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Interview from WNY LABOR TODAY

Posted by Joe Biondo on June 14, 2010 at 9:09 AM

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Laborers Local 210 Union Official-Turned-Author Publishes Book That's On Local


Contributed by Tom Campbell

Monday, 11 August 2008


Four years ago, Laborers Local 210 union member-turned-book author Joe Biondo underwent two major surgeries to repair his broken back, which he injured while working construction. As he healed, Biondo needed something to keep busy. He asked his then 12-year-old daughter if he could borrow her laptop computer and began writing a fictional novel that he’d kicked around in his mind over the years.

It took Biondo a year to finish and the book he wrote, Retribution – Dead Men Tell No Lies – has now been published by the independent publishing house, authorHOUSE, and is available locally at Barnes & Noble book stores, as well as on-line at and More than 1,000 copies of Biondo’s book, which retails for $17.50 plus tax, have been sold since it was published, he said. Biondo’s book also became a family affair, first borrowing his daughter laptop to write his manuscript and then with his son creating the cover art for his novel.

“I’m proud of the fact that I actually did this,” Biondo, a field representative, business agent and Local 210 secretary/treasurer, told about his 280-page novel. “The story is about a street-wise kid from Buffalo who becomes a vigilante to protect the weak and loved ones in his life.

Through the whole story he never loses sight of his goals or direction. It’s a story of family, love, honor, respect and pure street justice. Through it all the main fictional character hides a dark side that’s triggered by the actions of others against the weaker people in his world and society in general,” he said.

According to its jacket notes, Retribution - Dead Men Tell No Lies revolves around the life of its main character, Joe Biagi, beginning with his family's entrance into America and as they rise to reach middle-class existence. The story then shifts to follow Biagi as he makes his way through life, learning hard lesions along the way from what he sees on the streets and ultimately how he decides to use what he’s learned in his own life. While Biondo’s story mixes life’s good, bad and ugly sides, it also focuses on love and one person’s dreams. The dark side of this so-called street story revolves around Biagi’s code of loving his family and friends and remembering he must protect the ones he loves at all costs, Biondo


“The best reviews I’ve received are from people who grew up on the West Side who say I nailed it. This is not a Sopranos style story. It’s about someone who made some mistakes who took things into his own hands as he became a protector of his family and friends,” he said.

Unfortunately, Biondo readied himself for some negative Local 210 stereotypes, but for the most part, they didn’t come. While he found himself on the receiving end of some self-described bad, but not detrimental, jokes “early on, people are much more intelligent and that’s disappeared,” Biondo said.

“People are generally surprised that I’m a member of Local 210. They just don’t expect a union worker to have written a book like this. However, it’s been hard, even impossible, to get the word out on my book here in Buffalo through the local media, I expect because of the nature of the story. But it’s fiction. Otherwise, I’ve gotten some nice PR outside Buffalo, including nearly an hour-long interview on a Chicago radio station. I’m a pretty humble person and I’ve gotten a bit embarrassed over the attention, but it’s been great,” Biondo said.

Biondo has already created a movie adaptation of Retribution – Dead Men Tell No Lies and is shopping it around. He’s also moving forward on a second novel he has entitled, Hit Squad, which involves a retired cop in a vigilante mode.

WNY Labor Today/Campbell & Associates Public Relation Powered by Joomla! Generated: 12 August, 2008, 03:38 Asked whether he’s becoming a Mickey Spillane-style vigilante story-teller, Biondo said, “I don’t know. Like I said these stories are fiction, but for whatever reason, they’re easy for me to write. Mickey Spillane, ha now thats funny. But imagine the possabilities”

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