Union Leader Carla Katz has filed a lawsuit against several branches of her own union today, charging top officials with waging personal attacks and investigations against her in retaliation for her opposition to some concessions they supported.
The Katz complaint was filed against Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen, District Vice President Chris Shelton, Legislative and Political Director Robert Master, as well as the leaders of five local CWA unions that supported last year’s agreement with the state.
Katz heads up CWA Local 1034, which, according to her press release, is the largest CWA local in the country. She filed the complaint this morning at the United States District Court in Trenton.
The suit charges that the leaders violated the Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 by trying to punish Katz through retaliatory investigations and “offensive comments.””The leadership of the union retaliated against Carla because she fought against the ratification of a contract that she believed hurt CWA members,” said Katz’s lawyer, Paul Fishman, in a press release. “This pattern of retaliatory conduct left Carla with no choice but to file this suit.”
Katz’s has had an adversarial relationship with other CWA union leaders for some time. Most recently, CWA officials disclosed that they were investigating her for an alleged unauthorized political contribution to Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Cohen, who Katz is suing, wrote an April 30th letter in which he said that the contribution could ultimately lead to Katz’s expulsion from the union.