ARTHUR A. COIA
General President

R P VINALL
General Secretary-Treasurer


MASON M WARREN

VERE 0 HAYNES

FNRICO MANCINELLI

CHLICK BARNES

JACK WILKINSON

GEORGE R GUDGER

MIKE QUEVEDO.JR

ARMAND E SABITONI

CARL  E BOOKER
Assistant to the
General President

PETER.J FOSCO

TERRENCE M   HEALY

RAYMOND M POCINO

EDWARD NI. 5MITH

WILLIAM H. QUINN

MTCHAEL S. BEARSE
General Ccoumsel

 

HEADQUARTERS
905-16th Street, NW
W3shington, D.C.
20006-1765
(202) 737-8320
Fax (202) 737-2754

    LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA

NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL OFFICE

226 South Main Street - Providencc. RI 02903 - (401) 751-8010 - Fax (401) 861-3340






DATE: March 22, 1999

TO: All Connecticut Construction Local Unions and Members

FROM: Armand E. Sabitoni, Vice President and Regional Manager

RE: Contract Ratification


        RANK AND FILE CONTRACT RATIFICATION

Over the past few months there has been a coordinated effort within our locals
around the State to push the issue of rank and file contract ratification. This is
part of an effort to create political divisions in our sister locals in Connecticut.
The issue is being used as part of an ongoing attack on the strength and unity of
the District Council. The purpose is to promote the narrow interests of a few at
the expense of all our sister locals and members in Connecticut.

The basic point to understand is that rank and file voting on contract ratification
is not the real issue. The Uniform District Council Constitution for many years
has allowed Council delegates to authorize our negotiating committee to settle
an agreement for one simple reason - because this maximizes the bargaining
power and strength of the negotiating committee in dealing with the signatory
contractors. That united bargaining strength, in turn, has resulted in many
historic gains for our members including solid pension and health benefit plans,
legal service and annuity funds, competitive wages and benefits, innovative
labor-management cooperation programs that have helped to create additional
union jobs, and job safety and training programs. These benefits and programs
are the keys to our past and future success. And, the ratification process is
dcmocratic because the Council delegates are in turn elected directly by the
membership. If the members believe that the committee has not done its job,
then the delegates can be voted out and replaced at the next local union election.

On the other hand, direct membership ratification of the contract adds an
element of instability and uncertainty at the table that dilutes the negotiating
committee's strength and means that the committee may not be able to deliver
on the contract. It means that contractors can try and create divisions and splits
among the special interests of locals in different areas of the State and play off
one faction against another. It also increases the ability of a few locals to block
an agreement that may be in the best interest of the overall membership.

 


Practices among various unions vary in terms of whother there is rank and file
contract ratification. Many unions such as ous follow our practice and do not
provide for such ratification while some others do. In any event. thm is a
recognized method within our Union to change the ratification procedure if that
is the majority's wish and that is by resolution to amend the Constitution at the
upcoming convention in 2001. In the meantime, do not be fooled into allowing
a few politically ambitious people to misue this issue to advance their own
interests at your expense.

cc: Connecticut Laborers' District Council


The attached correspondence is for your

information and/or attention.

If there is anything further you wish to know
regarding same, please advise.

Armand  E. Sabitoni
Vice President and
Regional Manager

LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION
OF NORTH AMERICA
226 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

Laborers for JUSTICE 1999 All Rights reserved