The Deconstruction of Teamsters Local 804
The journey from a once powerful union to the shell of it’s once former self is one that should be studied in order to better understand the pitfalls unions in the future must avoid if unionism is to regain any of it’s former glory or at the very least figure out a new path of unionism in the 21st Century. The combination of selfish ambition, overly aggressive campaigning, self promotion at others expense, lack of or seeking knowledge, and back door deals are biggest part of many the led to the downfall of a once powerful teamsters union. There is no single answer to what led to the fracturing of the union or what can be done to heal the wounds. This site only highlights some of the key events over the last several years starting in 2014 that led to the present state of Teamsters Local 804.
Op-Ed that led to the study
In posting a Op-Ed, it becomes necessary to speak in a manner that can be critical and rough on the reader, especially within Teamsters Local 804. The changing landscape of the labor movement has made it imperative to send a strong message to the members in hopes they understand that the normal means of electing members may not be in their best interest. I created a graph in hopes that the members would take the time and better understand what areas were strong and weak on each slate and address the issue by voting for individuals instead of an entire group of union members. The weaknesses will become apparent during the next election cycle and the voters will replace an union executive board with another, thus a revolving door of talent never gets the opportunity to work together. Below is the Op-Ed or opinion written to a small group on Facebook in hopes they would consider the alternative to block voting for their union representatives.
In not block voting the individuals can take corruption out of the union politics and force the representatives to focus on union business and nothing else but that business. In voting on the basis of the experiences of a union representative and that same representative should not have to much of a problem holding onto their position if they have proven themselves over a three year (3) period. If the body of work is the measurement of the individual, then the bulldogs, tribalism, and antics that go with the process would then be eliminated, but unfortunately that is not the case within Teamsters Local 804.
Ignoring the obvious
Facts are not something that is factored in the decision making as much as it should as UPS has solidified their 21st Century working model compared to the 19th Century model used by Teamsters Local 804. Even when presented with facts, there is a resistance to the facts compared to the tribalim of thought shared by a large number of members.
If you don’t or don’t like to read, move on don’t your waste your time. I am curious. I’m collecting so much data in my endeavor in studying Local 804, to better understand why we are in a downward spiral. I noticed that “tribalism” is so prevalent to the point I admire the situation UPS is presently in. They can sit back an watch individuals who can’t even read a graph, base their decision on his own tribalism. What grabs me is not only do our minority members not read, but so do our so called active members who don’t even consider that not all the best candidates are on their preferred slates.
Members check the like box of a particular candidate, but do you honestly know what the job these individuals are applying for entails? Meaning the actual responsibility compared to their experience? What is sad is that if I point this out to you, you will only become offended by this fact. I can post a research paper in how UPS is the “Communication Organization” you won’t read or try to understand what we need to do in order to slow down the onslaught against unionism. I’ve studied and KNOW this company and their players. 804 Strong was doomed to fail.
For the Anti-Liam contingent out there, I am not necessarily saying he was the answer, but he knew what was coming. The next group will be worse, because the herd of knowledgeable members has been and still is thinning out; starting with individuals like Jess Jessup. Those that are left with any real ability are spread out on four (4) slates. And, YES, we keep playing the friendship/popularity game in our decision making. I’m trying my best in disseminating information as if it’s Gerber baby food, to no avail. I notice, a particular slate has their propagandist post their slate’s “cliche” at every opportunity. I’ve been posting four (4) profiles at a time in hopes the members would actually take the time to read them, but who really is taking the time?
I don’t hate UPS. I’m starting give up on you, the members for two reasons. First I will start with those who tell me about how I think I’m smarter than everybody. Please consider, members criticize me for being intelligent, but I know UPS management respects me for it. What’s wrong with that picture, when considering I am always trying to give information to the the so called “weak” instead of becoming a John Locke or Social Darwinist. Otherwise, I’m an Labor Activist. Weak? John Locke during the 18th Century believed those who did not possess land or education should have the right to vote not vote. Economically, this is wrong in a democracy, educationally, his point would have been that if you don’t understand what you are voting for, then why should you even be involved in the process. Today, that would cancel out a large portion of this local.
