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 ➡
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 ➡
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.
As a key figure in the Chrysler-United Auto Workers training fund scandal, Al Iacobelli expected a stiff sentence. And that’s what he got. On August 27, Iacobelli, former vice president of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to 66 months in prison and 24 months of supervised release for attempting to bribe certain UAW officers with more than $1.5 million in cash and other things of value in 2015 in hopes of persuading them to drop contract demands, and for embezzling funds for his own use. Iacobelli was ordered to pay $853,522 in restitution, a $10,000 fine and a $100 assessment. He had pleaded guilty in January after being indicted last July. The actions follow an investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners long has had corruption problems. The union’s St. Louis-Kansas City Regional Council might well qualify as its corruption leader. Two years ago, Jonathan Gould, a union member and former compliance officer for the council, filed a civil racketeering suit in Missouri state court accusing council officials of “embezzling money from members to inflate their own pensions and cash in on travel perks for spouses,” plus acts of sexual harassment, assault, drunk driving, and drug abuse. The council, which consists of 34 unions in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois representing about 22,000 members, has responded with a blitz of counterclaims. Matters have yet to be settled.
On August 22, Edgar Barajas, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 4-1702, was charged in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Marlborough District Court, with embezzling about $11,000 in funds from the Marlborough-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On August 20, Diana Brown, ex-financial secretary of Communications Workers of America Local 84807, pleaded guilty in Clark County, Indiana Circuit Court to 10 counts of forgery against the Jeffersonville, Ind. (near Louisville, Ky.) union. She then was sentenced to eight years in jail (six of those years suspended) and six years of probation. Brown had been charged with 10 counts of forgery and one count of theft in July 2015. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On August 17, Danny Woodcock, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 83770, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to one count of embezzlement of funds from the Columbus, Miss.-based union. He had been indicted last November for stealing more than $300,000 by making unauthorized transfers of several thousand dollars each from the local checking account to his own personal account. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