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.
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 ➡
A sweetheart land deal continues to produce heartaches for those involved. On June 30 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sued six persons involved with a decision by the Northwest Indiana Regional Council of Carpenters Trust Fund to invest $10 million in a major real estate development near Chesterton, Ind. Back in 1998 the pension board had voted to approve the purchase, at an inflated price, of a 55-acre tract of land in the 640-acre Coffee Creek planned community in Chesterton, Ind. Now the Labor Department wants Gerry Nannenga and other trustees refund all losses incurred in the deal. The suit also names former Indiana Democratic Chairman Peter Manous, Kevin Pastrick and C. Paul Ihle as defendants. They, along with Nannenga, were convicted last year on federal corruption charges. Nannenga had taken a $45,000 bribe from Pastrick and Manous to vote for the purchase.
The DOL contends that the four … Read More ➡