For decades, union members, often with the tacit approval of union bosses, have committed vandalism, extortion, assault and even murder during a labor dispute. Too often, they have gotten away with such behavior. At least one member of Congress is trying to right this situation. On November 16, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa (in photo), introduced the Freedom from Union Violence Act of 2017 (H.R. 4422) to amend an anti-racketeering statute interpreted by the Supreme Court over four decades ago as exempting unions from coverage. “Union violence is an ongoing problem, and it deserves no protection in federal law,” said King. This is hardly the first time that lawmakers have tried to close this legal loophole. And the string of disappointments has been due in no small measure to union opposition.
Unions do not necessarily play “fair” when seeking support from fellow employees or concessions from employers. If beating someone, … Read More ➡
On November 28, Alicia Rooney, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 459, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $171,804. Of that sum, about two-thirds had been taken from the Missoula-based union general fund and the other third had been taken from a union-sponsored benefit plan. Rooney had been indicted in August following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On November 21, Fonda White, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 2390, pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Prince George’s County, Md. to one count of theft in an amount of at least $10,000 but less than $100,000 from the Maugansville (near Hagerstown), Md.-based union. White had been indicted in July for the charge to which she would plead guilty, plus three other charges, following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On November 21, Keith Franzese, former president of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 275, was indicted in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Md. on one count of theft of at least $100,000; two counts of theft of at least $10,000 but less than $100,000; six counts of theft of at least $1,000 but less than $10,000; five counts of theft of more than $500; and one count of embezzlement/fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary for stealing $104,834 from the Greenbelt, Md.-based union. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
That motley collection of social media demagogues known as Black Lives Matter (BLM) has come up with a new idea for this Christmas season: a nationwide boycott of all white-owned corporations. As they tell the story, running a business constitutes complicity in the murder of blacks. Ironically, their intended targets might be their most generous friends.
The brainchild of this initiative is one Melina Abdullah, a leader of BLM’s Los Angeles chapter and a professor at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). She’s urging shoppers, as part of the chapter’s #BlackXmas campaign, not to shop or otherwise do business with companies owned by whites. On a recent broadcast of her weekly radio program, “Beautiful Struggle,” she proclaimed: “We say ‘white capitalism’ because it’s important that we understand that the economic system and the racial structures are connected. We have to not only disrupt the systems of policing … Read More ➡
The National Football League, a model of fecklessness, has taken the art of surrender to a new level. Last Wednesday evening, November 29, a group of team owners and black players reached a tentative plan to divert at least $89 million over seven years to various radical organizations. The move, an effort to placate the now-ritualized theatrical pregame “kneel-down” player protests during the national anthem, was a gift to two groups in particular, the Players Coalition and the Dream Corps, the latter led by Van Jones, an Obama-era White House adviser. “No decisions have been made on where the money will go yet, much less all the money over the next seven years,” said NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart. His boss, Roger Goodell, meanwhile, won’t have to worry. Two days ago, he signed a five-year contract extension potentially worth $40 million a year.
Henry Clay Green Sr. controlled his local union’s finances. Unfortunately, he couldn’t control his drug habit. Last Friday, December 1, Green, formerly secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 26, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to embezzling $171,455 in funds from the Medford, Mass.-based union, which represents various hospitality industry employees in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He had been charged in an information count on November 15. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Green, now 60, a resident of Boston, served in his position during 2011-16. For most if not all of that time, say prosecutors, he used that position as a license to divert funds to what his attorney called a “raging” addiction to opioid pills. Eventually, UNITE HERE Local 26 officials confronted him whereupon he confessed. This … Read More ➡
Danny Woodcock tempted fate dozens of times. Fate was bound to catch up with him. And it did. On November 3, Woodcock, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 83770, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on 48 counts related to his embezzlement of more than $300,000 from the Columbus, Miss.-based union. He pleaded not guilty and is currently free on bond. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to court records, Woodcock, now 64, a resident of Caledonia (Lowndes County), Miss., during February 2013-September 2016 made almost monthly unauthorized transfers, most commonly in sums of between $5,000 and $6,500, from the local checking account to his own personal account. The indictment read: “…Danny Woodcock, while an officer, that is, President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 83770, a labor organization engaged in … Read More ➡
On November 14, Brenda Schaefer, former treasurer of National Rural Letter Carriers Association Local 39, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one year of probation for concealing her theft of funds from the Chesterfield Township (Macomb County), Mich.-based union. She also was ordered to pay $11,570 in restitution and a $25 special assessment. Schaefer had pleaded guilty in July after being charged in June. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On November 9, Roderick Bennett, former chief of staff for the Laborers International Union of North America, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in an information count with embezzling $141,335 from union headquarters in Washington, D.C. As his total compensation was in excess of $300,000 for each of 2014 and 2015, one has to wonder why he felt a need to steal. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