VP of troubled N.L. union local says newly elected officers did nothing wrong
IBEW Local 2330 accused of misusing union money
One of the leaders of a troubled Newfoundland union local says he welcomes an investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2330.
Earlier this month, IBEW's head office placed Local 2330 under trusteeship and suspended all the local officers.
CBC News has obtained a letter signed by IBEW international vice-president Tom Reid outlining allegations about what may have happened at the local.
None of our officers has any worries.- Kevin Slaney
The letter says the local is accused of giving unauthorized severance to former employees and providing the local president an "inordinate" amount of money for taxis despite receiving an automobile allowance. It's also alleged Local 2330 officers tried to improperly remove another officer last month.
In September, IBEW 2330 held elections for officers and executive members.
All of them were replaced except the local's longtime president.
"All these allegations are basically stuff that the members put forward during the election campaign, and thanks to the international [office] we are getting a chance to look at all that," said current vice-president Kevin Slaney, one of the newly elected local officers.
Slaney says he can't comment on what union officers did before the election but he says the new officers did nothing wrong.
"None of our officers has any worries about any misbehaviour on their part," he said.
Slaney says the local has already reduced its spending by hundreds of thousands of dollars since last fall.
Based on the allegations, Reid has put Local 2330 under trusteeship and suspended all its officers. All meetings of the local have been suspended, and officers must turn over all books, chequebooks, minutes and other Local 2330 property.
When CBC asked about the matter, an assistant for Reid said the union has no further comment at this time, calling it an internal issue.
Slaney said officers, including himself, have been suspended while the local is under trusteeship but he says local employees are continuing to do all the work the union does for local 2330 members.
Members protested last summer
Last July, Local 2330 members blocked the local union office on the Holyrood Access Road, saying union management hadn't been forthcoming with information about financials or work agreements. Some members brought a list of demands that included that members be presented with copies of quarterly financial reports and annual financial audits.
At that time, some members had hoped that they could get the international union involved at the national level, in order to get more information and bring some clarity to the situation, which has now happened, as per Reid's letter.
A hearing will be held June 24 at the union's offices in Holyrood to determine if the trusteeship should be continued. Reid's assistant said it will also be determined at that meeting if there will be further investigation of the allegations.
CBC was unable to reach other officers of Local 2330 for comment. Several voicemail boxes were full and not accepting messages, while a message was left for the business manager.
Slaney said the local is planning to hold a meeting before June 24 to update its members about what is happening.