utano

TONY UTANO: 'Put the nonsense to rest.'

The U.S Department of Labor has concluded its investigation into December’s Transport Workers Union Local 100’s election, in which incumbent President Tony Utano prevailed over Joe Campbell and Tramell Thompson, and determined that out of 300 positions, only one contest required a re-run, according to Mr. Utano and Mr. Thompson.

“We got a letter on the whole investigation, and of all the allegations, the only thing that needs to be redone is the 12th spot in a station-delegate race,” Mr. Utano said in a phone interview. He added that in that contest, DOL zeroed in on the fact that three candidates were separated by just two votes.

Re-Run Ballots Out Aug. 9

The field in that race included Abu Shubeb, Antonio Roldan, Jr. and Harold Haywood. Ballots for the re-run will be mailed out Aug. 9 and tallied on Sept. 6, according to the union.

Mr. Thompson, whose Progressive Action slate came in third, said he was reserving judgment on the DOL findings until he received the report regarding his election protest.

“I want to see the official report, because the race the DOL flagged we did not challenge,” he said in a phone interview. “Perhaps we did not reach the numerical threshold to prompt a re-run, but that doesn’t rule out there was a problem.”

Mr. Campbell, who came in second, did not respond to an email query on the election findings.

Mr. Utano said that he was happy that DOL put the union’s election under heightened scrutiny. “DOL came in to put it to rest so we don’t have to hear this nonsense,” he said.

Light Mail-Ballot Return

Roughly 29 percent of the union’s 40,000 members voted, with Mr. Utano getting 7,362 votes, Mr. Campbell 2,284 and Mr. Thompson 1,826.

The Thompson complaint centered on whether Local 100 made an effort to update members’ addresses for the purposes of mailing out the ballots. He said he fielded complaints from members who got the union’s publications but did not get a ballot.

“I never received a ballot; however I did get campaign material in the mail,” Michael Ortiz, a Brooklyn-based Bus Operator, emailed this newspaper. Mr. Ortiz said he called to get a ballot and was mailed the wrong ballot for a different department. He called again. “Alas, the election deadline came and went, and to date I still have not received a ballot.”


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