‘Targets of Violence . . . Included a Quaker Meetinghouse Site and Workers Building a Kids’ Toy Store’

Even as testimony continues at  a trial 400 miles to the northwest in Buffalo, N.Y., regarding a decade-long pattern of violence, threats and vandalism allegedly perpetrated by officers of an International Union of Operating Engineers local and their agents, this week 10 officers and militants of Ironworkers Local 401 have been arrested and charged with “conspiring to commit acts of violence to force contractors to hire union members.”

Julia Shaw’s February 19 report for the Philadelphia Daily News (see the link below for the whole story) explained some of the key charges levied against Local 401 chief Joe Dougherty and his henchmen:

THEIR TARGETS of violence, according to a federal indictment unsealed yesterday, included a Quaker meetinghouse site and workers building a kids’ toy store.

Yes, those peaceful Quakers. Yes, a kids’ store.

Ten members of Ironworkers Local Union 401, including its leaders, were arrested yesterday and charged with conspiring to commit acts of violence to force contractors to hire union members.

The alleged crimes include a 2012 arson at the site for a new Chestnut Hill Friends meetinghouse and a 2010 baseball-bat whacking that seriously injured nonunion workers at a Toys R Us under construction near the King of Prussia Mall.

U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger told reporters that “the defendants used goon squads, which included union members and associates, who committed assaults, arsons and other violent and destructive acts to make their point emphatically clear.”

“One such squad,” he said, “referred to itself as T.H.U.G. – The Helpful Union Guys.”

The arrests yesterday included the head of the union, Joseph Dougherty, 72, of Bustleton, the union’s business manager.

“I think he was shocked,” his attorney, Joel Trigiani, said when asked about Dougherty’s reaction to being arrested.

The feds contend that Dougherty “authorized, supervised and controlled the criminal activity.”

10 Ironworkers arrested, accused of violence against nonunion work …