The scenario at Local 210 is extremely important to many members. It's quite obvious from recent articles that The News is biased toward the government's perspective in this matter.
Many members, including myself, did not agree with the way the government took control of our union five years ago. A union is an investment of time and capital by its members. The day-to-day operations have several issues to address to maintain the strength, dignity, respect and financial security its members deserve.
Regardless of the government's theory involving the former leaders as "connected to organized crime," they completely overlooked the needs of union members. This became evident early, when Gabe Rosetti became the government-approved supervisor of our local. He and his sidekick, Jeff Turzillo, gained very little respect from the vast majority of our members.
Looking back, it appears that they did nothing to better the position of our local. If the government had the best interests of the local and its members in mind, how could they have allowed such an incompetent staff to control the destiny of so many for so long?
The former leaders should have remained while being overseen by a government monitor. This would have allowed the union to continue on a positive path. Investigations could have continued, corrupt individuals could have been weeded out, democratic rights could have been guaranteed and the negative impacts on the union would have been minimized.
Isn't it ironic that nearly five years later, the government wants to appoint a monitor to oversee the activities at Local 210?
The News articles convey an impression that five years after the removal of the "alleged" mobsters from within our local, there are more mobsters waiting for the opportunity to grab the union. The insurgents and dissidents (a term I resent) mentioned represent an extremely small percentage of our membership.
There are ways our union can get back on a positive and progressive path with fairness, equality and involvement for all members. One must have an open mind toward the positive values associated with union involvement.