A federal judge in Cedar Rapids has handed down a 21-month prison sentence to a man who embezzled more than $52,000 from a labor union and later won $30,000 in the Iowa State Lottery.Tough luck, Tom, you've made it to the Union Corruption Corner
In passing sentence Friday U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade also ordered 40-year-old Thomas Jon Witham of Mason City to reimburse the union.
Witham pleaded guilty in September to one count of embezzlement from a labor union.
Prosecutors say the embezzlement occurred between 2002 and 2008, and noted that Witham did not attempt to repay any of the money even after he won the lottery.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The former head of a union representing mailroom employees of New York-based newspapers has been charged with embezzling more than $200,000.The New York Post adds:
Wayne Mitchell was expected to surrender Friday to federal authorities in Manhattan.
Court papers accused Mitchell of embezzling the money from the Communication Workers of America Union, otherwise known as New York Mailers Union No. 6, from 2004 to 2008. The union represents mailroom employees of The New York Times, the New York Post and the Daily News, among others.
In the complaint against Mitchell, authorities said the union boss admitted to Department of Labor investigators that he received $250,000 in unauthorized payroll checks between Oct. 1, 2004, and May 30, 2008, and that he "embezzled additional union monies by falsely claiming personal expenses as union-related bills."Another case for the Union Corruption Corner.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The following is from the blog at LaborUnionReport:
For more, go here.
Union Corruption Corner:
- Sticky-Fingered Steelworker gets one year for swiping $48k.
- Where'd the Money Go? AFSCME Local 1324 is searching for $13k of its members' money…Apparently it just walked away.
- $13K Will Get You Six Months…If you happen to be former CWA
President Belinda Woods.
- Machinists' Money Pit? And 27 months in federal prison was the sentence for former pension manager Harvey Keil for stealing $341,000.
- How Do You Plead? Apparently former SEIU boss Alejandro Stephens is set to plead guilty on two counts of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.
- Just the usual: Union fraud in Detroit (even Kwame is involved)
Monday, October 26, 2009
Carmelo J. Sita, 66, spent 22 years as executive manager of benefit funds for the Hudson County District Council of Laborers. He pleaded guilty in 2004, saying he took the money from funds belonging to union members.
“I do believe that Mr. Sita, for whatever reason, thought the union was his own little bank,” U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh said.
Sita, who was arrested in 2001, took the money between 1995 and 1999.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
On one side of the ring is incumbant Greg Floyd and, on the other side, challenger Eunice Rodriguez, a member of the group Members for Change.
Of course, whenever there is a battle over power and control, things can get a bit testy, as seems to be the case here.
[Jakwan] Rivers, a former union business agent, said Floyd and the current union leaders "don't have the best interests of members at heart."
He pointed to Teresa Roberts, a 43-year-old Housing Authority worker who was assaulted on the job.
He said the union has failed to take her problem seriously.
Workers who have tried to campaign on behalf of Members for Change said they have been harassed by Floyd loyalists, and they described some thuggish behavior.
Randy Thorne, a 48-year-old Housing Authority worker, said he was trying to hand out campaign information to workers at the Seth Low Houses on July 29 when he had a confrontation with Local 237 Business Agent Curtis Scott.
"He was distributing Greg Floyd information and I started handing out my information," said Thorne.
"He started snatching my paperwork, ripping it up and cursing. He called me stupid," Thorne added.
Union bosses degrading and fighting members who are trying to change their union? Wow! Now that's a new one....NOT!
Monday, August 3, 2009
The Chicago Sun Times is reporting Teamsters El Jefe, Jimmy Hoffa has put Chicago Teamsters Local 726 into trusteeship--which means kicking the elected leaders out while the big boss' appointees move in.
According to the charges, Local 726 leaders are charged with:
- Taking $125,000 out of local pension funds and moving it into local union coffers without pension fund approval or any documentation noting interest rates and repayment terms.
- Breach of fiduciary duties by the three union leaders who also serve as pension fund trustees. They are accused of skipping at least 12 months of mandatory payments to the pension fund and failing to maintain pension fund records.
- Told by an accountant that it was a no-no to transfer money from the pension
fund to the local, the officers took steps to pay the money back. When Local 726 could not cover the payment, the three officers allegedly made $112,000 in personal loans to the local, a violation of the Teamsters constitution.
