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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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imder the contract ?

Mr. Prebenda. I would do some part of the work every day.

Mr. Kennedy. How much would that consist of ?

Mr. Prebenda. I would say — well, it is all a matter of who is going
to be the judge of it.

(At this point Senator Ervin withdrew from the hearing room.)

Mr. Prebenda. I count the money, I make out the route sheets, I
make out all the detail work pertaining to the job.

Mr. Kennedy. Who does the driving ?

Mr. Prebenda. My brother.

Mr. KJENNEDY. And he is one the payroll, also ?



18892 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Mr, Prebenda. Yes ; lie is.

Mr. Kennedy. And he is on the payroll of the company ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes ; he is.

Mr. Kennedy. And you are on the payroll, also ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes ; I am.

Mr. KJENNEDY. We have had testimony that the only reason that
this arrangement was continued was that you were a union official.

Mr. Prebenda. This arrangement was there before I became an
official.

Mr. Kennedy. You didn't have to work, you didn't have to drive
a truck ?

Mr. Prebenda. You see, this is what you would say a contract job.
We perform the work and we did the work from the company. There
has never been a reprimand against me by this company in all the
years that I have been there, and that is 30-some. I have never been
called in by the company and reprimanded.

Mr. Kennedy. Is it permissible, then, if anybody can have one man
do the job, is he allowed to do that ?

Mr. Prebenda. If he does that, he will get three-quarters of the
pay of the helper.

Mr. Kennedy. In this case, you have the helper doing the work, do
you not ?

Mr. Prebenda. I am having my brother do the work. He is my
helper.

Mr. Kennedy. Is he getting helper pay ?

Mr. Prebenda. If he is the helper or if he is the driver, one or the
two.

Mr. Kennedy. Is he being paid helper's salary by the company ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Mr. Kennedy. And you are paid the driver's salary ?

Mr. Prebenda. That is right.

Mr. Kennedy. But you don't drive ?

Mr. Prebenda. I don't drive ? Yes, I do drive.

Mr. Kennedy. You drive very seldom. Is that it ?

Mr. Prebenda. Well, I don't know what you call seldom. I can go
on that truck most any time and I do. If there is a problem on that
territory, I just take off one coat and put on the other one and go right
back and do that job.

Mr. ICennedy. Do you know anybody else who has the arrangement
with the paper where he gets a full salary as a driver and yet doesn't
drive?

Mr. Prebenda. Well it has been in this local union ever since the
beginning of this local union.

Mr. Kennedy. But do you know anybody who is not an official of
the union who gets a full salary as a driver and yet doesn't drive?

Mr. Prebenda. Who is not an officer of a union ?

Mr. Kennedy. IVlio gets a full salary as a driver and does not drive ?

Mr. Prebenda. If his job is done, that has happened in the past, yes,
where, in other words, he would put a substitute on, he would draw
the paycheck — that is not today, Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy. You still have two people. Do you know of any
individual who is not an officer of the union who gets a full salary as a
driver who does not drive ?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES INT THE LABOR FIELD 18893

Mr. Prebenda. Look, today, yesterday, 10 years ago or 20 years ago
or 30 years ago ? These things change.

Mr. Kennedy. Let's talk about the last 5 years.

Mr. Prebenda. The last 5 years ?

Mr. I\JENNEDY. Yes.

Mr. Prebenda. I would say there could have been possibilities
where

Mr. Kennedy. Do you know anybody ?

Mr. Prebenda. I wouldn't want to put myself on record here as
saying that I actually know a man. But I do remember, whether it
was 5 years ago, whether it was 3 years ago, people have replaced them-
selves with this company with their brother, with their relatives, and
they still do. They still do. People in a certain area will take their
vacations and replace themselves with their brother-in-law, or with
their brother, even including their wives, yes. Today.

Mr. Kennedy. And how many people then would be on the truck ?

Mr. Prebenda. Well, it would not necessarily be the truck. It
would be a pleasure car, too.

Mr. Kennedy. To have somebody performing this service. If there
were a truckdriver and he wanted to replace himself with his brother-
in-law, that would be all right; he would have somebody on there.
You replaced yourself with no one.

Mr. Prebenda. We did the iob. Whatever we contracted for, we
did.

Mr. Kennedy. I understand. Can you tell me one other incident,
of one other individual where you have an arrangement that he doesn't
have to work and yet draws his salary ?

Mr. Prebenda. Where I have an arrangement ?

Mr. Kennedy. No. Wliere any other individual who works for the
Times has the arrangement where he can draw his salary and yet does
not perform the service ?

