New Indictments Handed Down in Philadelphia IBEW Scandals

For John Dougherty, business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, there seems to be no end in sight. His nephew, Gregory Fiocca, a member and shop steward of the Philadelphia union, isn’t seeing a bright future either. On March 3, each were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and 18 counts of extortion related to their alleged pressuring of Fiocca’s employer, an electrical contractor, to pay Fiocca for services not performed. The charges against Dougherty are separate from his multiple indictments of two years ago. The latest actions follow an investigation by the FBI and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and Office of Inspector General.

As Union Corruption Update has noted in several articles, Electrical Workers Local 98 has been riddled with self-dealing. The edifice of corruption would … Read More ➡

Labor Secretary Nominee Walsh is Soft on Union Violence and Corruption

Marty Walsh

When Joe Biden campaigned for president, he vowed to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” He wasn’t kidding. His nominee for labor secretary, Marty Walsh, once headed a union himself. And for these past seven years, as mayor of Boston, he has displayed a tendency to look past criminal activity by certain local unions. Moreover, since his January 7 nomination, evidence has emerged that he diverted over a million dollars over the years from his campaign coffers to a boutique consulting firm for which his girlfriend works. The payments recently have risen to nearly $15,000 a month, accounting for over half of the company’s revenues. Such behavior suggests serious conflicts of interest, an issue that needs to be addressed at Senate confirmation hearings.  

Marty Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, was born in 1967 and raised in the Dorchester section of Boston. Politically, he is … Read More ➡

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 ➡

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of the Year

The year 2018 saw the indictment, conviction and sentences of plenty of organized labor scams. New York City played host to some of the largest. For sheer magnitude, nothing anywhere could match the network of union fraud surrounding the construction of Hudson Yards, a large-scale, mixed-use development on Manhattan’s West Side. Set for completion in 2024, the project from the start has been a source of easy money for labor organizations affiliated with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. The general contractor, Related Companies, having reached the limits of frustration, filed suit last March with the State Supreme Court against the council and its president for promoting or allowing illegal practices that allegedly have added over $100 million to the total project cost.

In other cases from the Big Apple, the president of a United Industrial and Service Employees local, Rocco Fazzolari, pleaded guilty … 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 ➡