There also is the Social Darwinist. We all know the survival of the fittest. Socially there are smart and dumb people. These people believe that it is ok for smart people to take advantage of dumb people. I’ve always hated this way of thinking, but I am beginning to understand that their initial hypothesis is correct. Think of UPS vs us. The educated vs the slightly educated. With their knowledge they look at the slates and know who is a problem and who isn’t. And LAUGH at the internal tribalism we continue to display in our decision making. They, UPS management, truthfully know which thirteen (13) people they don’t want to deal with on any level. We don’t, because we don’t read biographies of the candidates and can’t even take the time to read read a graphs.
I heard the average UPSers has barely has a High School Diploma and UPS management typically has a college degree. How do you like those odds? I’ll keep posting and around June, I will watch as the complaints continue mount, and I will think to myself I told you so, but you didn’t listen. There will be the critics and endorsers, but I wonder did they actually read all the bios in a critical thinking manner (unbiased) in order to make their decisions? Seriously do you honestly spend time thinking about what is in the best interest of our union or are you solely focused on selling your chosen slate/friend? UPS is going to win, because of your TRIBALISTIC THINKING!
When others step outside the system, they can risk being labeled as the trouble maker or the other. Unfortunately deals, side deals, underhanded deals, and back door deals that have led to the present situation Teamsters Local 804 is facing today. It does not help when there exist podcast, live radio shows, and the other election pages that are self serving at best. These various forms of social media claim to be a medium in which to inform the membership. When bashing becomes the form of communication, then the possible good can come from Alejandro Galano, Hector Fortis, or even Charlie Jordan. Jordan’s teamsters 804 Facebook page initially may have had good intentions, but like authoritarians, they screen comments that do not favor the message they are trying to send out to the members who frequent the page.
They most definitely stole a page from the Russians in attempting to influence the membership. And Rocky is running for a trusteeship. What of leader screens post on Facebook and has the nickname “Spider” with in a particular center? Unfortunately, most members a inundated with post that at times are facts, but mostly of rumors and opinions in the negative towards various individuals. The podcast and “What the Heck Show” no different from each other.
They both pushed different candidates during the 2015 Teamsters Local 804 elections and a couple of years later formed an uneasy anti-Danny Montalvo alliance. When these mediums exist it is difficult at best, but the average member to receive information in regards to who to vote for in the upcoming elections and subsequent elections. Members need to cast a informed vote, but find it impossible with the various forms of media and political intrigue that exist within their local union.
A house divided
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Early 2014, Teamsters Local 804. A wildcat cat strike took place known as the "Maspeth 250". Today, 2018, there exist a "Vote No" campaign being organized against the contract between Teamsters Local 804 and United Parcel Service. What I find interesting is the...
Maspeth 250 Part 1
Maspeth 250 Part 2
Maspeth 250 Part 3
This video tells the story. A man on the rise. Tim Sylvester, Presidential Candidate for The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). One of the best orators in the union I have ever witnessed. But was there a true leader behind the speeches. Teamsters...
2015 - 2018 Teamsters Local 804 Elections
“A party, or any institution that is in power or in opposition, does all things to get only for its own goal and interests, no matter in a legal way or through illegal resources, like forces, print and electronic media, and negative propaganda among the people , spending the millions of money for this. It is called dirty politics by the support of evil spirits.”
The problem with the triblistic attitudes of the union members is the fact that they find it necessary to employ the bulldog. Individuals like Ken, Dave, and Rob fit the bill. These individuals go after dissenting members in an aggressive manner when they feel it is necessary in getting the message out for their particular faction. They rarely go after each other, as I feel it would be a waste of time for such ideologies go after another ideology. The member is such easier prey. The are unsuspecting and do not know how to deal with the bulldog. The often bend to the will of the bulldog and those witnessing these tactics either agree or stay silent.
Ken was an individual who once was a business agent and unfortunately got caught up in an affair which, if the rumors are true, produced a child. He eventually resigned his position as to settle things within his home. The odd thing about Ken, was the fact that he channeled his inner anger at the Executive Board that replaced the one he initially ran with.
