[Marxism] PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY: ASSAULT ON UNION REP FOLLOWED BY DISMISSAL

Louis Proyect 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 
last Friday.

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 
women drivers.

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.

*****************************************************************************************

PRESS RELEASE!

BUS UNION OFFICER ASSAULTED IN BRONX!


PRESS CONFERENCE

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 
employee rights.

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.





More information about the Marxism mailing list