Iron Workers Business Agent in Indiana Sentenced for Extortion

To Thomas Williamson Sr., assault was just a way to do business – nothing personal. Given his new residence, he may need that skill. Last Monday, May 3, Williamson, former business agent for Portage, Ind. -based Iron Workers Local 395, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to 54 months in prison for organizing and leading a violent assault against nonunion workers at a construction site in nearby Dyer back in 2016. He and ex-Local 395 President Jeffrey Veach each had pleaded guilty in January 2020 to one count of extortion conspiracy in the attack, which left several people injured. Williamson also will have to pay $30,869 in restitution to the victims. The pair had been charged in 2018 following an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General, and the Dyer Police Department.   

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Indiana Iron Workers Boss Sentenced Under Hobbs Act for Extortion, Violence

Jeffrey Veach may see himself as “old school,” but he’s about to get a new kind of education. On September 23, Veach, former president of the Portage, Ind.-based International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 395, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to 42 months in prison for conspiracy to threaten and commit violence against nonunion workers at a construction site in Dyer, Ind. He and other union members had tried to shake down an out-of-state contractor into hiring only union labor. He and another member, Thomas Williamson Sr., had pleaded guilty in January after being charged in August 2018. Williamson, who also pleaded guilty, is set for sentencing on December 15. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Dyer Police Department.

Union Corruption Update covered this case twice before … 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 ➡

Northwest Indiana Ironworkers Indicted for Violent Assaults

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 ➡