It did not matter what type of issue came up in regards to Tim Sylvester, Ken was there to defend Tim. Tim could be the Donald Trump on Fifth Avenue shooting someone, and Ken would defend him. Even when Edween Vinhalta got caught up in his own scandal, self reflection escaped Ken’s comprehension. He still attacked others of different opinion with the kind of zeal that make one think of Sean Hannity. He often would produce a self produced paper called the “Agitator.” He would criticize the current executive board and praise the previous board in this paper.
Dave is an individual who speaks as if he has accomplished a lot, when his actual resume would not fill out an index card. This individual actually has a chance to be a trustee in our union. This is definitely one of the reasons our union is being deconstructed and the selling of lies common place on Facebook and “The What the Heck Show.” It is known that Dave and Hector, the host of “The What the Heck Show”, did not speak for various reasons for a long time. The chance to earn $127,000 brought these two union members together on the Experience Matters Slate. Hector was once told that if he promotes Dave to his members he is in fact disrespecting their trust by endorsing an individual he knows does not have the resume to hold any elected position within Local 804. This had to give an individual, like Hector, a moment of pause as he does care about his members.
Dave is known for carrying the water for Anthony Cerulli. Many view him as either corrupt or lazy. Cerulli is a survivor. He voted against Tim Sylvester’s slate nearly 10 years ago when they first ran against Howie Redmond, yet Tim took him on as a business agent after winning his election. When Tim was charged, Cerulli managed to jump ship with Vinny Perrone and Scott Damone and form another slate, leaving Tim to deal with his charges on his own. What Anthony, Vinny, and Scott did not realize, was the fact they had to face charges of their own in receiving large sums of money for vacation time they did not take. The manner in which they received or the monies were paid out are in dispute. What is not in dispute is that Cerulli is not popular within the building he served, but that does not matter is connected with the right people in selling a lie.
Back to Dave, realizing his resume was thin, he took over as a shop steward by default after a member, Cyrus, took ill and left UPS. After arriving in the Feeder Department Dave ran for the shop steward position in hopes of beefing up his resume, for his eventual run as a Business Agent on the Experience Matters slate. He lost and lost by a much larger margin the following year. The selling of a lie is the art most of those in certain positions are skilled at. The running for the position was not out of necessity for the member, but one in which personal gain was the sole motivation.
At the same time, Dave can not escape his past as a former bulldog for Tim Slyvester and Anthony Cerulli. He berating style of bullying for the cause was disguised as passion. Passion has its limits that he easily crossed as a loyal member of this aggressive brigade. He was famous on Facebook as creating meme and posting “this is what I heard” rumors on Facebook in order to deface members of other slates. The idea of selling Dave as a member with experience a passion is the lie that Experience Matters has chosen to present to the members.
Rob is the clown of the group. He often agitated individuals on Facebook for self aggrandizement, but often would the story as to everything being corrupt and he just had to say something about it. An activist of some sort or anti establishment hero. He often participated in the agitating of Tim Sylvester supporters during the 2015 campaign. Once 804 Strong won the elections, Rob retired shortly and said his goodbyes only to resurface in 2018 backing a different fish as if is initial support had been forgotten by all. He needs to be some type of relevant figure is one of an old gunslinger reliving days past in dime novels.
What these three share was the ability to attack those of different opinions. The attitudes these individuals displayed was one of your either you with us or against us. This attitude is one that would turn off any member who was slightly interested in the union or the possible recruitment of any new members. The union is one of unity and shared ideas. Unfortunately, the discord within the union made the task of selling the union to the new and not so interest member very difficult. As many individuals do not engage in the high stakes fight of being the leading tribe within a dysfunctional system.
“ I guess that’s how Hoffa-Hall hook guys… When they want to get in office and/or stay in office, whether it’s merited or not. Then just pledge political allegiance and go along with the concession train. Thankfully it doesn’t always work, and there are more principled Teamsters out there.” – Charles Jordan
Means justifying the ends. Union man vs. Union; Charles Jordan after getting caught doctoring a photograph
So, since you posted their photo, Steven, Now I can ask the question. Kioma and DManorothy (correction: I’m told Dorothy paid her own way. Unconfirmed) were sent by the Local to the Teamsters WOMEN’S Conference. And this is hosted by our IBT leadership, so I understand the respect aspect, but I’m sure I’d be able to avoid. Just me.
