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.
Public agencies shouldn’t be in the business of coercion on behalf of a private-sector union. Apparently, that principle didn’t faze Kenneth Brissette or Timothy Sullivan. On August 7, Brissette and Sullivan, respectively, director of tourism, sports and entertainment and director of intergovernmental affairs for the City of Boston, were convicted of extortion by a jury following a two-week trial in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against a concert promoter with the intent of forcing the promoter to hire workers from International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 11. The pair had been hit with superseding indictments in June 2016 following a joint investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General.
On the Indiana side of the Chicago area, showing up for work could get pretty dangerous for nonunion contractors and workers. At least two sources of that danger, for now, are out of commission. On August 16, Thomas Williamson and Jeffrey Veach, respectively, a member and the business agent/president of the Portage, Ind.-based Ironworkers Local 395, were charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana after being arrested for extortion under the Hobbs Act related to an attack in January 2016 at a construction site in Dyer, Ind. The defendants, already facing a civil suit, pleaded not guilty and were released on bond. The actions follow an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Dyer Police Department.
Violence by union workers against nonunion workers is hardly a “thing of the past.” It still happens, and with union officials spinning inventive … Read More ➡