• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Union Corruption 2012: Big Labor's Federal Rap Sheet

    America’s labor unions have amassed quite a federal rap sheet in 2012. According to the Justice Department, union officials nationwide have been arrested for or convicted of embezzlement, extortion, bribery, racketeering, money laundering, fraud, and witness tampering so far this year.

    Below are summaries of criminal actions taken against union officials so far this year. Note that these are federal cases, and therefore exclude any criminal activity prosecuted at the local or state levels.

    • Frederick Meyers, the former president of International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers Local 431, and his daughter, Jessie Bell, Local 431’s pension administrator, were charged with embezzling $85,000 each from the union’s pension fund. http://1.usa.gov/U9LPnm
    • Peter LoMauro, former organizer and business agent for the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 9, pleaded guilty to illegally accepting a $6,000 payment from a business owner who employed Local 9 workers. http://1.usa.gov/U9LW2v
    • Patrick Viola, the former business manager of the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 592, pleaded guilty to accepting a $4,000 bribe from a local contractor to allow that contractor to use non-union labor. http://1.usa.gov/Yn8eDb
    • Edward Aulisi, a former member of the International Longshoreman Association, pleaded guilty to conspiring with his father, the former president of ILA Local 1235, and a New Jersey mob boss – then wanted for murder – to extort Christmastime tribute payments from Local 1235 members. http://1.usa.gov/Yn8IsV
    • Stephen Arena, president of the Production Workers Union Local 148, pleaded guilty to embezzling money from the union, in collusion with the Local’s treasurer, by granting himself unauthorized bonuses and pay-raises. http://1.usa.gov/U9MQMf
    • James Kearney, former business manager of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 45, pleaded guilty to accepting a $3,000 bribe from a representative of a local construction company. http://1.usa.gov/YnbnCY
    • Tyrone Ricky Freeman, the former president of the Service Employees International Union Local 6434, was charged with “with four counts of mail fraud, seven counts of embezzlement and/or theft of labor union assets, one count of making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution, and three counts of subscribing to a false tax return.” Freeman faces a maximum 200 years in prison if convicted. http://1.usa.gov/U9OiOE
    • Anthony Fazio Sr., his son, Anthony Fazio Jr., and his nephew, John Fazio were sentenced to 151 months, 5 years, and 135 months, respectively, in federal prison for their roles in a massive criminal scheme that included charges of racketeering, money laundering, and witness tampering. The Fazios were longtime leaders of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 348-S. “For decades, the Fazios sold out their union members, and got rich off the backs of the working men and women they were supposed to represent,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said of the case. http://1.usa.gov/Yndff0
    • Hector Lopez, former president of the Metal Polishers Union Local 8A-28A and chairman of the board of its welfare fund, was charged with multiple counts of embezzlement after he allegedly accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from the Local’s welfare fund. The indictment also charged Lopez with living rent-free in a home owned by a company doing business with the union, and with attempting to evade federal income reporting requirements. http://1.usa.gov/YnehaS
    • Four officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82 – John Perry, Joseph “Jo Jo” Burhoe, James Deamicis (a.k.a. “Jimmy the Bull”), and Thomas Flaherty – were charged with 30 criminal violations, including racketeering, extortion, mail fraud, and theft of government money. http://1.usa.gov/U9Qups
    • Ronald Witt, the former business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 450 was sentenced to a year in federal prison for embezzling union funds to pay for lavish vacations and renovations at his Galveston, TX, home. http://1.usa.gov/Qo1kKp
    • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164 business manager Richard “Buzzy” Dressel and president John DeBouter were arrested for allegedly stealing $350,000 from the Local’s apprenticeship program. http://1.usa.gov/Qo17Xw

    Pervasive union corruption reinforces the case for right-to-work laws, which allow employees to choose whether or not they wish to pay dues to the unions active in their places of work. Should employees be forced to finance organizations that may acting illegally or against their interests, after all?

    What’s more, explained Heritage’s James Sherk in a recent Issue Brief, under current law, “a union president can legally fire [other union] officials for virtually any reason—including reporting misconduct. Nothing in the law shields union officials from retaliation for whistle-blowing, even though they are the people most likely to uncover corruption.”

