On September 28, David Hendricks, former secretary-treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 900, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to five years of probation for embezzling $13,987 from the Huntsville-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Hendricks, a resident of Huntsville, had pleaded guilty in May following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On September 19, John Burgess, former president of Pacific Stainless Products Employee Association Local 304, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon on one count of embezzling about $35,000 in funds from the St. Helens-based union and one count of concealing the thefts. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
While the Senate has been poring over the youthful misadventures of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, several House lawmakers, with far less fanfare, have been focusing on a more plausible charge of misconduct involving an ex-colleague, Mel Watt. On September 26, Watt, a former 11-term North Carolina congressman who since January 2014 has headed the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), was grilled at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee concerning allegations about his sexual harassment of a female FHFA employee. “She deserves to be heard and she needs to be heard,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex. Watt denies all wrongdoing, but evidence might not be on his side.
Melvin Luther “Mel” Watt, now 73, a trained lawyer and a native of Charlotte, first was elected to Congress in 1992, a beneficiary of gerrymandering to ensure black representation. During his tenure, he specialized in banking, housing and economic development … Read More ➡
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME was a stunning blow to over 40 years of public-sector union monopoly power. Union leaders for their part are pushing back. They have plenty of allies in state governments, and perhaps no state is as vociferous as New York. Indeed, on June 27, the day of the ruling, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order to protect union members from outside intimidation – ironic, given the pressure unions often use to collect dues. The State of New York also has begun deducting dues from the pay of government workers without even checking to see if they are members. And now a prominent lawmaker wants taxpayers to reimburse unions for foregone dues.
State and local officials across the country, especially in non-Right to Work states, are helping to lead a popular resistance to Trump administration policies and court … Read More ➡
Few things say “money in the bank” to a public-sector union quite like Medicaid. A proposed federal rule would end this freebie. On July 12, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to bar states from using Medicaid funds as a source of dues for unions representing home health care providers. Workers still would have the right to join a union. But non-joiners no longer would be captive of a state agency deducting dues and forwarding them to a union. Over a dozen states now engage in this practice. For organized labor, this arrangement generates around $200 million a year. That’s why unions and the states are resisting the proposed rule in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling in June. A recent development in Washington State has strengthened the hand of reluctant dues payers while the department finalizes its rule.… Read More ➡
Mandatory “gender equity” on corporate boards may seem a far-fetched idea, but in one state it soon may become law. Several weeks ago, the California legislature passed a bill, SB 826, that would require every public company headquartered in the state to have at least one woman on its board of directors by the end of 2019. Larger companies also would have to place at least two women on their boards by the end of 2021. There would be stiff fines for noncompliance. The bill awaits the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown (in photo). It’s yet another example of how affirmative action is driven by political shaming, not by sensible economics or constitutional law.
Feminists long have set their sights on breaking the “glass ceiling,” that metaphorical barrier established by male employers to discourage women from advancing to top positions. As a corrective, these activists increasingly are calling for requiring … Read More ➡
At one time Rocco Fazzolari had bit parts in low-budget New York City crime movies. Little did people know that for a long time he starred in his own real-life version. Yesterday, on September 26, Fazzolari, former president of United Industrial and Service Employees Union Local 122, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to three counts of embezzlement related to his theft of a combined more than $1.3 million in funds from the East Meadow (Long Island), N.Y.-based union and a related benefit plan. Under the terms of the plea agreement, he will forfeit $941,828, pay additional restitution, and refrain from engaging in union-related activity for 13 years. The plea follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
United Industrial and Service Employees Local 122 is a modest-sized independent union. According to tax filings for the … Read More ➡
Buying a pair of athletic shoes shouldn’t be a political act. But Nike, the world’s largest maker of athletic shoes, thinks otherwise. And it might lose customers as a result. On Thursday evening, September 6, the company aired its widely anticipated two-minute “Just Do It”-themed ad on NBC-TV during the 2018 NFL season opener narrated by Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who two years ago started the ritual “kneel-down” national anthem protests. He remains a factually-challenged moral exhibitionist who has built a cult upon the false claim that local police forces across the nation are murdering innocent blacks. The campaign might boost Nike sales in the short run, but market surveys suggest that it might not end well.
For a man whose name is radioactive around the National Football League, Colin Kaepernick’s career shift is paying off. During the 2016 exhibition season, he chose to kneel rather … Read More ➡
On September 12, Dana Roush, former president of American Postal Workers Union Local 403, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina with one count of embezzlement in the amount of $10,089 from the Spartanburg union. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Sometimes a marriage can be a partnership in crime. That was the case of Scott and Nancy Alexander. On August 24, the husband and wife, respectively, ex-president and ex-office administrator for International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 50, received identical sentences in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois of six months in prison and six months of home confinement, to be followed by three years of probation, for embezzlement and fraud against the Belleville, Ill.-based (near St. Louis) union. They also were ordered to pay $44,576.04 in restitution and a $200 special assessment. The couple had pleaded guilty in May after being indicted in June 2017. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Labor Racketeering.