Letter to The Editor Regarding Russell’s Disposal Labor Union Dispute

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Chuck Carneglia holding a $148,000 law suit settlement check from Local 25

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F.W. Russell Disposal
Charles Carneglia
120 McGrath Highway
Somerville, MA 02145

October 31, 2013

The Owner of F.W. Russell Disposal, Charles Carneglia, received a check today for his settlement with the Teamsters Union, Local 25.

On June 21, 2013, a 12 person Jury in Suffolk County Superior Court found that Teamsters Union Local 25 is liable for damage caused to F.W. Russell & Sons Disposal, Inc., a Family owned waste removal company that services many local cities, towns and businesses. The events at issue in this case began on December 27, 2007 when Teamsters organized and executed mass picketing at Russell’s Somerville facilities. The Teamsters elected to engage in this “strike for recognition” instead of using the National Labor Relations Board’s typical procedure, which would have allowed Russell employees to vote on wheather or not they wanted Union representation. The Teamsters goal was to put pressure on the Owner of F W Russell Disposal to recognize the Union without their employees assent.

Shortly after the Teamsters arrived at F.W. Russell Disposal in the early morning hours of December 27th, Russell Owner, Charles (Chuck) Carneglia arrived at work to discover that around 100 Teamsters were outside his facility and that his gates had been locked with several locks. Unable to access his facility, Carneglia tried to retreat but was verbally and physically accosted by several picketers. After retreating, Carneglia was able to call the Somerville Police Department who immediately responded. The first responding Officer assessed the situation and determined that he could not move the mob of picketers or safely give Carneglia access to his facility. Several other Somerville Police Officers then reported to the scene. Over the following hours, the Teamsters barricaded Russell’s entrances, threw rocks and other objects, including a bolt that broke a windshield and harassed and intimidated Russell employees who wanted to work.

As the Teamsters continued to block the gate, Carneglia was able to access his property through an existing hole in the fence at an adjacent property. At some point near sunrise, a vast majority of Russell’s employees also entered the facility by climbing the fence or going through the existing hole in the fence in a showing of support for the company. Even with the employees inside, however, Russell’s still could not operate its business because Teamsters continued to block the gate where the trucks leave the facility.

Ultimately, the Somerville Police Dept determined that it would need additional Law Enforcement Personnel in order to move the unruly group of Teamsters from in front of Russell’s gate. Later that morning, the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) riot police assembled near Russell’s facility. After the Teamsters refused to comply with orders to move away from the gate, the NEMLEC Officers marched in formation and forcibly moved the Teamsters in order to grant Russell access to its facility. Several picketers, including multiple Teamsters employees, pushed back at Officers and were arrested.

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