'Tis the Season to Shake Down Workers?

'Tis the Season to Shake Down Workers?

One ILA union don, Edward Aulisi (right), was allegedly caught on tape assuring a gangster that a change at Local 1235's helm wouldn't stem the flow of workers' money being funneled into mob coffers. Credit: Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)  Longshore Union Dons Accused of Holiday Extortion, Other Crimes (Source:  January 2012 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter) A superseding indictment filed last month by federal prosecutors adds dozens of counts to a January 2011 indictment charging former International Longshoremen's Association (ILA/AFL-CIO) union bosses and other conspirators with running an extortion operation for decades. Unionized workers were the principal victims. According to a press release issued December 15 by the office of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the latest indictment includes "61 additional predicate acts of extortion" of ILA-"represented" workers by Albert Cernadas. Mr. Cernardas is the former president of Newark-based ILA Local 1235 and a former executive vice president of the ILA itself. Nunzio LaGrasso, the vice president of another Newark-based ILA local, is accused of 12 additional predicate acts of extortion of unionized workers. One especially egregious form of extortion in which Mr. Cernadas, Mr. LaGrasso, and other ILA kingpins allegedly engaged was the collection of "Christmas tribute" money from New Jersey dockworkers after they received year-end bonuses. This tribute was allegedly funneled into Genovese crime family coffers as well as ILA chieftains' pockets. Some victims were coerced by their ILA "representatives" into paying "thousands of dollars each year" to Genovese mobsters at Christmastime, charges U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. 'Force, Violence and Fear' Systematically Used by Union Bosses to Coerce Dockworkers

'Tis the Season to Shake Down Workers?

'Tis the Season to Shake Down Workers?

One ILA union don, Edward Aulisi (right), was allegedly caught on tape assuring a gangster that a change at Local 1235's helm wouldn't stem the flow of workers' money being funneled into mob coffers. Credit: Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)  Longshore Union Dons Accused of Holiday Extortion, Other Crimes (Source:  January 2012 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter) A superseding indictment filed last month by federal prosecutors adds dozens of counts to a January 2011 indictment charging former International Longshoremen's Association (ILA/AFL-CIO) union bosses and other conspirators with running an extortion operation for decades. Unionized workers were the principal victims. According to a press release issued December 15 by the office of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the latest indictment includes "61 additional predicate acts of extortion" of ILA-"represented" workers by Albert Cernadas. Mr. Cernardas is the former president of Newark-based ILA Local 1235 and a former executive vice president of the ILA itself. Nunzio LaGrasso, the vice president of another Newark-based ILA local, is accused of 12 additional predicate acts of extortion of unionized workers. One especially egregious form of extortion in which Mr. Cernadas, Mr. LaGrasso, and other ILA kingpins allegedly engaged was the collection of "Christmas tribute" money from New Jersey dockworkers after they received year-end bonuses. This tribute was allegedly funneled into Genovese crime family coffers as well as ILA chieftains' pockets. Some victims were coerced by their ILA "representatives" into paying "thousands of dollars each year" to Genovese mobsters at Christmastime, charges U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. 'Force, Violence and Fear' Systematically Used by Union Bosses to Coerce Dockworkers

Feds probe union pension scam

Feds probe union pension scam

Federal law enforcement officials have issued subpoenas and opened a criminal investigation to determine how union officials were able to work one day as a substitute teacher yet be eligible for $100,000 pension plan -- for life. From the Chicago Tribune: Federal authorities have begun a criminal investigation into how nearly a dozen union officials became eligible for inflated city pensions, according to subpoenas obtained by the Tribune and WGN-TV through an open-records request. The Chicago municipal employees and laborers pension funds each received subpoenas from a federal grand jury in October seeking "records pursuant to an official criminal investigation." The request seeks documentation on 11 labor leaders who appeared in reports from a joint Tribune/WGN-TV investigation. The reports focused on a 1991 law that allowed union leaders who once worked for the city to receive credit in public pension plans for their private union work. When they retire, the union officials' pensions aren't based on their old city paychecks but on their much higher union salaries. That opened the door for them to land public pensions that far exceeded their pay as city employees — even as they continued to earn lucrative salaries from their unions. At least eight union officials named in the subpoena who either receive city pensions or are eligible for them also earned credit in union pension funds for the same period of work, despite a state law that was supposed to prevent that. The joint investigation found that some of those labor leaders were participating in up to three pension funds at the same time, accruing retirement benefits that reached as high $500,000 a year.

Union tries to fire trustee who asked to audit taxpayer funded account

Hot Air with a hot story about potential union corruption: We should send out another big tip of the hat to Mark Flatten at the Goldwater Institute for yet another piece of investigative journalism where he discovers some of the rather shocking collisions which take place at the intersection of public employee unions and taxpayer dollars. (A pause here, while I realize that it’s probably no longer shocking at this point.) This incident takes place in Phoenix, Arizona at the offices of AFSCME Local 2960, where one of their trustees – charged with monitoring the prudent spending of union funds – apparently exercised the poor judgement to ask if she should be auditing where some of that money goes, specifically in the handling of a large insurance fund. Natasha Nimer had a simple question: As a trustee in a local labor union representing City of Phoenix employees, did she have a duty to check the books of a taxpayer-funded insurance account it managed? So she asked the executive board of AFSCME Local 2960. The response was an emphatic “no.” She dropped the matter and thought it would end there. She was wrong.   In the months that followed, union officials tried to strip Nimer of her duties as a trustee and steward. They tried twice to force her out of AFSCME, only to have the international headquarters order her reinstated.