respect to this particular office of secretary-treasurer?


Mr. Abrams. That is correct, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. Let me ask you what happened as far as Mr. Clements
is concerned.

You ran for business agent, Mr. Clements ?

Mr. Clements. Yes, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. Maybe Mr. Abrams could tell us what happened.

The Chairman. Did you have opposition ?

Mr. Clements. Yes, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. Who was your opposition ?

Mr. Clements. Mr. Fitapatrick.

Mr. Kennedy. And Mr. Fitzpatrick was running on the McNamara

IVIr. Clements. Right.

The Chairman. There were just two of you ?

Mr. Clements. Just two.

The Chairman. In this election, you had a slate, just like Repub-
licans and Democrats, except you were in favor and opposed ?

Mr. Clements. Yes; with a few independents. There were a few
independents. But for the most part it was one slate against another.

The Chairman. In your case, it was just you and McNamara.

Mr. Clements. That is correct.

The Chairman. And that was true in your case, you were running
against McNamara and there was no third candidate ?

Mr. McCoRMACK. That is right, sir.

Mr. Abrams. In connection with the contest for office for business
agent, between Mr. Fitzpatrick and Mr. Clements, the original vote
did not determine who was elected because, again, of the challenged
ballots and the votes that were cast on the voting machine.

Mr. Kennedy. What was the original vote, could you tell us?

Mr. Clements. 438 to 432.

Mr. Kennedy. You were ahead ?

Mr. Clements. I was ahead by six.

Mr. KJENNEDY. And then they opened up two more ballots?

Mr. Clements. And they offset each other.

Mr. Kennedy. So that made it 439 to what?

Mr. Clements. We didn't count them because they offset one an-

Mr. I^NNEDY. They opened up the next two ?

Mr. Clements. Yes; and I received 2 more and the count became
440 to 432, and I was now 8 ahead.

Mr. Kennedy. Then you have the six challenged in the machine.

Mr. Abrams. We had the six challenges in the machine, and we
also had six other challenged paper ballots.

Mr. Kennedy. We don't have to get into that.

Mr. Abrams. We had the six challenged.

Mr. Kennedy. They don't affect this.

Mr. Abrams. No; they don't. Then we had the six challenged bal-
lots in the voting machine, and we adopted a mathematical formula
in the same manner in which we adopted as to the office of secretary-
treasurer. AVe took those six votes and here we assumed the worst,
that Clements got these six votes.

Mr. Kennedy. Do you mean that Fitzpatrick got them ?

Mr. Abrams. No ; if you will follow me a moment, there is a dif-
ference of eight votes. " We assumed for the moment, in other words


we took the worst that could possibly happen under a mathematical
formula, and said that Clements got these six votes, and we took them
away from Clements, and took the six votes away from Clements,
which brought him down.

It ended up 440 and 432.

We took the 6 votes away from Clements, which left him with 434.
Assuming that Clements got those six votes, if we took six votes
away from Clements, he would still lead by two votes. So no matter
how those six voted, it would not affect the outcome of the election,
and we declared Michael Clements elected as business agent.

Mr. Kennedy. Let me see. It was 438 to 432 originally ?

Mr.ABRAMS. It was 438 to 432.

Mr. Kennedy. Then there were two votes opened that this gen-
tleman received ?

Mr. Abrams. Yes, sir.

Mr. I^nnedy. Then the next two that were opened up, he received
both of them, this witness, Mr. Clements ?

Mr. Abrams. Yes, sir.

Mr. I^NNEDY. That brought it up to 440 to 432.

Mr.ABRAMS. That is correct.

Mr. I\JENNEDY. Now, there are six challenged in the machine?

Mr. Abrams. Correct.

Mr. Kennedy. Assuming all of those six had voted for Clements,
assuming that all of them had voted for Mr. Clements and they are
rightfully challenged, we deduct those from Mr. Clements' total.
That brings him down to 434, and he still wins by 2 votes.

Mr. Abrams, That is correct.

Mr. IvENNEDY. So you certified hun as a winner ; is that correct ?

