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Justice for UFCW Local 5’s Roger Rivera!
Some may remember back in Sept 2012 the unjustly firing of UFCW Local 5’s Roger Rivera by the incumbent Local 5 president Ron Lind after Rivera announced his candidacy to run for president of Local 5.
After months of appeals by Rivera to the UFCW International Union and miles of documentation alleging corruption and election fraud by the Lind slate the UFCW I.U. reluctantly has ordered a Do-Over Officer Election for UFCW Local 5.
Along with the UFCW I.U. investigation there is also an on going investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor
Just one minor problem with the UFCW I.U.’s decision to run the Do-Over election . They have excluded the main candidate for the Local 5 presidency Roger Rivera!
We can best explain what went down with UFCW Local 5’s election fraud through Roger Rivera’s own words in his appeal to the UFCW I.U. Executive Board.
This is an appeal by Roger Rivera of the UFCW International President’s decision on 1/29/2013 to the UFCW international Executive Board.
"Is it rational or reasonable for an incumbent Union President to willfully commit election rule violations to gain an unfair advantage over an opponent in an Election of Officers in a Local Union?
Should the Local Union Incumbent President be able to terminate an opponent just prior to the election in case some valid election rule violations are revealed?
Is it “reasonable” that a Presidential opponent can be terminated “at will” and not be able to benefit from his protest of the revealed election rule violations that were “knowingly undertaken” by the powers that be all the way to the highest levels of the UFCW International Union Administration?
Is it rational or reasonable to allow an internal appeal of the election process to be “white washed” only to have that same appeal validated at a later time by the International Union President when the benefactor of the initial appeal rejection just happens to be an International Union Executive Vice President?
I filed a timely objection to the Election for the Office of the President of the UFCW Local 5 on 9/17/2012 which was rejected by the UFCW Local 5 Election Committee on 10/10/2012. I believe that the rejection was unconscionable given the gravity of the charges that were alleged by my initial appeal. I also believe that the rejection was politically motivated and that the UFCW Local 5 election committee was biased on behalf of the Incumbent President. I vehemently object to and continue to protest the UFCW Local 5 Election Committee’s decision which led me to Appeal to the UFCW International President, Joe Hansen, on 10/27/2012. Joe Hansen rendered his decision on 1/29/2013 which is also politically motivated and biased in favor of the incumbent UFCW Local 5 President, Ron Lind.
It is absolutely absurd that the same appeal rejected on 10/10/2012 by the UFCW Local 5 Election Committee is now accepted as meritorious and in violation of Article 35 (C) 17 of the UFCW International Constitution and local 5 Bylaws. It is no small coincidence that the UFCW local 5 refunded my dues on 12/20/2012 which had been paid and accepted as valid on 9/18 and 11/21/2012.
This was done to discredit my appeal and render me ineligible for a new election that was knowingly going to be needed by every member of the UFCW International Executive Board who had awareness of the appeal pending at the UFCW Local 5 in San Jose, CA. Nobody knew this more than the incumbent President, Ron Lind, whom happily stated “With respect to the office of the president, the International Union decision makes it clear that only candidates who are eligible for and who have maintained continuous membership in Local 5 will participate in the election. I am the only candidate for president who meets that requirement.” How convenient for Ron! Is it legal or even rational for them to consider such an outrageous and pathetic resolution to unlawful conduct of President Ron Lind and his cronies? These said violations include members the UFCW International executive Board such as Shaun Barclay, Joe Hansen and other members of the International Union’s Executive Board. So now, they think that they can just refund my dues, declare me inactive and then re-run an election so that the incumbent president who cheated and broke the law will not have an opponent. This is very concerning to me due to the fact that there was an internal investigation about which the Election Committee and the incumbent President declared that “there was no improper activity.” This conspiracy to cover-up improper activity concerns me greatly because of the fact that during the time that the internal and biased investigation was being conducted, I was an active member and “The Election Committee” was corrupt and foul in its rational for denying my initial appeal. I have and now still do contend that I am an “active Member” on disability. This “active Member” status should and does give me the right to participate in the re-run of the first corrupt and legally foul election. The initial investigation should have revealed “improper activity” and did not do so, much to the pleasure of the incumbent President and the entire UFCW International Executive Board. I smell foul and illegal activity all the way to the top of my “once loved” UFCW International Union.