But the question that photo begs for me is… Why is Liam there with his wife? Liam, someone until he started to run against Tim, has been very outspoken of Hoffa’s leadership for YEARS. HE’S BEEN PART OF THE REFORM MOVEMENT TO SEE HOFFA OUT OF OFFICE.
So, ask him, why is he there with his wife, at the Women’s conference, taking a photo op with someone he’s been opposed to far longer than his alleged problems with Tim’s leadership?” – Charles Jordan
The problem with the triblistic attitudes of the the union members is the fact that they find it necessary to employ the bulldog tactics before, during, and after a election. Win by any means necessary is the mantra. Smearing the candidate the norm in all politics, but a strange one considering the main focus is dealing with UPS. Unfortunately, individuals like Ken R, Dave C, and Rob G fit the bill as the bulldogs. Being the bulldogs serve two purposes. The first is the support the team without the team getting their hands dirty. The second is a chance to gain some notoriety as a player in the game. These individuals go after dissenting members in an aggressive manner when they feel it is necessary in getting the message out for their particular faction is the only faction and any other choice is not the right choice. They rarely go after each other, as I feel it would be a waste of time for such members ideologically to go after another strong minded individual or another slate. This would be a waste of time as they know they will not be able to convince the campaign manager to switch sides, therefore going after the unsuspecting member is the easier choice. ideology. The member is absolutely does not have any idea how to deal with the bulldog other than agreeing with the bulldog or hiding in the shadows. They often bend to the will of the bulldog and those witnessing these tactics either agree or stay silent.
The average member has no interest in union activities and the ones who do are exposed to a toxic environment they do not understand. The only choice they are left with is either become a part of it or walk away.
Requieum of a normal Teamsters Member
The rest of the the members who do not reside within the two cities belong to scattered guilds.
Unity is often preached, but the war between the winners and losers of an election never truly ends. The well being of the membership is often the key phrase used by both sides, but it is the members who are sacrified in the never ending war for power.
Podcast, Facebook, and What the Heck Sho
June 15, 2019
When others step outside the system, they can risk being labeled as a trouble maker or the other. Unfortunately deals, side deals, underhanded deals, and back door deals that have led to the present situation Teamsters Local 804 is facing today. It does not help when their exist podcast, live radio shows, and the other election pages that are self serving at best. These various forms of social media claim to be a medium in which to inform the membership. When bashing becomes the form of communication, then the possible good can come from Alejandro Galano, Hector Fortis, or even Charlie Jordan. Jordan’s teamsters 804 Facebook initially may have had good intentions, but like authoritarians, they screen comments that do not
favor the message they are trying to send out to the members who frequent the page. They most definitely stole a page from the Russians in attempting to influence the membership. And Rocky is running for a trusteeship. What of leader screens post on Facebook and has the nickname “Spider” with in a particular center?
Unfortunately, most members a inundated with post that at times are facts, but mostly of rumors and opinions in the negative towards various individuals. The podcast and “What the Heck Show” no different from each other. Both pushed different candidates during the 2015 Teamsters Local 804 elections and a couple of years later formed an uneasy anti-Danny Montalvo alliance. When these mediums exist it is difficult at best, but the average member to receive information in regards to who to vote for in the upcoming elections and subsequent elections. Members need to cast an informed vote, but find it impossible with the various forms of media and political intrigue that exist within their local union.
A good example of this would be in regards to Raul Molestina. At one time he was a guest on the Alejandro Galano podcast pitching 804 Strong, or the present Executive Board. After a period of time he was joining the 804 Rise Up Slate, then later became a frequent guest on the “What the Heck Show.” Imagine the confusion he may have created amongst his membership or his reputation as being indecisive or maybe a victim of the changing sea of politics with in the union.
The message and messengers are the problem within the local. Delivering solid information in a fact based show or at least being honest as to one’s opinion or the reason for a Facebook group would eliminate any perception of being disingenuous when giving out information. But such a message would reduce the number of members as they do not subscribe to the politics. Not informing them in many ways, may be part of the plan. What is not understood is by giving biased information to the members allows one to consider these mediums part of the problem and not the solution.
