Sunday, February 23, 2014

Philadelphia’s Union ‘Thugs’ Indicted
FBI agents arrested several union members of Philadelphia’s Ironworkers Local 401 Wednesday on multiple counts including arson, violent crime in the aid of racketeering, and conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The investigation is ongoing and will likely scrutinize unions’ allies in political office, according to sources.

National Review wrote extensively about Ironworkers Local 401 last year as part of a broader investigation into how, for decades, organized labor has dominated the construction industry in Philadelphia through violence, intimidation, harassment and vandalism. Investigations and arrests have long been rare.

The 49-page indictment details how members of Local 401, who called themselves “the Helpful Union Guys,” or “THUGS,” allegedly extorted, intimidated and bullied businesses and contractors, forcing them to hire union members, even when they were “unwanted, unnecessary and superfluous.”

Members used arson, vandalism, sabotage and occasional violence to retaliate against those who chose to use non-union workers, the indictment says. Local 401 members were also allegedly behind the arson attack on a Quaker meeting house just days before Christmas 2012, which resulted in $500,000 in damage. The indictment also accuses two ironworkers of participating in a 2010 baseball-bat assault on non-union workers building a Toys R Us store in King of Prussia....

Why Card Check Matters, Chattanooga Edition
...In the employees’ affidavits obtained by National Review Online, the employees said that the UAW “solicited, enticed, and/or demanded VW employees’ signatures by unlawful means including misrepresentations, coercion, threats, and promises.” In one instance, union officials allegedly offered free tickets to a nearby amusement park to one employee and his entire family if he signed the card....

...But the workers’ protests that they’d been intimidated forced VW to grant them the protection of a secret ballot. “I think that if those eight employees hadn’t filed charges, the card check might have worked,” Mix says. “To this day, nobody has seen the ‘majority’ of cards the UAW claimed to have.”

When the vote finally came, workers rejected the UAW’s attempt to unionize by 53–47 margin, 712 votes to 626....

Thugs: Union publishes names of members who opted-out in ‘Freeloaders List’
...Terry Bowman, founder of Union Conservatives Inc. and a member of the United Auto Workers, told the Mackinac Center for Public Policy that Local 324′s tactics were putting former union members and their families in danger of harassment and retaliation.

“Union officials must be held accountable for putting workers and their families in real, substantial danger of retaliation,” said Bowman in a statement to the Mackinac Center. ”Any worker who was exposed by union officials and put in danger for simply exercising their rights should consider contacting Michigan’s attorney general’s office for criminal complaints, as well as civil legal action.”...