(The witness conferred with his counsel.)

Mr. Prebenda. My brother, when we are performing this work,
whether it is me, him, or both of us, or singly, we get so much money
for doing this job. My brother gets paid for doing that work.

Mr. Kennedy. He gets paid as a jumper. On all of these trucks,
Mr. Prebenda, and you know, on all of these trucks there is a driver
and a jumper, on all of the trucks but your truck. On your truck
there is only the jumper and he gets paid the jumper's salary. You
get paid a salary as a driver and yet do not drive.

I am asking you if there is anybody else in a similar situation as
you, where you have only one person on the truck, and yet two people
draw salaries ?

Mr. Prebenda. I can't point it out here. I am under oath. I don't
want to find myself in making a wrong statement.

We have different classifications of work under this contract. We
do have people who go away and draw their paycheck without being
on the job right today, with full knowledge of the company.

Mr. Kennedy. Were you down here during the trial of Mr. I loffa ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes; I was.

Mr. Kennedy. For how long a period of time were you here ?

Mr. Prebenda. I would be in and out.

Mr. Kennedy. You were here for a month or so, were you not ?



18894 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Mr. Prebenda. Don't hold me to it. I would say yes ; in and out,
now.

Mr. Kennedy. You were drawing your salary from the Times dur-
ing that period of time ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes ; I had.

Mr. Kennedy. As a truckdriver, as well as your union salary ?

Mr. Prebenda. As one who has agreed to perform a job, to see that
the job is done, and that job was done.

Mr. Kennedy. Is it permissible, then, for all of the truckdrivers to
draw the salary for a helper and for a truckdriver as long as they get
the job done? Would you allow that?
(The witness conferred with his counsel.)

Mr. Prebenda. I am paying my brother. My brother gets part
of the money. Let me get the question again, Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy. Let me ask you this : Weren't you down in Florida
for a couple of weeks ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Mr. Kennedy. And weren't you drawing your salary from the
Times during that period of time ?

Mr. Prebenda. But my brother got the money.

Mr. Kennedy. Your brother gets a salary anyway from the Times.

Mr. Prebenda. Under this contract, if there is no helper, you still
get the money. This was approved. This was agreed with the com-
pany and approved by the War Labor Board. I negotiated that con-
tract, and it was approved by the War Labor Board in Chicago, 111.

Senator Kennedy. Mr. Prebenda, is it my understanding that it is
agreeable with you that in negotiating the contract with the paper that
if these routes can be handled by one man, there is no necessity to have
two men? Isn't it part of the union contract that there shall be a
jumper and a driver?

Mr. Prebenda. It is part of a union contract on a big truck. What
we call a relay mail delivery truck.

(The witness conferred with his counsel.)

Mr. Prebenda. Senator Kennedy, to make the record clear, al-
though I draw this paycheck. Senator, my brother gets the money.

Senator Kennedy. Your brother what ?

Mr. Prebenda. My brother. It is two brothers. He gets the
money. In other words, I give him the money. He drives.

Senator Kennedy. You give him your wages ?

Mr, Prebenda. That is right.

Senator Kennedy. In other words, then, your brother gets two
salaries, one as a jumper and the other as a driver; is that correct?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

(The witness conferred with his counsel.)

Mr. Prebenda. Whenever he drives.

Senator Kennedy. He drives continually, doesn't he? You only
drive once a week, on Saturday nights.

Mr. Prebenda. No, Mr. Kennedy, I do get on the truck.

Senator Kennedy. You get on the truck, but do you drive ?

Mr. Prebenda. Don't misinterpret my words, please. When I say
I am going on the truck, that means I am working on the truck,
Senator.

Senator Kennedy. Does that mean you are driving the truck ?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES EST THE LABOR FIELD 18895

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Kennedy. When was the last time that you drove the truck
to the Rouge plant ?

Mr. Prebenda. Last Saturday.

Senator Kennedy. What other day last week did you drive to
the Rouge plant ?

Mr. Prebenda. Senator, up until about 3 or 4 weeks past, we had
negotiated a contract that lasted about 19 months. We were 19
months behind in negotiating that contract. Well, there was a lag
there that I didn't go. I might have missed four, five, or six.

Senator Kennedy. Will you answer me ?

Mr. Prebenda. But I have been on the truck on Saturday night
continuously, Senator.

Senator Kennedy. I understand that. So the previous witness said.
What night last week other than Saturday night did you drive to
the Rouge plant and distribute the papers ?

