Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mob scarred carpenters Local 608 shut down after racketeering convictions

The city's largest and most corrupt carpenters union local was permanently closed Tuesday in the wake of racketeering convictions and the firing of five presidents.
The international United Brotherhood of Carpenters dissolved crime-ridden Local 608, which controlled carpenters on Manhattan's West Side and the Bronx, and transferred its 7,400 members to rival East Side Local 157.
The move, which creates a union local with more than 11,000 members, will not affect carpenters' benefits, dues payments or work seniority, said District Council of Carpenters supervisor Frank Spencer.
Founded in 1918, carpenters in Local 608 built virtually every high rise on the West Side skyline. But for decades, it was under the thumb of the mob and plagued with corruption.
It is the largest of 11 locals in the District Council of Carpenters, which has had a succession of federal anti-corruption monitors for the past 20 years.
This year, Local 608 president John Greaney and six business agents pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges. They were included in a sweeping federal indictment that saw District Council of Carpenters boss Michael Forde - a one-time Local 608 president - put behind bars for 11 years.
Greaney's last four replacements toppled amid allegations of financial skullduggery, rigging job referrals and other infractions.
The smaller Local 157 has had its fair share of corruption problems, too, and was placed under supervision of the international from 2007 to late 2008.
The timing of yesterday's action, just a week after Local 608 members elected new leaders, left many carpenters shaking their heads in disbelief.
"They went through the charade of appointing one [Local 608] president after another then waited until after the rank-and-file elected a reform ticket," said Local 157 member John Musumeci. "It doesn't make sense."
"The rank-and-file didn't have anything to say about this," said newly elected Local 608 president Tommy McGonnigle, who is now out of a job. "We didn't expect they'd pull the rug out from under our feet a week after we were elected."



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