Union Corruption Update

Since 1997, NLPC has become a high-profile and credible source for information about America’s labor unions through our publication Union Corruption Update.

The newsletter has been referenced in many other media outlets including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and National Journal.

Washington, D.C.-Area Security Guards Treasurer Charged with Fraud

Security copOn October 13, Patricia Moore, former secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Protective Services Associations (NUPSA), was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the amount of $109,866.17 against NUPSA and the National Union of Law Enforcement Associations. The Washington, D.C.-area NUPSA is a coalition of more than 25 security enforcement unions and associations in the Washington, D.C. area. The charge follows a joint investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

NLRB Approves Pro-Union "Ambush Election" Final Rule

NLRB logoIf the Democratic-majority National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under the Obama administration has become a de facto union law firm, then its proposed rule mandating "fast-track" or "ambush" elections loomed as its crowning achievement. Two days ago, on Tuesday, December 20, that proposal became final. By a 2-to-1 margin, the board approved a regulation it had unveiled this June ostensibly to speed up union representation election campaigns and avoid frivolous litigation.

Screen Actors Guild Whistleblower Alleges $5-$10M Benefit Theft

corruption It has the raw material for a movie. The plot, so far, is incomplete. Over the last few months the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has been rocked by public allegations by a former benefits executive that top officials of SAG-sponsored benefit plans, including CEO Bruce Dow, looted between $5 million and $10 million. The whistleblower, Craig Simmons, who had been fired a half-year before, this September filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor requesting that DOL conduct criminal and civil probes. Simmons also alleges that Dow instructed him to deceive trustees and authorities about the losses. The Labor Department has yet to comment on whether it has begun an investigation. Lawyers for the SAG, which controls about $2.5 billion in plan assets, are denying all charges. Yet significantly, the union hired an investigator to conduct a review, which since has been completed.

SPECIAL REPORT: The Big Labor Stranglehold: Killing Jobs & Hurting America

Union Special Report coverAuthored by Carl Horowitz, director of NLPC's Organized Labor Accountability Project, this Special Report examines the effect labor unions have on the workforce. As the recent events in Wisconsin showed, labor unions and their political alliies are as influential as ever. Unless major changes are made to the ways they function within the public sector, they'll continue to undermine any economic recovery.

Click here or on cover at right to download a 27-page pdf of the Report.

This Special Report is published in association with Human Events.

Chevy Volt Sales Figures Inflated With Fleet Purchases

Last night on Neil Cavuto's show on Fox News Channel, NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica discussed disappointing sales of the Chevy Volt, and GM's apparent goosing of sales figures through fleet sales. Here's a transcript:

Western Pennsylvania CWA Local Secretary Sentenced

On October 12, Lesa Major, former secretary-treasurer of Local 14821 of the Communications Workers of America, was sentenced in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Court for theft of funds from the Monessen (near Pittsburgh) union. She had paid $2,500 in restitution, as stated in the plea agreement, prior to sentencing, thus terminating probation. The sentencing follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Nurses Union Treasurer in Las Vegas Sentenced for Theft

NursesOn October 11, Nichelle Alstatt, former secretary-treasurer of the Professional Office Personnel Alliance (POPA), Professional Nurses Alliance, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to five years in prison, plus 40 hours of community service and completion of substance abuse treatment, for embezzling funds from the Las Vegas union and making false records in the labor organization's financial records. She also will have to pay restitution in the amount of $51,613.37. Alstatt had been indicted in March and pled guilty in June. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Upstate New York Steelworkers Local Secretary Sentenced

Steelworkers logoOn October 14, Thomas Wagner, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 897, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to two years of supervised probation and ordered to make restitution in the amount of $5,526 for falsifying records in the Cheektowaga, N.Y. (suburban Buffalo) union. He had pleaded guilty in June. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Local Letter Carriers President in Kentucky Sentenced

On October 13, Max Messamore, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 2039, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to two years probation, fined $500, and ordered to pay $2,293.77 in restitution and a $50 special assessment for failing to properly maintain records of the Somerset, Ky. union. He had pleaded guilty in May. The guilty plea and sentencing follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Laborers Business Manager in St. Louis Sentenced for Theft

Laborers logoOn October 7, Mark Winston, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 509, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to five years home confinement, five years probation and 100 hours of community service for embezzling funds from the St. Louis union. He also will have to pay $11,557 in restitution and a $100 fine. Winston had been indicted in March and pleaded guilty in June. The sentencing follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Oklahoma Steelworkers Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

Steelworkers logoOn October 4, Jackie Darrell Whitehouse, former treasurer of Local 4430 of the United Steelworkers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Oklahoma to two years probation and was ordered to pay a $500 fine for embezzling $6,350 from the Tulsa union. He pled guilty in June. The guilty plea and sentence follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Maintenance of Way Secretary in West Virginia Pleads Guilty

On October 4, Derrick George, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Local 76, a Teamster affiliate, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to embezzling union funds in the amount of $19,287.42 to the Leon, W.V.-based union. As part of the plea, he will have to make full restitution. George had been indicted in July. The actions follow a joint investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Are Chevy Volt Fleet Sales Latest Evidence of GM Deception?

