A year after being placed under trusteeship by the Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters (IBT), 11,000 Northwest Airlines flight attendants voted, 55%-45%, to replace the Teamsters with an independent union, the Professional Flight Attendants Assn. (PFAA). The vote was conducted by telephone over a period of weeks, but the results were announced on June 19.
One year ago, IBT president James Hoffa replaced the leadership of Local 2000, based in Minnesota, with a trustee when he judged that the leaders were not resisting the PFAA’s organizing efforts enough. This is the second time in five years that Northwest workers have opted for an independent union. In 1998, the mechanics, cleaners and custodians rejected the Intl. Assn. of Machinists in favor of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Assn. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 6/20/03]
More Arrests in Post-9/11 Looting of Credit Union ATM
Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau announced on June 18 the charging of 118 unionized govt. workers who looted ATMs operated by the credit union used by Dist. Council 37 of the Amer. Fedtn. of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME). This is the same DC 37 used in the 1990s by dozens of officials as “their own personal ATM,” adding up to nearly $6 million in stolen union funds.
After the collapse of the World Trade Center disrupted the Metropolitan Credit Union’s links to the New York Cash Exchange, MCU officials announced that they would continue to allow withdrawals even without the electronic safeguards ensuring against overdrawing individual accounts. Although the action was meant to benefit those suffering in the wake of the terrorist attack, some 4,000 employees stole about $15 million until the compuyer safeguards were restored in Nov. 2001. 101 employees who overdrew their accts. by at least $7,500 were charged last August after refusing to make any effort to repay what they had stolen. The most recent charges included those who stole more than $5,000 each, and had refused to make any effort at repayment. [New York Daily News, 6/19/03]
Former IL Secy.-Treasurer Sentenced to Home Confinement
On June 10, in the U.S. Dist. Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Anthony King, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 533, was sentenced to six months home confinement on electronic monitoring and five years supervised release. He was also fined $100 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $14,450. He pled guilty to embezzling $14,450 in union funds on February 20, 2003 following an investigation by the Chicago branch of the U.S. Ofc. of labor-Mgmt. Standards and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. [OLMS, 6/19/03]
Ex-Secy.-Treasurer Sentenced in NY State Court
On June 1, in Ogdensburg (NY) City Court, John Miller, former secretary-treasurer of Civil Service Employees Association, Local 727, was sentenced to one year of conditional discharge and 100 hours of community service for committing grand larceny in the third degree. Miller pled guilty to stealing $4,743 from his union and made full restitution following an investigation by the Buffalo branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 6/17/03]
Ex-Financial Secy. Confesses to Theft in Penn. Court
On May 29, in the Pennsylvania District Court in Cambia County, Randall Bills, former financial secretary of United Mine Workers Local 1269, pled guilty to three counts of theft and agreed to pay full restitution of $1,886.78 and enter into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, following an investigation by the Pittsburgh branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 6/17/03]
Ex-President Sentenced for Union Embezzlement in Mich. Fed. Court
On May 29, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Delbert Steward, former president of Steelworkers Local 02-1279, was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $9,578 in restitution. Steward was also ordered to draft and post a letter of apology to the union and pay a $100 special assessment. Steward pled guilty to embezzling $9,578 in union funds on August 22, 2002 following an investigation by the OLMS branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 6/17/03]