Legislation Would Rescind Big Labor Thugs’ ‘License to
More than three-and-a-half years after they allegedly led a
savage assault on tradesmen employed at a church-owned construction site in
northwestern Indiana, two officers of AFL-CIO-affiliated Iron Workers Local 395
are finally expected, late this month, to be tried for violating the Hobbs
During the assault, union goons are accused of having thrown
to the ground Scott Kudingo, an employee of the Cary, Ill.-based firm D5 Iron
Works, Inc., and then, “clubbing, kicking and punching” him, “in the face,
arms, back and body.”
Mr. Kudingo’s jaw was “shattered and broken in two other
And at least some of the union toughs who kicked him in the
face and back are believed to have been wearing “steel toe boots.”
Witness After Witness ID’d Local 395 Chiefs as Participants
As journalist Connor Wolf explained in a February 2017
report for Inside Sources, based in part on witness statements taken by
the local police right after the incident, there is ample evidence that top
officers of Local 395, based in Portage, Ind., participated in the church
Witness after witness ID’d Local 395 President Jeffrey Veach
and Business Agent Thomas Williamson Sr., joined by roughly 10 henchmen, as
having attacked D5 Iron Works tradesmen at the construction site in Dyer, Ind.
Moreover, photographs taken by the victims with their cell
phones show at least two vehicles registered with Local 395 as the owner were
parked at the scene during the attack.
Mr. Veach and Mr. Williamson (who retired from his post as a
union business agent in 2016) were finally indicted for violating the Hobbs Act
in August 2018, more than two-and-a-half years after the savage assault in
They pleaded not guilty and were released on bond.
But rather than testify about what they were supposedly
doing on the afternoon of January 7, 2016, other than leading an attack on
union-free construction employees, they have repeatedly invoked their Fifth
Amendment right not to incriminate themselves.
The Dyer Police Department investigated the assault
complaints against Local 395 bosses and other union militants, but it has never
taken any action against the alleged assailants.
Instead, Dyer law enforcement turned the case over to the
U.S. Labor and Justice Departments.
Obama Federal Appointees Appeared to Make Little Progress
As long as Obama Administration appointees continued to
occupy key positions in these two agencies, the federal criminal probe of the
extortionate violence used against D5 Iron Works employees and the company
itself seemed to make little progress.
But late last summer, Mr. Veach and Mr. Williamson were at
last indicted for conspiring “to obstruct, delay and affect commerce, and the
movement of articles and commodities in commerce, by extortion.”
Prior to their indictment under the federal Hobbs Act, the
only charges faced by Local 395 kingpins in connection with the church assault
stemmed from a federal civil suit filed by D5 Iron Works, its owner, Mr.
Kudingo, and other tradesmen.
According to the amended complaint filed by the plaintiffs
in D5 Iron Works v. Iron Workers Local 395 in 2017, on January 6, 2016,
one day before the assault, Mr. Williamson intruded on the site where the Plum
Creek Christian Academy (PCCA) was being expanded.
Mr. Williamson ignored an admonition from D5 Iron Works
President Richard Lindner, who was then operating a crane on the site, to leave
because he was interfering with business operations and trespassing.
Undeterred, the union business agent went on to pressure Mr.
Lindner to convert his union-free project into a union-only one.
Mr. Lindner refused.
At roughly 3 PM the following day, according to the civil
complaint, a Local 395 assault team stormed the PCCA construction site.
As the assailants proceeded to shatter Mr. Kudingo’s jaw,
they allegedly screamed at him: “This is union work! This is 395’s work! This is 395’s territory! Don’t come back!”
Veach, Williamson Lawyers Have Already Invoked Enmons
to Get Their Clients Off the Hook
Mr. Lindner was able to escape by scaling a construction
fence. He promptly contacted authorities.
Iron worker Joe Weil was less fortunate. He was repeatedly
beaten with wooden boards and “suffered injuries to his person, including but
not limited to having a boot-shaped welt mark on his back.” (Mr. Weil has since
After the criminal assault at the PCCA site, D5 Iron Works
had to cease all work on the school expansion.
Mr. Kudingo was hospitalized and had to have his jaw wired
shut for roughly three months.
Today, Mr. Lindner, Mr. Kudingo, and their colleagues
continue to live in fear of future Big Labor violence directed at themselves or
Because D5 Iron Works and the PCCA site are located in two
different states, Local 395 officials are seemingly prosecutable under the
Hobbs Act, which prohibits the use of extortionate threats and violence in
Unfortunately, nearly half a century ago, the U.S. Supreme
Court’s controversial, 5-4 U.S. v. Enmons decision exempted threats,
vandalism and violence perpetrated to secure “legitimate” union goals from
Hobbs Act prosecutions.
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix
“The legal loophole created by U.S. v. Enmons in 1973
often makes it extraordinarily difficult to prosecute union thugs.”
Not surprisingly, the criminal lawyers defending Jeffrey
Veach and Thomas Williamson have already repeatedly invoked Enmons in
their attempts to get their Big Labor clients off the hook.
In a joint motion filed this March, for example, the lawyers
contended that the charges “should be dismissed,” because “the facts alleged”
describe “‘legitimate union objectives,’ which were specifically exempted from
the reach” of the Hobbs Act by Enmons.
This strategy hasn’t worked — yet. In June, U.S. District
Judge Theresa Springmann rejected the defendants’ motion for dismissal. Her
understanding of the law is that Enmons does not protect Mr. Veach and
Mr. Williamson because their targets were a nonunion business owner and his
“Thanks to Judge Springmann’s order, the Enmons
defense is off the table for now,” explained Mr. Mix.
“But if Jeffrey Veach and Thomas Williamson are convicted,
their attorneys can and surely will appeal the verdict on the grounds that the
judge interpreted the Enmons precedent too narrowly!”
Common-Sense Reform Would Overturn Enmons, Hold
To prevent rogue union bosses from getting away with
violence and extortion in the future, the Committee and its members are now
pushing for Congress to overturn the Enmons decision.
Last month, Congressman Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) introduced
the Freedom from Union Violence Act, a measure that would overturn Enmons
and hold union bosses who orchestrate threats and violence accountable under
the Hobbs Act.
“Because Enmons interpreted a statute, not the
Constitution, Congress wields the power to reverse it legislatively,” explained
“And the Committee has already begun mobilizing members and
supporters nationwide to contact their elected officials and build Capitol Hill
support for the Freedom from Union Violence Act.”