A federal judge on Tuesday refused Bruce Raynor’s request for an emergency conference after a dispute over union records at UNITE HERE’s Seventh Avenue headquarters in Manhattan.
Raynor, the suspended general president of the union, accused John Wilhelm, president of its hospitality division, of forcing his way into the building with supporters about 4 a.m. Friday and seizing union assets. Wilhelm said his group entered the building to stop the destruction of documents.
Over the holiday weekend, Raynor pledged to seek an injunction against Wilhelm. But U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels rejected Raynor’s application for an immediate conference.
The struggle between the two labor leaders, who merged the Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees and the Hospitality Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union in 2004, has entangled millions of dollars worth of assets in litigation and led to the formation of a breakaway union, Workers United, by Raynor’s supporters.
Wilhelm and the union’s executive board suspended Raynor on May 14, accusing him of using UNITE HERE funds to support Workers United. Raynor had said he would stay at UNITE HERE until the end of his term in June.
The two sides are next scheduled to go before the court on July 16.