Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TEAMSTERS DIRTY TRICKS

         The easiest way to win an election in a Teamsters local is to bring internal union charges against a potential opponent. The local’s executive board sits in judgement of the accused with a guilty verdict effectively eliminating him/her from the election.
          The incumbent officers of New York Teamsters Local 804 have a compelling reason to block Tim Sylvester from running for reelection as president of the local next year.
          Sylvester, a close ally of the late Ron Carey, won the presidency of Local 804 in 2009 and was reelected in 2012. He was ousted from that office by just 70 votes in 2015 after he had announced he was running for general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters  on the Teamsters United slate against incumbent James P. Hoffa.
          As a result of losing Local 804’s presidency, Sylvester switched his candidacy to general secretary-treasurer enabling Fred Zuckerman to become Teamsters United's presidential candidate. In last year’s election, Local 804 members gave Teamster United a smashing victory over Hoffa by a vote of 1835 to 295--a margin of 1,540 votes.
          That 1,540 vote margin must have sent chills through the Local 804 incumbents, who won their 70-vote victory over Sylvester with the help of the Hoffa forces.
          Local 804’s officers, who will sit in judgement, have charged Sylvester with embezzlement for cashing in his accrued vacation when he departed as the local’s president, which Teamsters United contends is a common and permissible practice..
          Teamsters United has branded the charges as baseless, “a political smear campaign by Hoffa and the Local 804 officers who do his bidding.”
          The Teamsters court-appointed Independent Investigations Officer would do well to examine whether the charges against Sylvester are valid or politically-motivated and whether the Hoffa forces played a role in bringing them. Stealing an election is just as serious--perhaps more--as looting a union treasury or pension fund.

          

Monday, January 2, 2017

TRUMPETTS, a poem

          Lying doesn’t matter
          duplicity is acceptable
          exploitation is okay
          sexism is amusing
          bragging is understandable
          hubris is cheered

          Trumpetts is
          an artificial word
          to describe
          abominable beings
          who form
          the Trumpian core

          Keep America
          considerate
          not gross
          the cultured coasts
          should always
          dominate America

          

Saturday, December 31, 2016

THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, a poem

          Our democracy
          is a magnificent
          iceberg
          never before tested
          by a chieftain
          with polluted values
         
          Will Donald Trump
          prove to be
          a negligible ice pick
          a scarring steam shovel
          or a scorching force
          of nature
         
          Perhaps our form
          of government
          will blunt him
          frustrate him
          enrage him
          burn him out

          (Dec. 31, 2016)


         

          

Friday, December 23, 2016

MY ROCK, a poem

Sisyphus
now I understand
what she did
so well
meals, washing, dusting
and loving me

What a good deal
I had
what she did
now I must do
the price of love
housework is my rock
Sisyphus


(Dec. 23, 2016)

ROSE HILL in WINTER, a poem

Fordham’s icled elms
tinkling in the breeze
in this snow pure season
that glorifies trees
recalls to my mind
the statue of a queen
which stands alone
on Edwards Green

(Dec. 23, 2016: I wrote this poem in November of December, 1955
in response to a campus literary magazine offering to publish any
poem written about Fordham’s Rose Hill campus in winter. The poem was not published. This was only the first stanza of a longer poem. I don’t remember the rest.)


Saturday, December 3, 2016

GOING, GOING, a poem

In translucent boxers
I walk alongside
the naked laughing girl
she strides away
a growing distance
between us

I expect her
to stop to wait
to turn
to rejoin me
she doesn’t

In the distance
she pauses among
three young men
I hurry forward
but she is gone
never to return

(Nov. 26, 2016: Last night I dreamt I was walking with a naked girl; I was wearing translucent shorts. I was embarrassed by our mutual nakedness; it was her idea. She started walking ahead of me on this country road. I let the distance grow between us expecting her to stop to wait for me or to turn around to rejoin me. She didn’t. In the distance I saw her surrounded by three young men. I hurried forward. They were lost to sight, disappeared. I never found her. She was gone. I am working this into a poem: Going, Going)


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

THE RELENTLESS TEAMSTER

       Fred Zuckerman, who came very close to winning the presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, has emerged from this month’s election as “the relentless Teamster.”
          Instead of returning to his Louisville home base to contemplate what might have been, Zuckerman told a thousand listeners to a post-elction telephone debriefing: “We’re not waiting for the next election.” His declared strategy is to urge his Teamster United adherents to run against Hoffa loyalists heading Teamsters locals.
          Zuckerman tallied more votes in the United States than incumbent General President James P. Hoffa. However Candian Teamsters handed the victory, another five-year term, to Hoffa. The final count: 102,401 for Hoffa to 96,377 for Zuckerman.
          Teamsters United candidates managed to win six of the International’s 22 vice presidential slots. In the Central Region: Avral Thompson, Tony Jones, Bob Kopystynsky, and Bill Frisky; in the Southern Region: John Palmer and Kim Schultz.
          Zuckerman’s drive to eventually oust the Hoffa administration centers on his opposition to the cozy relationships with bosses, which have led to continuing allegations of corruption; concessionary contracts; and imposing contracts rejected by the rank and file.