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Some tension in Bellone-labor relationship

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone touted his close ties to labor at a brunch a week ago welcoming Richard O'Kane as the new Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council president.

But Steamfitters Local 638 business agent Ray Dean used an expletive that begins with "bull" to describe Bellone's stances on local issues -- including union labor for Bellone's pet project, Wyandanch Rising, witnesses said. Dean later declined to comment.

Sammy Chu, Bellone's labor commissioner, acknowledged the incident. He said he is "acting as facilitator of labor conversations on behalf of the administration for the project, but it would not be appropriate to discuss any details of progress." He added he is "always at the disposal of any labor organization that has concerns on any project."-- Rick Brand

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