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  • authored by remote viewer
  • published Tue, Feb 8, 2005

Lights Go Down On UFCW's Haunted House

It was a little over twelve years ago that the bankrupt hotel at Keele Street and Highway 401 in Toronto's west end re-opened, the product of the efforts of a convicted pedophile with visions of a running a real estate empire and a morally bankrupt service industry union and its bloated pension fund.

In December 1992, the former Skyline Triumph Hotel which went mysteriously bankrupt a year before, was reborn as the Howard Johnson Plaza, under the new ownership of Kelloryn Hotels, a company controlled by one Ronald Kelly. The former Father Kelly was a repugnant man who, as the parish priest in a small Newfoundland community, was given to forcing himself on the children of his parishioners, sometimes pissed drunk, sometimes stone cold sober, sometimes slipping them a fiver, but most times expecting them to make him happy for the sheer enjoyment.

Kelly's purchase of "the Triumph" was made possible by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union's Canadian pension fund, CCWIPP, which initially floated him almost twice as many millions as he needed to buy the bankrupt joint and then loaned him almost twice as much more for gawd-only-knowns-what.

Back in 1992, as Ontario Premier and UFCW Canada pal Bob Rae cut the ribbon at the hotel's grand re-opening, UFCW Canada Director Tom Kukovica gushed:

Besides putting money directly back into the pockets of the membership, the joint trusteeship of pension plans between the UFCW and its various employers has permitted the union to control the investment destiny of millions of dollars. "With the pension funds we've been mainly concentrating in real estate, such as affordable housing projects," says Kukovica. This month the UFCW, with an equity stake of over 50 per cent, helped to re-open the Triumph Hotel in suburban Toronto, "It was in receivership. Now the hotel will be unionized, so we've created (union) jobs at the same time.

The UFCW's intial investment of $15 million dollars subsidized about 150 jobs. At about $100,000 per job, it's fair to say that UFCW members footed the bill for the wages of other UFCW members for at least a couple of years at this place. The UFCW pension fund's further investments in the Keele Street hotel would total in excess of $10 million. We haven't got a clue what that moolah created except maybe a real estate empire for the former Father Kelly.

In the years that followed his purchase of the hotel, the property fell into disrepair. Whatever Ronnie did with the millions he borrowed from the UFCW members' pension fund, it didn't have much to do with building the business he purchased in 1992.

For over a decade, the hotel workers, UFCW members all, watched their workplace deteriorate. In the last three years they've watched a mysterious man named Ieradi try to peddle it away, unit by unit, while neither their employer nor their union told them a thing about what as going on.

Today, at a hastily called staff meeting, they were presented with layoff notices. April 5, 2005 will be zero hour for their jobs - provided that whoever has bought the hotel can close the deal by then and if they can't well, who knows.

As if to add insult to injury, the reduced hours that many will be working between now and then will reduce the amount of the meager severance to which they will be entitled under Ontario's minimum employment standards laws.

The demise of this hotel is a testament to the wrongheaded investment policies of UFCW Canada's pension trusteees and the wrongheaded unionism of the UFCW. It's here at this inauspicious hospitality trade establishment that, in 1992, the Canadian UFCW embarked on a distrastrous policy of member commodification. A decade later, the tangled web of businessmen and business unionists that this policy spawned is about to unravel as events involving this hotel as well as other CCWIPP "magic bean" investments and secret-deals-done-dirt-cheap with CCWIPP-associated employers play out on a public stage - the Internet - that was only in its infancy when Premier Bob cut the ribbon in front of the new Howard Johnson fourteen years ago. This hotel is like the Alpha and Omega of business unionism's last gasp - the beginning and the end of the looney strategy of buying members with other members' dollars.

Investment destiny? Where are you UFCW leaders, pension trustees, well-padded local and national officials? Maybe you are all downing some investment ecstasy.

This business went bust under your watch and a lot of members are about to lose their jobs. Ron Kelly's hanging out in Panama after going deadbeat on your loans. Joe Ieradi is peddling condos he can't build in the building that you now own. You've got over a hundred a people about to hit the street with their last pay checks.

We suggest you take the amount that you loaned to Ron Kelly - $25 million or whatever it really was - and divide it up among the workers who are about to be let go. Cut them each a check in whatever their share of $25 million or however many million it really was, works out to. They deserve it. Then go after Ronnie to recover the dollars he stiffed you for. It's the least you can do.If you can't get it out of his hide, take it out of yours.

Stay tuned for Part 7 of the Mondo Condo Series - Road to Ruin - coming soon.

