From Union to Scab Labor at the World Trade Center - 9-11's Missing Link?
Did the chaos surrounding the changes in a labor union compromise the security of the World Trade Center?
From Gus Bevona to Mike Fishman: Leadership changes circa 1999 in New York's World Trade Center Janitors' Union Local 32BJ. The highly unqualified-for-the-position Fishman was recently listed as one of New York's "Power Dozen" by New York Magazine.
The above flyer (full text here) was distributed during the 1996 NYC janitors' strike. In the flyer, union leader Gus Bevona warned tenants of buildings "owned by extremely wealthy real estate barons" of the owners' scheme to replace trusted workers with "strangers paid substantially less" who "will have the key to your office." The flyer states that the building owners were making false claims about the properties being "financially troubled" in order to replace higher paid union workers with non-union labor.
According to the above flyer (full text here), in 1996 the Port Authority of NY hired dicey non-union contractor Laro Maintenance Corp. to clean the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and let in poverty wage, non-union Summit Security to provide security services to the World Trade Center. As a result, long time union security guards at the WTC were told their services were no longer needed as of February 29, 1996. Bevona was ousted from 32BJ in February 1999, within a month of the end of contracts for over 30,000 maintenance, cleaning, security, and other workers in NYC office buildings, including the WTC. Soon other contractors with non-union labor at lower wages moved in to service the buildings.
For close to twenty years, from 1981 to 1999, Gus Bevona was the head of Local 32BJ, whose members included the cleaning and security staff at New York's World Trade Center.
During his tenure, Bevona operated in a way that self-help guru Dr. Wayne Dyer would describe as "quietly effective". He had a certain facility for quickly organizing city-wide strikes, and also for negotiating with apartment building owners who praised his negotiating skills. As a result, the janitors in the NY local became the highest paid in the country. In 1991, it was reported in a NY Times article that as the head of 3 union locals in the NY area, Bevona collected a combined salary of over 400K. At the time, 32BJ had over 70,000 members working in residential and commercial buildings in NYC.
Regarding his reputation, not much was known about the reclusive Bevona. "I've never heard a bad thing about Gus Bevona", said a vice-president of another union..."I've never heard a good thing about Gus Bevona. It's a total vacuum."
In spite of the fact that the workaholic Bevona got his salary from 3 different jobs, his pay aroused the ire of one Carlos Guzman, an Ecudaorian immigrant who worked as a porter at the WTC. The trigger for Guzman was a request by Bevona to the union for a 25% raise in his salary and a simultaneous increase in members' dues.
When all was said and done, amidst allegations of fraud, seemingly unsubstantiated mafia connections, a well-publicized posh penthouse owned by Bevona, and a liberal use of strong-arm tactics, Guzman agreed to drop a $2.4 million lawsuit on the condition that Gus Bevona resign.
Guzman spent years trying to oust Bevona. At some point, Guzman was represented by attorney Arthur Z. Schwartz, according to this 2009 blog post:
...a decade ago Schwartz was “making labor history.”
But now, Schwartz, hardly a household name outside of labor circles, may accomplish what prosecutors, insurgents, and even Andrew Stern, president of the international union, have never been able to do: get Bevona out.
In 2009, attorney Schwartz became the mouthpiece and general counsel for the notorious ACORN, an organization which has been described as a front for a socialist agenda and voter fraud. One of the co-founders of ACORN, Wade Rathke, is also a member of the International Executive Board of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and a close associate of Andrew Stern, SEIU's president (1996-present).
Andrew Stern, who trained at the radical and SDS associated Midwest Academy, became the president of SEIU at its 1996 Chicago convention. This was after interim president Cordtz and his running mate Gus Bevona mysteriously (or not) decided not to run.
Prior to the convention, articles claiming allegations against Bevona had been circulated anonymously to union locals. In another attack, Stern cited the leadership at SEIU as being "stale, male, and pale" - code for aging, male, and white-gentile. Stern is aging, male and pale-Jewish, but that's another matter. Not exactly Mr. Clean himself, Stern at the time of his victory at SEIU had been tainted by the Ron Carey-Teamsters money laundering scandal.
