A top International Brotherhood of Teamsters official May 29 was barred from the union for life by the Independent Review Board for his part in a scheme to allow employees of a nonunion trade show contractor to work in Las Vegas at sub-industry wage rates. The three-member oversight panel determined that William T. Hogan, the president of Teamsters Chicago Joint Council 25, along with IBT International Representative Dane Passo had colluded with a Chicago labor broker, United Service Cos., on a sweetheart agreement to provide workers for Las Vegas shows. Hogan’s brother, Michael P. Hogan, is a vice president of United.

Under the proposed labor agreement, United workers would have been paid substantially less than Teamsters members working at Las Vegas conventions and trade shows. The IRB said that by their actions, Hogan and Passo had “brought reproach upon the IBT” and had violated the union’s constitution and the 1989 consent decree. The lifetime membership ban, which also prohibits the two men from working or consulting for any Teamsters entity, still must be approved by Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who oversees the consent decree.

Hogan was unavailable for comment on the IRB’s ruling. An aide at the joint council’s Chicago office said May 31 that Hogan had yet to receive a copy of the ruling. “There are no charges because we don’t have a copy of it,” he said. IBT spokesman Bret Caldwell said the two union officials have the right to appeal the IRB’s decision before Judge Preska and ultimately to the court of appeals. Because the case is ongoing, the international could not comment on the review board’s finding, he said. Union Processes Prevented Substandard Contract Caldwell said, however, that the case demonstrates that the union’s processes work. “When the [international] learned about the problems with this contract, it was stopped.

No substandard contract was negotiated,” he said. In an investigative report issued in May 2001, the IRB first brought charges against Hogan and Passo, alleging they had schemed with United Services Chairman Richard Simon to undercut Las Vegas IBT Local 631’s industry contract (102 DLR A-7, 5/25/01).

The minimum hourly rate paid to the local’s members working at conventions and trade shows was $12.49 at the time of the investigation. With health and welfare and pension contributions, their total compensation amounted to $20.39 per hour. By contract, the proposed agreement that Hogan and Passo tried to get union local officials to sign with United would have paid workers $10 per hour with no benefits, according to the IRB ruling. Hogan and Passo claimed before the IRB that their objective was to organize United workers as Teamsters and to protect Local 631’s industry contract, but the review board said “there is no credible evidence that Passo and Hogan took any steps to organize the United workers in any way for their regular cleaning jobs or for Teamsters work.”

Hogan claimed that as a union official with extensive ties in the trade show industry, he was trying to help the Las Vegas local to deal with a labor shortage. But the IRB said that “contrary to Hogan’s claim to have been a concerned union official trying to be of assistance, Hogan’s pattern of conduct showed that his interest was to help United, Simon, and his general contractor brother and not Local 631, its members, or the employees of United.” After the IRB issued its investigative report last May, both Hogan and Passo took leaves of absence without pay from their international union positions. Hogan continued as the appointed president of Joint Council 25. He also is vice president of Chicago IBT Local 714. The IRB forwarded the results of its investigation to the Teamsters general executive board which filed internal union charges against Hogan and Passo. Under consent decree rules, the IBT could have litigated the case itself, but in July it referred the case back to the IRB for adjudication.