- Misled the international union on at least two occasions about financial iabilities and steps being taken to improve those conditions.
- Waiving one year’s worth of membership dues for 27 different members without approval.
Hmmm. Teamster leaders? Corruption? It seems these two have danced this playlist before.
Coincidentally, it would appear that this is the same Teamsters local that rejected Chicago Mayor Daley's cost cutting measures, which resulted in layoffs that which was posted on 1-888-NO-UNION.COM's blog (here).
We wonder: Were the union's actions based purely on corruption? Or, were there some old-fashioned, Chicago-style politics at play as well?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Teamsters President Dean Cypher said whoever did it was looking for money, but didn't get any. He said cash registers inside the building were smashed, but they had been empty.
Cypher said the red pickup was sticking out of the building when he got there after being called by police.
He said, "all the registers are toast, but we do have the guy on video," because security video got a shot of the suspect.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Yesterday, Chicago's Mayor Rchard Daley laid off 431 union workers who, were it not for their unions, could have kept their jobs.
"At the close of business today, the city will be forced, under labor agreements and labor law, to take the unfortunate step of laying off 431 employees represented by these two unions," Daley said.
While 41 of the city's 43 unions agreed to reducing their work year a total of 24 days over the next two years, the Teamsters and AFSCME refused the furloughs.
Loss of the 24 days, according to WBBM Radio is a "tough pill to swallow."
But many workers say they see it as the lesser of two evils, and they wish their union would just go along with the mayor's plan to save their jobs. [Emphasis added.]
Of the 431 workers that will be laid off, 141 workers of the 2,000 Teamsters will be laid off and 290 layoffs will come from the 4,500 workers that make up the AFSCME union.
These two unions could have saved 431 jobs. Instead, they cost the city workers their jobs.
With union representation like that, why have a union?
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The latest salvo comes from the Service Employees International Union, which is demanding Nebraska television stations stop airing an anti-EFCA group’s educational advertisement. The union’s lawyers say claims that EFCA will effectively end secret ballots — which it effectively does — are ” demonstrably false.”
So SEIU’s claims of “demonstrably false” claims are themselves "demonstrably false.”
These guys must really be desperate. As we’ve written many times, “card check” effectively ends secret-ballot elections because it would allow labor organizers to automatically organize a work site if more than 50% of workers sign an authorization card. Thus our words: “dead letter.”
We’d be happier if everyone stuck to the truth. Of course, that’s an advantage for opponents of EFCA since the truth about EFCA is pretty powerful.
Monday, July 6, 2009
When they went out on strike last August, the 132 workers at cookie-maker Stella D'oro located in the Bronx, New York, may have been told they could hold out longer than their employer... that no one could make cookies like they could. Perhaps their union bosses even told them that when they suffered all union workers suffered along with them. If this was the case, what a soggy mess their union has gotten them into now.
During their 10-month strike, the striking members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers adopted the catchy chant "No Contract, No Cookies."
In fact, according to a post from the Democratic Socialists of America covering a May 30th rally in support of the strikers:
“This started out as a struggle for Stella D’Oro, but it’s a struggle for all working people,” Joyce Alston, President of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, Local 50 said...However, unlike her members, Ms. Alston didn't seem to struggle too much in 2008 as, according to the union's 2008 financial statement, Ms. Alston raked in $115,259 in total compensation (plus another $6,563 from the BCT's international) while the local's Vice President Joseph Svingala took in $108,345 last year. Meanwhile, the union's international president, Frank Hurt, raked in $250,441 in 2008.
Now, however, according to the New York Times, one week after the National Labor Relations Board ordered the company to reinstate the 132 strikers, the company that owns the cookie factory has decided to shutter the plant entirely.
“The decision to close the Bronx bakery operations has not been made in haste or without significant planning,” a statement from the management said. Operations will be moved elsewhere and the products would continue, the statement said.Whether the union led the strikers into believing they could win the strike or whether the union felt the company should keep a plant open despite its unprofitability is unknown. However, what is known is the fact that, like so many other union-led strikes, it was the workers who lost while the union bosses continued milking the members.
