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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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Mr. Prebenda. Yes ; I have.

Senator Kennedy. How much ?

Mr. Prebenda. $2,000.

Senator Kennedy. What year ?

Mr. Prebenda. It could have been 1953, I guess. Yes, 1953.

Senator Kennedy. Did you draw a check on that ?

Mr. Prebenda. What ?

Senator Kennedy. Did you draw a check ?

Mr. Prebenda. No ; I haven't.

Senator Kennedy. What did you do ; give it to him in cash ?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18901

Mr. Prebenda, Yes.

Mr. Kennedy, How did he pay you back ?

Mr. Prebenda. He hasn't paid me back.

Senator Kennedy. He didn't pay you back ?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. He never has ?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. Did you get any security for it ?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. Did you get a note ?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. He just asked you if you would give him $2,000 ?

Mr. Prebenda. Can I go on record here, Senator ?

You know, I was asked that question once before. Senator, I have
never loaned any money to a human being and charged them interest
or asked a note.

Senator Kennedy. Do you always loan in cash ?

Mr. Prebenda. I would say most of the time.

Senator Kennedy. That large a sum ?

Mr. Prebenda. Some I think there would be a couple as large as
those.

Senator Kennedy. Wlio did you loan that $2,000 cash to, or more;
who else did you do it to ?

(The witness conferred with his counsel.)

Mr. Prebenda. To a priest.

Senator Kennedy. Did you loan him $2,000 in cash ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Kennedy. He paid you back ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Kennedy. Is there any other loan outstanding ?

Mr. Prebenda. Have I any loans outstanding ?

Senator Kennedy. Approximately, of over $1,000.

Mr. Prebenda. Now?

Senator Kennedy. Yes.

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. Mr. Hoffa's is the only one?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator Kennedy. Did you ever ask him to repay it?

Mr. Prebenda. Did I ever ask him ? No.

Senator Kennedy. Do you expect to ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes; when I need it.

Senator Kennedy. Wlien will you ask him ?

Mr. Prebenda. When I need it.

Senator Kennedy. Did you take it out of your safe deposit box ?

Mr. Prebenda. I took it out of my pocket.

Senator Kennedy. Out of your pocket ?

Mr. Prebenda. Out of my home.

Senator Kennedy. You carry $2,000 around in your pocket?

Mr. Prebenda. Do I carry it around? If someone asks me for it
to have it for them, I will bring it.

Senator Kennedy. '\'Vliere do you get it ?

Mr. Prebenda. Most anywhere, where I keep my money. That
is all. I might sell some stock; I might get rid of some bonds.



18902 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Senator Kennedy. What did you do in this case? Did you sell
some stock ?

Mr. Prebenda. In that particular case, Senator, I really don't know
just what happened.

Senator Kennedy. You just went home and got the $2,000 in cash?

Mr. Prebenda. I might have cashed a check on my commercial ac-
count. I don't know.

Senator Kennedy. Are you sure of that? That you cashed the
check to raise the $2,000 ?

Mr. Prebenda, I don't want to say that. I don't want to say that,
Senator.

I don't remember. Don't try to pin me to something like that. My
God. I am here giving you — trying to follow Senator McClellan, to
give you everything I know.

Senator Kennedy. I don't think you are giving us everything you
know about the $2,000.

Mr. Prebenda. Yes ; I do.

Senator Kennedy. It is an interesting fact that a number of busi-
ness agents and others who hold positions of responsibility all come
in with the same story about giving Mr. Hoffa cash without interest.
In some cases they said they were repaid, and in some cases they were
not.

All of them — $2,000 is a lot of money to have around in cash. This
was the explanation Mr. Hoffa gave for having a large amount of
cash on hand without being able to tell us where he received it.

Mr. Prebenda. Senator, I have never had a savings account since
my father lost the money in the bank. That is a matter of record.
Since the crash. In a commercial account, yes, Senator.

Senator Kennedy. Have you been informed by the paper that now
you are supposed to drive with your brother ?

Mr. Prebenda. What?

Senator Kennedy. Have you been informed that now you are sup-
posed to fill the route with your brother ?

Mr. Prebenda. Not yet.

Senator Kennedy. You haven't been told yet ?

Mr. Prebenda. No.

Senator Kennedy. Did you hear the statement that you were going
to?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Senator I^nnedy. Do you think you will ?

