Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Truth About the Sale of TWU Local 100's Union Hall

What Are The Facts About The Building Sale?

The current leadership of this union attempted to sell the union hall two weeks before the expiration of our contract in 2005. Prior to their attempt to sell, Toussaint and Ed Watt were strongly advised by the Local 100 Executive Board committee established to look at the building sale issue, that the deal didn’t make sense.

On December 3rd, 2006, several elected Maintenance of Way officers, including John Samuelsen (at the time, he was the acting VP), issued a public statement to Toussaint urging him to delay the sale of the building until after the contract fight - and subsequent strike - was over. Samuelsen, and another elected Track Division officer were immediately fired for taking that position.

In the summer of 2008, John Samuelsen, exercising rights under federal law, demanded to review documents related to the sale and resale, of our Union Hall. Contrary to the current leadership's assertions that there was nothing wrong with the building sale, the deal was riddled with problems:

*Three dummy corporations were established for the purposes of purchasing our Union Hall. Still to this day, the names of the owners of those corporations have not been fully revealed. Why such secrecy?

*The whereabouts of the cash assets resulting from the union hall sale were never revealed to the union’s executive board, nor to the members of this union. As a result of the review it was revealed that the money from the sale was invested in a mysterious corporation called Land of America. It was not, as Tate and Toussaint allege, initially invested in Treasury Bonds.

*The investment in Land of America Corp was done in order to avoid Local 100 from having to pay the capital gains tax on the profit made from the building sale.

*Due to complete fiscal incompetence on the part of Ed Watt, (Toussaint’s right hand man and Tate’s Adviser) the Land of America scheme failed and WE had to pay 8 million dollars in capital gains tax to the federal government.*Toussaint claimed that he got top dollar for the building when he sold it for 60 million dollars. It was sold at the height of the Manhattan real estate market.

*A little more then a year later, the secret owners of the building "flipped " it for 90 million dollars, making a quick 30 million dollar profit on our Union Hall. The 90 million dollar sale was accomplished in a much weaker real estate market.

Today, we are paying rent on a building which we once owned. We went from earning millions of dollars in rent to paying millions dollars in rent. Yet,the current leadership insists that the sale of the building was great for Local 100. Vote the Take Back Our Union Slate for more info go to - Steve Downs Chair, T/O Division of TWU 100

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