Mr. Abrams. That is correct.

Mr. Ejennedy. It was not necessary to haye a runoff, because under
even the worst circumstances, he would have won the election?

Mr. Abrams. That is correct.

Mr. Ivennedy. So he was certified as the winner ?

Mr. Abrams. That is correct.

Mr. I^NNEDY. Now, you were elected as business agent, and have
you taken over the position of business agent ?

Mr. Clements. Not as far as salary is concerned.

Mr. Kennedy. Let me just go back a moment.

Now, yo\i had a number of other people running on your slate
against the McCormack slate, and the three trustees that you had, and
the anti-McNamara slate won the three trustees; is that right?

Mr, Clements. Yes, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. That means your group won the three trustees.

Mr. Clements. Yes, sir.

Mr, Kennedy. What about the other offices ?

Mr. Clements. The president was McNamara's man and so was the
recording secretary.

Mr. Ivennedy. Then you were the business agent?

Mr. Clements. I was the business agent.

Mr. Kennedy. So you v^^on four out of the seven.

Mr. Clements. Five out of the eight we won, and business agent is
not a member of tlie executive board. We gamed four out of the
seven positions on the executive board, and so we are now in control
of the executive board.


Mr. Kennedy. Now, then, there was the challenge on one of the

Mr. Clements. That is right.

Mr. I^NNEDY. So Mr. McNaniara has continued as secretary-treas-
urer. Did you report then for work ?

Mr. Clements. I reported for work on the day after I was sworn
in as is customary in our local.

Eventually I l■e(•-';^■ed a phone call from Mr. McNarama in which
he stated he wanted to know why I was present in the office. I said I
assumed that was the place I was supposed to be at since I was sworn
in the day before. He said, "I didn't tell you to come there."

I said, "You had ample opportunity to tell me at tlie meeting yes-
terday, a meeting in which we fought for 2 houre to get myself sworn
in as business agent."

There Avas a long drawn-out attempt at that meeting by the Mc-
Naniara forces to see to it that I wasn't sworn in that day. Eventually
we did succeed.

Mr. Kennedy. You were sworn in and the business agent is a
paying job?

Mr. Clements. Yes, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. How much did tliey receive, the business agents
prior to you ?

Mr. Clements. $208.

Mr. Kennedy. Who was that ?

Mr. Clements. Fitzpatrick.

The Chairman. Per week ; is that right ?

Mr. Clements. Yes ; and expenses.

Mr. Kennedy. So you reported and he asked you what you were
doing in the office, and what was the next step ?

Mr. Clements. He said, "I didn't tell you to come here. I haven't
got the money to pay you."

I said, "I am accepting the mandate of the membei-ship, and I am
going about my duties whether you say I should or not,"

And I did that. I left the office, and as a business agent should, he
visits the different terminals that are owned by Kailway Express
where the members of the union work.

Mr. Kennedy. What happened after that ^

Mr. Clements. Well, I don't know how detailed, you want me to
tell the story.

Mr. Kennedy. When you came to collect your
happened ?

Mr. Clements. We had a meeting at tlie end of that first week, the
three trustees and vice president with McNamara, and we requested
a hearing. At that hearing, the trustees insisted that Fitzpatrick
leave the office, and that I take over and be paid.

McNamara said that as secretary-treasurer of the kn-al he didn't
have tlie funds with which to pay me.

Mr. Kennedy. I understand that.

Mr. Clements. We asked Brother Fitz])atrick's position in the
office, since I had won the election, and McNamara stated that he
was hiring Fitzpatrick, the man I defeated, as his clerk, on driver's
salary, and the trustees then, and the vice president, offered me as a
clerk, since I was an elected officer, that I would be willing to work


foi- driver's salary, but that I should be hi that office as an elected

That was turned down by Brother McNamara. He stated that
he chooses who shall be his clerk.

Mv. Kennedy. So the man you defeated remained in the office,
and remained on the payroll of the union?

Mr. Clements. That is correct.

Mr. Kennedy. And you who had just been elected, he said he
couldn't pay you because he didn't have enough money?