Mr. Prebenda. I made a collection on two stops. Then when the
price of the paper went to 8 cents

Senator Kennedy. Was that last week ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes. I went out there and although I did not get
in the truck, Mr. Kennedy, I would go out there. That doesn't
necessarily mean that I have to go out in the truck. I would meet
my brother out in the territory and do the work. It doesn't neces-
sarily

Senator Kennedy. In other words, you drive out there in your own
car?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Kennedy. Then when he would drop the papers off, you
would do what ?

Mr. Prebenda. I would check to know what is going on where we
drop any papers, did we lose any papers.

Senator Kennedy. What car do you drive out in ?

Mr. Prebenda. Either my own car or the union car. You know,
this could be important to the union, too.

Senator Kennedy. In other words, as I understand, your brother
drives to the Rouge plant in your truck.

Mr. Prebenda. That is right.

Senator Kennedy. You drive out in the Cadillac.

Mr. Prebenda. That is right.

Senator Kjennedy. And you do what then ?

Mr. Prebenda. I will check.

Senator Ivennedy. What do you check ?

Mr. Prebenda. To watch about the papers, whether we lost any
sale, are the papers moving, or not. It is also very essential to the
union, the rest of the members, for me to know these things. I don't
only do it on this territory; I may go on any territory and check
those things. That is part of the job.

Senator Kennedy. Do you get paid by the Teamsters to check
whether the drivers are union or nonunion ?

Mr. Prebenda. What is it?

Senator Kennedy. Do you ever get paid any direct compensation
by t?ie Teamsters Union other than the salary and expenses that you

36751 — 59 — ^pt. 54 8



18896 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

described to us for checking whether the drivers are union or non-
union %

Mr. Prebenda. Say it to me again. I am sorry, Senator.

Senator Kennedy. Do you get any compensation from the union
to check, per night, whether the drivers are union or nonunion ?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. You get no compensation from any group,
any union, conference or anything, other than the salary you de-
scribed to us, and the expenses per week which amount to — ^to what ?

Mr. Prebenda. Approximately $50.

Senator Ivennedy. A week. That is the only compensation you
get?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Ivennedy. You don't get any from any other source?

Mr. Prebenda. The company, and tliat is all.

Senator Kennedy. The checking you do around that you just
described is for your union salary ?

Mr. Prebenda. Which one ?

Senator Kennedy. You get no extra fee for the checking that you
have described to us ?

Mr. Prebenda. Make it clear to me, please. I draw a pay from
the union and I draw a pay from the Detroit Tunes. Now, what
are you asking me ?

Senator Ivennedy. I am asking you whether the pay that you re-
ceive from the union and the expenses you receive from the union
total more than $270 a week plus $50 expenses.

Mr. Prebenda. You see, this has just gone into effect, the $270
has just gone into effect.

Senator Kennedy. I understand that.

Mr. Prebenda. I only draw a couple of checks like that.

Now, you asked a question

(The witness conferred with his counsel.)

Senator Kennedy. The question I am asking is whether you re-
ceive any other compensation from the Teamsters Union or conference,
et cetera, other than the compensation of $270 a week plus $50 a week.

Mr. Prebenda. No, sir.

Senator Kennedy. In other words, your testimony and the testimony
of the Detroit paper is in conflict, as I understand it, when they state
that you only work Saturday nights for the paper. You state that
you work several nights a week ; is that correct ?

Mr. Prebenda. No. I work days. But I say I go on that territory.
I don't work nights. There is only 1 night a week that we work.

Senator Kennedy. When they say under work that you only work
for them 1 day or night, for which you receive the salary, you state
under oath that you work several days or nights each week for the
paper, not just on your union service, but for the paper. Is that a
clear disagreement ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Kennedy. When you said he made a mistake, do you
mean

Mr. Prebenda. Not that one.

Senator Kennedy. What was the mistake ?



IMPROPER ACTWITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18897

Mr. Prebenda. Let me answer this one : I am on that job in a sense
every day, Senator Kennedy. I make all the route sheets. I turn in
all the reports. The money is counted by me, and any detail work.
If any supervisor of the Detroit Times talks about that territory, they
always complain to me. I am supposed to correct it. So I am part
of this thing. Now, this thing grew up like that. Is that clear?
Senator Kennedy. In other words, your testimony disagrees with
the testimony of the Detroit newspaper ; is that correct ?