    Pervasive union corruption underscores the need for just these sorts of protections. The extent of that corruption could be far greater than the 12 cases listed above, but may simply go unreported. Since union officers themselves are the ones most likely to observe wrongdoing, protections for them can be essential to rooting out criminal activity.

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Union Corruption 2012: Big Labor's Federal Rap Sheet

    1. Terrific article. I'm having trouble, though, balancing the "Justice Department" and the "Rap Sheet." Eric Holder's DOJ?!

    2. Doug Davenport says:

      and of course, none of this gets reported in the mainstream press, especially around election time! Sorry folks, but working summers in college as a United Steel Worker, I saw enough to know I never wanted to be in a union shop!

    3. sbj1964 says:

      Wait one minute.Unions are run by Low life thieving criminals?(Duh) Who do they think they are Congress?

    4. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Unions make us weak.

    5. M2 Carbine says:

      Contrary to what lame stream media has been saying about the NRA the unions are the wealthiest and largest lobbying group.

    6. Bobbie says:

      America doesn't stand for corruption so unions are a costly misrepresentation. The business is the least corrupt of them all!!!! Now get the costs of this unconstitutional government and their seize out of America's businesses and mandate unions optional.

      By wrongful influence this country lost and needs back accountability, discipline and reprimand NOW! America didn't ask for leadership to implement "change" for the pathetic! to remain pathetic! If people are able to commit fraud, corruptions, violations, MISTAKES they're able to learn not to by holding the accountable, accountable. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!! Accountability is not only Christian, IT'S HUMAN!! America's leadership shows to be against that!!!??

    7. Ron W. Smith says:

      Yes, unions have been a problem over the years–as well as a boon. Those of us old enough to remember the days following WWII and the blossoming of both the American economy and unions, know that the wages, benefits, and work conditions labor still enjoys today are the result of union organizing, particularly in the 1950's. Good economy or not, without the upward pressure on compensation provided by unions then, better for workers just would not have happened. Unions were the catalyst and, to a very limited extent, still are today. (There would be no push to upend public sector unions today were there no effectiveness to public sector unions and consequent threat to private sector work forces.)
      Truth be told, unions are not the desired way to go. When and where they're deemed necessary, there's a workplace problem., perceived or real. The better way to go in order to preclude such problems is to make unions unnecessary. And where compensation and conditions are satisfactory to employees, unions ARE unnecessary. Scores of sizable businesses back in the heyday of union organizing avoided becoming union shops by staying a step ahead of organizers–better wages, work conditions, benefits for their employees, even some perks unions didn't or wouldn't offer their members. Unions definitely were the catalyst for such activity,though, for without the presence of unions, owners of non-union businesses would have had the upper hand, workers would have been voiceless and powerless to bargain, and we'd have what right-to-work states have always had–lower average wages and overall compensation packages. (Do what I did before writing this. Check the figures.)
      The object should not be to eliminate unions. To repeat, it should be to make them unnecessary.

    8. ambrjak says:

      Fifty years ago Unions represented the American worker and they were founded to better the life of the American worker. In those days the big evil was the businessman who ran the companies they worked for. Somewhere along the road to here,things changed.

    9. Jackie says:

      As I looked through this list, I noticed there is NO ONE from the IAM&AW. I am a retiree from a company that we had to belong to IAM&AW in Illinois. Guess what folks! I didn't see Richard Trumpka's name on this list….If anyone thinks he's clean, I'm sure they are sadly mistaken!!! Even the Local officials weren't clean!! ALL union officials need exposed. The Unions AREN'T what they were started for! especially the PUBLIC sector Unions! In my opinion, the PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS SHOULDN"T EXIST!!!!

    10. Behindthestick says:

      Any altruistic union motivation has long since been replaced by any number of govt "alphabet" agencies, thereby causing unions to devolve into a steamy pile of greed.

    11. Grunt says:

      Back in the early fifties I worked for a large DOD Contractor. After 90 days, new employees had to decide if they wanted to join the Union or not, I chose to not join. A shop steward came by and tried to pressure me and when I continued to refuse, he said, "Just remember, we know where you live. " Having just been discharged from the Marine Corp, I was in no mood for his crap, I told him that if anything happened to my property or my wife and children, even if it was caused by nature, I was coming after him and I knew where he lived. He never bothered m again and forty-five years later I retired from that same company a senior Industrial Safety Engineer, and I never joined the protection racket.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×