Mr. Clements. Yes, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. Is that the situation continuing to the present time?

Mr. Clements. Yes.

Mr. Kennedy. Now, is it correct that as a clerk, instead of the
$208 a week, he only paid him approximately $100 a week?

Mr. Clements. He is supposed to be paid a driver's salary.

Mr. Kennedy. That is approximately $100 a week ?

Mr. Clements. That is right.

Mr. Kennedy. Then did he pay him an extra $100, as so-called
back pay?

Mr. Clements. As I understand it, yes.

Mr. Kennedy. So that the man receives now approximately the
same as he received as the business agent, some $200; is that correct?

Mr. Clements. Yes.

Mr. Kennedy. Now, in connection with the back pay, that is a third
situation that we have.

Mr. McNamara maintained, did he not, that in 1949 the union had
agreed to increase the salaries of the officers ?

Mr. Clements. Yes, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. At that time, there were not sufficient funds in the
treasury so that that increase never went into effect ; is that right ?

Mr. Clements. Well, I don't know whether to put it that way
exactly. The only way I can answer it is that years later we found
out that we owed them quite a sum of money, thousands of dollars,
and we were told that it was in the nature of back pay and expenses
that were owed to the salaried officers.

Mr. Kennedy. And they were paying this back pay during this
period of time, and have been paying it up to now ?

Mr. Clements. They have been paying it for several years, I

Mr. Kennedy. When these new trustees were selected, your group,
did they raise a question about this so-called back pay and expenses ?

Mr. Clements. Yes. They had requested to examine the books,
and an appointment was made.

Mr. Kennedy. To determine the authorization for the back pay?

Mr. Clements. To examine the books, and during this examination
of the books the trustees asked for authorization of the salary listed
as expenditures. What they wanted in particular were minutes of
the meeting that followed the meeting in which an increase had been
granted in January of 1949.

Those minutes were not shown to the trustees, and they were not
available. The trustees refused to sign the books.

Brother McNamara stated that he would bring charges against
them, and it was their duty to sign the books, and it was not their


concern to question the expenditures made but only to see that they
tallied with the canceled checks.

Mr. KJENNEDY. So the trustees who have the responsibility under
the constitution to determine the use of union funds went in to make
an examination of the books. They raised a question about this so-
called back pay.

Then Mr. McNamara said that they were not authorized to find out
about the back pay, and that they should sign and approve the books.
Mr. Clements. That is correct.

Mr. Kennedy. And he said that if they didn't sign and approve
the books, that he would bring charges against them ?
Mr. Clements. Correct.

Mr. Kennedy. Were charges brought against them ?
Mr. Clements. Charges were brought against them.
Mr. Kennedy. Did he then appoint some of his assistants to hear
the charges ?

Mr. Cleivients. Well, when charges are brought against a member
of a union, and in this particular case they were three executive board
members, it is the practice to appoint in the place of these accused
members and in the place of the accuser substitutes, impartial substi-
tutes, members of the union.

The president of the local appointed four men, three to take the
place of the three trustees, and one to take the place of McNamara.
Later on at the trial, to get along with the story, it was argued that
these men were not disinterested parties.

Mr. Ejennedy. As it is required under the constitution ?
Mr. Clements. That is correct. But the president insisted, after
counsel for the trustees made this statement, that in his opinion these
men are disinterested. Of course, the rest of us knew these so-called
disinterested substitutes on the executive board as the stronegst adher-
ents of McNamara.

Mr. Ivennedy. They were the ones that actually were proposing him
for leadership of the union ?

Mr. Clements. Yes. One in particular is a great supporter and
motion-maker at the meetings.
Mr. Kennedy. For McNamara ?
Mr. Clements. For McNamara.

Mr. Kennedy. So the fact that the trustees wouldn't sign the books
because they wouldn't review the records, were those charges sus-
tained ?

Mr. Clements. They were sustained. The main argument at the
trial put forth by Mr. McNamara was that the trustee's job, according
to the bylaws of our constitution, state that their job is merely to see
tliat the cancelled checks balance with the expenditures listed.

