Financial Secretary-Treasurer Update 8/15/16

Brothers and Sisters,

Back on April 20th 2016, a trial was held at Transport Workers Union Local 555 headquarters in Dallas. The nature of the trial was to determine the validity of the following formal charges:

         1) Was our elected treasurer guilty of not properly issuing the required 1099 tax forms for the previous year?

         2) Had the elected treasurer stopped using Union funds to pay for lodgings while in Dallas?

The trial committee (for which the LEB made suggestions on), was nominated and approved by the President and the L.E.B at the time. The committee came back with a unanimous recommendation of no action taken on one charge, and advised what direction should be taken regarding the other charge. The L.E.B. in place voted to accept those recommendations. Following that decision, the agents who filed the charges opted to appeal the decision to TWU International. That appeal is still pending a decision by the International's appeal committee. We will provide membership with more information once the appeal process has been completed.

Following the implementation of the new L.E.B., a policy reflecting our bylaws was given to all of the board. While the policy was accepted, the sitting treasurer opted to appeal those rules to TWU International; an appeal that is also currently pending a decision by the International's appeal committee.

On August 4th, following comments made by the sitting treasurer in the MDW ramp break-room and a subsequent motion brought forth by a member, the LEB opted to suspend the treasurer with pay, pending the outcome of a hearing over Article XXI of the International Constitution. On August 11th, the Local Executive Board for TWU555 met to discuss allegations against our elected Treasurer under Article XXI of the International Constitution. In accordance with the Constitution, our accused Brother was afforded an opportunity to address the allegations, call and cross-examine witnesses, and introduce evidence in regards to his case. Following the hearing your Local Executive Board deliberated and held a vote on whether or not Article XXI had been violated, which resulted in a decision confirming the violation. Following that, another vote was held to discuss whether or not to remove our Treasurer form his position, which resulted in the immediate removal of our Treasurer from his elected position. Subsequently, he will be ineligible to run for that position in the future.

As is the practice in cases like this, there is likely to be an appeal filed with TWU International regarding this matter. Once the appeal committee has ruled on the issue and returned a decision, a more detailed statement will be released from your Local Executive Board. Although we recognize the individual's rights to privacy, there will be an effort to provide membership with a description of the alleged violations, the rule that governed the decision, and an analysis of what led the Local Executive Board to make their decision.

As we move forward please refrain from spreading rumors; and above all, please respect the affected individual's rights to due process and privacy. Your Local Executive Board is committed to keeping you apprised of the situation as best as we can while attempting to respect these concerns. In the coming days, the L.E.B. will meet again to discuss the opening that the removal has created on the board. Once an election time-line is in place, further information will be released. For the time being, the L.E.B. voted to appoint Jesse Soto as the interim treasurer. While he will not be a voting member of the L.E.B., Jesse will keep the day to day financials of the office going until a new Treasurer is elected and trained on the required duties.

Greg Puriski
TWU Local 555