Bravo to the 150+ Local 47 brothers and sisters who turned out last night at a historic Local 47 meeting! BRAVO to all those who couldn’t attend but were there in spirit!

The membership achieved a great victory at the meeting last night! Every resolution was won for the benefit of the membership by landslides!

RESOLUTION I – DEFEATED OVERWHELMINGLY! – The 1st resolution, which was designed to increase the initiation fee for new members 200% from $25 to $75 was soundly defeated with approximately 139 voting against it.

RESOLUTION II – PASSED OVERWHELMINGLY! – The 2nd resolution, which was designed to guarantee the members voice being heard whether there was a quorum at a meeting or not, won with approximately 134 votes in favor.

RESOLUTION III – PASSED OVERWHELMINGLY! – The 3rd resolution which was designed to lower the quorum from 100 to 50 won by the widest margin with approximately 142 votes for the reduction, and only 13 votes against!

BRAVO INDEED! We have gotten our voice back and now must use it!

What did YOU think of the meeting? Please send us your comments and we’ll share them with your colleagues on the list!


Cudos to members such as David Schubach, Paul Castillo, Lisa Haley of the FMA, Harriet Katz, Marcy Vaj, Charles Fernandez, Vince Tividad, board member Leslie Lashinsky, Richard Totusek, Jamie Shaheen, David Winstone, David Burns, Val Ewell, Roy Weigand, Jimmie Dale, Andy Anders, Cara Chang, Bill Horn and others for speaking eloquently, effectively and sometimes with tongue planted firmly in cheek!

We also elected an election board with good INDEPENDENT colleagues! We will share all their names once we get confirmation of the winners!

Curiously, after no meetings for over two years with the exception of the “Let’s Trash Tom Lee” meeting in November, 2004, there were NO committee reports and NO officer reports. Makes you wonder what they’ve been doing all that time! Unfortunately we know all too well the damage that has been done in the last two years!


-After the resolutions were dealt with and the meeting progressed to NEW BUSINESS, and an unprecedented example of trying to run out the clock began. After the meeting several of those in attendance said they had NEVER in all their years been to a meeting where the officers talked so incessantly and traded off as if by design to try to hold the meeting hostage until the quorum was lost.

-President Espinosa’s Secretary/Office Manager Doug Caine gave a rather slick though condescending presentation about the new (inoperable) Referral Service Website. Of course, every statement made SHOULD have been prefaced by the words, “When the site is up”, since it’s not working yet and could by their own admission be months before it’s running. The admission of the site being inoperable was far too infrequent and the Manager insisted on speaking as though it was already changing the world! No surprise there.

-Member Charles Fernandez, seeing the quorum being whittled away, interrupted to request to speak to the meeting before the quorum was lost. He made an impassioned statement about the deceptive email in recent circulation, and made a motion calling for an investigation. Here is the brief text of his report:

Statement of Charles Fernandez to the Local 47 membership meeting, April 24th, 2006
Member Charles Fernandez

As I made calls to people asking them to attend tonight, one of the questions I heard from them was, “What’s the deal with that fake e-mail!” I felt it was important to take about three and a half minutes tonight and update everyone on that investigation.

As most of you know by now, on March 20th, 2006 I sent an email with questions, which was addressed to President Espinosa, with a copy to the other officers on the board whose emails I knew. The initial email went out to exactly eight people, all members of the board. This letter was not broadcast to any list.

On April 15th, an email was sent to Local 47 members from a purposefully deceptive e-mail address designed to pass itself off as the Committee for a more responsible Local 47.
The email included my initial letter intended only for the board and President Espinosa’s response.

The deceptive email has been traced from Comcast, through Earthlink to a particular mail server. A lot of effort went into covering his tracks, but not enough. I say “he” because the mail server referred to the account creator as a “he”, but cannot divulge his identity without a subpoena because of privacy laws. And a Subpoena cannot be issued unless there is a lawsuit. I am pursuing legal action to obtain the identity of the accounts’ creator and sender of the deceptive email.

Please keep in mind that only the Board of the Local had my initial letter; only the Board and the Presidents’ office had President Espinosa’s response; and only the Board and/or a Local 47 employee would have had access to My Letter, the President’s response AND the e-mail addresses of our members.

Though Secretary Williams informed me that the President’s reply should have been sent to me by email and snail mail around April 7th, I received neither. I didn’t receive the email because the Local had my email address wrong in its database. The Secretary and I discovered that together.

The Snail Mail, I believe, was intercepted by the perpetrator of the deceptive email before it left the Local. I believe this because in the 23 years I have been a member of this local I have never failed to receive mailings from them, particularly dues notices.

Bottom line: Whoever sent this e-mail intended to deceive by impersonating another entity and may have even intercepted the hard copy intended for me while it was still at the Local. I therefore believe that, given time, this perpetrator will decide to commit further deception using the Local’s resources, only next time it might include the Local’s money, members’ Social Security numbers or other personal and privileged information. This perpetrator must be exposed and fired at the very least.

That brings me to this question: Does the Local do background checks on employees who will be handling member’s money or have access to privileged information such as Social Security numbers?? And what is the extent of those background checks.

I am formally requesting and hereby move that Local 47 conduct a thorough investigation into whom within the Local engineered, assisted and/or enabled in any way, shape or form the committing of this potential crime, and that the results of this investigation be printed in the Overture, on the Website and reported on at the next Local 47 General Membership Meeting.


His motion for a formal investigation was immediately seconded and passed without a single person raising their hand in opposition!

Shortly after that the quorum was lost, but a couple of other people still asked some questions.


The best question was the member who asked, “Why was the referral office moved again after the membership expressly mandated it’s location at the front of the building?”. In a special meeting almost a year ago, the membership clearly voted by mandate to move the referral service back to the front office and be kept there. The board had moved and hidden the office, for no viable reason.

In case you didn’t know, the MEMBERSHIP is the primary authority, the Board is the secondary authority, yet this board blatantly broke bylaws by daring to move the referral office against a clear and express mandate voted on by the Local 47 Membership.

When asked for a specific reason, President Espinosa, said it was an emergency. When asked what the emergency was he actually said they moved the office so that Nancy, the new person running the referral service, wouldn’t have to walk down the hall to the old referral service office!

When a member then brought up the obvious by asking, “Are you seriously saying that you broke by-laws and went against a clear membership mandate so an employee didn’t have to walk 40 yards down a hallway!?”, the silence for the next few moments was deafening. Hal simply ignored that statement. What else could he do? There simply is NO excuse for their breaking our bylaws and ignoring clear, binding mandates voted on by the PRIMARY authority in the Local,.. US! They still seem to believe they can give us any lame excuse and that we’ll buy it. They learned differently last night!

After that embarrassing exchange, and there were others, someone pointed out, “So much for holding officers responsible for flagrant disregard of the bylaws.

Well folks, we CAN hold them accountable! If you were at the meeting where the referral office mandate was passed, CALL THE LOCAL! Attend the board meetings! Lodge a formal complaint!

There is so much to celebrate about last night and we can and should all be very proud of the victory of our combined efforts! BRAVO and CONGRATULATIONS FOR TAKING BACK OUR VOICE!

This is only the first round, there are MANY issues to be resolved and much to do, so please plan NOW on attending the July meeting!

We cannot afford to lose the momentum we’ve created!

We’ll have more about last night’s historic meeting in future mailings.

Also, if you have colleagues who would like to be included on the Committee mailing list, please have them send us an email! It’s time to expand!

Until next time,…


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