Counsel for t]ie accused trustees stated that that is not the duty of
the trustee. The trastee's job is to look into the expenditures, find
out why they are made, ask for corroboration, et cetera. That is the
true audit of the books.

However, when the decision was made by the executive board, they
decided in Brother McNamara's favor.
Mr. Kennedy. So what happened ?

Mr. Cle3ients. The trustees were suspended for 1 year from their

Mr. Kennedy. For not signing the books ?


Mr. Clements. For not signing the books.

Mr. Kennedy. Then did the trustees appeal it to the Joint Council ?

Mr. Clements. The trustees appealed it to the Joint Council, of
■which John O'Rourke is president, in New York.

Mr. Kennedy. And did he write back a memorandum, a letter, to
the local union saying that he approved of the decision, but because
these people were new people that the sentence was too harsh, or that
they shouldn't be suspended ?

Mr. Clements. And they were reinstated ; yes.

Mr. Kennedy. But he did state

Mr. Clements. That they were guilty as charged.

Mr. Kennedy. But they shouldn't be suspended ?

Mr. Clements. That is right.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, we have all the documents.

The Chairman. Let me ask you, Mr. Abrams, what is your prac-
tice or procedure where you have been invited to serve and have
served at the request of a union that desires a supervised election,
when you make such a recommendation as you have with respect to
holding another election ?

Upon their refusal or failure to comply with your directive or
certification, what do you do in the future ? Do you continue to serve
a union which asks your services and then declines or refuses to abide
by the results of your findings ?

Mr. Abrams. We have never had that happen.

The Chairman. Is this the first instance where you have expe-
rienced this, where you have been asked to serve and did serve and
then had your decision repudiated ?

Mr. Abrams. That is correct, sir.

The Chairman. You never had this happen before ?

Mr. Abrams. Never had it happen before in connection with a de-
cision that was made.

May I just make this remark in connection with the statement that
was made that they all agreed to abide by our decision.

Wliether they agreed or not doesn't make the slightest bit of dif-
ference. Our position when we are called in to supervise an elec-
tion is the same as if it was a union election committee handling
the election.

The Chairman. I beg your pardon ?

Mr. Abrams. I say, our position is the same as if there was a union
committee set up, an internal union committee set up to supervise
the election. There has been other certification on the part of any-
body as to the particular office of secretary-treasurer, so no one could
stay in that office or be elected to that office unless somebody certi-
fied him.

Now, in connection with the enforcement of that decision, I think
that was one, or part of the question you asked me, unless I mis-
understood your question — did you ask me something about the en-
forcement of that decision, what we would do ?

The Chairman. Well, I assume you cannot do anything. But I
am inquiring since you give your service, as I understand it, in
the interest of rendering a public service, when a situation like
this arises where, after having agreed to this, or by inviting you to

36751— 59— pt. 54


supervise the election they by implication at least, if not expressed,
agree to abide by your decision — is that correct ?

Well, in other words, if you didn't think they were going to abide
by your decision, would you serve ?

Mr. Abrams. No, sir.

The Chairman. Of course not. You said this is the only time
you have had the experience of having your decision repudiated by
those who asked you to serve ?

Mr. Abrams. Let me go a step further. If by chance nothing took
place here and Mr. McNamara stayed secretary-treasurer of the union
and several years hence we were invited m to supervise this union's
elections, we would refuse.

The Chairman. You would refuse ?

Mr. Abrams. That is correct.

The Chairman. Wanted to determine what your policy is in that
regard. I can well appreciate that after having been invited to serve,
and you do serve and make a finding, and that is repudiated by those
who ask for your services — I didn't think you would feel like serv-
ing that same organization again.

Mr. Abrams. That is correct, sir.

The Chairman. All right, counsel.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, here is the letter from the joint
council, a copy of the letter.

It is to the three trustees.

The Chairman. I hand you, Mr. Clements

Mr. Kennedy. They camiot identify those, Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman. I will have to withhold those until later, then.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Tierney can identify them.


The Chairman. Mr. Tierney, you have been previously sworn as a
member of the staff.