Mr. Prebenda. Well, the testimony that you are saying about— I
don't want to say that he is wrong, because if he just means that driv-
ing the truck, then I say to you, Mr. Senator, that that has more to
this job. The responsibility is there, that you got to pay for. They
are paying for the responsibility, and I am responsible for everything
on that territory and have been for all these years.

Senator Ivennedy. I understand. They are paying you for your
responsibility for your brother ?

Mr. Prebenda. They are paying for responsibility of doing that
job in that territory.

Senator Kennedy. That is your brother.
Mr. Prebenda. That is me and my brother.

Senator Kennedy. I think your brother is the one who is being
exploited.

Mr. Prebenda. I am paying my brother.
Senator Kennedy. He is receiving two salaries.
Mr. Prebenda. You can say that about you two brothers, too; I
don't know.

Senator Kennedy. He is receiving all of your salary and all of his
own; is that correct?

Mr. Prebenda. How was that?

Senator Kennedy. He is receiving all of your salary from the
paper and all of his own ; is that correct ?

Mr. Prebenda. He is getting the money when he is working; yes.
We seem to be able to get along.

Senator Kennedy. I understand you get along. How much of your
salary is he receiving?

Mr. Prebenda. Whatever he works, Mr. Kennedy.
Seantor Kennedy. How much of your salary did he receive last
year ?

Mr. Prebenda. How much did he receive? Mr. Kennedy, in all
honesty, I cannot tell you.

Senator Kennedy. Wliat percentage?
Mr. Prebenda. I am not trying to duck the issue.
Seantor Kennedy. "What percentage, approximately?
Mr. Prebenda. I can't tell you, Mr. Kennedy. You are now talking
about two brothers that are like this [indicating], maybe like you two,
just like you two, from the day that we were born, just two brother
like you.

Senator Kennedy. I understand that. All I am asking you is what
percentage of your salary did you give your brother? You told me
you were compensating him. What is the percentage?

Mr. Prebenda. Mr. Kennedy, don't put me in that spot, please.
Senator Kennedy. How much an hour do you give him ?
Mr. Prebenda. These are two brothers.



18898 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Senator Kennedy. On what basis do you divide it? When do you
divide it — every week ?

Mr. Prebenda. Mr. Kennedy, we get along, from the cradle.

Senator Kennedy. Do you divide it every week, every month, or
ever day ? You made a statement here under oath that you compen-
sate your brother for his work. I am asking you on what basis you
you compensate him.

Mr. Prebenda. Mr. Kennedy, if the route brings in so much money,
if my brother tells me, "Joe, I took $50 out of the bag, I took $40 out
of the bag, I had to buy this" — he just says that. There is never a
q^uestion by me. He doesn't question me, never did, and I never ques-
tion him.

Senator Kennedy. Is it proper to ask him whether his income tax
shows that he receives any compensation from you ?

Mr. Prebenda. Mr. Kennedy, I pay the tax on the earnings. My
income tax will show that.

Senator Kennedy. Does your income tax return show that you
gave him any compensation ?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. Does his income tax show that he received com-
pensation from you ?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. None of your income taxes show that ?

Mr. Prebenda. No. His doesn't. Mine does.

Senator Kennedy. Does your income tax show that you gave it to
him?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. There is no record in either one of your income
taxes that you gave him compensation ?

Mr. Prebenda. That is right.

Senator Kjennedy. The last question is this : Wlien you stated that
he made a mistake, did you mean that to mean that his testimony in
some degree was in error, or did you mean that looking to the future
he will come to realize that he made a mistake ?

Mr. Prebenda. No. It was in error, Mr. Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy. What statement ?

Mr. Prebenda. If a driver goes off the territory, if there is no
jumper for him, he gets three-quarters pay. There are people — here is
the error.

Senator Kennedy. This is the mistake you were referring to ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes. I tliink he made a mistake, Mr. Senator.
There isn't enough jumpers or helpers. Then a man would go out
without. They, many times, will send a man out without a helper
and they will give him three-quarters pay.

That is where the mistake was, I think. I may be wrong, Mr.
Kennedy. I think the previous witness said would they pay a man
if he went out without a helper, and the answer is yes, they do. They
pay him if he goes without a helper.

Senator Kennedy. I don't recall that question being asked.

Mr. Prebenda. Maybe I am mistaken, Mr. Senator.

Senator Kennedy. In other words, all you meant when you said
he made a mistake, you were not referring to the general fact that
he came and testified frankly before this committee ?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18899

Mr. Prebenda. As God is my judge, no. And he knows it, too.

