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Public Employee Press

DC 37 mourns union reformer


Mark Rosenthal, the former treasurer of DC 37 from 2002 to 2004 and president of Motor Vehicles Operators Local 983, died on July 15 at age 65.

As a rank-and-file union member, Rosenthal made two runs for local president and was elected on his second try in 1998.

Over his 15-year tenure with the council, Rosenthal pushed agencies for fair pay and won grievances, differentials and additional help for Associate Parks Service Workers assigned to drive garbage and heavy construction trucks. Rosenthal offered training for members to obtain a commercial driver’s license as part of his effort to improve opportunities for and raise salaries of Local 983 members.

An outspoken union leader, Rosenthal is widely known for exposing deep-rooted union corruption that included a rigged contract vote on the 1996-2001 economic agreement. His role as whistleblower and reformer — and his collection of taped confessions by corrupt union officials — made him the topic of a Mike Wallace investigative report on the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes.”

The scandal rocked DC 37 and culminated in the imprisonment of a number of local union officials. In 1999 DC 37’s national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, placed the council under an administratorship for three years as fi nancial practices were corrected.

“We are saddened by Mark’s death and our condolences go out to his family,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo, who served as local vice president under Rosenthal.