Boston school bus union on trial

Nov. 24 — As hundreds of supporters of Stevan Kirschbaum, a USW Local 8751 chief steward, packed the court here today, his attorneys filed a motion to dismiss charges. The judge ruled that he would make a decision on the motion in two weeks’ time. He set a date for the trial to begin on Feb. 2, should he reject the motion.

In a media advisory issued early this morning, Team Solidarity, an organization of school bus drivers and others that supports Kirschbaum and the union, wrote:

“In a case that union supporters say represents a flagrant abuse of courts by Veolia Corporation to gain advantage in a labor dispute, the defense team of the school bus union’s founder say they expect him to be exonerated in the trial that starts today.

“It is instead the union-busters who will be on trial. The legal team of John McK. Pavlos and Barry P. Wilson has subpoenaed Veolia Corp executives, an ex-Veolia executive who is now a BPS [Boston Public Schools] official, and others for their illegal attempts to frame up a labor leader.

“Kirschbaum’s lawyers will expose the union-busting complicity by an alliance of forces that includes BPS transportation director Jonathan Steketee, a former Veolia executive and non-Boston native — whose conflict-of-interest appointment to oversee his former employer was called a ‘problem’ by former inspector general George Sullivan in the Boston Herald (Aug. 31).

“The defense motion to dismiss argues that, in the face of evidence in the DA’s possession that would exonerate Kirschbaum, the Suffolk County DA’s office ‘can have no good-faith basis required to continue its prosecution with respect to the remaining trumped-up charges’ — and those should therefore be dropped. Failure to do so would amount to acquiescence and complicity in the abuse of court process for union-busting aims.”