AFGE Union Leaders Under Attack... Literally & Physically!
On May 15, 2012 Local 2152 President John Copeland,
Vice President David DeSilva, and other officers and members of their local
attended a crime awareness class at the VA Hospital in Reno, NV presented by
OIG Supervisory Agent Paul Lore.
The OIG or Office of Inspector General who employs Supervisory Agent Paul Lore, is a government agency with a mission.
According to the OIG website their mission is 'to protect the integrity of
Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) programs as well as the health
and welfare of program beneficiaries'. To VA employees they are an
internal law enforcement agency within VA Medical System, and operate kind of
like the VA's very own, private Secret Service.
2152 is located in Reno Nevada and is the union that represents employees
working at the VA Medical Center there. You know...those nice, everyday
working people, who provide the medical care and services to our military
Well, towards the end of this 'crime awareness class'
OIG Supervisory Agent Paul Lore stated that he made some special slides
specifically for Reno, as there seemed to be a misunderstanding with
the Union. The agent showed the last four slides that basically said the
OIG did not need to notify the Union of an investigation and that the
union’s contract did not apply to the OIG.
VP DeSilva as an AFGE Union Officer did the proper
thing by disagreeing with the agent and offering a copy of an Federal Labor
Relation Authority and Supreme Court's ruling showing otherwise. VP
DeSilva turned to the VA employees present, and told them that their union, AFGE
Local 2152 disagreed with the OIG and has a copy of a Supreme Court
ruling to the contrary.
OIG Supervisory Agent Paul Lore ended the class and
as people left he walked over to the table where the union leaders were
sitting. He leaned over VP DeSilva to continue his argument. Local
2152 President John Copeland sensing that Agent Paul Lore was a little out of
control decided to get his union officers, and stewards out of there and to a
safe place. He motioned to the union folks that it was time to leave.
As the union officers stood up, and were leaving. OIG Supervisory
Agent Paul Lore followed them continuing to badger and harass them. In
the hallway outside of the room OIG Supervisory Agent Paul Lore blocked VP
DeSilva from leaving. The other union leaders stayed at VP Desilvas side
fearful of what Agent Lore may do to him if they left. Agent Paul Lore was so
close to AFGE Local 2152 VP DeSilva that he was spitting in VP DeSilva's face
as he yelled at him. VP Desilva told Agent Lore to back up.
To the shock of the other union leaders present OIG Supervisory Agent Paul Lore
grabbed Mr. DeSilva, manhandling and threatening him.
AFGE Local 2152's President
John Copeland and 2nd VP Jeanine Swygman began pleading with the agent to
release AFGE VP DeSilva and that we were just trying to leave. The agent
finally released AFGE VP DeSilva and the union officers quickly departed the
building out of fear and consulted with their local attorney.
In a statement from AFGE Local President John
Copeland "The VA administration is so frustrated that AFGE Local 2152 will
not allow them to violate our union contract and abuse the Reno VA employees
that they have sent the OIG thugs to harass, intimidate, and assault our union officers.
This unprovoked, heavy handed, illegal assault on an AFGE Union Officer is
completely unacceptable. We need to show them that any assault of Union
Officers, union members, or any employee for that matter will not be tolerated
by AFGE or by the labor movement."
Well Agent Lore if you wanted to teach our members
crime awareness you certainly accomplished that. Not only are union members
'aware', but they are also willing to report it.
Click here to send your message
to the Veterans Administration, and the OIG that organized labor is no longer
in the dark days before the Wagner Act. We will not tolerate physical
attacks and intimidation by government thugs on our union leaders or our
Take Action Now!
Send a your message to VAOIT that battery and abuse of our union leaders will not be tolerated.