Mr. Prebenda. Oh, I got to work. Senator. I got to send the girl
through school, too. You got to work. I have worked all my life.

Senator Kennedy. You wouldn't be driving it every night ?

Mr. Prebenda. No. No crime to work.

Senator Kjennedy. Thank you.

The Chairman. Is there anything further ?

Mr. Kennedy. Could I just get something straight as far this con-
tract is concerned ?

Under the contract that the union has with the newspaper, isn't it
provided that every truck will have a driver and a jumper? Is that
correct ?

Mr. Prebenda. That is what the contract reads.

Mr. Kennedy. And then, when the driver is not present, the jumper
becomes the driver ?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18903

Mr. Prebenda. That is exactly right.

Mr. Kennedy. And he gets paid driver's salary ?

Mr. Prebenda. And the jumper's pay.

Mr. Kennedy. No; he gets paid a driver's salary and they put a
new jumper on.

Mr. Prebenda. They could put a new jumper on, yes.

Mr. Kennedy. That is what is provided in the contract. You are
the union official.

Mr. Prebenda. That is right.

Mr. Kennedy. That is No. 1.

Mr. Prebenda. But they don't do that, Mr. Kennedy, all the time.

Mr. Kennedy. We will go into that.

Mr. Prebenda. That is what I told Mr. .

Mr. Kennedy. That is when the driver does not appear. Then the
jumper becomes the driver, and the jumper then receives driver salary.
That was not true in your case, was it? The jumper continued to re-
ceive the jumper's salary ?

Mr. Prebenda. Well, you see

Mr. Kennedy. That is correct ? Just answer the question. That is
what happened ?

Mr. Prebenda. I know, but I got to be careful with you, Mr. Ken-
nedy.

Mr. Kennedy. I just want to get the facts straight.

Mr. Prebenda. I don't want to make a mistake. I want to give you
the truth. That is what I am here for. I am following Senator Mc-
Clellan. I am going to try

Mr. I^NNEDY. I don't need a speech.

Mr. Prebenda. But I don't want to get myself mixed up. That is
all.

Mr. ICennedy. We wouldn't get ourselves mixed up. In the con-
tract — and you are the union official, so you should know it better than
I — the contract provides that there should be a jumper and a driver.
The contract further provides that when the driver does not show up
the jumper becomes the driver, and the jumper then receives driver^s
salary, which is a greater salary than the jumper.

Mr. Prebenda. Yes.

Mr. Kennedy. The jumper then becomes a driver and he receives
driver's salary ?

Mr. Prebenda. That is right.

Mr. Kennedy. This did not happen in your case.

Mr. Prebenda. It did and it didn't.

Mr, Kennedy. Wait a minute. What happened in your case was
that the company paid to a fictitious figure, a figure that never showed
up, a ghost figure, which was you, the driver's salary, and continued
to pay the jumper jumper's salary, even though he drove.

Mr. Prebenda. That is exactly right.

Mr. Kennedy. All right.

So that you were on the payroll and did no work, although you
received the driver's salary.

Mr. Prebenda. I disagree with that statement. I say I do work
every day.

Mr. Kennedy. When you do work, you tour the various locations,
as I understand it, in the Cadillac, and go around and make sure every-
thing is done properly.



18904 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

ISir. pREBENDA. Not alwajs in the Cadillac. Don't put words on the
record.

Mr. Kennedy. Sometimes in the Cadillac, sometimes in another
automobile ?

Mr. Prebenda. I might be on my feet.

Mr. Kennedy. All right. And sometimes you are walking around ?

Mr. Prebenda. That is exactly right.

Mr. Kennedy. What is it most of the tune ?

Mr. Prebenda. It could be, Mr. Kennedy, I could drive up in a
car and walk, drive up there, get in the truck and drive, it could be —
we are doing a job, Bob Kennedy, we are doing a job. And the com-
pany is satisfied with my job.

Mr. Kennedy. TMien you are doing the job, you are doing it there
as a union official meeting his responsibilities ?

Mr. Prebenda. I am doing — I am satisfactory to both sides.

Mr. Kennedy. Wlien you are touring these various locations, either
by the automobile or by walking, you are performing your function
as a union official, are you not ?

