Chattanooga VW Workers Again Vote to Remain Nonunion Despite No Support from Management

Give the United Auto Workers credit: It doesn’t give up easily. But the union’s years-long effort to organize the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga once again has met with defeat. Last Friday, June 14, VW management announced that its full-time permanent workers there had voted to reject union representation. The 833-776 margin was even closer than the 712-626 “no” vote in February 2014. UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg claims the outcome was due to outside manipulation. This assertion resembles the rhetoric during the previous aftermath when the UAW called upon the National Labor Relations Board to nullify the result, a complaint it eventually dropped. VW headquarters in Germany, while not formally capitulating to the union as before, remains a passive partner.

The Chattanooga Volkswagen facility has been an organizing prize for the United Auto Workers since its spring 2011 grand opening. Built on a 1,400-acre site in an industrial park, … Read More ➡

Indiana AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced

On June 5, Charlotte McDaniel, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3826, pleaded guilty in Marion County, Indiana Superior Court to one count of theft of funds in an amount of between $750 and $50,000 from the union, which represents Indianapolis public school bus drivers. She then was sentenced to a year in jail, with all but two days suspended, and ordered to pay $4,082 in restitution. McDaniel had been indicted in March following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Civilian Technicians Secretary in Maryland Charged with Theft

On May 31, John Scarcella, former secretary-treasurer of Association of Civilian Technicians Local 125, was charged in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Md. with one count of theft from the Middle River-based union in a sum of more than $10,000 but less than $100,000. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

San Francisco NTEU Chapter President Hit with Superseding Indictment

The news for Jonathon Ortino keeps getting worse. On June 4, Ortino, former president of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 165, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in a six-count superseding indictment with offenses relating to his making unauthorized electronic funds transfer in the sum of $4,500 from a union account to a personal account. He previously had been charged in March 26 in a three-count indictment with concealing the thefts in three consecutive annual financial reports. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to the original charges, Ortino, now 43, a resident of San Bruno, Calif., falsely stated in LM-3 statements to the Labor Department that NTEU Chapter 165 made no loans of more than $250 to any union officer or member during 2014, 2015 or 2016. Moreover, he allegedly understated the amount of … Read More ➡

Philadelphia-Area Contractor Sentenced for Theft, Bribery in IBEW Corruption Probe

For George Peltz, running a business and ripping off a union often meant the same thing. That’s why he’s no longer involved in either. On May 20, Peltz, a Philadelphia-area contractor, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to 18 months in prison and two years of probation for bribery, theft from a benefit fund, and tax fraud related to his dealings with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98. He also paid nearly $1 million in restitution. Peltz had pleaded guilty in January. The actions are part of a larger federal and state joint probe of corruption in Philadelphia that thus far has implicated a city council member, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, a couple of contractors and several Local 98 officials.

Union Corruption Update earlier had analyzed a sweeping federal indictment unsealed on January 30 against eight persons in the overlapping worlds of … Read More ➡

Ex-SEIU Official in Chicago Indicted for Conspiracy, Wire Fraud

On May 7, Robert Kurtycz, former comptroller for the Service Employees International Union’s Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on one count of conspiracy to commit commercial bribery plus six counts of wire fraud. One of the wire fraud charges involved the electronic transfer of funds from the Chicago-based labor organization for his receipt of unauthorized expense reimbursements totaling $85,962. The five others are related to this alleged offense. The indictments follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.… Read More ➡

Office Employee of Dallas-Area Plumbers Local Indicted for Theft

On May 17, Claudia Beltran, former office assistant for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 100, was indicted in Kaufman County, Texas court for misapplication of fiduciary property in the sum of between $2,500 and $30,000. The union is based in nearby Garland (Dallas County). The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Operating Engineers Secretary in Tennessee Sentenced for Embezzlement

On May 17, Caroline Phelps, former office secretary of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 369, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to three years of probation for embezzling funds from the Cordova (Shelby County) union. She also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $36,823 plus a $100 special assessment. Phelps had pleaded guilty in February. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Florida NSO Treasurer Indicted for Embezzlement

On May 7, Amy Barber (Rodman), former treasurer for the Florida state affiliate of the National Staff Organization, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida on one count of embezzling funds of an unspecified sum from the union and one count of filing a false financial report to cover up the theft. The NSO represents employees of various unions. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Kansas City-Area Boilermakers Local Boss Arrested in Knife Attack

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, as Union Corruption Update has noted in the past, is a union that spends lavish sums on salaries and benefits for its top officials. One of its affiliates is earning disrepute of a different sort. Early last month, Scot Whitney Albertson, business manager for the Kansas City, Mo.-based Boilermakers Local 83, was arrested in Council Bluffs, Iowa for causing bodily injury in connection with his alleged stabbing of two men. Neither injury was considered life-threatening. No word is yet available on whether the attack was over union business. Union international headquarters in Kansas City, Kansas refused to comment on the matter, claiming it did not have sufficient facts. So let us look at some material facts.

According to court records, just after midnight on May 5, Council Bluffs police were called to a crime scene near Albertson’s residence. Upon arrival, two injured men told … Read More ➡