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Labor Relations INK October 2016

In this issue:

Another Union Business Dies Union Pickpockets Unions On The Campaign Trail SEIU Watch, Insight, Scoreboard, Sticky Fingers and more…

The bottom of each story contains a link to the individual post on our site.


Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Come November…

Election day is (mercifully) just around the corner. While I hesitate to make predictions this election season it looks very much like Hillary Clinton will win the White House and based on everything I’ve read there is a much better than 50% chance Democrats will gain control of the Senate. Barring a complete wipeout in down ballot races it looks like Republicans will maintain narrow control over the House of Representatives.


What do results like this mean for labor professionals? The easiest answer is “more

Continue reading Labor Relations INK October 2016

Union Pickpockets

We share with you each month a list of union officials and employees indicted or convicted for misusing union funds for personal gain in the Sticky Fingers section. Keep in mind that union embezzlement and fund mismanagement is a different animal from the same activity occurring in a corporate setting. Within a business environment, the stolen money is derived from legitimate business activities – from the operating profits of the company. In a union context however, the stolen funds are mostly derived from dues withheld directly from the paychecks of hard-working Americans, and for whom those funds are supposed to be used on behalf of their welfare. In addition to the Sticky Fingers list this month, we thought we’d share a few detailed examples of this egregious theft.

David Sager, the former president of United Steelworkers Local 5000 (which represented only about 100 employees) was indicted on nine counts of

Continue reading Union Pickpockets

Sticky Fingers

Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:prisoner

Bradley Crostreet – UBC: $10,311 Dennis Gardner – UBC: $15,000 Robert Gutierrez – UBC: $19,771 Aaron Vaughan – UBC: $13,000 Joshua Westfall – UBC: $6,380 John VonFricken – UA: $54,600 Marchelle Harvey – USW: $10,095 Todd Culley – USW: $95,026 David Sager – USW: $380,000 John Springer – IAF: $30,316 Jeanette Bowman – NALC: $16,347 Michael Bennett – USW: $4,500 Jennifer Cruise – IBEW: $12,750 Wanda Rosenboro-Correa – AFGE: $1,000 Brian Cisek – NALC: $500 Rocco Miranti – IBT: $1,000,000 Johnnie Miranti – ALPW: $138,500 Louis Smith – IBT: 151,481 Roger Martinez – TWU: $5,500


Sticky Fingers – August 2016

prisonerCurrent charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:

Devon Madray – SPFPA: $20,000 Joan Dutton & Tatia Clark – USW: $15,935 Michael Schofield – BMWE: $31,850


SEIU Watch

Earlier this month was the deadline to submit signatures for statewide ballot initiatives to be voted on in the November election. One initiative that Washington State voters should expect to see is Initiative 1501. Proponents of the bill say that it is a “measure to protect senior citizens from financial crimes.” However, the Freedom Foundation says differently:

It’s the latest step in an ongoing fight over the same issue, and that being whether the state has to disclose to the Freedom Foundation the list of SEIU 775-represented individual providers, or IPs.

SEIU 775 represents individual providers, or people who get paid through Medicaid to care for those with disabilities or the elderly. The Freedom Foundation has been trying to get a list of those IPs so they could make sure the caretakers knew that they do not have to pay the union dues automatically deducted from their check if

Continue reading SEIU Watch

Labor Relations INK June 2016

In this issue:

Big Labors Version of the Facts Auto Workers Lying Low Verizon Strike Ends Could Trump Trump Big Labor? SEIU Watch, Scoreboard, Sticky Fingers and more…

The bottom of each story contains a link to the individual post on our site.


Union Bailout Update

As you should already know if you opened the earlier email from us, there is some big news on the Persuader Rule front. The DOL has grandfathered in all engagements – including multi-year or long-term – that exist prior to July 1, eliminating the need for reporting where such agreements exist. If you missed that email and want to get this covered, send an email to us and we’ll get you taken care of.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Speciality Healthcare decision allowing micro units, in a challenge that has spanned 4 years. This is the fourth

Continue reading Labor Relations INK June 2016

SEIU Watch

As we relayed last month, SEIU and AFSCME are considering a merger. This goes back to Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Before Justice Scalia died, it looked probable that Rebecca Friedrichs was going to win her case against CTA. This would have set a precedent prohibiting public sector unions from collecting representation dues from nonmembers who worked alongside union members.

SEIU and AFSCME, who together represent 3 million public sector workers, knew this would present a problem for them and began the discussion of joining forces. Though the merger isn’t as imminent as it might have been (with the Supreme Court ruling against Friedrichs), the discussion is still on the table. At SEIU’s Convention last month, a resolution was presented calling for collaborative effort to continue exploring this option.

Teamster Beat

The Teamsters and Longshoremen always seem to keep things interesting at the ports. Most recently, IBT is heading up a movement to “ban trucking companies from Port property when they illegally misclassify truck drivers” as independent contractors.

In Connecticut, 120 members of Teamsters Local 1035 have been locked out by their employer, Hartford Distributors, after failing to reach a contract during the last four months of negotiations.

Former Local 20 President, Bill Lichtenwald, is leaving his post after a 10-month investigation into accusations of “financial impropriety.” Why a person who makes $200,000 a year would feel the need to commit any misconduct for financial gains is beyond us. Perhaps it has something to do with the failing Teamsters Central States Pension fund—which he also served as board member of.

An interim president will be assigned to complete Lichtenwald’s post as Local 20 president through the end of

Continue reading Teamster Beat

Sticky Fingers

prisonerCurrent charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:

Jeffrey Velfing & John Crosby – NPMHU: $6,758 Norman Seabrook – COBA: $60,000 Robert Tuttle Jr. – IBT: $11,275 Daniel Ternitsky – UMW: $10,680 Jason Leach – USW: $2,524 Jeremy Leach – USW: $3,111 Bonita Scherling – CWA: $19,886


Labor Relations INK, April 2016

In this issue:

Quarter Mil Salaries for 448 Union Employees Last Year Decades of Discrimination At This Sheet Metal Local “Gig Economy” Union Deal Goes Bust SEIU Watch, Alt-Labor, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard and more…

The bottom of each story contains a link to the individual post on our site.


Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson One Year After the Ambush Rule: Why Unions Should Be Worried

The ambush election rule turned one on April 15. We now can look at the true impact of the rule unions wanted so badly to “level the playing field” in union elections. I’ve looked at the numbers and compared this last year to prior years. The bottom line: the rule’s impact has had no impact on what matters most to unions, total petitions and election victories.

When the rule first went into effect the number of union elections spiked nearly 15% over the

Continue reading Labor Relations INK, April 2016