Man I feel sorry Eddie’s wife. Montalvo is dirty. Blah blah. Stop the bullshit. Before being caught what was he doing? Living the life off our funds. Charging the old executive board of embezzlement when it was actually money owed to them. They ,THE OLD Executive Board, fucked up in not reporting to the members. Whoops! And to the old Executive Board, you should have TAKEN your vacations like everyone else and not make it an issue in the first place. Shut up with the rebuttals! Seriously. I have the mike!
Let me help you….it’s a Friday, I’m the president. Making $127,000, got rid of at least one slate. Getting some quality tail over the weekend on the union’s dime. Free hotel, plane tickets, and food. What else can I buy on the union dime for myself and her. I’m the MAN. I’m the THE PRESIDENT. Life is good.
The dummies in the hall are busy beating up the old Executive Board, not paying attention to what I’m doing. I’m Living the life. I’m the PRESIDENT. Got support from Galano on the radio. Laurelton is my back pocket. Hoffa handling my business. Only have to worry about Medina’s slate. Deal with them later. This shit is unreal, and I’m living the dream. I’m the PRESIDENT.
Did I tell Eddie to use union funds to, YEA I’LL say it, bang out some side piece in a hotel with my $80 dollars? Did any of you? Go ahead with the platitudes and “Aw Man!” That’s fucked up. No, he GOT CAUGHT using your money, accusing others of what he’s actually doing. If he didn’t get caught, then how long would he have continue to use our funds. Damn! How long has he been at it? I feel bad for his wife, but my wife comes first HELL, my family comes first! Maybe not for those of you feeling bad for Eddie. What was he doing for me during the time he was spending my money with her? I don’t feel bad for anyone but myself and the other hard-working Local 804 TDU Teamsters, because we aren’t or certainly didn’t live the life of President before getting caught.
I swore I was watching and episode of Law and Order. Damn, the old Executive Board was guilty of Embezzlement. That’s what you initially charged them with doing. Guilty, before the charges actually came down. I remember joking about how hard you worked on the case. You had posted depositions of what Tim and Jim stated. So proud, posted for all to see. Johnny on the spot. Going after the bad guys. But the whole time, I wondering what in the hell did they embezzle. The murder charges, now a parking ticket. Embezzlement actually failing to report their vacation pay at a meeting. If I were them, I would sue for defamation, I mean there was a massive mailing calling them THIEVES!!! They can’t get their names back….
Ok. Now straight talk. A lot of work went into the investigation and as they say,”Follow the money…” Now Eddie is charged, and of you followed the money you were supposed to be in charge of in the first place. My question and BIG problem is as follows:
When investigating the old Executive Board, I understand you have to sift through old information, but with Eddie not so much. You’re the Treasurer, how did you not notice $10,000 improperly given to an individual you, sorry not you (Mr.Murphy. AMAZING THE NUMBER 2 and 3 TRUSTEES DON’T PUT THERE NAME ON A LETTER?), are alleging misappropriation of funds? Are you not the one that should be watching how all our nickels and dimes are being spent. I mean, didn’t you BUST the old Executive Board with your KICK ASS investigation?
Now if you didn’t know, sorry, but at the union meeting you claimed the books were in order. Let me think……Now your on record in that same meeting reporting the books were fine. Didn’t you audit your own work before reporting to the members. How did you miss $10,000 or DID YOU?
I think you need to be investigated. I already know about the “Get Rid of Eddie and Betancourt Plan.” If my memory was correct, 9 of you were planning to leave. I was personally told, not hearsay folks!! Investigated, yes, if you let the $10,000 slip past you, how much more money did you not pay attention to that was POSSIBLY being misspent?
Odd for some, not me.
There are only two possibilities. You’re an intelligent individual and knew about the money, but let it slide. If so, then you are part of the problem in orchestrating this set up. Part of the Devilish Nine’s plan to set up Eddie in order to blame the captain for the sinking ship. Can’t jump off unless we can prove Eddie’ Humphrey Bogart in “Mutiny on the Bounty.”
After all if the members knew of the plan, then the “Ides of March” posted previously was a prelude to this haphazard plan. For those of you who don’t know, think of Julius Caesar and how it ended for him.
VERDICT: You need to step down.