Sales for the Chevy Volt have been stagnant and it has become apparent that lack of supply is not the reason. GM CEO Dan Akerson is responsible for tying the success of GM into the success of the Volt by having made lofty claims that the vehicle was, in fact, the future of the company while investing a major portion of marketing dollars to help support the perception. Deception was evident as statements were made that the vehicle was "virtually" sold out and supply couldn't keep up with demand, while evidence surfaced that this was not the case. GM cancelled plans to run a second shift for the vehicle even as it continued the ruse and floated rumors that there were huge waiting lists of purchasers for the vehicle.

NLRB Drops Complaint against Boeing; Unions May Be the Real Winner

Boeing plant photoWhen Boeing Co. two years ago announced plans to open a plant in South Carolina to assemble many of its 787 Dreamliner commercial jets, the decision triggered an outcry by the International Association of Machinists. The IAM's unofficial partner, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), filed a complaint against the company this April to block its opening of the facility, located in a Right to Work state. Last Friday, December 9, the board dropped its action. With the plant up and running for a half year, Boeing won a "victory" -- so says CNN. Or did it?

UAW Gets $12 Million from GM as Taxpayers Get Scrooged

Bloomberg reported last week that General Motors will be paying $12 million in additional bonuses to its UAW workers for meeting "quality targets." It's nice to see the holiday spirit of giving at GM. Unfortunately; US taxpayers are not faring as well as Government Motors' politically favored union members.

The Obama Administration still refuses to exit its stake in GM with Treasury serving as Money Manager for the American taxpayers. Geithner and friends continue to gamble on a market-timing strategy to "maximize" taxpayers return on its GM bailout (sorry, "investment.") So, how are they doing?

Boston-Area Longshoremen Local President Sentenced

ILA logoOn October 3, Frank Rago, former representative of the International Longshoremen's Association and former president of ILA Local 1604 in Stoneham, Mass., was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to a year and a day of incarceration followed by three years of supervised probation for making unlawful payments and falsifying union records after the fact. Rago used his position as an ILA representative to secure a no-show job with a local employer in order to continue making his line handler's salary without performing any work. He directed his union to pay his salary out of member deductions. In addition to receiving a sentence, he also was ordered to pay $216,384 in restitution, $10,000 in asset forfeiture and a $200 assessment. Rago was convicted by a jury in January 2010. The actions follow a joint probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Iron Workers Local Secretary in Kentucky Sentenced

IronworkersOn October 3, Christy Riggs, former office secretary for International Association of Iron Workers Local 70, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky to five years probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $13,937.80 plus a $25 special assessment. She had pleaded guilty back in June to falsifying union records in connection with her theft of about $18,000 from the Louisville union after being charged in May. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Consumer Reports’ Chevy Volt Safety Double Standard

In January of 2010 USA Today reported that Consumer Reports (CR) temporarily suspended its recommended rating for eight Toyota models. This was in response to the possibility of Toyota models being unsafe as accusations were made that the vehicles had sudden acceleration problems and NHTSA investigated the alleged incidents. In CRs' words, "Although incidents of sudden acceleration are rare, we are taking this action because the vehicles have been identified as potentially unsafe without a fix yet being available to consumers." CRs' response to the Chevy Volt NHTSA fires is quite different from the Toyota response.

Auto Workers Ex-Local Treasurer in Delaware Sentenced

Auto workersOn September 30, James Hunter, former treasurer of United Auto Workers Local 1542, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to one year probation and was ordered to pay $1,048.04 in restitution and a $25 special assessment for making a false statement in financial records of the Newark, Del.-based union. He pled guilty in June. The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Alabama Steelworkers Treasurer, President Plead Guilty to Embezzlement; Sentenced

Steelworkers logoOn September 29, Harry Small, former secretary-treasurer of Local 9-9506 of the United Steelworkers, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama for embezzling funds in the amount of $13,100 from the Bynum, Ala.-based union. He then was sentenced to three years probation, including one year of home detention, and ordered to pay $25,420 in restitution and a $300 special assessment. Small, a resident of Oxford, Ala., had been indicted in April for embezzling a dozen union checks worth a combined $25,820 during August 2008-February 2009. A little over two weeks later, on October 14, Dennis McGee, former president of the union, pleaded guilty to embezzling $1,950 in local funds. He then was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $7,600 in restitution plus a $300 special assessment. McGee had been indicted in April for embezzlement of about $8,200. The guilty pleas and sentences follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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