SEIU Boss Indicted

SEIU Boss Indicted

After a four-year investigation, federal authorities have charged the former powerful SEIU union boss with corruption. The Los Angeles Times describes Tyrone Freeman as "a rising young star in the national labor movement, already the head of California’s biggest union local and a force in Democratic politics from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C." The Times reports: Freeman’s quick climb up the ranks of the powerful Service Employees International Union burnished his reputation as an effective advocate for the disadvantaged, a man who helped improve the lot of about 190,000 workers paid about $9 an hour to provide in-home care for the infirm. On Tuesday, however, Freeman was indicted on federal charges of stealing from those workers to enrich himself, including by billing the union for costs from his Hawaii wedding. The 15-count indictment secured by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles also alleges that Freeman violated tax laws and gave false information to a mortgage lender. If convicted on all counts, he could face maximum prison sentences in excess of 200 years. The charges resulted from a nearly four-year investigation by the U.S. Labor Department, FBI and Internal Revenue Service that grew out of a series of reports in the Los Angeles Times on Freeman’s financial dealings as president of SEIU Local 6434. The resulting scandal spread through the 2-million-member SEIU and cost several other union officials their jobs. Citing records and interviews, The Times reports showed that Freeman, 42, funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars of his union members’ hard-earned dues to his relatives and lavished similar sums on golf tournaments, expensive restaurants and a Beverly Hills cigar club. Last month, his wife pleaded guilty to an income tax charge in connection with more than $540,000 she received in union consulting payments at Freeman’s direction.

Union goons shoot up home with mother and 8-year-old daughter

Union goons shoot up home with mother and 8-year-old daughter

It was a quiet April evening, shortly before midnight, and Deanna Ussery had already gone to bed. The house was dark except for a nightlight in the bedroom of her eight-year-old daughter, Sheila Ann. Suddenly, there was an explosion of gunfire, and 12-gauge shotgun slugs shattered Sheila Ann's bedroom windows, ripping her bedspread and tearing holes in the wall just above her bed. Miraculously, no one was hurt. Sheila Ann was away for the night. A made for TV movie? No, a real-life story of terror in Hot Springs, Arkansas, as set forth in the official record of a trial against a United Steelworkers of America local in Garland County Circuit Court. It is a story of union violence and harassment against five courageous women who defied the strike orders handed down by officials of a USW local against National Rejectors, Inc. of Hot Springs. Even after the strike was over, the women were subjected to name calling, obscene language and threats. Glue or grease was rubbed on their chair seats at work. Supervisors had to accompany them to the bathroom for their protection. There were repeated incidents of hair-pulling, shoving, slapping and tire-slashing. They were pursued in their cars by thugs who tried to run them off the road.

Union Intimidation Tactics in Philly

Union activists have littered a construction project in Philadelphia with bottles of urine because a new company had the audacity to hire non-union construction workers on a new development project. “We’re going to continue to embarrass the Pestronks [project owners] until they start doing the right thing for our community and our society, and that is pay fair wages and standards that have been established,” said Pat Gillespie, a boss in the Philadelphia Building and Trades Council. Of course, doing the "right thing" means filling the union's coffers.