You didn’t know anything. Then why the hell are you managing our funds in the first place?
VERDICT: Before looking for our president to step down, I think you need to do some hard thinking.
I remember some once accused me of being a Machiavelli type of character. I read the book. I also play chess. With this in mind, I truly think the only person who can understand this post is the person who plays chess or has read “The Prince.” Oh….I forgot and the TRUE TEAMSTER POLITICIAN. Let’s back a few months. In chess you need to see the all the pieces. I apologize. This post should be for everyone. Let me re-explain. This is my conspiracy theory, based on FACTS. Or just coincidences. But I will tell it as a story..
Elections are coming up. Ok. WE know 804 Strong is getting voted out. I don’t agree the thought that their whole slate is bad, this is why I am for the bullet ballot. Joe Forcelli for instance should stay, but let me get back on point.
I don’t think I am the minority in thinking they are on their way out the door. I know 804 Strong is just as aware of this act as I am. What are the going to do to change the upcoming tide? The AMBITIOUS ONE/TRUE POLITICIAN has a plan. A complex play of sorts, straight out Shakespeare. Everyone is going to play a part, not knowing they are chess pieces on his board. If you want the throne of an unpopular King, then you must find a way to turn his closest advisor, easy, against him and then convince the people, not so easy, that king was the only one responsible for all ills that fell upon his subjects.
Creating a separate slate in which you are the leader has two problems. How many supporters can you get with a new start? Second, how much support does Eddie still have? AWait, there actually exist a third problem, people will think of you as a Judas. Fuck!!! To many factors and not enough time.
But the ball starts to roll. Strange that people leave the committee and talk of Eddie is so bad as our president. That kool aid tasted good for 2 years all of a sudden taste sour with no ice and sugar. The timing is odd at best. The first signs that Julius Caesar is about to be slain. In modern politics, we have the press or in our case Podcast and radio shows. The point of view is voiced that the president and vice president (smoke screen?) being incapable of running Local 804, especially during contract talks.
THE AMBITIOUS ONE finally starts to make his not subtle moves. A couple of carefully placed whispers help spread the word that he is splitting from the king. Whispers are effective tools in letting the lips of others do the work for you. He has these great ideas. Ideas he actually got from the WILDCAT (only clever people will get the code word) two years earlier before he, The WILDCAT, was banished from the kingdom.
The Ambitious one has got to test the waters, see what the temperature is like outside. Has to be careful that only the king’s head is the only bead that ends up on the end of a pike in front of the union hall when this is all over. In politics, this is known as forming an exploratory committee.
Damn! The waters are not so good at the moment. The waters are actually hot! Shit. If I just break away I’ll be known as a Judas. I still need Eddie’s supporters, plus solidify support 43rd street. Mr. 804 Strong Safety Man (not the one who is missing all the time), projected I can get 500 votes from 43rd street alone. That won’t be enough to offset Foster Avenue revolt! Maybe Manhattan South and North will support me, after all I put key members from those
buildings on the committee in order to gain their support later. I am such a smart squirrel, planting the nuts for the winter. But that isn’t enough. I do have Laurelton. That’s still not enough!!!!
I need to slay Caesar! I need Hail Mary…….
Surprise…the DASTARDLY VIDEO!!!! Wow. What luck. Looking in the mirror. Poker face, I can’t believe the “Timmy Brigade” would do this! Bastards….What?! People think I’m behind this? Oh noy! How to save this situation. If I didn’t know any better, my past dealings and character are catching up with me. Either way, I’m catching the heat for this. Time for the coup to take place. Meet, convince, take a vote, and replace the king right anyway. Have to show the members! As Trump would way say,”Only I can save…..”
Email the INVESTIGATION, make him step down, I get a good contract, and people will think I saved the day. Problem. Everyone is still realizing, thinking, or deducing I am the only one that can gain from the release of the VIDEO, so I can’t afford to put my hands on the letter to the Joint Council. Need to move another piece on the board. I’m worried about how I can still salvage this situation for myself. The Detective can’t sign, how can he sign the letter when the questions will eventually surface as to
why he wasn’t watching the money in the first place. Used him enough already and I don’t need a Michael Coen or Flynn on my hands. I’ll find one of the original nine to sign. He has no choice, he was part of the “Plan 9” anyway, might as well go all in.
