Union leader denies sexual harassment charges

Lawsuit claims Mickey Kasparian made demands for oral sex

In a suit filed last Monday (December 19), Mickey Kasparian, president of the United Food & Commercial Union Local 135, is charged with sexual harassment by a former employee who worked for him. Isabel Vasquez also named the union in the suit filed in San Diego Superior Court.

Kasparian made "occasional demands for oral sex in his office, sexual intercourse in hotels paid for by Local 135, and similar sex acts," according to the suit. Vasquez claims she was "filled with constant fear and anxiety that today would be the day she would be called into his office for oral sex."

Vasquez states in the complaint, "One time, a co-worker walked into Kasparian's office and saw him quickly run into an adjacent space, leaving Vasquez on her knees to face the co-worker in humiliation."

Kasparian says the charges are untrue.

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Comments

Mickey the Bat on the defensive. Marvelous.

aardvark: Yes, whether the charges are true or not, he will have a difficult time preparing for, and then occupying, the stand. Best, Don Bauder

In case the reference to Mickey "The Bat" wasn't clear to everyone, it went back to the supermarket strike about fifteen years ago. At some point, a striker who was on picket duty, or some sympathizer of same, attacked a temporary worker (called a scab) with a baseball bat. Instead of Mick condemning the violent attack, he excused it. Rick Roberts of KFMB-AM fame at the time made hay of the incident and dubbed old Mickey as Mickey "The Bat" Kasparian. It is amazing how, as the number of unionized supermarket and other retail jobs in the county declines, the membership of the UFCW Union local keeps reelecting old Mick. In any other field of endeavor, he'd be seen as a failure. Will this suit bring him down? I doubt that. Too many of the members of the union have no notion of who he is or what he does. (Hint: he does little.) And so he keeps getting voted back in 'cause his is the only familiar name on the ballot.

Visduh: Thanks for clarifying that. I have apparently forgotten the incident you describe.Best, Don Bauder

What you say about him being re-elected could be said about many of our local, state and federal politicians.

AlexClarke: Yes, politicians demand that subordinates bow and scrape to them at their feet. But on their knees? Best, Don Bauder

You're so naïve Don but this does seem way past the harassment stage. Back in the mid-70's pay and benefits was better than it is now; different union president, working retail college boys were dominating union politics, but they moved on. Can't bargain from that position. Weak contracts and unsafe working conditions are the only thing guaranteed.

shirleyberan: Much depends on whether this activity was formally or informally permitted by the plaintiff. For most of this relationship, was she a willing participant? Of was she forced to provide such services to keep her job?

In any case, this activity was obviously not part of her formal job description. Best, Don Bauder

Ja Pen: It's clear from the suit that she engaged in the activities. Why did she stay quiet so long? That's a question for the trial, if there is one. Best, Don Bauder

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