IAFFistan

When a Union Fails to Act Like One

Schaitberger

Schaitberger

The IAFF is failing its core mission to protect and advance the rights of workers and to treat its own employees fairly and with dignity.

In fact, Harold Schaitberger treats staff worse than many of the anti-labor fire chiefs we are constantly fighting against.

Just a few days ago, he chose to fire a well-regarded assistant who worked in his office.

Her sole offense, apparently, was that she worked with former chief of staff Pete Gorman, who Schaitberger also fired.

Not only was she terminated after five years of exemplary service, she was abruptly escorted from the building in a move both degrading and humiliating.

Arbitration on Earlier Firing

And that’s not the only bizarre termination to reverberate through the IAFF.

Several months ago Schaitberger fired a 19-year IAFF employee under circumstances that are regarded as lacking even the basic tenets of fairness.

We expect fire department management to follow and abide by progressive discipline, why not our own union?

It’s exceptionally troubling that both employees were mature professional women with solid work records.

Ironically, the arbitration on the earlier termination is set to begin even as the board meets today.

Schaitberger Hires a (Private) Dick

During the summer Schaitberger, with board backing, retained Investigative Group International (IGI), private eyes, private dicks, whatever, for the purpose of spying on IAFF members and staff.

The board is due to get a report from IGI during today’s meeting.

Think the KGB or FSB briefing the Politburo.

They have trolled through cell phone and text records and emails looking for enemies of the regime.

The corruption of our union is perpetrated by our own executive board and they have hired a firm to mitigate their exposure.

And, of course, we are paying for it with tens-of-thousands of dues dollars.

Less Democracy than a Central Asian Republic

Rahmon

Rahmon

Schaitberger and his complicit board have ransacked our union both in truth and in fact.

They take what they want and along the way treat valued employees as garbage to be taken out.

Schaitberger wields more power than Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon who is effectively president for life.

In the IAFF as in the Tajik Republic there is an “imitation of democracy” rather than the real thing.

Maybe some day in the future a new generation of leadership will take back the IAFF and begin the long process of restoring dignity and fairness.

Maybe.

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2 Comments

  • Tom sullivan says:

    I find your constant use of “us” and “we” offensive and misleading. “Us” and “we” stand up as duly elected delegates at convention and do the business of our union. “We” stand up with our name and local and speak our piece and cast our vote. When, Mr Lamar did you last pay a per cap or cast a vote? If the convention floor gallery had a balcony is venture to guess that you’re one of the old muppets mumbling and grumbling while watching the stars of the show.

  • Jason Waters says:

    Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to be offended with “us” and “we”. Perhaps this needs to be addressed. each of our brothers and sisters needs a fair shake….. it’s the foundation of which unions were built. Does this current union leadership with Schaitberger have “our” best interests in mind and not padding and protecting politcal agendas? Is the appropriate checks and balances in place to protect good leadership and not being ousted when going against the grain of top ranking leadership?

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