  • posted by eddy munster
  • Tue, Feb 8, 2005 7:43pm

I'm sure all the members who are affected with the reduction of pension contributions going forward are the ones who are going to continue to pay for mismanagement of our funds. These clowns are worse than the executives at Enron.

  • posted by weiser
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 9:15am

The Triumph is quite a place that has a connection with lots of famous people:

quote:


[The City of Toronto] could have taken possession of the bankrupt Skyline Triumph Hotel at Keele St. and Highway 401 yesterday to recoup about $4 million in back taxes.

Instead it has given the receiver looking after the affairs of the closed hotel a six-month extension to Nov. 30 to cough up the tax money.

"I don't think the city wants to get into the hotel business unless we could find an immediate buyer. Our maintenance costs alone on the building would have been $60,000 a month," Councillor Judy Sgro said.

Technically the city had first dibs on the hotel when the municipal taxes became five years in arrears on July 29, [1992].(Stan Josey, Toronto Star, Jul 30, 1992.)


It was a place where famous people liked to meet:

quote:


...The beginning of the end for Paul Volpe may have started in the Triumph Hotel, a modest 10-storey building that still stands, under a new name, in north Toronto....

The Commissos, a Toronto-based Mafia group, had ordered a hit on Volpe in 1981. Fortunately for him, they chose a hit man who was secretly working as a police informant. A bold sting was concocted by police, with the unexpected co-operation of Volpe, who turned his wallet over to police to be used by the supposed hit man as evidence that Volpe had indeed been murdered.(Adrian Humphreys. National Post, Nov 14, 2003.


And this isn't the first time that the Triumph was part of a scheme that gave a pension plan a bath. The Chrysler pension plan got whacked by

quote:


The former chairman of the bankrupt Castor Holdings Ltd. [Wolfgang Stolzenberg] was ordered to refrain from transferring any shares he owns in TransAmerica Hospitality Corp. of Toronto.

Lawyers for the trustee, Richter & Associes Inc., stated in court documents that Stolzenberg held 56.5 per cent of TransAmerica, which manages 32 hotels across Canada with over 7,000 rooms.

The hotels operate under a variety of names and were previously managed under contract by Commonwealth Hospitality Ltd. of Toronto.

Justice Gomery authorized the seizure of all of Stolzenberg's personal properties in Canada, including a three-storey stone mansion in Westmount and three penthouses at the downtown Port Royal Apartments.(RONALD LEBEL, The Gazette, Dec 5, 1992.)


The CCWIPP is famous for giving people money for properties that have perennially lost money and probably never will make any money. The creditor always defaults and the CCWIPP is left owning a property worth a fraction of the debt.

Now the Triumph (Travellodge Keele Street) sits on a piece of property that can't be developed unless the owners agree to give the City a big chunk of land for a roadway.

I wonder if it will be flipped to a friend just like the Howard Johnson in Hamilton? Hiding white elephants is getting harder and harder the more that you have.

  • posted by eddy munster
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 9:56am

Why doesn't the UFCW rename this property to UFCW EXECUTIVE BATH HOUSE and use the pension funds to keep this sinking ship afloat. At least the members know that our money is being pissed away in Canada, not hidden in someone elses off shore account in the Carribean.

  • posted by weiser
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 10:58am

Prolly a good name 'cause the union drops the soap and the members are always the ones asked to pick it up.

  • posted by eddy munster
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 11:40am

Ok members bend over and grab your ankles!!!!

  • posted by Snagal
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 5:35pm

Here we go.... get that jar of vaseline right up the poop shoot because it's going to be stiff penetration!!

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 5:57pm

Hey boys, now cut that out. Father Kelly might show up with a wad of five dollar bills thinking you wanna party. Then you'll be sorry for all that talk about vaseline and dropping the soap.

On the other hand, if the perverted bastard does appear, ask him if he had to make nice for the CCWIPP Investment Committee for the $25 mill they gave him. That's a lot of 5 dollar bills.

  • posted by Info
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 6:01pm

Could it have been used to buy his way into heaven?

Usually paying for one mass suffices for most but I would have to figure he would have to repay the church whatever they would have paid out and then few masses to get the pope to tell God it is okay let him in

By the way so as there is no confusion no matter how much money you pay or no matter who you are you are not going to heaven if you touch a kid like that.

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 6:31pm

quote:


By the way so as there is no confusion no matter how much money you pay or no matter who you are you are not going to heaven if you touch a kid like that.


Bloody right he's going to heaven - you made your pervert, you get to keep him - god there is no way in hell you're dumping your mistakes in our after party life - screw that!

  • posted by Info
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2005 6:34pm

Well if it is a party do not drink too much I believe there are no toliets in hell-eternal damnation without relief.

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