Teamsters local picked by Mark Wahlberg: We're not what we used to be
Teamsters Local 25, which Mark Wahlberg wants to do a reality show about, issued a press release acknowledging its troubled past, but says that's just not them anymore:
Acknowledging that some critics would say the organization as a whole has had a storied past, [local President Sean] O'Brien said that his union has worked hard to restore a level of integrity and professionalism that is shared throughout the 11,000 member organization. "The Teamsters Local 25 members of today are proud, hardworking citizens of the community. We take pride in being a voice for working people."
In 2003, local President George Cashman and Vice President William Carnes pleaded guilty to charges related to a scheme to launder extortion money from an Ohio company and to get union health benefits to non-union employees of a local trucking company. The year before, another Local 25 member - and member of Whitey Bulger's Winter Hill Gang - pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, extortion, embezzlement, and interstate transportation of stolen property in a scheme involving computers stolen out of a Charlestown UPS facility.
Cashman was also allegedly involved in shakedowns of movie producers so bad that only large state tax breaks brought film and TV crews back to Boston.
O'Brien says Local 25 is a changed local:
O'Brien pointed to the organization's success with their autism fund as a key motivator for his members to give back to the community. "For the past five years we've used our strength in numbers to raise more than half a million dollars for autism and helped to pass a law that requires health insurance to provide autism related coverage for families in this state."
"For us, it's not just about bringing home a paycheck. It's about making a difference and leaving things better tomorrow than they are today. I think this compassion and dogged determination will come through in the members that the show follows," O'Brien said.