Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Former Treasurer of Pennsylvania CWA Local Pleads Guilty

CWA logoOn April 24, Robert Vargeson, former treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 88329, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to an information count for falsifying financial records of the Galeton (Potter County), Pa.-based union. The concealment had covered up a loss of $6,373 to the union. Vargeson had been charged 10 days earlier following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

NLRB Considers Forcing Employers to Allow Union E-Mail Organizing

emailAn employer presumably sets the rules as to who uses its e-mail accounts and for what purposes. But that presumption might not hold if the users are union organizers. On April 30, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) posted a notice soliciting comments on an October ruling by an Administrative Law Judge, Purple Communications Inc., that an employer has the discretion to deny the use of its e-mail system for organizing. If the NLRB reverses the decision, which is likely given its current 3-2 pro-union majority, it would be handing unions a potent organizing tool, and more broadly, restricting employer property rights. A victory by the Communications Workers of America in this case would overturn a 2007 board decision protecting an employer's right to bar the usage of its e-mail for organizing.

Communications Workers Treasurer in Pennsylvania Charged

Communications Workers logoOn April 14, Robert Vargeson, former treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 88329, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania with falsifying financial records of the Galeton, Pa. (Potter County)-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Twin Cities-Area CWA Shop Chairman Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced

Communications Workers logoOn March 12, Jason Brown, former shop chairman of Communications Workers of America Local 87140, pleaded guilty in Hennepin County (Minnesota) District Court to theft in an amount of over $1,000 from the Minneapolis-based union. He then was sentenced to one year and one day of confinement (stayed for five years), but ordered to serve 90 days of confinement in addition to five years of probation. He also was ordered to pay $3,905 in restitution less what he previously had paid. Brown had been charged last November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Illinois CWA Local Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

CWA logoOn January 8, Natasha Bever, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 4202, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to one year and one day in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Rantoul, Ill. (near Champaign-Urbana) union. She also was ordered to pay the remaining $55,759 in restitution plus a $100 special assessment. Bever had been indicted in January 2013 on one count of embezzlement in the amount of $117,378, and pleaded guilty in June to stealing $149,404. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Ex-Shop Chairman of Twin Cities-Area CWA Local Charged with Theft

Communications Workers logoOn November 14, Jason Brown, former shop chairman of Communications Workers of America Local 87140, was charged in Hennepin County (Minn.) Court with one count of theft of $3,905 from the Minneapolis union during September-December 2012. He isn't the first official of Local 87140 with legal problems. In November 2012, Dennis Earley, former local financial secretary, pleaded guilty in Hennepin County Court for stealing more than $5,000 from the union and was sentenced immediately thereafter. The charge against Brown follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Union Leaders Prepare for Final Push on Immigration; Ignore Member Concerns

Richard Trumka"Comprehensive immigration reform," like virtually any initiative containing the magic word "comprehensive," looks good on the surface. But the details of the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate in June by a 68-32 margin reveal much wrong underneath. Oblivious to this, top union leaders are gearing up for an all-out blitz this fall to secure passage of a similar bill in the Republican-majority House of Representatives. Led by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (in photo), they are obsessed with providing 11 million or more persons illegally in this country with amnesty and eventual citizenship, and with enabling millions of family members to come here to join them.

CWA Local President, Treasurer in Michigan Sentenced for Embezzlement

CWA logoOn June 20, James Killingsworth and Billie Jo Killingsworth, respectively, former president and former president of Communications Workers of America Local 84555, each were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to six months in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling funds in the amount of $19,197.02 from the Webberville, Mich. (near Lansing) union. They also were ordered to make full restitution plus a $100 special assessment. Each had pled guilty in February after being charged last November. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Michigan Local CWA President, Treasurer Plead Guilty to Embezzlement

Communications Workers logoOn February 21, James Killingsworth and Billie Jo Killingsworth, respectively, former president and treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 84555, each pled guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of embezzling funds from the Webberville, Mich.-based union in the amount of $19,197.02. They previously had been charged in November. The charges and guilty pleas follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Ex-CWA President, Treasurer in Michigan Charged with Theft

Communications Workers logo On November 14, James Killingsworth and Billie Jo Killingsworth, respectively, former president and treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 84555, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with aiding and abetting each other in the embezzlement of $19,197.02 in funds from the Webberville, Mich. (southeast of Lansing) union. The defendants allegedly made unauthorized ATM and cash withdrawals from the union bank account. The charges follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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