So much happening, so many pieces moving on the board, yet his name is not on or so far proven to be behind anything, because he is “Machiavelli the Chessmaster…
Or this is simply my conspiracy theory….
There are no permanent alliances, only permanent interests.
The dysfunction within 804 Strong was hidden from public eyes, but the end product did rear its head in the form of scores of members being walked of the job for some of the most frivolous of charges. The victory scored by this group is proof anyone can win an election, even though everyone may not have the credentials. But like most slates, this slate had good representatives and “fat.”
As time went by, ambition eventually would lead to a split within this group. Coupled with the fact that this groups association with James Hoffa was now a cancer that would most definitely will lead to them being voted out of office. Ambition and self preservation is wins out in the world of Local 804. Danny Montalvo more than a year in advance was already forming his own slate. With Montalvo signalling the beginning of campaign season, Edween Vihalta became an easy target or rather the punching bag for all. More importantly, the members realized the dysfunction within their local union.
Montalvo did not escape the criticism by appearing to blame Edween for all the shortcomings of the union. In fact, many felt he was a Benedict Arnold. When a video surfaced of Edween having an affair with an employee of Local 804, many felt Montalvo was behind the filming of this video. Charges were filed as Edween had advocated for her $10,000 raise. He was removed from office and Montalvo took over as acting president.
The key for Montalvo is getting things done in a 3 month span and taking credit for it. At the publishing of this blog, Montalvo is negotiation with the 804 Strong Executive board the Teamsters Local 804 supplement with UPS. A successful contract will help Montalvo sell the idea he should continue to lead the local into the future. Failure to do so will have a negative effect at the ballot box.
The beginnings of 804 Strong have led to the expected ending. When seizing opportunities, those who are ambitious will continue to be so until they reach their ultimate goal of power. When considering the beginning and the present situation, it is hard to imagine how the membership actually benefits from the politician that is being played on the outside. The only ones who benefit from these actions are the individuals who participate in the power grabs.
They meet in a resturaunt. Pete, Scott, Vinny, David Levine, Antorine, Medina, and John Guest. These people deciding what food you are going to be able to purchase or who you can vote for. Problem is, they both have slates and want to be able to represent the local. The bigger problem is they both are trying figure out how to make a deal and double cross the other slate later. I will not be called a liar about this meeting, because it did happen. Chew on this for a minute. Once again, if you don’t want to hear this, leave. I do…not…care. I foolishly love the union and at the same time I am upset about at how the machine works in the background or doesn’t; and at the same time I am watching this company eat us alive.
804 Rise Up; Part 1
Jun 18, 2019
The problems with 804 Rise Up began began the very first time the dealt with the Experience Matters Slate. The double dealing between the two slates with the main goal of taking down 804 Strong began in earnest, but both side continued to out maneuver the other as they bother were waiting for the decision in regards to whether Neil O’Brien and Pete Matrendreau could run for office. The initial deal would have been, if those two were ruled ineligible, then the Rise Up slate would absorb member from the Experience Matters Slate and for the “Super Slate”.
The problem that Rise Up did not comprehend at the time, was not that the were away that if they were able to absorb these members into their slate, there was also the expectation they would hire at a later date the individuals who were not able to run through disqualification. This should have been the first sign that a power grab was in play. The groups intentions were understandable, but what they did not understand was the group they were dealing with.
The second problem Rise Up did not understand is the very fact of engaging in this manner limits the memberships chances are being able to choose who could be represent them. When John Guest, Medina, Mastrandrea, Andrews, Perron, Damone, and TDU (Teamsters Democratic Union) David Levine sat down for a meeting on a Sunday, they in a sense were determining which product the membership would be able to choose from instead of the membership have a wide range of candidates to choose from. The other problem with such a meeting is the fact that in trying to rid the union of the influence of James Hoffa, these individuals were deciding to let TDU be a part of the decision making as far as Teamsters Local 804.