Another Example of Union Hypocrisy: NLRB Accuses Air Line Pilots Association of Failure to Bargain in Good Faith
Take this latest case for example:
According to a press release issued by the Union of ALPA Professional and Administrative Employees (UALPAPAE), the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has found that the management of the Air Line Pilots Association failed to bargain in good faith with its staff union.
Or, to put it in plain English, the NLRB's chief legal dude believes that a union is breaking the law in dealing with its employees' union.
According to the union's press release:
The General Counsel agreed with the Union of ALPA Professional and Administrative Employees (UALPAPAE), Unit 1’s claim that ALPA management failed to fulfill its collective bargaining obligations in violation of Sections 8(a)(1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it laid off Unit 1 employees without first offering the in-house union the opportunity to negotiate.For more examples of union hypocrisy, go to 1-888-NO-UNION.COM's Union Hypocrisy page here.
“We are extremely pleased that the General Counsel recognized and upheld our right to fair labor practices by taking this action,” said Jay Wells, former UALPAPAE, Unit 1 president. “In our recent contract negotiations, our Negotiating Committee fought hard to protect our members’ jobs, and this vindicates their efforts.”
Unit 1 employees’ contract expired on March 31, 2009, and they have been working under rules and conditions imposed by management two months ago. Despite their current situation, members see this victory as the impetus for coming to fair and equitable terms with management.
“In siding with Unit 1, the NLRB has made it clear that it expects our management to comply with the requirements of the National Labor Relations Act, to bargain in good faith, and to treat all employees fairly, equitably, and with respect for their hard work and contributions,” said Don McClure, Unit 1 president. “As we move forward, we hope that management will fulfill that expectation and re-engage with us in negotiating a new contract.”
The General Counsel also recommended that the affected employees be immediately reinstated to their former jobs or equivalent positions if those jobs no longer exist, and that they be made whole for any loss of earnings and benefits suffered as part of the remedy for the unfair labor practices.
This action taken by the NLRB is the first step in processing the UALPAPAE, Unit 1 unfair labor practices charge, which was filed against ALPA management last March. ALPA is legally required to respond to the NLRB’s complaint by mid July. A hearing is scheduled for September.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Enter Fred Kite, the consummate union man in "I'm Alright Jack". . .
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The National Legal & Policy Center is reporting the story of corrupt union boss Steven Thomas, former Business Manager of Laborers Local 500 who drew an annual union salary of $130,638, drove a union-provided luxury full-size sport utility vehicle, and had an expense account that exceeded $30,000 a year.
In addition to his living a lifestyle at the expense of his members, he and his friend Shawn Clark were charging drinks and entertainment at Scarlett's (Toledo) and Kahoot's (Columbus) gentlemen's clubs during December 2003-December 2004. In the meantime, they eliminated $15 Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts to members and retirees in the name of "cost-cutting."
To read more at NLPC's website, go here.
To view more examples of union bosses with sticky fingers, go here on 1-888-NO-UNION.COM.
Indeed, bloggers at the Truth About EFCA point to an editorial in the Daily News, which states:
The Service Employees International Union, a strong supporter of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, would appear to be having second thoughts on a key provision of the bill — allowing workers to join a union solely on the basis of signing a petition. Los Angeles Times writer Paul Pringle reports that the SEIU is challenging a rival union’s attempt to represent nearly 100,000 SEIU members. SEIU officials don’t believe the petitions are an accurate representation of what its members want. They want the federal government to throw out petitions signed by those members, which would block an organizing election.
The SEIU’s argument for federal intervention is particularly ironic. It maintains that the nearly 100,000 California members who signed cards indicating their wish to be represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers may have been subject to intimidation by NUHW organizers. This is the same reasoning used by opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act. They contend that elections by secret ballot are necessary because workers can be pressured by union activists into signing authorization cards.The irony isn’t lost on NUHW Vice President John Borsos, who told Pringle, “The SEIU is advocating free choice for every employee in the United States, unless you’re an SEIU member." [Emphasis added.]
Union hypocrisy has exposed the simple fact that, once again, the union emporers (like those at the SEIU) are not wearing any clothes. They want rules that apply to everyone else but themselves.
For more about the Service Employees International Union, go to 1-888-NO-UNION.COM's SEIU profile page here.
