Former ATU 113 president worked against his own union while still on the payroll, made deal with Unifor: trustee
The former president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 planned his secretive move to transfer the Local’s members to another union while he was still on the ATU’s payroll, ATU Trustee Manny Sforza told reporters today.
Kinnear’s public relations advisor “served as a conduit for communications between Kinnear, his attorneys, and the top leadership of Unifor” while Kinnear was still president of Local 113, Sforza said.
An email discovered in the Local 113 office shows the consultant, who was also paid by the Local, “relayed messages using the personal email account of Mr. Kinnear’s assistant, rather than her Local 113 account, in hopes of keeping this conspiracy secret,” Sfroza said.
In the email dated Feb. 2, the day before the Local was placed under trusteeship, consultant Bill Reno shared a notice of motion against the ATU drafted by Kinnear’s lawyers with two senior Unifor staff members.
In the email, lawyer Sean Dewart of Dewart Gleason LLP asks Reno to “covey all of this to BK [Bob Kinnear] and get the message to the Local’s staff”.
The consultant asked Kinear’s assistant to “please print out the email message and the attachment and give to Bob [Kinnear] asap. Plus I have news from Chris MacDonald [assistant to CLC President Hassan Yussuff] of the CLC. Bob can call me about that.”
“To Mr. Kinnear, the members and leaders of Local 113 have this message: you’ve been exposed. Your game is over. Local 113 is not for sale,” Sforza said.
John Di Nino, a reinstated member of the Local 113 executive, told the news conference that he was approached by a Kinnear operative with the offer of a “patronage job” if he would work for Kinnear.
Frank Grimaldi, another reinstated member of the executive, told the news conference that he supported the international union’s trusteeship to safeguard the Local’s assets and pension plan.
“Kinnear’s actions were underhanded and secretive,” said Sforza. “While being paid by the union, he violated his oath of office and worked actively against the interests of our members. We condemn his actions and the equally secretive and underhanded machinations of Unifor.”
Sforza, an International Vice President of the ATU, is a Toronto resident and longtime executive board member of the Local.