Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Vice President of CWA Local in Detroit Pleads Guilty

Communications Workers logoOn February 16, Karen McJimpson, former executive vice president of Communications Workers of America Local 4004, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of failure to maintain records of the Detroit-based union.  She had been charged earlier that day in a superseding information count following an August indictment for embezzlement of about $19,000 in union funds.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Oregon CWA Local Secretary-Treasurer Indicted

Communications Workers logoOn October 30, Bonita Scherling, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 7970, was indicted in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, County of Hood River, on one count of theft, one count of forgery and two counts of identity theft in relation to her position at the Hood River-based union.  The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Detroit CWA Vice President Charged with Embezzlement

Communications Workers logoOn August 18, Karen McJimpson, former executive vice president of Communications Workers of America Local 4004, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with embezzling about $19,000 in funds from the Detroit union.  The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

CWA Secretary-Treasurer in Indiana Charged with Forgery, Theft

Communications Workers logoOn 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.

Southwest Ohio CWA Financial Secretary Sentenced for Theft

On July 1, Thomas Wolfer, former financial secretary of Communications Workers of America Local 84729, was sentenced in the State of Ohio, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, to three years of community service, and ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution plus court costs, for theft from the Fayetteville, Ohio union.  Wolfer had pleaded guilty in March to one count of felony theft.  The actions follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

CWA Secretary-Treasurer in Idaho Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Communications Workers logoFor about six years, Helen Herold-Roden had mastered the art of stealing from her union.  But it’s hard to beat the law of averages.  Last Thursday, June 18, Herold-Roden, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 7603, pleaded guilty (pre-indictment) in U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho to one count of embezzling $138,658 in funds from the Meridian, Idaho-based union, which represents employees of area telecom companies such as AT&T and Century Link.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  Sentencing is scheduled for September 8.

N.J. Supreme Court Says 'No' to Unions; Allows Gov. Christie to Delay Pension Payments

Whether one sees New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as confronting or punting, it’s hard to deny he knows a crisis when he sees one.  The State Supreme Court sees one as well.  On June 9, the Court ruled 5-2 that Christie was within bounds in delaying two years of contributions, nearly $2.5 billion, to the state’s chronically underfunded public-employee pension system.  The ruling, a clear blow to the unions who brought forth the suit, for now averts a fiscal calamity.  Critics claim that Christie, expected shortly to enter the Republican presidential race, broke a law he signed in 2011, passing the buck to his successors.  Supporters counter that the ruling gives the legislature breathing room to fix a condition resulting from years of excessive union contract demands.  The latter is a familiar story in other states, too.

Labor Department Files Complaint against Michigan CWA Local

Communications Workers logoThe current leadership of Communications Workers of America Local 84555 might not be stealing funds, but they are inviting suspicion all the same, especially from the U.S. Department of Labor.  On April 28, the DOL filed a complaint in Detroit federal court against the Durand, Mich.-based union, claiming it has been repeatedly and excessively late in filing required annual financial statements to its Office of Labor-Management Standards.  The fiscal year 2014 report, for example, was due last June 29 yet has not been sent.  The nearly 200-member local has not issued a response.            

Report Shows Missouri Taxpayers Subsidize Public-Sector Unions

Union compensationUnions, even those representing government employees, are private organizations.  Yet a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) reveals that taxpayers in one state effectively are being forced to cover some of the costs of public-sector union official business.  The study, authored by CEI labor policy analyst Trey Kovacs and titled, “A Remedy for Taxpayer Giveaway to Unions” (March 25, 2015), in the face of considerable resistance, dug up clear evidence that state and local government agencies in Missouri are subsidizing public-sector unions during working hours without loss of member pay.  These “release time” clauses, whether or not built into collective bargaining agreements, are at odds with the public interest, deceptively costly, and almost certainly illegal.

Ohio CWA Local Financial Secretary Pleads Guilty to Theft

Communications Workers logoOn March 19, Thomas Wolfer, former financial secretary of Communications Workers of America Local 84729, pleaded guilty in the State of Ohio, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, to one count of theft in an unspecified amount from the Fayetteville, Ohio union.  The plea follows a joint investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

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