In 1999, when Bevona was forced out as head of 32BJ, the union was placed into trusteeship by Stern for eighteen months, run by Stern's own hand-picked trustees. One of the trustees was Michael Fishman. Fishman ran the union during the trusteeship and then ran for president of local 32BJ.
Fishman was not a member of local 32BJ. Fishman was a former officer of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America who was hired by SEIU for staff duties. Fishman had never worked at any job performed by local 32BJ and was not entitled to run for president according to local 32BJ's constitution. So how was Fishman allowed to run? SEIU International President Stern amended 32BJ's bylaws to allow Fishman to run. Fishman won the election with only 18% of the approximate 55,000 members local.
The 3 year contract negotiated for union workers by Gus Bevona in 1996 ended almost the same month Bevona was forcibly retired in 1999. Less than a month after the Bevona ouster, dozens of union custodians, porters and repairmen were dismissed from Manhattan Mall (Avenue of the Americas and W 33rd Street). The previous contractor for the workers, International Service Systems, was replaced by a firm called Golden Mark. Union employees said they were ordered to clean out their lockers and, if they wished, to re-apply for their jobs at a Golden Mark office across the street.
''We were told that our services were no longer needed and that we had to get out of the building,'' said Michael Colon, 37, who has worked as a handyman at the mall for 10 years and under the union contract earned $17 an hour. Howard J. Rubenstein, the PR consultant who returned calls for Golden Mark's owner, Bobby Golden, said 29 of the union workers dismissed were rehired at lower wages, but he did not confirm the union's assertion that the workers were offered salaries of $6.25 per hour with no benefits. ''Golden Mark says they pay decent wages,'' Mr. Rubenstein said.
The Port Authority of NY, owners of the WTC, began using the non-union TUCS Cleaning Service as part of its janitorial crews. In June of 2001, TUCS workers were being rallied by 32BJ, to demand better wages and benefits, and to press the city for a living wage law.
Was Bevona correct in his allegations that wealthy owners of Manhattan real estate were involved in a scheme to oust union labor? It certainly does look that way, considering what happened in the aftermath of Bevona's forced "retirement" - union labor replaced by cheaper non-union help that were relative strangers to the buildings.
Did this action pave the way for non-union contractors with illegal alien (Hispanic, Israeli and other) workers to gain access to buildings formerly under union contract? Would Dancing Israeli Dominik Suter's City Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning (a.k.a. City Carpet Upholstery Inc.) have been one of them? Were Suter's Urban Moving Systems trucks used to transport explosive materials to the WTC?
There has been much speculation on how the WTC imploded into its own footprint and how the buildings could have been rigged with explosives.
RDX is one explosive used in controlled demolitions, others being Semtex and C-4 (both composed partly of RDX). A small quantity of RDX was one of the components in the explosives prepared to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999/2000. RDX was the main component used for the 2006 Mumbai train bombings. It was also believed to be the explosive in the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings (source: Wikipedia).
Whatever explosives were used completely pulverized both towers and their contents. Firefighter Joe Cassaligi tells of finding part of a telephone keypad, the biggest identifiable piece of office equipment he was able to locate. Could this pulverization have been accomplished with nano thermite? With RDX? With a new hybrid?
Another theory centers around a nuclear bomb set below the towers. However, this theory falls short considering that the gold stored in the basement area of the WTC was left unharmed.
Scott Forbes, a British IT worker on the 97th floor of the south tower, talks about a "power down" of the upper 50% of the south tower floors on September 8th and 9th, 2001. In addition, he speaks of scores of workers in overalls and without ID badges during the power down. Employees were notified that "internet cables were being upgraded". Were finishing touches being made on the upcoming demolition?
Israeli-run companies in the US that hire Israeli illegals have been mainly in a few areas: locksmiths, carpet cleaning, moving services, mall kiosks, and the occasional interior decor firm (i.e. Suter's Woodflooring Warehouse Corp.). Most of these are perfect covers for moving boxes of materials into and out of buildings, gaining entry to locked offices and nosing around a facility while engaging in carpet cleaning. Cleaners normally start their shifts at night, after office workers have left for the day. In addition, they hold a plethora of keys to various offices and entryways, and leave relatively late. Security guards also have keys and access.
