Nassau OTB has reprimanded cashier and union activist Jackson Leeds for criticizing his own union leader, Teamsters Local 707 Kevin McCaffrey, who also is a Suffolk County legislator.
Without mentioning McCaffrey by name, Arthur Walsh, Nassau OTB general counsel and corporate secretary, said in an April 22 letter that Leeds was “insubordinate” for presenting “verbal objections to the staff and public about the current union leadership.”
Walsh said OTB policies bar workers from setting up information tables or engaging in similar conduct without written OTB consent. Her also said workers are not allowed to enter branches while off-duty except to make a bet or collect a paycheck.
Walsh said the reprimand will be placed in Leeds' personnel file and if uncorrected, “future discipline may be imposed up to and including firing.” Leeds can file a grievance if he is “unsatisfied with this letter,” Walsh said.
Leeds concedes he criticized McCaffrey but said the OTB policy is improper because “people have an absolute right to talk about labor matters among themselves whether at work or not.”
McCaffrey, a Lindenhurst Republican who represents the Suffolk Legislature's 14th District, said Nassau OTB put the policy in place because Leeds not only criticized him and the agency but was disrupting employees’ work.
“Some people are never happy,” said McCaffrey. “If he wants to pursue a grievance, we will follow the proper procedures and represent him properly.”