Some would call it punting. Others would call it common sense. Both summations might apply. On Monday, August 17, the National Labor Relations Board unanimously ruled that scholarship football players at Northwestern University cannot form a union. In overturning a March 2014 regional NLRB decision, the board concluded that allowing union organizing at one campus, but not at others, would be disruptive. The ruling read: “Our decision is primarily premised on a finding that because of the nature of sports leagues…it would not promote stability in labor relations to assert jurisdiction in this case.” While the decision is a rebuke to the players’ request, its scope is narrow. By declining to rule on whether student-athletes qualify as “employees,” the board has kept the door open for similar cases.
On June 25, William Magee, former president of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers Local 252G, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to three years of probation, with six months home detention, for embezzling funds from the Memphis union. He also was ordered to pay $71,908 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Magee had pleaded guilty in February following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On July 1, Alfonso Rodriguez, former secretary-treasurer for United Transportation Union (SMART) Local 117, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to three years of probation and 160 hours of community service for false financial reporting. He also was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $34,601 to the Southworth (Kitsap County), Wash.-based union. Rodriguez had pleaded guilty in March following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Benefit plans arguably have become the most lucrative source of illegal income in the world of organized labor. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan don’t need to be reminded of that. On July 1, New York City union officials Rocco Miranti, Johnnie Miranti and Louis Smith were arrested and indicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for their roles in obtaining more than $1 million through kickbacks and theft from allied health plans. The three defendants, respectively, are business manager of Allied Novelty and Production Workers Local 223, secretary-treasurer of Local 223, and ex-president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 810. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division.
Allied Novelty and Production Workers Local 223 is based in Manhattan, and represents toy factory workers; Teamsters Local … Read More ➡
On July 7, Curtis Bullick, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3254, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one year of probation for theft of property from the Bunker Hill, Ind.-based union. He also was ordered to pay $2,107 in restitution and a $25 special assessment. Bullick had pleaded guilty in March. The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On July 23, Diana Brown, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 84807, was charged in Clark County, Indiana Circuit Court with 10 counts of felony forgery and one count of felony theft from the Jeffersonville, Ind. (near Louisville, Ky.) union. The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Observers lately have taken to calling Puerto Rico “America’s Greece.” That might qualify as an insult – to Greece. And the American public may have to cover the debts. On Monday, the island government announced that its Public Finance Corporation was unable to make its full scheduled loan payments over the weekend. The $628,000 in disbursements was a mere blip on the $58 million due, itself a blip on composite debt of over $70 billion, a large portion of it rated at “junk” levels. Yet suddenly the specter of collapse has become real. Moody’s Vice President Emily Raimes, terming the partial payment a “default,” stated: “This event is consistent with our belief that Puerto Rico does not have the resources to make all of its forthcoming debt payments. This is a first in what we believe will be broad default on commonwealth debt.”
National Legal and Policy Center … Read More ➡
Glenn Robert Smith dodged a bullet nearly two years ago in a civil lawsuit filed by his union. He might not be so fortunate this time around now that he’s facing federal criminal charges. On July 1, Smith, former comptroller for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCC), was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in an information count with embezzling $499,087 from the Detroit-area labor organization. The charge follows a joint investigation by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Back on November 1, 2013, the Council filed a 17-count civil complaint in Detroit federal court against Smith and two other defendants – Smith’s wife, Laura Smith, and another individual, Stacey Adkins – for misuse of council assets. It also requested a temporary restraining order against Laura Smith on any attempt by her … Read More ➡
On June 26, Juanita Phillips, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 389, was sentenced in the Supreme Court of New York State to one year in prison for stealing funds in an unspecified amount from the New York City-based home care workers union. She had pleaded guilty last September. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Thomas Flaherty can’t seem to stay away from trouble – or federal court. On June 29, Flaherty, a former employee and member of the Boston-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to three counts of mail fraud in connection with state unemployment benefits that he had received while working full-time. The plea follows a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration, plus the Boston Police Department.
According to prosecutors, Flaherty (no relation to NLPC President Peter Flaherty), now 52, a resident of Braintree, Mass., during March 2010-December 2011, while working for Teamsters Local 82, made several misrepresentations of fact so he could collect unemployment insurance benefits from the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development. His actual gross earnings for that period were $49,890. Yet he reported his … Read More ➡