For more about the job-destroying Employee Free Choice Act, go here and here.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Within the next few weeks, Americans will likely learn whether union bosses will succeed in suckering 60 senators in the U.S. Senate to back the maniacally-monikered Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
As written, EFCA is the union-backed bill that strips workers of some very fundamental rights and, as a result, should really be called the "Trick 'em & Trap 'em in a Union Act".
Under the Trick 'em & Trap 'em Union Act (EFCA), unions can mislead a simple majority of workers into signing their rights over to a union, and unionize them without the workers learning that they've been duped until after they've been unionized.
You see, the National Labor Relations Board (the federal agency that is charged with protecting workers' rights with regard to unions) has long allowed unions to mislead employees into unions by making false promises. Indeed, the National Labor Relations Board has just recently stated that it is okay for unions to LIE to their own members.
As a result, unions will be unrestrained in their ablity to make promises and even lie to workers in order to get signatures from a simple majority of employees and then unionize them without them voting in a secret-ballot election under the Trick 'em & Trap 'em Union Act.
If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection (a). [Emphasis added.]
Following employees' no-vote unionization, the Trick 'em & Trap 'em Union Act (EFCA) mandates that binding arbitration can occur a mere 120 days after the union and the employer have begun negotiations for a first contract.
Once a government bureaucrat imposes a contract on the employer and the employees, they are trapped. The employees, if they do not like the contract, must live with it for a period of two years. The majority of employees will be required to pay union dues or be fired under this scheme if they live in one of the 28 states without "right to work laws."
In fact, one of the most overlooked rights that employees will be losing under the Trick 'em & Trap 'em Union Act is the Right to Strike.
Under the Trick 'em & Trap 'em Union Act (EFCA), unionized workers will not be able to vote on unionization once a majority have been tricked and, once government arbitration kicks in, will not be able to vote on the government-imposed contract, nor will they be able to vote to strike.
Under this bill, employees will be trapped all the way around. Their only recourse will be to quit their employment (at least until the unions get an employee's resignation to be ruled illegal as well).
EFCA in Action.
From a practical standpoint, it is very easy to see how the Trick 'em & Trap 'em Union Act will work:
Imagine Bob, a forklift operator in a small, 20-person company. On a Friday afternoon, Bob and his co-workers get invited to a pizza party down at the union hall. A dozen employees (out of the 20) attend.
Between slices of pepperoni and sausage, Bob and his co-workers are asked to sign up to get information from the union in the mail.
"Hey," says the union organizer, "we think you guys are underpaid and should be making twenty percent more than you do now. If you sign this, we'll send some information to you in the mail and you can talk it over with your wives and get back to us."
Eagerly, 11 out of the 12 fill out the union's authorization cards and sign them. Actually, all 12 signed, but the twelfth signature is illegible due to a pizza-grease smudge.
On Monday, their employer is notified that the employees are unionized and that negotiations must take place within the next 10 days.
One-hundred twenty days later, the employer and union, still having no agreement, go to binding arbitration. Shortly thereafter, Bob and his co-workers learn what they "got" in their new union contract.
Their contract resulted in them receving a three percent wage increase instead of the expected 20%, but their union dues are two percent. Instead of keeping their 401[k] plan, the arbitrator forced their employer into an under-funded union pension plan. Bob, because he was expecting to retire in four years, will not be able to, since (in addition to it being billions under-funded)there is a five-year vesting period in the union plan.
Bob and his comrades are, needless to say, upset. They've been duped. They decide to strike.
"Not so fast," says their union business agent. "If you strike, you wil be fired because we have a no strike clause and it would be an unsanctioned strike."
Bob and his friends are stuck. Their only option is to quit.
Those are the practical implications of the Trick 'em & Trap 'em Union Act, otherwise known as the Employee Free Choice Act.
Like P.T. Barnum said: There's a sucker born every minute and, sadly, America's leaders are falling for the greatest union swindle of all time.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
We conclude that the Union did not violate either section 8(b)(3) or 8(b)(1)(A) by misstating the Employer’s final contract proposal at the ratification meeting because that vote was wholly an internal union matter, nor did it violate Section 8(b)(3) by failing to execute the proposed final agreement because the contract proposed by the Employer differed from the contract ratified by the employees. [Emphasis added.]