October 26, 2019 - An Open Letter From Dan Wasser
I want to thank all of you for the calls, emails, txts, and the support you have given. It's time to move this forward, demand that there are no delays from Shelton on the recall, and get back to representing our members and bargaining good contracts. Please post the attached on all union bulletin boards and email it to anyone and everyone you know. As always, refer them to danwasser.com and everyone can call me or email me at any time as we go through this. I have confidence that our members will see through this with all of your help...
If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it.
OPEN LETTER FROM DAN WASSER March 26, 2019
I spoke with many of you since my unwarranted suspension, and many other people from within and outside the Sector. One of the common themes I hear is this: Shelton is trying to spin it and make it look like I hired my sister and friend on the Home so they could get paid, the Foundation doesn't represent the PPMWS members and it's a runaway train, and it was a misappropriation of Sector funds to defend the Merger Agreement and your rights on the NPP.
When I came on staff, I took an oath to protect all members and protect the PPMWS Merger Agreement. When you elected me as president that oath did not change. This was an oath I took on all attacks - internal or external. This oath is held very close to me, and it’s demanded in our Bylaws and Merger Agreement.
Shelton has done everything he can to try and spin the facts, whether on the Union Printers Home, the NPP, or the dissolution of the PPMWS. He wants you to accept that I acted alone on all of this for selfish reasons. This is the farthest from the truth and I know you all with see through this. I, or the Laws Committee, did not act on anything without the proper legal guidance of all the Sector’s attorneys. Many of you know Sector Counsel Richard Rosenblatt; he has always been consulted on PPMWS actions, but we also hired other attorneys and professionals and moved very carefully in all actions. Using PPMWS funds to defend the Merger Agreement and your rights was also vetted completely by attorneys, and they assured us that it is not a misappropriation and is within the PPMWS rights, though Shelton wants to categorize it as misappropriation.
I have shared with all of you everything on the PPMWS through the years and I will continue to be an open book and share with you everything I know. I firmly believe that my suspension is nothing more than a calculated retaliation, and I know that I can count on your support.
Speaking directly on the Union Printers Home, Barb Rettig is my sister, and I did go to school with Dana LaFata. I'm very proud that they agreed to help the Union Printers Home Foundation...........for free! They are volunteering 100% of their time and expertise and asking for nothing in return – they have other jobs. Why are they helping, because they support what the Foundation stands for - providing scholarships to the PPMWS members and their families.
What are the criteria for a scholarship with the Union Printers Home Foundation? You must be part of the PPMWS family. Go here to read it: https://www.uphfoundation.org/scholarship/eligibility What is the history of the Union Printers Home Foundation? Take a look right here: https://www.uphfoundation.org/about/uphfhistory
It is nothing like Shelton is advocating; or, he is just ignoring the true facts in his attempt to shutter the PPMWS in a forced merger and take over the UPH Foundation. The sale of the Home was communicated every step of the way to all PPMWS members, CWA, and I personally had meetings with Larry Cohen on it as well. Re-read the First Quarter 2014 Sector News, Third Quarter 2014 Sector News or even the Second Quarter 2015 Sector News.
One thing I have been taught through my 26 years of being active in our union … when you need help, reach out to friends, family, neighbors, etc. Barb has served for the past 20 years on the Dayton Children Hospital's fund-raising team. Her current campaign goal for the hospital is $1.2 million dollars between 2018-2021; and she still serves on their team. She coordinates over 20 fundraising events to raise money and has the expertise to assist the Foundation in reaching its goal – providing valuable scholarships to PPMWS members and their families.
With Dana, he has spent the better portion of the last 20 years as an educator both as a principal and as a teacher. He has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education. He also holds a State of Pennsylvania Professional Certification; is Certified in the State of Florida and is also certified in Educational Leadership Life Space Crisis Intervention. He brings the expertise we need when dealing with educational scholarships for our members and their families.
I remember the New Era Cap strike many years ago, just a couple years after I first came on staff. I took my niece and my daughter to help on the picket line - and we were there all day. Who else did I ask for help? More friends, to also go to the strike line. I also asked the Buffalo Mailers to provide the sound system, and Kurt and Steve showed up. What did I do when we had a mass demonstration in Erie to save the Erie Mailers' jobs? Called on friends, family, and the community to help.
When Verizon went on strike, did we ask friends and family to support us? You’re damn right we did! When labor does any informational pickets, in D.C., at the Washington Post, or anywhere else across the country, who do we call on? Our friends and family! Why? Because they are part of the labor family. Everything that labor does, regardless of what it is, our friends and families are there supporting us and helping us – no strings attached! That's what friends and families do! They support each other.
Our Merger Agreement clearly states that the Home is a separate entity, just read number 17 in the Agreement. The Home has sold off bits and pieces of land throughout the years to stay afloat. Counsel Richard Rosenblatt has been advocating for years to sell the Home. The Home was lucky if they had one PPMWS member a year in the Home before the member passed away. When the Home was sold, they had two members living there. The home was occupied by public people, not members. As a matter of fact, 99% of the occupants came from the general public.
What plans did Bob Maida and Al Rudy have for the Home? They attempted to give it away to EHDOC and they fought me every step of the way to do anything for the members. I had to appoint a special committee to fight their plan. Their plan was to sell the Home to EHDOC for $1. The price then made its way to $100 - basically donating it to EHDOC. A condition of the offer was to give Maida and Rudy each a seat on the EHDOC board. Their seats on the Board would have allowed them to travel around the country with EHDOC. What is EHDOC, go here: https://www.ehdoc.org/ Who is now chairman of EHDOC? Chris Shelton.
So, our members, friends and the labor community at large need to know all this information when looking at Shelton's accusations and charges. We all need to call on Chris Shelton to have an immediate vote on the recall, and without delay! Let’s get back to protecting the members’ rights and bargaining contracts! I am willing and able to discuss this more with anyone at any time to set the record straight, and I seek your support in getting the real message out. Lastly, if you want more information you can view everything at: https://www.danwasser.com/
In Unity, Dan Wasser