IRB Charges Northern California Teamster Boss with Corruption

Teamsters logoWhen the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Justice Department agreed last January to replace the tight government oversight established over 25 years earlier with union self-regulation, the terms called for phasing out the federal role over five years rather than lifting it all at once.  Dues-paying members may be grateful for such a precaution.  This February 10, the court-approved monitoring agency known as the Independent Review Board (IRB) issued a report charging Northern California Teamster leader Rome Aloise with various acts of corruption, including racketeering and influence-peddling.  Nearly two weeks later, Hoffa, after reviewing the report, filed charges against Aloise with the union disciplinary board.  Aloise has run for election on the Hoffa slate.  But loyalty alone might not be enough to save his job.

The Washington, D.C.-based Teamsters have been a ward of the Independent Review Board since that three-member body was launched in 1992 in the wake … Read More ➡

Letter Carriers Local Secretary-Treasurer in Missouri Indicted

letter carriers logoOn January 27, John McCain, former secretary-treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 1016, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on one count of embezzlement of $30,948 in funds from the Poplar Bluff, Mo. union.  The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Arkansas IBEW President-Business Manager Charged with Theft; Pleads Guilty

IBEW logoThe promotion was nice, but it couldn’t save Clinton Humphrey from being caught.  On January 26, Humphrey, formerly president-business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 386, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas with embezzling $51,811.70 in funds from the Texarkana, Ark.-based union.  He then pleaded guilty.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Court records show that Humphrey, now 43, during the period March 2010-November 2014 used his union credit card and checking accounts to buy items for his personal use.  He had served as secretary-treasurer of Local 386 since 2009, but during mid-2014 he took over as president and business manager.  His tenure in his latter posts would be brief.  Humphrey faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, but given his guilty plea, he’s likely to be … Read More ➡

Postal Workers Treasurer in South Dakota Pleads Guilty

postal-workers-logoFor nearly four years, Susan Haugen saw her union as a private bank.  Now she’s likely to spend some time in a public prison.  On January 26, Haugen, former treasurer of the state affiliate of the American Postal Workers Union, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of South Dakota to one count of embezzlement of funds in the amount of $30,782 from the Huron, S.D.-based union.  She had been indicted in November 2014 on three counts of stealing a combined more than $36,000 following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to prosecutors, Haugen, currently age 56 or 57, during May 2010-March 2014 had made slightly more than $25,000 in unauthorized cash withdrawals from the union bank account.  She also had used the union credit and debit cards to cover roughly another $11,000 in unauthorized personal expenses.  No sentencing date yet … Read More ➡

Cleveland Plumbers Office Secretary Sentenced for Theft

plumbers-union-logoOn January 19, Heather Banhidy, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 120, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to two years of probation and 50 hours of community service for embezzling $13,906 from the Cleveland union.  She also was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment on top of the full restitution which she already had made.  Banhidy had pleaded guilty in October following her indictment in August.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Illinois Maintenance of Way Secretary Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

On January 15, Joshua Lewis, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division Lodge 212, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois for making false statements in financial records of the Gillespie (Macoupin County), Ill.-based union. He then was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $25 social assessment. Lewis had been indicted in November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

West Virginia Enacts Right to Work Law over Governor’s Veto

New River Gorge Suspension Bridge, West VirginiaThe Right to Work juggernaut continues to roll in seemingly unlikely places.  On Friday, February 12, West Virginia Republican lawmakers overrode a veto by Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to pass legislation barring unions from forcing employers to fire workers who decline to pay dues.  The votes, 55-43 in the House of Delegates and 18-16 in the Senate – only a simple majority is required for a veto – make West Virginia the 26th state with such a law.  The measure had been introduced only a month earlier.  Mark Mix, president of the Springfield, Va.-based National Right to Work Committee, commented after the vote:  “Now, more than half of the states have enacted Right to Work laws to protect workers’ fundamental right to freedom of association.”  The state’s unions have a different view.

Organized labor resolutely has opposed the Right to Work principle for decades.  And it’s little wonder.  … Read More ➡

New Hampshire Nuclear Plant Security Steward Sentenced

Seabrook nuclear power plantOn January 12, Gregory Paradis, former chief steward of United Federation of Special Police and Security Officers Local 501, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to two years of probation for embezzling $13,493 in funds from the Seabrook, N.H. union.  He also was ordered to pay full restitution.  Paradis had pled guilty in October after being charged in August.  The union represents security workers at the Seabrook nuclear power plant.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Obama Fetes Black Lives Matter Leaders at White House Summit

obama-black-lives-matter-summitAnyone doubting the influence of the loosely-knit band of demagogues known as Black Lives Matter probably wasn’t at the White House last Thursday, where President Obama met with black leaders to discuss race, crime and policing. Among the attendees were Al Sharpton, National Urban League President Marc Morial, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Black Lives Matter activists DeRay McKesson and Brittany Packnett (in photo, left). Obama invited McKesson and Packnett as a gesture to young blacks. Their inclusion underscores the summit’s unspoken assumption: White lives don’t matter.

National Legal and Policy Center early in January described the origins and motives of Black Lives Matter (BLM). The group was launched in July 2013 by three black female community activists in the immediate wake of a wholly justified decision by a Florida trial jury not to convict a white neighborhood crime patrol volunteer, George Zimmerman, for murder in the self-defense shooting death … Read More ➡