SD Union Illegally Withheld Benefits from Non-Member Employees

Responding to charges filed by an employee of the City of San Diego, the California Public Employment Relations Board (CPERB) has decided to prosecute the San Diego Municipal Employees’ Association (MEA) union for overtly discriminating against non-union members.

Enjoying free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Tanya DuLaney filed charges after the MEA union decided to withhold dental coverage from all non-union members. MEA’s actions are in violation of several California statutes that are intended to protect an employee’s right to abstain from membership and that require union officials to fairly represent an employee.

The scheme was designed to pressure employees into signing up as formal union members, thereby causing them to give up certain rights, including the ability to refrain from funding union political activities.   “The union’s practice of cutting deals with the city that intentionally hang some workers out to dry is deplorable,” … Read More ➡

Is SEIU Local in NYC Creeping Back to Corrupt Ways?

Nearly three years after the ouster of free-spending patriarch Gus Bevona, Local 32B-32J of the Service Employees Intl. Union, which represents doormen and other building workers in NYC, is once again in turmoil.

On Apr. 26, local SEIU delegate Ismat Kukic was indicted, along with 40+ members of NY crime families, for attempting to bribe union officials to replace union workers with non-union workers in a Brooklyn housing complex.  What union dissidents want to know is:  How did 32B-32J President Mike Fishman allow Kukic, whose normal union jurisdiction was in Manhattan, into 32B-32J’s Brooklyn jurisdiction?  “Good question,” Fishman told Newsday, insisting that he is “fully cooperating with the federal authorities.”

First appointed to run 32B-32J after Bevona was kicked out, Fishman was elected in 2000, even as Carlos Guzman, whose civil lawsuit exposed Bevona’s corruption and brought about his ouster, accused Intl. President Andrew Stern and others of twisting the … Read More ➡

NLPC Study: Union Monopolies Cost Economy Trillions

Union monopolies in manufacturing, transportation, and other industries have cost American workers some $50 TRILLION over the past six decades, according to a new study published by the Nat’l Legal & Pol’y Ctr. and the John M. Olin Inst. for Employment Practice & Pol’y at Geo. Mason Univ.

Written by Ohio Univ. professors Richard K. Vedder and Lowell E. Gallaway, the study is entitled Do Unions Help the Economy? The Economic Effects of Labor Unions Revisited. According to Vedder and Gallaway, union labor monopolies in manufacturing, transportation, mining, and construction have decimated employment in those industries, increased the supply of employment in less unionized fields, and lowered their wage growth.

For instance, the rate of job growth in such low union-density industries as retail and services from 1983 to 2000 was more than twice that of highly unionized industries like manufacturing.  Those union-monopolized industries lost about ten million new jobs … Read More ➡

Accounting Firm’s Contract with Union Allegedly Depended on Its Willingness to Cover Up Corruption

The similarities between the Enron-Authur Andersen scandal and the Iron Workers-Thomas Havey scandal continue to grow. The Dep’t of Labor has released new information about the June 4 guilty plea of Alfred S. Garappolo, a partner in the union accounting firm of Thomas Havey LLP, to two felony counts arising from a growing criminal probe into the Int’l Ass’n of Iron Workers and its related funds. First, he confessed to being an accessory after the fact to embezzlement from an employee benefit plan in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3. He pled guilty to assisting Kerry J. Tresselt, a bookkeeper and daughter of ex-IAIW vice-president Raymond J. Robertson, in order to hinder or prevent her apprehension, trial, and punishment for her embezzlement from the union training fund. Tresselt pled guilty in Nov. 2001 to embezzling $350,000.

Second and more importantly, Garappolo admitted to concealing and covering up a material fact … Read More ➡

International Boss Allegedly Padded Pension

On June 3, the U.S. Atty.’s Office in D.C. unsealed a May 17 indictment which charged LeRoy Worley, ex-IAIW general secretary, with embezzling more than $37,000 from an employee benefit fund in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 664.  Worley reportedly resigned and retired when he was 58 and had worked between 17 and 18 years for IAIW. However, he was allegedly paid a full pension from the Iron Workers Staff Retirement Pension Fund as if he had retired at age 60 and as if he had worked 20 years for IAIW. The indictment further charged that his annual salary preceding his retirement was about $152,000, yet he was paid a pension as if his annual salary preceding retirement had been $169,184. Worley is one of nine individuals indicted in the federal probe of the union and its related funds. Seven have already pled guilty. Worley is awaiting trial as is … Read More ➡

Finally, LM-2s are on the Internet!!

