On Jul. 20, the U.S. District Court in Seattle sentenced Robert Kellas, former-president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 843 in Bellingham, WA, to a year and a day in prison and ordered him to pay $78,248 in restitution on top of $70,000 already paid. He will also serve 3 years of supervised release after facing a maximum of 5 years in prison. On Apr. 23, Kellas pled guilty to embezzling between $70,000 and $120,000 from Local 843 and the ATU Legislative Council of Washington State. He was president of Local 843 from 1990-97 and secretary-treasurer of the Legislative Council from 1994-97. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Kellas’ scheme was simply writing checks to himself from the 2 unions. [Seattle Times 04/24/98 & 07/21/98]
Union Corruption Studies Available
The Public Service Research Council just published 2 timely studies: “Fraud Prevalent in Prevailing Wage Surveys” & “The Case Against Public Sector Unionism & Collective Bargaining.” To get a copy call 703-242-3575.
Boss Settles Insider-Trading Case
Int’l. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 827 boss, Joseph Penna, agreed Jul. 21 to settle a Securities & Exchange Commission case alleging he made $36,671 in illegal stock profits. Penna’s profits from call option contracts came by wrongfully acting on insider information about planned acquisitions by AT&T. He will forfeit the profits; but due to his “inability to pay,” no interest will be collected and no penalty assessed. [Dow Jones 07/21/98]
Union Boss Probed & Expelled
On Jul. 15, the Denver District Attorney’s Office confirmed that it had opened a criminal investigation into Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27 President Joe Sanchez. The same day, his union voted 200-35 to recall him and then to expel him. The union boss is accused of embezzling more than $12,000 from union-run bingo games. The union represents 400 members of the Denver Sheriff’s Department. [Denver Post 07/16/98]
“This general strike has been a complete success. We achieved our objective of paralyzing the country and [we] established a historical precedent.” -Annie Cruz, President of the leftist Committee of Labor Organizations (CAOS) and member of the Independent Brotherhood of Telephone Employees, on the recent union terrorism in Puerto Rico. [InterPress 07/09/98]