Labourers' union strikes back at CAW leaders in ad campaign and website aimed at Autoworkers members

    TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - The 30,000-member Toronto based Local 183 of
the Labourers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) has publicly
appealed to the membership of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) to tell the auto
union's leaders to "back off" from their attempted raid on the construction
    "We respect your union. Tell your leaders to respect ours," is the main
message in full-page ads placed today in three daily newspapers in Southern
Ontario, all in regions where significant numbers of CAW members live. The ads
outline the sordid background to the CAW's support of former Local 183
officers who were removed from office last year. Readers are directed to a
special website - - to learn the whole story. The ad can be
seen online at
    In February, the CAW advanced one million dollars to the newly-created
Canadian Construction Workers Union (CCWU) led by deposed Local 183 Business
Manager Antonio ("Tony") Dionisio. The CCWU used the money to hire other
former Local 183 officers and staff who began attempts to raid their former
union. After two months of effort, they have persuaded only one group of eight
(8) Local 183 members to move to their CAW-funded union. Even that
certification is on hold as the Ontario Labour Relations Board has only given
the CCWU conditional status as a legitimate trade union.
    "The Autoworkers' leadership, especially Buzz Hargrove, have somehow lost
their minds," says Joseph Mancinelli, LIUNA's Director for Central and Eastern
    "They attacked our union without the slightest provocation or rationale.
They allied themselves with people who for years betrayed the trust of their
own members in an astonishing number of ways. With all the challenges now
facing the CAW in the auto industry, it is incredible that they would spend so
much of their members' money trying to destroy another union in an entirely
different industry, one in which they have zero experience."
    "A million CAW dollars and what have they gained? Eight new members,
    Mancinelli says that three years of independent investigations and
hearings, including numerous decisions of Ontario courts and the Labour
Relations Board "prove beyond any doubt, except to the willfully blind," that
Dionisio and his ruling circle in Local 183 were guilty of numerous unethical
practices that severely violated Canadian trade union values.
    "They exploited undocumented workers. Benefits and pension credits were
stolen. Union members and staff were covertly spied on. Collective agreements
were forged. Millions of dollars were misallocated. All of this and more has
been proven. We don't believe rank and file CAW members would agree with
Hargrove that their money should go to support such people."
    The ads appeared in the Toronto Sun, St. Catharines Standard and
Kitchener-Waterloo's Record. The Windsor Star originally accepted the ad but
on late Wednesday refused to run it due to its "controversial" nature.
    Mancinelli says that the union will gauge reaction to the ads from CAW
and other union members before deciding on further forays into the public
    "We hope Hargrove comes to his senses," said Mancinelli. "But if he
doesn't, he will see that this is not a one-shot organization. LIUNA has been
around for more than a hundred years. We know how to defend ourselves."
    To view the advertisement, go to

For further information:

For further information: Joseph S. Mancinelli, (905) 522-7177

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