I preseiit to you three carbon copies of letters. They appear to be
addressed to Mr. John Dawson, ISIr. John J. Kelly, and Mr. Joseph
Malloy, dated June 12, 1959, and to have been sent by John O'Rourke,

I will ask you to examme these carbon copies and state if you
identify them and how they came into our possession.

Mr. Tierney. I do identify them, JNIr. Chainnan; I identify these
three letters. We obtained them by subpenaing Mr. John O'Eourke,
president of Joint Council of Teamsters in New York City..

The Chairman. By subpenaing his records ?

Mr. Tierney. That is correct, sir.

The Chairinian, Are those three carbon copies that you now have,
which the Chair has presented to you, a part of his records that were
procured by subpena ?

Mr. Tierney. They were, sir.

The Chairman. The letters may be made exhibits 8A, 8B, and 8C.
(Letters referred to were marked "Exhibits 8 A, 8B, and 8C," for
reference and will be found in the. appendix on pp. 19122-19124.)

The Chairman. Is there anything further ?

Mr. Kennedy. I might just read it into the record.


It is dated June 12, 1959, and is addressed to Jolni Dawson :

Dear Sir and Brother : Relative to the hearing on appeal before the executive
board of Joint Council No. 16, you are advised as follows :

The joint council executive board unanimously concurred that Brothers Malloy,
Kelly, and Dawson, were guilty as charged, but that their misconduct was due to
their unf amiliarity of their duties. ^ , ^

Accordingly, the joint council executive board decided that they should sutter
no further penalty and should be reinstated to their respective offices at this time.

Signed by Jolin O'Rourke.

It must be of considerable difficulty, is it not, Mr. Clements, m trying
to deal with this kind of a situation ?

Mr. Clements. Yes; there is considerable difficulty. Despite the
fact that we control the executive board, even before they were ousted
as trustees, it is very difficult to put across a motion at an executive
board meeting. If we do make a motion, or one of the trustees or one
of those allowed to make a motion — I say that because as business
agent I am present but I am not allowed to make a motion — the presi-
dent will not entertain a motion. He is McNamara's man. Or
McNamara, as secretary-treasure will say, that regardless of any
motion passed, "I am the man who knows about the treasury."

The Chairman. Let me ask you something.

How many are on the executive board ?

Mr. Clements. Seven.

The Chairman. Seven membei-s on the executive board.

And your group controls or has four out of the seven ?

Mr. Clements. Correct.

The Chairman. Who is eligible on that board to make a motion ?

Mr. Clements. Six out of the seven. The president does not
make a motion.

The Chairman. Any of the six could make a motion. In other
words, you have four on there out of the six who are eligible to make
motions ?

Mr. Clements, Correct.

The Chairman. That is under your constitution and bylaws?

Mr. Clements. That is right.

The Chairman. But according to the present procedure and ruling
of Mr. McNamara, who is secretary-treasurer, or acting as such, or
arrogating to himself the authority to so act, at least, he rules that the
four of you are ineligible to make motions ?

Mr. Clements. No; he doesn't do that. What the president does
is say that the motion is out of order.

The Chairman. What is the difference ? The effect is the same ?

Mr. Clements. Yes.

The Chairman. You can't get a motion considered ; is that correct I

Mr. Clements. That condition prevails at union meetings many,
many times.

The Chairman. Is that the kind of democratic processes that we
are to expect in union halls ?

Mr. Clements. Well, we find out that we do expect these things in
union halls.

The Chairman. Why ?

Mr. Clements, Because I think we need help from our legislators.
That is my private opinion.


The Chairman. I am just trying to find out. Do you mean that
it is a legitimate, established, fair, and equitable procedure that you
could expect to find in a union hall, or is it something that you regard
as an improper procedure ?

Mr. Clements. We regard it is an improper procedure, definitely.

The Chairman. But the practice has prevailed to where you come
to expect the improper decision and procedure rather than what is

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Select CommitteeInvestigation of improper activities in the labor or management field. Hearings before the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (Volume pt. 54) → online text (page 11 of 38)