If you compare the finding of the internal investigation conducted by the first election committee, to that of the “New” Election General Chairperson’s, which I have not seen, one should wonder why they would not have seen or admitted to being aware of serious violations of the I.U. Constitution, the Local 5 Bylaws and the LMRDA. The UFCW International President waited and delayed only to admit wrong doing after I was reclassified to something other than an “active member” which I vehemently protest at this time! This Time delay certainly benefitted the incumbent President whom knowingly and willfully violated his own internal staff memo dated 6/25 /2012. This memo which specifically prohibited campaigning on union time, using Union facilities and equipment, including cars and gas, computers and copy machines to promote the candidacy of any member. This memo was violated “at will” by many members of the Local 5 staff and the incumbent president, Ron Lind. I believe that it is ridiculous to find that Ron lind’s “hired gun” Margot Rosenburg didn’t find any wrong doing during the first initial investigation. I also believe that it was very convenient for President Lind that the Election General Chairperson was “asleep at the wheel.” Now the I.U. President does say that there were serious violations which “may have impacted the results of the election in which the incumbent slate won the election.” I do not believe that Margot Rosenburg was “asleep at the wheel.” I think she knew exactly what she was doing from 9/17/2012 to 10/10/2012. I heard that the election committee did meet several times so what did they discuss? All Margot kept saying in my 10/10/2012 denial of my valid and timely election appeal is that I failed to provide proof of “this or that.” Margot wrote, “based on the evidence before it and its own investigation, the election committee does not find that there is evidence that campaign violations occurred which could affected the outcome of the election.” I can tell from her Attorney Profile that she is very competent but I know for a fact that she was not there to make sure I got a fair and impartial review of my appeal. In fact, I go on the record to say that she was there to “white wash” the entire appeal and did a darn good job of it. Margot found no valid proof during my initial appeal process that union resources were used to support the candidacy of the Incumbent President even though I provided a 14 page appeal with supporting documentation which included an email from the incumbent UFCW Local 5 President, Ron Lind, to the work computers of Local 5 staff members and Regional Director, Shaun Barclay, which was absolutely concerned with campaign activity. This is nothing short of outrageous! One of her areas of practice is enforcing labor law so I know she was well aware of the problems Ron would be facing and she denied my appeal anyway. I am absolutely disgusted with the entire Election Committee’s handling of my initial appeal.
I find it hard to believe that a reasonable person would not be concerned about the rejection of my initial appeal and not find merit in the charges that were presented on 9/17/2012. Joe Hansen stated to me in a letter dated 10/25/2012 that “I am in receipt of your letters received in this office on 10/16/2012 regarding your challenge to Local No.5’s recent election of officers.” Now, I understand that Shaun Barclay’s “lap dog” ,Jeff Ferro, is trying to conduct a re-run of the previously flawed and knowingly corrupt 9/4/2012 Election of Officers at the UFCW local 5 without me as an active participant even though I was “Officially Nominated for the Office of President” by the dues paying members of Local 5. This is outrageous! Jeff Ferro interviewed me on 11/28/2012 and told me that there was going to be time delays because he had family issues related to his kids and so many people that he had to interview. That time delay benefitted Ron now as he proudly proclaims that he has to run against himself! Talk about a “win-win” situation.
Is it reasonable or rational that a sitting Local Union President can fire his internal opponent on trumped up charges one month prior to the election then commit extensive violations of his own internal memorandum regarding Union Expenditures and Campaigning on company time?
How convenient that the I.U. President only now makes it crystal clear that there were serious violations that “may have impacted the results of the election.” I did not fail to comply with any protest or appeals procedures while Ron is trying to get away with cheating during the election, Firing his opponent and allowing his “Hired Gun” to whitewash my initial appeal that was valid, timely and very serious. There were accusations specific violations of the I.U. constitution, the UFCW Local 5 Bylaws, and the LMRDA. We are a nation of laws not men. Violations of Federal Labor Law protections do and should have serious consequences for those who think that they are above the law. Ron Lind commented in the Sacramento Bee that the Lucky /Save Mart contract agreement “is complicated” and went on to say “it’s something completely different than we have done in the past.” It is not complicated! The workers were screwed with that contract and with Ron Lind’s recent and corrupt election victory on 9/4/2012.
The resolution to this problem must be “just and equitable resolution” or the whole process will be and should be viewed as a publicity stunt where your internal union opposition can be reduced to “images and illusions.” What about my right to participate in the Democratic process without violations of the “rational standards of conduct” for conducting a regular Election of Officers at the UFCW Local 5?
Roger R. Rivera
At this time we are asking anyone reading this who believes in worker justice and in “fair, honest, union elections” to stand in Solidarity with Roger Rivera by contacting the UFCW International Union and demanding that brother Rivera be able to run for the presidency of UFCW Local 5.
Demand JUSTICE for brother Rivera! Let the UFCW International know that the “world is watching”.
You can contact the UFCW International Union to voice your concerns at:
1775 K STREET, NW
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20006-1598
1-202-223-3111 (main office)
Executive Board Members contact info:
Joseph T. Hansen
jhansen [at] ufcw.org
Anthony “Marc” Perrone
mperrone [at] ufcw.org
William T. McDonough
Executive Vice President
wmcdonough [at] ufcw.org
Patrick J. O’Neill
Executive Vice President and Organizing Director
poneill [at] ufcw.org
Let's make our collective voices heard loud & clear....
JUSTICE FOR ROGER RIVERA!