Mr. Prebenda. I am also performing, too, a job for the company,
because I can now report to the company what I have found out in
the field, whether it is good for them or bad for them, are we losing
any sales, are we gainmg any sales, and I do that to every company
that I do business with.

Mr. Kennedy. If you were taken off the payroll as a truckdriver,
would you perform those services anyway ?

jMr. Prebenda. If I was taken off the truck would I perform those
services, too ?

Mr. Kennedy. Yes.

Mr. Prebenda. Mr. Kennedy, I performed those services when I
didn't get paid for either one of them.

Mr. Kennedy. Then you are getting paid for performing no serv-
ices. You are getting paid for performing services that you would
have to perform as a union official. For instance, are you getting
paid by the other newspapers ?

Mr. Prebenda. No. "

Mr. Kennedy. Are you reporting back to them ?

Mr. Prebenda. Yes ; I do.

Mr. Kennedy. So that you perform. The only group that is pay-
ing, therefore, is this Detroit paper.

Mr. Prebenda. That is a sort of gratuity to them, that I give them
that information.

Mr. Kennedy. It is a gratuity to you.

Mr. Prebenda. It is also very important to our members. What-
ever I give the company that is favorable to them is also favorable
to the people that I represent.

Mr. Kennedy. The second thing is that when you were down here
in Washington with Mr. Hoffa you could not even perform those serv-
ices, and yet you drew your salary. When you were down in Florida
for several weeks you could not even perform those services, and yet
you drew your salary.

I don't see that the previous witness made a single mistake.

Mr. Prebenda. Maybe he didn't.

Look, I am going to take that back.



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES EST THE LABOR FIELD 18905

Senator, I will take that back. Maybe I heard it wrong. But that
is the part I thought he said.

Mr. Kennedy. What you meant really was that this man made a
mistake in testifying.

Mr. Prebenda. Yes. In other words, they do send out drivers, they
do send out drivers without jumpers, and when they send that driver
out they do pay him. What I thought he said was, "When we send
a driver out without a helper we don't pay him.*' That is not so,
Senator. They do pay him.

Mr. Kennedy. But they don't pay two people when they send one
out except in your case.

Mr. Prebenda. That is right. But they have paid two people at
different times in the past ; yes, they have.

Mr. Kennedy. Could I put in what the records of the company show,
as well as the records of the union, as far as his salary is concerned ?

Mr. Langenbacher.

The Chairman. Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you shall
give before this Senate select committee shall be the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God ?

Mr. Langenbacher. I do.

TESTIMONY OF IRWIN LANGENBACHER

The Chairman. State your name,

Mr. Langenbacher. Irwin Langenbacher.

The Chairman. You are a member of the staff of this conunittee ?

Mr. Langenbacher. Yes, sir ; assistant counsel.

The Chairman. How long have you served ?

Mr. Langenbacher. On this committee, 2 years.

The Chairman. In the course of your duties, have you made an
examination of records to ascertain about the pay of this witness ?

Mr. Langenbacher. I have.

The Chairman. Working for the newspaper ?

Mr. Langenbacher. Yes ; I have.

The Chairman. Proceed.

Mr. I^NNEDY. We have the testimony of Mr. Obermyer that this
witness performed very little services over the period of the past 5
years.

What do the records of the Times show as to the amount of money
paid him?

Mr. Langenbacher. For wages during the past 5 years he received a
total of $36,002.77. For the truck, he received $12,701.08.

Mr. ICennedy. But that was a perfectly legitimate transaction; was
it not ?

Mr. Langenbacher. For the truck.

Mr. I^nnedy. How much would be paid for a truck ?

Mr. Langenbacher. A truck is a dollar

Mr. Kennedy. I don't want to know how much, but that is what
would be paid, $12,000, over that period of time ?

Mr. Langenbacher. Yes.

Mr. Kennedy. The only thing being questioned is the $36,000 ?

Mr. Langenbacher. Yes.

Mr. KJENNEDY. What was he receiving from the union ?



18906 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Mr. Langenbacher. From the union for the past 5 years, not count-
ing 1959, he received a total of $48,240, which would average, in a year,
$9,648. A week ago last Sunday at the meeting, it was voted to grant
him an increase of $75 a week, for a total of $270 a week, effective retro-
actively to January 1, 1959.

So he is now receiving from the union in 1 year approximately
$14,094.