The beginning of this partnership was doomed for the very reason, that any partnership formed by ambitious individuals, the very idea of sharing power will eventually undue any agreement reached by such individuals. 804 Rise Up, not hoping the charges would stick, were in many ways counting on the charges sticking in order to poach certain members for their slate. What was not understood, is when dealing with ideologies and ambitious individuals, it is virtually impossible to get a deal that works in any way in your favor. This lesson was learned as 804 Rise Up ran into problems over time in filling their slate.
Jun 18, 2019
Union meeting filled those campaigning at the microphone. Hand shakes and posturing. Next to the bus, 804 Rise Up was the slate to be reckoned with. The only slate organized in fact. Interviews and agreements. Where is your resume? We will call. Wisely Experience Matters was working the room looking for members, as Rise UP was having their big meeting afterwards. They netted Mike Dowling. A big catch. Dave Cintron was slowly poaching those who did not decide what to do yet. Lawrence Grant took the bait. Raul Molestina was part of the Rise Up meeting, after bailing on DAnny Montalvo. Rumor had him running with Montalvo but he wisely did not join that slate.
The confidence exuded by 804 Rise Up was recognizable, but there was an uneasiness about the slate, as they had some serious issues known as “Fat” on their slate. The door was clearly open for other slates to fill this void, if Rise Up did not recognize this fact and the other fact that they may have members, but no plan. No position were settled upon, which eventually led to the defection of Molestina, who later joined the Experience Matters Slate.
Not having a plan and not being able to settle on position eventually led to Joe K leaving the slate. A dispute in the Vice President position led to him leaving the slate and any support they had hoped to gain from him. As they bled people, they were forced to recruit individuals with questionable records and motivations. This issue was brought up to Antoine Andrews and paperwork to prove the accusations. Antoine took the information and buttered up the resume of the questionable individual. This called into question of whether Rise Up is doing what most candidates do during elections. Spinning a lie in order to get in office? The simple answer would be yes, but in truth anyone applying for a job will juice their resume in order to be hired.
Finding themselves selling individuals with little and one case, absolutely no experience is something anyone should question. The questions one has to ask is, when making speeches about fighting for the members, is Rise Up being responsible in running for office when they are willing to place inexperienced individuals into positions where they will literally make decisions that directly affect individuals lives? The deconstruction of Local 804 states with this very question. When a bar is set low and that can even be met, then how is it possible to defend the membership from the onslaught being waged by management?
Gathering of information will not solve Teamsters Local 804. Too many factors are involved that any analytics or logical hypothesis can be formed to solve the many issues surround the union itself; and then finding a way to pass the information along to the members in order for them to make an informed decision.
Then again the information does not lend transparency to the dysfunctional system in which the union operates or the individuals who pull the strings in the background out of sight of the membership.
Not hard to spot. When ideology takes over common sense. Then that’s a problem. A degree in Social Science requires one to study psychology, history, and sociology. The deconstruction of our union is not hard to analyze. All the slates have fat. The bullet/split ballot ensures accountability. Think about it, these slates are carrying dead weight.
Rise up has two members who are corrupt. One member used to sit at home as an alternate steward for 45 straight days. Another is a three (3) alternate steward at best, who constantly breaks the contract in earning extra money for himself. One member of your slate has no business representing anyone; even themselves. The individual with a degree in Chemical removal, has never represented anyone in any shape or form as a union representative. Now you will put this person in charge of a building and the shop stewards. This person is the last stop before arbitration. Irresponsible is the word one would use to describe your slate
Experience Matters as an example has issues as well. Has one autocrat and an individual who is not popular at Foster, 43rd, or even Manhattan South. I will publish my redacted letter to the old Executive Board, the facts can be verified about this individual. in fact I hear he just recently served a one week suspension for stealing time. Wait. The company caught him. As a trustee, who is watching him? My point. Can you trust a person like that in the Hall? Even with this knowledge these individuals will vouch for him in front of buildings. Montalvo will cut anyone’s throat in order to achieve power. Not the best choices. $127,000 will do that to you.
One house replaces another after a 3 year hiatus. The question one has to ask is what really changed. The negotiatied contracts by both Executive Boards are nearly identical. The same tactics are used in campaigning. The same individuals within the two factions recycle themselves as the agents of change. The question is what has changed?
Questions, Comments, and Suggestions
The New 804: 21st Century Approach to Unionism