The Romeros no longer are a family that stays together let alone steals together. On February 12, John S. Romero, former president of United Industrial and Service Workers of America (UISWA), was convicted by a jury in Los Angeles federal court of 14 felony charges related to the theft of nearly $800,000 from the health care plan of the Colton (San Bernardino County), Calif.-based union. His wife, son and daughter already have testified for the prosecution after pleading guilty to various charges. The four were arrested and indicted five years ago following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration. Sentencing for the elder John Romero is set for April 27. He faces up to 130 years in prison.
On February 11, James Young, former president of American Federation of Teachers Local 4973, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to two years of probation and ordered to pay $5,450 in restitution and a $100 special assessment for embezzling $7,050 in funds from the Philadelphia union to cover gambling losses. He had pleaded guilty on October 23 after being charged that October 1. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. … Read More ➡
If government benefits were available, Nathan Lum made sure that he was going to receive some of them, legally or not. But the only thing that he’s received now is a sentence. On January 29, Lum, former Longshore Division director of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to 30 months in prison for tax fraud and identity theft totaling more than $300,000 over several years. The identity theft involved his cashing of Social Security checks owed to his deceased father. Lum had pleaded guilty last March after an initial indictment in July 2018 and another one that September. He also will have to pay full restitution, plus a $125 special assessment. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Nathan Y.G. Lum, now 62, a resident of Honolulu, … Read More ➡
On February 10, Gregg Pedersen, former president of Association of Civilian Technicians Local 75, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa to two years of probation and ordered to pay $11,638 in restitution and a $100 fine for defrauding the Sioux City-based union. He had pleaded guilty last September to one count of wire fraud in the sum of $6,320 after being charged in August. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. … Read More ➡
On February 3, the New Orleans Police Department issued a warrant for the arrest of Chandra Miller, former secretary-treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 478, who had been charged in federal court with one count of theft in a sum of more than $5,000 from the New Orleans-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. … Read More ➡
On January 15, Chad Waldoch, former secretary-treasurer with Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 980, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota for embezzling $107,706 in funds from the Fargo union during January 2012-October 2017. He had been arrested the previous day. After pleading not guilty, he is facing a trial set to begin on March 31. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
The outcome couldn’t have been more inevitable for Vance Pearson. And it couldn’t have been less welcome for the people ranking above him. Last Friday, February 7, Pearson, former regional director for the United Auto Workers and a member of the union’s international board, pleaded guilty in Detroit federal court to conspiracy to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars in union funds, enabling him and other UAW officials to live large – or at least larger – for nearly a decade. In so doing, he may have brought prosecutors one step closer to bringing charges against former Auto Workers President Gary Jones and his immediate predecessor, Dennis Williams. The action follows a probe by the FBI, the IRS, and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Beverly Davis and Evelyn Smith treated their union like a personal ATM machine. Eventually, their money supply ran out. On December 13, 2019, Davis and Smith, each an office employee of Communications Workers of America Local 6222, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to their roles in an embezzlement scheme that yielded a combined more than $135,000 over several years from the Houston-based union, which represents AT&T employees. The pleas follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Each woman faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine at sentencing on February 28.
Davis and Smith, each now 67, were employed by the union, respectively, during 2010-17 and 2005-18. Davis administered a special fund intended to help union members during financial hardships, while Smith served as secretary-treasurer. According to prosecutors, they used their positions to help themselves … Read More ➡
It’s been a dream of organized labor for decades. Yesterday the House of Representatives took a big step toward its realization. By a nearly party-line 224-194 vote, the House approved the misnamed Protecting the Right to Organize or PRO Act (H.R. 2474), which would strip employers and non-joining employees of their capacity to resist union aggression. Introduced last May by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and passed by the Education and Labor Committee in September, the measure, under the premise of “restoring” lost rights, among other things, would override state Right to Work laws, ban arbitration agreements, and force employers to recognize a union if a majority of workers sign membership pledge cards. Supporters are ecstatic for now, but they may have to wait a while for Senate action.
The PRO Act, at bottom, is a union power grab. Indeed, it is a power grab so … Read More ➡
A slaughterhouse presents potential health and safety hazards for its workers. Union representation, unfortunately, can present economic hazards. On January 28, Keith Ludlum, former president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1208, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to conspiracy to steal more than $200,000 from the Tar Heel, N.C. union, which represents about 3,600 employees of Smithfield Foods-owned pork processing plants in North Carolina and South Carolina. The aptly-named Terry Slaughter, who served as local secretary-treasurer, pleaded guilty a year ago. Ludlum would be indicted two months later following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Union Corruption Update covered this case following the February 2019 guilty plea of Slaughter. UFCW Local 1208 had been formed and recognized about a decade ago in the wake of an unusually bitter and prolonged campaign by union organizers against Smithfield. … Read More ➡