Steelworkers Local Secretary in Washington State Sentenced

Jason Richard sought leniency. And he got it – up to a point. On April 12, Richard, formerly secretary-treasurer for United Steelworkers Local 12-990, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington to six months in prison and two years of supervised release for embezzling more than $40,000 in funds from the Wallula union. He also will have to pay residual restitution. The union represents workers at the Boise paper mill near Pasco operated by The Packaging Corporation of America. Richard had pleaded guilty last December following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Richard, now 42, became a union official in December 2014. It didn’t take long for him to raid local coffers. According to prosecutors, during January-October 2015 he wrote himself four unauthorized union checks, and also made 74 debit card purchases and 25 balance transfers for personal use. Other … Read More ➡

Starbucks ‘Anti-Bias’ Training Will Not Work

Howard Schultz
PHOTO: sillygwailo/Creative Commons

Never before in the history of corporate America has a company so welcomed accusations of racism as Starbucks. But that could have been expected given the worldview of Executive Chairman Howard Schultz.

Several weeks ago, Schultz announced that on May 29 he would close around 8,000 of the company’s outlets to train employees on how to recognize and avoid unconscious social bias. This was in response to the publicized arrest on April 18 of two black males at a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia. Whatever his ulterior motives, he and other company executives should avoid this route. The training is guaranteed to be expensive. And it will backfire.

Corporate executives today know that to keep their jobs and avoid boycotts they must persuade employees to shed supposedly unconscious race and gender biases lurking within their souls. And though the remedy, known universally as “diversity,” promotes teamwork, in practice it … Read More ➡

Starbucks Closing Stores on May 29 for ‘Anti-Bias’ Indoctrination

The term “corporate diversity” these days refers far less to a diversity of opinion than to a diversity of demography in which people submit to rigid codes of speech and behavior if they want to stay employed.

Of the many companies enforcing this regime, Starbucks has been especially zealous. On April 18, 2018, Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz announced that sometime in May he would close about 8,000 of its coffee shops for an afternoon to train employees on how to recognize and avoid “unconscious bias.” His statement was in response to the highly-publicized arrest of two black males at a Philadelphia store.

For the last few decades, and with increasing speed, major corporations in this country are incorporating racial, ethnic and gender radicalism into their business practices. Whether out of fear or conviction, officials now reflexively succumb to Leftist campaigns that target them for injustices against minority groups.

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New NFL Policy on ‘Kneel-Down’ Protests Is Capitulation to Radicals

On the surface, it looks like a compromise. Underneath, it is a capitulation. Yesterday the National Football League and its 32 team owners announced the establishment of a new policy on the issue of player ‘kneel-downs’ during the playing of the national anthem to express solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other radical groups who see America as the land of racial injustice. While the policy nominally bars players from kneeling down on the sidelines and gives owners the latitude to levy fines against violators, it also allows players to protest by remaining in their locker rooms. This is not a resolution. Indeed, it is a guarantee of further political melodrama.

Last November 29, as National Legal and Policy Center discussed at length days later, the National Football League and the NFL Players Association reached an agreement over this issue to ward off controversy. The league would provide $89 million … Read More ➡

Plasterers Business Manager in Rhode Island Sentenced for $300K+ Scam

On May 11, Richard D’Antuono, former business manager and financial secretary for Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association Local 40, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island to three years of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling a combined $319,795 in funds from the Cranston-based union and a related benefit plan, forging the signatures of other union officials in the process. He also was ordered to pay full restitution plus a $300 special assessment. D’Antuono had pleaded guilty in January after being charged last November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.… Read More ➡

Machinists Secretary in Los Angeles Sentenced for Records Fraud

On May 14, Maria Nunez, former office secretary for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1484, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to two years of probation for making false statements in the financial records of the Wilmington, Calif. (Los Angeles Harbor area) union. She also was ordered to pay $4,868.50 in restitution and a $25 assessment. Nunez had pleaded guilty in January following a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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Southern Illinois Teamster President, Secretary Plead Guilty to Thefts

On May 17, Scott and Nancy Alexander, respectively, ex-president and secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 50, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to one count each of embezzlement and wire fraud from the Belleville, Ill. union. During January 2012-June 2016, alleged prosecutors, the husband-wife couple made about $6,500 in unauthorized purchases with a union credit card, manipulated the payroll, collected vacation pay while at work and received excessive auto allowance reimbursements. After receiving tips from within the union about such activity, the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards conducted a probe. That in turn led to indictments last June. Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa already had imposed a trusteeship on the local in July 2016.… Read More ➡

IATSE Secretary-Treasurer in Virginia Charged with Theft

On May 11, Christopher Mulhall, former secretary-treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 264, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in a criminal information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzlement in the amount of $57,310.03 from the Hampton, Va.-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Congress Probes $200 Million Annual Union Medicaid Scam

To organized labor, they’re called dues payments. To some members of Congress, they’re called acts of theft. The critics may be right. During the past several weeks, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs has been conducting oversight on why Medicaid, a program now consuming well over a half-trillion dollars a year in federal and state taxes, is costing so much. One reason is that unions now skim an estimated $200 million a year from the program, having been granted the authority by more than a dozen states to reclassify home health care workers, including family caregivers, as government employees. This practice undermines statutory intent and a Supreme Court ruling four years ago. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., for one, is demanding some answers from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicaid is by far the nation’s largest means-tested anti-poverty program. Passed by Congress and signed by President … Read More ➡

Convicted Benefits Manager of Alabama Iron Workers Local Barred from Union Activity

Brandi Stephens thought she was too clever to be caught. It was a poor guess. This past Tuesday, May 15, the U.S. Department of Labor announced it had entered into a consent agreement with Stephens, former administrator for the welfare and pension plan of the Birmingham, Ala.-based Iron Workers Local 92, that barred her from acting in any capacity on behalf of the plan. This past December, in a separate criminal case, she had been sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to six months of home confinement and five years of probation, and was ordered to pay $45,896 in restitution. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.

According to prosecutors, Stephens operated a variety of schemes. She altered her paychecks by increasing the amount due to her; diverted additional payroll and expense account checks by substituting her name for … Read More ➡