Union Corruption Monitor Getting the Brush Off?

Union dons Jim Hoffa (left) and Rome Aloise are celebrating the end of direct
federal oversight of the Teamsters. Credit: Teamsters for a Democratic Union

Jim Hoffa Appears to Ignore Pending Charges Against Sidekick

In October 2017, a federally appointed independent review officer (IRO) found Teamster International Vice President Rome Aloise, union President Jim Hoffa’s main power broker in the western U.S., guilty of multiple corruption charges.

For example, the IRO — Judge Barbara Jones — found that Mr. Aloise had illegally solicited tickets to an exclusive Super Bowl Playboy party from an employer with whom he was bargaining a union contract covering Teamster members.

She also found that he had wielded his monopolistic power as a Teamster officer to force two employers into hiring his cousin. And she found he had illegally used forced dues-laden treasury money to help an ally win a union local election.

Unfortunately, after being found guilty of having rampantly abused his power, Mr. Aloise was never criminally charged or even removed from office

February 2020 Memorandum: Mr. Aloise Intimidated Unionists, Threatened Charity

Instead, Mr. Hoffa and other top Teamsters bosses opted merely to “suspend” Mr. Aloise from his offices for two years. During this “suspension,” Mr. Aloise continued to attend union conferences and allegedly continued to run Teamster subsidiary outfits in California through surrogates.

Last December, this shady character reclaimed his position as Teamster vice president. Today he is again collecting multiple forced dues-funded union salaries, totaling roughly $330,000 a year!

Mr. Aloise continues to abuse his office to quash challenges to his power and perks, according to Independent Investigations Officer (IIO) Joseph diGenova.

This February, Mr. diGenova submitted to the Teamster International Executive Board a 31-page memorandum charging that Mr. Aloise had flagrantly violated the terms of his suspension and retaliated against unionists for following the suspension order.

For example, in early 2019, Mr. Aloise allegedly threatened a non-profit charity if it didn’t revoke an award to Teamster officer Rick Hicks, who had refused to allow his union headquarters to be used for an event Mr. Aloise planned to attend in violation of his suspension order.

Mr. diGenova concludes that Mr. Aloise’s threat of financial ruin led to the revocation of the award, and that the Teamster bigwig committed an act of racketeering. By mid-May, Teamster chiefs were obliged either to take action on the IIO’s charges against Mr. Aloise, or refer them to Judge Jones for a final ruling.

However, as this Newsletter edition goes to press in early June, there is no public information available indicating the executive board has done anything at all about the charges against Mr. Aloise.

Mark Mix: Labor Department Needs to Police Union Corruption More Aggressively

National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix commented:

“It is possible Jim Hoffa and his cohorts on the Teamster executive board are thinking they can get away with just ignoring the racketeering and other charges against Rome Aloise.

“That’s because, on February 17, just three days after Mr. diGenova submitted to the board his memorandum laying out the latest allegations against Mr. Aloise, the ethically challenged Teamster hierarchy was effectively entrusted, for the first time in many years, with policing itself.

“The recent termination of direct federal oversight, originally consented to by Teamster bosses eager to avoid prosecution on an array of felony charges, was masterminded in 2015 by President Obama-appointed federal prosecutor Preet Bharara.

“This fulfilled a campaign promise Mr. Obama had reportedly made back in early 2008, when, according to a Wall Street Journal news account, he garnered Teamster bosses’ endorsement by ‘privately’ telling them he ‘supported ending the strict federal oversight imposed to root out corruption.’

“Fortunately, President Donald Trump’s prosecutors and agency heads have generally proven themselves more willing to crack down on union corruption than Mr. Obama’s.”

One glaring exception, noted Mr. Mix, was consummate D.C. insider Arthur Rosenfeld, who headed the Labor Department’s Office of Labor- Management Standards until he passed away in May. Since the critical position of OLMS director became vacant, he added, Right to Work leaders have been communicating with the Trump Administration about the need for more aggressive policing of union corruption.

Of course, the fact that Rome Aloise is still largely running Teamster operations on the West Coast, despite his record of corruption, is a key case in point.