Who’s the meanest person in New York City-area organized labor? The competition is tough, but the winner might be Roland Bedwell. On August 8, Bedwell, business manager for United Plant and Production Workers Local 175, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to attempting to shake down a nonunion paving contractor several years ago. The offense was part of a mobster-enforced union pattern of blocking work sites, assaulting workers and coaxing builders into awarding contracts to the Roslyn Heights (Long Island), N.Y. local. The plea follows a probe by the FBI, the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the NYPD. FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney Jr. remarked: “The subject in this case bragged he should be in prison for his crimes. Now that’s exactly where he’s headed.”
United Plant and Production Workers Local 175, an affiliate of the International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades (IUJAT), has a “bad boy” … Read More ➡
“Equal pay for equal work” – the phrase has a nice ring to it. But like other unsound egalitarian ideas, this one hasn’t earned the hype. And the Trump administration recognizes as much. On August 29, the White House announced it was temporarily blocking an Obama-era rule from taking effect that would require businesses with at least 100 employees to report payroll data by sex to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Defending the move, the Office of Management and Budget noted that parts of the rule “lack practical utility, are unnecessarily burdensome, and do not adequately address privacy and confidentiality issues.” Supporters are outraged, and no more so than at President Trump’s daughter Ivanka, supposedly their ally. Such critics, true to form, are overlooking some practical economic realities.
Pay discrimination by sex has been illegal in this country for more than a half-century. And the strictures have become increasingly … Read More ➡
On August 2, Sophia Love, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2751, was indicted in the Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore, Maryland on one count of theft of at least $10,000 but less than $100,000 from the Baltimore union. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On July 24, Thomas Rodgers, former general chairman of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), General Committee of Adjustment 247, was charged in the LaPorte, Indiana Circuit Court with theft of $3,672.45 in funds from the LaPorte-based union. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡
Michael Evans and William Uggiano knew there was no way out. That’s why they have indicated their intent to plead guilty. On July 28, the pair, respectively, former vice president and former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1699, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania with conspiring to commit bank fraud in a sum of more than $50,000 from the union, which represents VA Hospital employees in Wilkes-Barre. Evans and Uggiano each were suspended from their union positions. The charges follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Office of Inspector General.
According to prosecutors, Michael Evans, 56, and William Uggiano, 60, each a resident of Wilkes-Barre, during 2013 and 2014 made unauthorized withdrawals of funds from the Local 1699 account at Vantage Trust First Credit Union for their own benefit. In early 2015, suspicious union … Read More ➡
At least William Bryles now has his easiest legal problems behind him. On July 26, Bryles, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2406, was charged in the District Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma with four counts of embezzlement. He then pleaded no contest and signed a three-year deferred sentence order. The court also ordered Bryles to pay $11,174 in restitution to the Oklahoma City union, plus court costs. He had been arrested a year ago following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
As Union Corruption Update noted at the time, Bryles, now 54, a resident of Oklahoma City, was arrested last August 17 on seven separate embezzlement charges. He allegedly had diverted more than $15,000 in funds belonging to Local 2406, a city employee union, for such personal uses as basketball tournaments, restaurant meals, cell phone charges and flowers … Read More ➡
On July 26, Guy Gokey, former financial secretary for Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Local 59, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in the sum of $14,074 from the Toledo union. He had been charged last August with embezzlement and making a false statement in financial records. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Jo-Anne Micheletti’s transition last year was voluntary. Her transition this year was involuntary. On Monday, August 21, Micheletti, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1339, was charged in Providence Superior Court with embezzling $6,946 from the union, which represents public school clerical workers in that city’s school system. She submitted her resignation from her job as a school administrator on August 16 after having been placed on administrative leave in April. Micheletti had been arrested by Rhode Island State Police in April. She had worked for the AFSCME local for a dozen years until she assumed her more recent position last year.
According to police, Micheletti, a resident of Warwick, made a series of unauthorized withdrawals from the union account during 2014-16. The pattern of theft unraveled when the current union president, Charlene Vela, discovered that money was missing and then asked AFSCME … Read More ➡
On July 21, Christopher Hayes, former president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island to six months in prison, to be followed by six months of home confinement, three years of probation and 300 hours of community service, for wire fraud in connection with his theft of $71,523 in funds from the Newport, R.I.-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. Hayes, a former Newport police sergeant, had pleaded guilty in May after being charged in March with diverting union funds by a variety of means to his own personal use during August 2009-December 2014. The actions follow a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the Rhode Island State Police.… Read More ➡
On July 20, Herbert White, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 8936, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to making a false entry in financial records of the union which until recently was based in Wilmington. Immediately thereafter, he was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a remaining restitution balance of $23,287 and a $25 special assessment. White had been charged in March with records fraud after being charged in January with embezzlement of $24,287 in union funds. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