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UNION CHIEF FILES REPORT WITH PERB SEWER AUTHORITY OFFICIAL DENIES MAKING THREATS

A city union leader filed a grievance with the state's Public Employment Relations Board against a Buffalo Sewer Authority manager who allegedly threatened him and another worker last month.

Anthony Ramunno, president of Communication Workers of America Local 1186, made the charges against Anthony Hazzan, secretary to the general manager of the Sewer Authority.

Hazzan countered that Ramunno tried to improperly obtain a different job for himself in return for promises of favorable treatment by the union.

Ramunno said Hazzan became violent toward him and a union secretary during a meeting last month in the Sewer Authority garage on Market Street. "He got violent and out of hand, and refused to be calmed," Ramunno said today. "Then he threatened my life and my job."

Hazzan denied Wednesday that he had attacked anyone. "A few words were exchanged," he said.

The grievance was to be heard by an administrative law judge today.

Ramunno said Hazzan also has refused to meet with union officials for grievance hearings and contract negotiations. The union's pact expires June 30.

Hazzan claims Ramunno is trying to divert union members' attention from his failed attempt to land a better Sewer Authority job. Hazzan said Ramunno sought a job as head equipment operator, a position that requires membership in a different union. Hazzan claimed Ramunno tried to influence him by promising to squelch any union grievances if Hazzan arranged to have the job transferred to Local 1186.

"He (Ramunno) told me, 'If you give me that job, you will never see another grievance again,' " Hazzan said.

"It's a personal thing because he (Ramunno) is in jeopardy of being impeached by his union. He's just trying to save face, but he's not going to get away with using me or the administration as a scapegoat for his personal problems," Hazzan said.

Ramunno denied the charge and said Hazzan's behavior toward union members has been "abusive, volatile and unprofessional."

"He's intimidated everyone around him," Ramunno said.

Ramunno also took issue with a $9,000 salary hike Hazzan recently received from the Sewer Authority board of directors to bring his salary in line with two other authority managers. Ramunno said one of those managers is a professional engineer. Hazzan is not.

Hazzan, a former banker and longtime friend of Mayor Masiello, was tapped by the mayor a year ago to succeed the late George J. Eagen.

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