Big Labor Boss Allegedly Itching to ‘Shoot’ Workers Who Don’t Belong to His Union; Philadelphia Construction Union Czar Insists He’s an Okay Guy

The indictments this week of Ironworkers Local 401 union boss Joe Dougherty and nine of his lieutenants. militant followers, and other cohorts for “conspiring to torch and damage property when the union wasn’t given jobs on construction projects” has put quite a few eastern Pennsylvania politicians in both major parties in an uncomfortable position, reported Chris Brennan for the Philadelphia Daily News Friday morning.  (See the first link below for the whole story.)

Even as Republicans ask if John Kane, a Democrat running for a state Senate seat in Delaware County, will return a $7500 contribution from Local 4o1, Brennan is asking Republican spokeswoman Megan Sweeney if several GOP state politicians who have taken money from the tarnished union will return their own contributions.

At least one Democratic member of Pennsylvania’s U.S. House delegation, Rep. Allyson Schwartz has already donated $10,000 she got from Local 401 kingpins to charity.  Schwartz is running for governor this year.

But as Brennan went on to note, the head of the City of Brotherly Love’s building trades unions thinks Schwartz is wrong to try to distance herself from Dougherty and his cohorts just because they’ve been indicted for racketeering.  As far as Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council Business Manager Pat Gillespie is concerned, toughs like Local 401 business agent Ed Sweeney, who according to the indictment once said, “You hope you get cancer so you can just go there and shoot every mother  f***** [member of the other union] down there,” is just another “person who works for a living.”  (See the second link below for the Sweeney quote.)

For a politician to return money from a crew like the 401 brass, says Gillespie, “shows how half-assed” he or she is.

Politics and crime, intersecting in Philly