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Dori Monson
Mark Rosenthal makes $156,000 a year as President of New York's Local 983 of District Council 37. But colleagues say he only works two hours a day, and sleeps most of that. (Photo:

New York union leader sleeps off two hour work day

For $156,000 a year, Mark Rosenthal's colleagues say he comes in to work at 2 p.m., eats his lunch, and falls asleep at his desk.

"Then he wakes up, looks at his watch and says, I have to get out before the traffic gets bad.' He's usually out by 4 p.m. after being at the office two hours," union Vice President Marvin Robbins told the New York Post.

Dori immediately thought about the fast food protests in Seattle led by Good Jobs Seattle.

"The local effort to get fast food workers $15 an hour - a lot of that is labor organizers. They want to unionize fast food workers," said Dori.

Dori doesn't think labor leaders like this would have workers' best interests in mind.

Rosenthal's records show he racks up over $1400 in food bills paid for by the union between events and work-related meals. His colleagues say he consistently over-orders and takes multiple boxes of food home.

Rosenthal, however, says he falls asleep because of medication he takes for back pain, from when he fell through a chair at a McDonald's restaurant last year.

"I'm 60 years old, so if I eat during my lunch hour and take a little medication, can't I close my eyes?" he told the Post. "Is it so outrageous?"

He says he works 12-14 hour days - not two - and that much of that work is in the field. He claims that his colleagues are engaged in a smear campaign so he won't get reelected later this year.

The union represents over 3,000 workers who are some of the lowest-paid municipal employees. But they still pay an average of $1,080 each in yearly membership dues.

Jillian Raftery, KIRO Radio Editor
Jillian Raftery is an afternoon editor at KIRO Radio. She loves the neighborly vibe of the Pacific Northwest and spends as much time as possible outdoors.
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