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

Monday, March 5, 2012

Family of mobsters getting paid big bucks to work at the ports

Nice work if you can get it.
A small band of longshoremen — including relatives of famous mobsters — were paid for working more than 24 hours a day, every day of the week, at the ports of New York and New Jersey, The Post has learned.
And the Port Authority is warning the industry that if it wants public funds for waterfront improvements, it has to stop handing out outrageous perks to favored workers.
Many of the top earners raked in over $400,000 — a seemingly-impossible-to-achieve amount considering most earn around $30 an hour.
Some of those deep-pocketed dock workers — like the nephew of the late crime boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante — have admitted to actually being at the ports for as little as 30 hours a week.

Joseph Colonna, driving around over the weekend, and Ralph Gigante enjoy cushy perks like extra overtime and getting paid while not at the docks.

Paul Buglioli
* His father, Robert, is a former dockworker who was close with Genovese crime-family associate Nicholas Furina and helped him score the job
* Earned $474,947 in 2011 working as head timekeeper

Ralph Gigante
* Nephew of former crime boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante
* Admitted under oath that he is paid whenever any of the men he reps for the union is working at the terminal; terminal operates 24 hours a day
* Earned $406,659 in 2011 as a union shop steward
That paltry schedule didn’t stop Ralph Gigante — a union shop steward who is supposed to make $36 an hour — from bringing home $406,659 last year in salary, overtime and bonuses, according to Waterfront Commission records The Post obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Its gotten so bad that the PA — which spends billions on infrastructure upgrades at the ports — has told container terminals to rein in their staggering labor costs before holding their hands out for public money.
“At a time the container terminal industry says it is struggling and asking for substantial Port Authority subsidy in our harbor, the industry must help itself by eliminating ‘low- show jobs,’ ” said newly appointed PA executive director Pat Foye.
The staggering salaries and absurd levels of overtime come courtesy of onerous union rules inked by the International Longshoremen’s Association and unwritten special deals that help make the New York waterfront the most expensive in the country.
While the ILA is being sued by the feds for alleged links to the mob, none of the high earners cited in this story has been charged with a crime.
The ILA and the New York Shipping Association — the umbrella group for the terminals that dole out the obscene salaries — are going to the bargaining table to craft new contracts as early as the spring.
Just last summer, the Port Newark Container Terminal — Ralph Gigante’s employer — asked for and received $150 million from the Port Authority for capital improvements.
But that’s pocket change compared to some other infrastructure projects the PA pays for at the ports, including the $1 billion raising of the Bayonne Bridge.
The infusion of public money is being justified as making the ports more competitive and stimulating the local economy. But Foye is adamant it’s equally important for the terminals to end the head-scratching practice of paying people who aren’t working.
“The industry must say no to ‘low-show’ jobs in upcoming labor negotiations,” Foye said.
It won’t be easy.
At any given time, some 40 percent of the ports’ work force — which includes terminals in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Newark — is being paid but not actually doing any work, according to testimony at commission hearings two years ago. In some cases, union contracts specifically state that some positions — like checkers and timekeepers — are on the clock as long as the employees they oversee are working.
“These people don’t have to be at the pier. They don’t even have to be in the state,” said Walter Arsenault, executive director of the commission. “They get paid as if they are working.”
Because ships come in and out at all hours, many of the people who hold those positions are on the clock 24 hours a day, often on time-and-a-half or double-time.
One of the highest paid employees is Paul Buglioli, according to the commission.
He earned $474,947 in 2011 working as the head timekeeper at Ports America at the Port Newark Container Terminal. His enviable position — among the least labor-intensive for longshoremen — requires no special education or training. It simply involves keeping track of employee hours.
Buglioli’s father, Robert — a former dockworker who was close with Genovese crime-family associate Nicholas Furina — helped him score the job, according to the commission.
Other port workers — like Ralph Gigante — operate under special arrangements that have been in place for decades although not spelled out in any contract.
Gigante admitted under oath at a Waterfront Commission hearing that he is paid whenever any of the men he reps for the union is working at the terminal. The terminal operates 24 hours a day.
His post — which he inherited from his cousin — also comes with unlimited vacation and several hours of guaranteed double-time every day.
Gigante testified that has no assigned duties and his sole responsibility is union shop steward. Despite that, he’s only filed one grievance in his 17 year career.
And he admitted to the commission, “Do I go and read the whole collective bargaining agreement word for word? No, I have not read it word for word.’’
Joseph Colonna — the son-in-law of “The Chin” Gigante — is also a top earner.
He makes $401,105 at APM Terminals in New Jersey as a mechanics foreman, according to payroll records.
His employers requested and received over $30 million from the Port Authority for improvements. The PA approved the money in 2000, along with a $143.6 million loan.
Another expensive provision of the union agreement puts all workers on overtime after 5 p.m. — even if they started at 1 p.m.
Those who benefit from the bizarre arrangements maintain they are simply getting what they have been promised.
“Ralph Gigante’s compensation is determined contractually, and the Waterfront Commission only brings up his name in this context so they can talk about his family and other issues that have absolutely nothing to do with him,” said Gerald Krovatin, the mob scion’s lawyer said.
Colonna declined comment, and Buglioli could not be reached.


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