Civilian Technicians President in Iowa Sentenced for Wire Fraud

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 ➡

Former Secretary-Treasurer of IATSE Local in New Orleans Charged with Theft

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 ➡

SMART Treasurer in North Dakota Charged with Embezzlement

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.

Read More ➡

UAW’s Pearson Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

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.

As Union Corruption Update indicated a couple of weeks ago, Vance Pearson, now 58, a resident of … Read More ➡

Two Employees of Houston CWA Local Plead Guilty to Thefts

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 ➡

House Passes PRO Act, a Blueprint for Union Workplace Monopoly

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 ➡

North Carolina UFCW Ex-President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

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 ➡

NW Indiana Iron Workers Bosses Plead Guilty to Assaults

Thomas Williamson Sr. and Jeffrey Veach had a traditional, “old school” approach to putting union workers on the payroll. That approach may win them a stiff prison sentence. On January 24, Williamson and Veach, respectively, member and president of the Portage, Ind.-based International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 395, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one count of extortion conspiracy related to violent physical assaults committed four years earlier against nonunion workers at a construction site in Dyer, Ind. The pair had been arrested and charged in August 2018 following an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Dyer Police Department.

Union Corruption Update described this organized thuggery and its context several days after the arrests. Back on January 6, 2016, Local 395 member Thomas Williamson paid a visit to the … Read More ➡

Treasurer of Painters Local in Ohio Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On January 23, Shannon Pemberton, former treasurer of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 238, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to one count of embezzling $6,403 in funds from the Cincinnati union. The alleged offenses occurred in neighboring Kentucky. He had been indicted in October. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Indiana AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

On January 14, Eleanor Harvey, 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 union funds in an amount of between $750 and $50,000. She then was sentenced to a year of home confinement (suspended) and a year of probation, and was ordered to pay $18,800 in restitution and attend an anti-conversion class. Harvey had been charged last August following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.… Read More ➡