Using Amalgamated as pretext for 'no gallery' was opportunism on the part of Lebo and Bilello. They could have argued for a gallery, and suggested if secrecy is really necessary motion for 'executive session' can be made within a meeting, requiring rank-and-file to leave the room. But such a simple, common sense, and equitable arrangement was not ever their interest.
At the Jan. 25 meeting, EST Mike Bilello reported his administration took flak from associations about the CBA tabling on Jan. 10, and the news being published in Crain's well before the District Council informed the contractors.
After court summons, motion to table, and blow-back, Kool-aid drinking members of the delegate body and the new Executive Board found John Musumeci an easy target for retaliation, to be made an example of; so President Bill Lebo filed charges with the IG's office against Musumeci. But Lebo was later advised of the likelihood of a counter-suit, and loss in court fighting the First Amendment, so he withdrew the charges.
The delegates and administration, subject to the press, outraged upon finding their power limited, and under potential scrutiny for seeking to violate free-speech laws, looked for a cloak of secrecy to mask their actions, and another way to punish critics who would dare act against them.
Two approaches were agreed upon, and implemented, at the short-notice Jan. 25 meeting: first, a loyalty oath was administered to delegates and officers, stating their opposition to 'dual unionism' and superfluously binding them together in a fight against Amalgamated. Second, President Lebo brought to the floor question of a 'members gallery' which immediately was seized upon by pro-censorship delegates and forced through without a roll-call vote. Neither Lebo, nor Bilello, argued for or defended the right of rank-and-file to attend delegate meetings, nor did they act in any way consistent with their platform of 'members rights and democracy' which they were elected on.
Furthermore, by denying member-rights and democracy, the authoritarian BOSS regime Bilello/Lebo has actually given more ammunition to Amalgamated, by further substantiating claims the UBC as undemocratic and abusive, and no improvement therein will occur under their new District Council administration.
At the January 25th meeting Bilello stated he had, after the January 10th "tabling" of the CBA's, spoken with John DeLollis, representing the Wall Ceiling Association; DeLollis said he didn't know anything about the 20% market recovery rate discount (which the UBC had reported as missing in contracts on the NYCDCC website,) that they had "never asked for it."