At long last, the Dep’t of Labor unveiled June 3 its Internet disclosure system for unions’ annual financial reports, such as the LM-2 form. The website, http://www.union-reports.dol.gov, allows easy access to union financial reports maintained by DOL’s Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. Union members, investigative journalists, non-incumbent union candidates, employers, and anyone else may now view, via the Internet, the union reports and conduct data searches free of charge.

“What used to take weeks will now take seconds. It’s a major breakthrough for holding unions and union bosses accountable,” said NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm, commenting on the difficult process of securing copies of union annual reports, at the cost of the copies, from DOL before the new website became accessible. “It’s free and you don’t have to drive to to your local DOL office to see these reports. This will be a great resource for union members and anyone else wishing … Read More ➡

IRB Ousts Hoffa’s “Duke” for Nepotism

On May 30, the Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters’ court-monitored oversight panel barred William Hogan, Jr., Chicago’s most powerful Teamster and close ally of IBT boss James P. Hoffa, from the union for life due to a plot to drive down wages and benefits for Las Vegas IBT Local 631 to help a Chicago-based firm in which his brother had a stake. Also banned for life was Dane Passo, a Chicago Teamsters who became Hoffa’s right-hand-man at IBT headquarters in Washington. The Indep. Review Bd.’s action came as Hoffa endorsed Ohio’s GOP governor and appeared with the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee in Md., all in an effort to reportedly persuade President Bush to seek IRB’s disbandment. IRB was founded in 1989 to help settle a racketeering suit by the government charging that IBT were controlled by organized crime.

IRB ruled that Hogan and Passo, colluded with United Serv. Companies to have … Read More ➡

Gotti Clan Indicted for Infiltration of New York Locals

On June 3, federal and N.Y. authorities announced the arrests and indictments of seventeen members and associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra for racketeering, extortion, wire-fraud, loan sharking, operating illegal gambling businesses, money laundering, witness tampering and other related crimes. The 68-count indictment outlines the Gambino family’s influence, through extortion and wire fraud, over the Int’l Longshoremen’s Ass’n Locals 1 and 1814, as well as firms on the Brooklyn and Staten Island waterfronts. Allegedly, waterfront employees and their relatives, several business owners, and an individual in the film industry were extorted.

Among the defendants are two of John J. Gotti’s brothers and his nephew. According to prosecutors, the defendants are: Gambino boss Peter Gotti; captains Anthony Ciccone and Richard V. Gotti; soldiers Richard G. Gotti, Primo Cassarino, Jerome Brancato, and Peter Piacenti; associates, Frank Scollo (who is also ILA Local 1814 president and ILA int’l … Read More ➡

First Guilty Plea in Massive New York Probe

Robert Shannon, vice-president and business agent of Int’l Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1 in N.Y.C., pled guilty May 30 to labor corruption charges, becoming the first to fall in a massive federal probe into no-show job schemes. Shannon admitted that he took thousands in no-show job money between Feb. 1997 and Mar. 1998. Under the plea, he is expected to serve under two years in prison and pay thousands in fines.

Disturbingly, while Shannon agreed not to serve as a union bosses for seven years but he can remain a Local 1 member as part of the plea deal. Shannon was indicted Feb. 7 with twenty-five other Local 1 bosses and members for ripping off millions through no-show schemes from nineteen construction sites around N.Y.C. Even more troubling, Shannon, a close associate of Local 1 president John Green, did NOT agree to cooperate in the probe. “Shannon made a … Read More ➡

Judge Slaps Down Union Challenge to Oklahoma Right to Work Law

A federal judge in Oklahoma June 5 upheld the central provisions of the state’s newly adopted right-to-work law, which guarantees Oklahoma workers the right to choose whether to pay union dues.  Oklahoma voters approved the constitutional amendment on Sept. 25, 2001.  In November, seven unions and a pipeline services company in the state filed a federal lawsuit, claiming  that certain provisions of the amendment were preempted by federal labor law, and that the whole statute should be thrown out. (Local 514, Transport Workers Union v. Keating, E.D. Okla., No. CIV-01-633-S, 6/5/02).

However, Judge Frank H. Seay (E.D. Okla., Carter) held that while the Right to Work law cannot be enforced with regard to the limited number of employees laboring under the Railway Labor Act, the law clearly and constitutionally applies to employees who work for private companies under the National Labor Relations Act.  The vast majority of Oklahoma employees fall … Read More ➡

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