Mr. Kennedy. Was that a general membership meeting ?

Mr. Prebenda. What was that ?

Mr. Kennedy. Was that a general membership meeting ?

Mr. Prebenda. When they voted it?

Mr. Kennedy. Yes.

Mr. Prebenda. Yes. They can only vote those things in a general
membership meeting.

Mr. Kennedy. That is all.

The Chairman. Thank you very much. You may stand aside.

Call the next witness.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Presser.

The Chairman. Come forward, Mr. Presser.

Be sworn.

You do solemnly swear that the evidence you shall give before this
Senate select committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth, so help you God?

Mr. Presser. I do.

TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM PRESSER, ACCOMPAIHED BY COUNSEL,
H. CLTETORD ALLDER

The Chairman. State your name, your place of residence, and your
business or occupation, please.

Mr. Presser. William Presser, 2525 Claver Koad, Cleveland, Ohio.

The Chairman. Do you want to tell us what your business is, or your
occupation or profession ? Would you like to do that ?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Let the record show Mr. Allder appears as counsel.

Proceed.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Presser appeared before the
committee, last year, in connection with his operation of the joint
council. We have had testimony before the committee

The Chairman. What is his position ?

Mr. I^JENNEDY. President of the Ohio Conference of Teamsters and
president of Joint Council 41 of the Teamsters in Cleveland, Ohio.

Wlien he appeared before the committee last year, one of the mat-
ters that we brought out was that he had signed a check in the amount
of $1,500 which was to be used for the purchase of awnings as a pres-
ent for Louis "Babe" Triscaro, second in charge of the Ohio Confer-
ence of Teamsters.

Has Mr. Hoffa taken any action against you, Mr. Presser?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

Mr. Kennedy. Has any money been recovered in connection with
that?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18907

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

Mr. Kennedy. And then, of course, Mr. Chairman, we have testi-
mony that Mr. Presser was voted, if he terminated his relationship
with the Ohio Conference of Teamsters or Joint Council 41, a present
of $20,000 from each group as a sort of going-away present, if legal
difficulties or other problems forced him to terminate his relation-
ship with those two organizations.

Has Mr. Hoff a taken any action on that ?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

Mr. Kennedy. Then, Mr. Chairman, we had the testimony of Mr.
DeSchi-yver before the committee that he was forced to pay Mr. Pres-
ser $5,000 in cash in Detroit for Mr. Presser to set up an organ-
ization there, an organization of employers and a union operation
in order to keep out competition from outsiders; that Mr. Presser
received $5,000 in cash for performing that service.

Has Mr. Hoffa taken any action in connection with that?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to mcriminate me.

Mr. Kennedy. Of Mr. Presser, however, DeSchryver stated at that
time that "My best recollection of this is that there was a reference
made to the union officials of Trumbull Avenue."

The question was asked whether Mr. Presser stated that he would
have to pass this money on to anyone. Of course, as to the union
officials at Trumbull Avenue, that is the headquarters of the Team-
sters Union in Detroit.

Did Mr. HojEf a inquire into that matter, Mr. Prosser ?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

Mr. Kennedy. Isn't it a fact that Mr. Triscaro appeared before the
committee in the same connection, and evidence was put into the
record about liis criminal record along with the fact that you had been
convicted of a crime, and yet immediately following the hearings
Mr. Hoffa went out and had his picture taken with you and Mr.
Triscaro in the Ohio Conference ?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly be-
lieve my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. The Chair presents to you a picture showing Mr.
Hoffa, apparently yourself, and another person. Will you examine
the picture and state if you identify it, please ?

^ A photograph was handed to the witness.)

(The witness conferred with his counsel.)

The Chairman. Have you examined the picture?

Mr. Presser. Yes.

The Chairman. Do you identify the picture ?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Which one of them do you think would tend to
incriminate you ; the one that you have your picture with, with two
other people there ? Which one do you think would be incriminating ?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.



18908 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

The Chairman. Is there anythm^ further?
The picture will be made exhibit No, 9.

(Photo referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 9" for reference and
may be fomid in the files of the select committee.)

TESTIMONY OF PIEERE E. G. SALINGEH— Eesumed

Mr. Kennedy. On the amount of money to some of these individ-
uals, Mr. Chairman, we have Mr. Salinger to testify on the loan that
Mr. Presser made to the union.