The "Dancing Israelis", employees of Suter's Urban Moving Systems, were arrested by New Jersey police on September 11th, 2001, after they had been observed celebrating while taking pictures of the burning towers of the World Trade Center. The initial report states that they "were found carrying maps linking them to the blasts." At the same time, another white van was intercepted, loaded with explosives and headed to the George Washington bridge. Additional details on the two incidents is at this link.
A few hours before the suspicious May 1st, 2010 ("May Day") Times Square car bomb, "suicidal" Aaron Fetto, 20, was found walking in an underwater Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) subway tunnel that is a main line between Manhattan and Brooklyn. He dressed as a transit worker and was carrying a quart bottle of cyanide.
City Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning has a cleaning contract with New York's MTA as well as the Israeli and Iraqi consulates and other sensitive government connected agencies. Why is Suter, an ex-terror suspect, connected to a business in the US that employ Israeli illegals in sensitive areas?
In 2008, Suter registered a business in upstate NY called 24/7 Anyday LLC. This was simultaneously listed as a carpet cleaning company and a locksmith, in spite of the fact that the "office" was nothing more than a UPS mail drop. Could 24/7 Anyday be a smug reference to a future terror attack, akin to wife Ornit Suter's revenge rant?
Getting back to the unions, things got stinkier at the 32BJ local after the Stern-Fishman takeover. As early as 1999, union members were angry because they thought the new leadership would change the union's dictatorial ways.
In 2002, SEIU delegate Ismat Kukic was indicted, along with 40+ members of NY crime families, for attempting to bribe union officials to replace union workers with non-union workers in a Brooklyn housing complex.
The same year, Dominick Bentivegna, a 32BJ union staffer who helped oust Gus Bevona, became fed up with excessive spending and a lack of democracy. He marched into president Michael Fishman's office and declared he was running against the boss in Sept. 2003. Twenty minutes later, he was terminated. "It's not about democracy," Fishman said. "If you disagree with the program, you can't be working here."
As head of SEIU, Stern has put a muzzle on nursing home union members to keep them from reporting patient abuse; put a California local into trusteeship because they resisted Stern’s reorganization plans; has unionized workers with little say-so on the workers’ part, and in addition "settles cheap" on their behalf; announced a health care reform partnership with Wal-Mart without informing the UFCW, the union trying to organize the company; and has performed raids on other unions, earning him the nicknames of "pirate" and "Darth Vader". It is estimated that Stern blew upwards of $100 million of union members' dues on these decidedly undemocratic campaigns.
In addition, Stern saw fit to put $60 million toward the election of Barack Obama. Between Inauguration Day and July 31, 2009, Stern visited the White House 22 times, meeting with the President seven times.
Several SEIU pension plans are in critical status, meaning they have less than 65% of assets needed to fund financial obligations to future and current retirees. Because of this, Stern was militantly behind Obamacare, going so far as sending SEIU and ACORN goon squads to health care reform meetings. The SEIU recently claimed to "cut all ties to ACORN" after the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy. Stern is referred to as one of "the chief architects of healthcare reform" in Modern Healthcare magazine's ranking of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare for 2009. In addition, SEIU has been "getting its Zionist on" by standing staunchly against Arizona's immigration reform bill.
Andy Stern's reign of error just recently came to a close as he resigned from SEIU in April of 2010. What's next? How about board member of a bio-warfare pharma company? SIGA Technologies, “a company specializing in the development of pharmaceutical agents to combat bio-warfare pathogens,” announced Monday that Andy Stern, “labor leader and prominent advocate for reform,” has joined their board of directors. Stern's new
“activist” partners at SIGA include the likes of Michael Bayer, CEO of the national security consulting firm Dumbarton Strategies and director of the big military contractor DynCorp.
And whatever became of Carlos Guzman, the little Ecuadorean porter who could? He campaigned to become head of 32BJ with running mate Bentivegna. Stern had other plans, and pushed Mike Fishman in. Guzman went back to his job as a porter. Union critics have since accused Stern and others of keeping the union head positions "stale, male, and pale" - albeit a bit less gentile.
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