[Marxism] PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY: ASSAULT ON UNION REP FOLLOWED BY DISMISSAL
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Dec 11 17:47:24 MST 2006
Marty Goodman 12/11/06
Below is a press release concerning the fast moving situation that
followed an assault by a pro-company goon on Jose Serrano, the
recently elected reform depot chair for Amalgamated Transit Union
(ATU) Local 1181 at United Bus in the Bronx. The assault took place
Serrano had challenged intolerable conditions at the bus company,
which is under contract with New York City, Westchester County and
New Jersey to transport children to school. The workforce is heavily
Latino, African American and Haitian. There are a large number of
But, just before our press conference this morning, Serrano was
informed that he had been fired. The frame-up of Serrano includes
outlandish charges of assault, drunk and disorderly conduct,
extorting money from the boss, entrapment, attempts to solicit bribe,
attempted entrapment, insubordination, etc. Serrano was fired by the
proprietor Laraine Lia Costellano.
These outrageous attacks on Serrano are attacks on the right to
organize. The labor movement must defend this courageous union activist!
A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. The location is not yet
available but a picket may be called. Call me at 212-781-5157 for
updates. An arbitration hearing may follow.
BUS UNION OFFICER ASSAULTED IN BRONX!
WHEN: 6 AM, MONDAY, DECEMBER 11TH
WHERE: 98 ALEXANDER AVENUE, BRONX
(IN FRONT OF UNITED BUS COMPANIES)
CONTACT: JOSE SERRANO 347-513-7297 (ATU Local 1181 Depot Chair)
MARTY GOODMAN 646-898-7328 (member, TWU Local 100 Exec. Board)
JOHN MOONEY 917-770-4082 (Vice-President TWU Local 100)
December 9, 2006
Jose Serrano, a recently elected union reformer, was punched in the
face last Friday on the property of United Bus Companies in the
Bronx, a school bus company under federal scrutiny for possible mob
ties. Serrano was assaulted in front of some 20 employees and United
Bus co-owner Frank Brucha. The attack is part of a pattern of
escalating retaliation against Serrano for his aggressive defense of
Serrano charged Angel Gutierez, a mechanic known to be
pro-management, with assault and harassment. Serrano's glasses were
broken but he did not strike Gutierez back. Instead, Serrano called
the police. Serrano was seen later by the North Central Bronx
hospital and released Friday evening. Doctors said Serrano had
sprained his foot during the incident. A test for alcohol proved negative.
After striking Serrano, Guiterez struck a mechanic in the nose.
Serrano was elected in October as Bus Depot Chair For Local 1181 of
the Amalgamated Transportation Union (ATU). Serrano claims the attack
was retaliation for challenging illegal company practices. Serrano
says members are routinely denied overtime pay and forced to drive
grade-school students in unsafe buses. In addition, 428 employees
have only one toilet at a company garage.
Serrano believes the violence Friday stemmed from an attempt by Angel
Guiterez to set Serrano up to be fired. Guiterez urged Serrano to
drink an alcoholic beverage on company property, grounds for
dismissal. An employee loyal to the company was conveniently on hand
with a camera to photograph Serrano drinking, but Serrano did not
drink the liquor. Guiterez hit Serrano in frustration.
United Bus is under contract with the public school systems of New
York City, Westchester County and parts of New Jersey. Serrano has
contacted several government officials about corruption and the gross
mistreatment of employees at United Bus. There has been no response.
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