Embarrassing Photos Surface of Union Boss Allegedly Asleep on the Job

A New York City union president—who rose to power campaigning to end union corruption more than a decade ago—spends much of the limited time he’s in the office asleep at his desk, according to the New York Post.

The Post published a “series of damning photos” of Mark Rosenthal apparently napping in his office chair on different days. Rosenthal told the Post he’s a victim of a “smear campaign” that’s part of a larger plan to get him replaced.

Says the New York Post, “Mark Rosenthal, who pulls in $156,000 a year as head of Local 983 of District Council 37, nods off at his desk during one of a series of postlunch naps that have outraged members of the union’s executive board.” (Credit: NY Post)

The president of Local 983 of District Council 37—the city’s largest blue-collar municipal-workers union—”often downs a huge meal, then drops into dreamland in the early afternoon,” the Post writes based on information from members of the union’s executive board.

Rosenthal, who earns $156,000 annually, “eats lunch when he arrives at work at 2 p.m. Then, like clockwork, he goes to sleep with a cup of soda on the table and the straw in it,” according to Marvin Robbins, a union vice president, quoted in the Post piece.

“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.”

More from the New York Post:

[Rosenthal] last made embarrassing headlines in 2009, when he inspired a City Council bill requiring jumbo-size ambulances for morbidly obese patients after he had a stroke at City Hall.

Since then, he hasn’t been making much of an effort to give the city’s ambulances a break and slim down. Union officials say he racks up $1,400 in monthly food bills on the union dime.

Much of the 5-foot-7, 400-plus-pound Rosenthal’s food tabs are for catered union events and meals he writes off as “union business,” board members claim.

They say he significantly overorders at eateries like Dallas BBQ, the Stage Door Deli and Pine Restaurant in The Bronx, a hangout for local politicians, and takes the extra food back to his Bronxdale apartment.

“He’s always walking off with a doggie bag or extra boxes of food,” said another executive board member.

As for Rosenthal, he defended himself, citing “12-to-14-hour days” and the effects of pain medication he has to take after falling through a McDonald’s chair last year.

“The chair broke because I’m big,” Rosenthal said.

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

The union that Rosenthal heads represents 3,000 workers, the Post reports, “mostly Parks Department peace officers and maintenance workers and NYPD tow-truck operators and other traffic agents that are among the lowest-paid city workers.”

“But they still fork over $1,080 in annual union dues that help fund Rosenthal’s salary and perks.”

You can check out the other photos of Rosenthal over at the New York Post.

(H/T: Cold Fury)