Philadelphia Workers Still Being Forced to Pay Indicted Union Bosses’ Salaries?

Although federal prosecutors have accused electricians union boss John Dougherty and half a dozen of his cohorts of stealing at least $600,000 from the union rank-and-file in recent years, Dougherty et al apparently plan to continue collecting their forced union dues-funded salaries while they await trial. (Photo: KYW 1060/Philadelphia, Pa.)

Last week, notorious International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 union kingpin John Dougherty and six of his lieutenants (including Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon, who has remained on the union payroll while he holds public office) were charged with embezzlement, bribery and theft in a 116-count indictment.

Politico reports that prosecutors charge Dougherty and his cohorts with stealing “more than $600,000 in union funds” and also accuse them of “repeatedly” strong-arming “public and private officials with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.”

Local 98’s union treasury money, which consists mostly of dues and fees that workers are forced to fork over, or be fired, was allegedly used by bigwigs to buy “everything from Bruce Springsteen tickets to luxury clothing gift cards to baby wipes to ‘men’s exercise pants.'”

Prosecutors claim that Dougherty used one of his henchmen, Councilman Henon, to “retaliate against a towing company that [had] tried to cart off his car,” as well as to “squeeze Comcast into giving millions of dollars of work” to a company owned by one of Dougherty’s cronies. At the union hierarchy’s behest, Henon reportedly even threatened a children’s hospital administrator for using union-free labor to install MRI machines!

The 159-page federal indictment against Dougherty and company indicates the evidence that they committed the crimes with which they are charged is vast. So far, all of the accused are denying guilt, and all are remain on the union payroll, continuing to collect their entire hefty, forced dues-funded salaries while they await trial.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania has no Right to Work law to protect employees from being forced to bankroll Dougherty and his posse as a condition of employment. Therefore, “Johnny Doc” and his pals can continue to live the high life on money conscripted from workers.