Union Boss Accused of Extortion

The former boss of a New York area Teamsters local was arrested on Tuesday, the New York Times reports, “on charges that he forced his union members to do work for him personally, including building a new roof on his country home, squiring his daughter to her yoga class, and setting up a Christmas tree at his Manhattan apartment.”

Anthony Rumore is accused of extorting “. . . ‘personal services’ from members of his union for nearly 15 years, officials of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan said.”

According to a federal indictment handed up on Tuesday, the members complied with Mr. Rumore’s demands because they feared being fired from their jobs.

For 16 years, Mr. Rumore, 63, was president of Teamsters Local 812, a beverage drivers’ union with 4,000 members in the New York area. He was forced to step down in late 2004, after similar accusations were made against him by a federal oversight board. He was also the president of Teamsters Joint Council 16, an umbrella group for more than 100,000 area Teamsters.

Workers who are compelled to pay dues and fees to the Teamsters local as a condition of employment have little or no recourse against this type of behavior. Right to Work laws hold union officials accountable for actions like this by allowing workers to withdraw their financial support.