The Chairman. You have been previously sworn ?

Mr. Salinger. I have, sir.

The Chairman. All right.

Mr. Salinger. Investigations of loans made by Mr. Presser from
the Cleveland Teamsters Credit Union, for the period April 1953 to
April 1958, showed a total of such loans amounting to $24,117.51.
The interasting thing about these loans is that the security on these
loans was a nmnber of automobiles which, upon checking by us, were
revealed to belong to the Teamsters Union.

In other words, he was putting up Teamsters Union automobiles
as collateral on loans. One car belonged to Teamsters Joint Council
41. Another car belonged to Teamsters Union Local 293. Another
car belonged to Teamsters Cab Drivers Union Local 655. The fourth
car belonged to the Teamsters Joint Council No. 41.

The Chairman. Do I understand that for personal loans

Mr. Salinger. These were personal loans made by Mr. Presser from
the Cleveland Teamsters Credit Union. The record shows that all
of these loans have been repaid with the exception of the final one, in
1958. That is the record as of 1958. It may have been repaid by
now.

The Chairman. The only thing about this is that when he wanted
to borrow money, he used imion property as collateral ?

Mr. Salinger. That is correct, sir.

The Chairman. All right.

Mr. Kennedy. That is all.

The Chairman. Is that correct, Mr. Presser?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Are you authorized to do that by your union or by
any of your organizations ?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Could you honestly believe that if you engaged in
such practice, it may be wrong ?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Is there anything with reference to your previous
testimony before the committee that you want to correct?

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. I don't care whether you answer that or not. That
is absolutely unmaterial. I am just giving you the opportimity if you
care to correct or change any of your previous testimony before this
committee, I am giving you the opportunity to do it.



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18909

Mr. Presser. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. It doesn't matter to me whether it incriminates
you or not. If you want the record to stand that way — I am trying
to extend you the courtesy of making a coiTection, if you care to.

If you think making a correction might incriminate you, however,
you may skip the opportunity to do it.

Proceed.

Senator Ivennedy. Mr. Presser, you are president of the Ohio Con-
ference of Teamsters and president of Joint Council 41 of the Team-
sters in Cleveland, Ohio, which is an extremely responsible position.

When you came before this committee the last time you took the
fifth amendment and the day after, or 2 days after, on the weekend,
I remember Mr. Holl'a went out to Ohio and made a speech, bitterly
attacking the committee, and a ringing defense for you.

Now you come back before this committee again and you still con-
tinue to take the fifth amendment. We have these evidences of your
misuse of union funds, your collusion with employers, which make
you totally unfit to hold this responsible position. Yet there is no
evidence at all that Mr. Hoffa has taken any action against you.

Quite to the contrary, he has associated with you and endorsed your
activity and your actions in taking the fifth amendment, and your
actions involving the misuse of miion funds.

I think this is particularly unfortunate in view of the fact that you
hold such an extremely significant position in Ohio, which is an ex-
tremely important industrialized State.

I think it involves your fitness to hold office and Mr. Hoffa's fitness
to be president of the conference of which you are a member, as well
as the president of the International Teamsters. This is not a ques-
tion of a business agent of a small local. You are one of the most
important figures in the Teamsters movement in the United States.
Yet you come before us and take the fifth amendment.

This evidence is produced where you misuse funds, and tie up with
employers. You won't give any explanation. Yet you continue to
hold this position. Under your domination these organizations vote
you $20,000 each if you are severed from the union, and another $20,000,
bringing it up to a total of $40,000, by the Ohio Conference of Team-
sters.

That was at a meeting of Joint Council 41. That is in case you find
your tie severed with the organization. If this is the kind of leader-
ship which the Teamsters have, it is the reason that Congress ought to
act in case of legislation, and I would hope that the monitors would
act. It is not just you. It is the fact that Mr. Hoffa has endorsed
your attitude and actions.

The Chairman. Are there any other questions ?

Mr. KJENNEDY. That is all.

The Chairman. Is that all ?

The committee will stand in recess until 2 : 30 this afternoon.

(Members of the select committee present at the time of recess:
Senators McClellan and Kennedy.)

(Whereupon, at 12 :35 p.m. the select committee recessed, to recon-
vene at 2 : 30 p.m. the same day.)



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 14 of 38)