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Garment industry workers, retirees speak out against raid of their assets
23
May '09
Workers and retirees who witnessed the invasion of their union offices by agents of former HERE President John Wilhelm issued the following statements:

"I came to MY building, the UNITE HERE offices on 275 7th Avenue this morning and found that followers of John Wilhelm who came in the dead of night are preventing the union from serving its retirees and members. When I visited I felt intimidated and unwelcome in my own union building." - Ruby Jones, President of the Retiree Club

"I heard with my own ears the Judge say our assets are to stay where they are for now. What is Wilhelm trying to do? He can't serve members and retirees by force! Their actions demonstrate that former HERE leadership believes they are above the law. We built assets like the building on 275 Seventh Avenue by the sweat of our brows since 1903!" - Joe Raico, Union member, Local 10

"We call on John Wilhelm to resolve the conflict between Workers United and UNITE HERE through arbitration. His actions are hurting the entire labor movement, not just retirees and they need to end. Their actions demonstrate that former HERE leadership believes they are above the law." - Retiree, Roosevelt Alexander

The following actions transpired Friday May 22, 2009
• At approximately 4:00 am this morning, representatives of the union faction led by John Wilhelm came to the UNITE HERE International Headquarters on 275 7th Avenue with security guards and a locksmith.
• John Wilhelm and his agents lied to the security guards already guarding the space claiming that they had a court order to take the building.
• John Wilhelm and his agents forcibly gained access to the UNITE HERE offices. They broke into the locked executive offices of UNITE HERE President Bruce Raynor and key staff who support the union's organizing campaigns.
• Records and computers were seen being taken out of the building.
• At the last court hearing about the union's assets Judge Daniels ruled that no one is supposed to take any radical actions regarding the union's assets without the court's explicit approval.

Workers United Union

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