Senator Kennedy. The last point is on the raising of your salary.
I would like to have a copy of the card that you sent out. On the
notice that you sent to the members of your union, did you inform
them that one of the subjects that would be up for a vote was giving
you an increase in salary plus retroactivity ?

Mr. Prebenda. Mr. Kennedy, as a rule we do those things.

Senator Kennedy. Did you do it in this case ?

Mr. Prebenda. In this case we did not. You see, the question first
came up as to a raise in pay at a previous meeting.

Maybe I should explain it this way : There are four general meet-
ings a year, which all members are invited to. Then there are group
meetings. At this general meeting, which happened possibly in April,
a resolution was put on to increase the salaries of officers. That was
tabled. It was referred to a committee for a committee to report.
Everyone knew that, the stewards knew that, that this was going to
be reported out.

As a rule, when I tell the girl in the office, "Send out a card," she
sends out the card, Mr. Senator, for a general meeting.

Senator Kennedy. In other words, the membership did not know
that it would be before them ?

Mr. Prebenda. We are a pretty close-knit organization, Mr. Sena-
tor. These newspapers are verj close by. All these people know
each other because they work within the same territory.

Senator Kennedy. Out of 1,200 members, you only had a total of
about 140 present?

Mr. Prebenda. Well, you know, that is one of the unfortunate
things, Mr. Senator. You can beg the people, and if they don't come
you just can't help it.

Senator Kennedy. I think it might have aroused greater interest if
you were going to inform them they were about to vote you a $95 a
week increase m salary plus retroactivity amounting to about $2,500.

Mr. Prebenda. Mr. Senator, at the June meeting of every year is
our lowest attended meeting, every year, and has oeen as long as I
can remember. That is a matter of fact.

Senator Kennedy. When do you come up for election again ?

Mr. Prebenda. I just got reelected. I have only served 6 months
in this term.

Senator Kennedy. Was it a secret ballot in that case ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Kennedy. What was the vote ?

Mr. Prebenda. 600 — there were 600 and possibly 85 votes. My
opponent got 93. I got the rest.

Senator Kennedy. And it was secret ballot in the union ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Kennedy. May I ask you if you have any other member
of your family on the payroll of the paper ?

Mr. Prebenda. At the present time ?

Senator Kennedy. Except your brother.

Mr. Prebenda. Yes. Just 2 weeks ago. They put a little girl on
the payroll, yes, just come out of school.

Senator Kennedy. Who is this ?

Mr. Prebenda. You know, those kids took a pounding all their
lives, being a Teamster. Now you bring the little girl.



18900 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Senator Kjennedy. What ?

Mr. Prebenda. Now you bring the little girl. Two weeks ago.
She is doing a job filing.

Senator Kennedy. Is tliis your daughter ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes, it is.

Senator Kennedy. I am not referring to your daughter. I am ask-
ing about your son.

Mr. Prebenda. My son ?

Senator Kjennedy. Yes.

Mr. Prebenda. At different times. Right now, no. But at dif-
ferent times my sons, while they were going to school, during the vaca-
tion periods they may have worked. One worked, I thmk, 1 year
in the editorial department.

Senator Kennedy. Is one of them a lawyer?

Mr. Prebenda. Three of them are lawyers.

Senator Kennedy. Is one of them counsel for the board of admin-
istration of the pension plans ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes ; he is.

Senator Kennedy. Did you ever ask anyone on the paper to give
him legal business ?

Mr. Prebenda. I asked the people on the board of administration
of our pension that he represent our own pension plan. You see,
we have our own pension plan within our local union.

Senator Kennedy. And he works for that ? He is the counsel for
that?

Mr. Prebenda. He is the counsel for that.

Senator Kennedy. Did you ever ask anybody on the paper to give
him any legal business ?

Mr. Prebenda. Never.

Senator Kennedy. Do you know Aaron Ellwood ?

Mr. Prebenda. Do I know Aaron Ellwood ? Yes.

Senator Kennedy. Did you ever ask anybody on the paper, con-
nected with the paper, to purchase stocks and bonds from Aaron Ell-
wood?

Mr. Prebenda. Aaron Ellwood has been an employee of the Detroit
Free Press for approximately 40 years, and also I think he has part
of a seat on a brokerage firm. Since I am not completely sound on
investments, although I know something about them, Mr. Senator,
that is who I would go to protect our pension money. He is a mem-
ber of long standing.

Senator Kennedy. And you asked them to give him some business?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes. I wanted him to get the business.

Senator Kennedy. Did you ever loan Mr. Hoffa any money ?



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