On the one hand, John Samuelsen has reigned with social media attacks, threats, charges, multi-million dollar lawsuits, selective prosecution, suspensions from office all targeting members believed to be in opposition.
But on the other, he has not been shy using the carrot, and what an expensive carrot … only thing is that YOU PAY full freight!
Here is how John Samuelsen has worked this corridor of corrupt dealings.
First: BUYING LOYALTY with YOUR MONEY!
For decades the practice at the union was that only the top 10 (now its 11) were on payroll. Div Chairs and other div and section officers were in TA paid release time spots. Chairs sometimes got an additional 10 hrs per week when they filled in for when staff reps were on vac. There were 53 fully TA paid release time spots when I took over. They were historically divided as follows. 13 for MOW (4-TK; 5 Infrastructure; 3 Siginals; 1 Pwr). One for each Depot in TA Surface and OA. 5 – RTO; 3 Stations; 3 CED etc
I arranged for the TA to increase the TA paid release time spots to over 80 positions. Those included 7 in Membership Services; positions in the Child Care and Training and Upgrade Funds etc.And I arranged to for the union to pay for 4 hrs release per day for every Maintenance Chair in the other Surface and CED shops. Finally, beginning in 2007/2008, after double fatalities on the track, I arranged for up to another 6 reps to be released every day to conduct joint job site Safety inspections day and night. In other words I just about doubled the release time that the TA had to pay. The clear focus was increasing the representation and servicing of the membership outside the disciplinary machine.
What Samuelsen did is, come in, and offer the 17 Div Chairs to be on Staff payroll instead and, WITH MOST OF THEM ALSO DOUBLING UP AS EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS AS WELL, more so than at any time in the over 85 yr history of TWU Local 100.
So the way it works in practice is that these Div Chairs are, in turn, invested in going out there and getting him re-elected and, as they are also on the Ex Bd, they vote however he wants on the Board in exchange for their over $100K plus per yr salary and the complete freedom they have to do anything (or nothing) for the members. They don’t punch a clock or answer to anyone, not even to the VPs in the departments to which they belong. I know for a fact that many, if not most, often stay at home. So much so that one of Samuelsen’s closest buddies and former Chair of the Track Div was widely considered a ‘stay-at-home’ chair for many years.
But 17 Chairs on staff means over $1.7M in straight salaries alone. Standard practice is to add 35% to account for the cost of paying for their benefits, health, pension etc. That’s well over $2M per yr for their loyalty and control of the ex Bd. (They all start getting an additional pension from the Local on top of their MTA pension at 50 hrs per week). That’s your money.
BUYING SILENCE with YOUR MONEY!
Mr Samuelsen has also quietly paid out over another $1.5M separately to people he has wrongfully fired. This was paid out as hush money in agreements where he put them under “gag orders” called “non-disclosure agreements” under the law, to prevent from telling what they saw being done, or was done to them, in Local 100. This includes numerous clerks and others working in non-confidential positions. By my last count I know about a dozen such persons. the standard going rate was at least $100.000 for each silence he brought.
Are Local 100 Finances just a blank check?
Does the Local 100 Executive Board even care?
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– Roger Toussaint