Thursday, September 25, 2014

Union Thugs

From IRONWORKERS member James Walsh "felt like an outsider" in the union, according to his plea memorandum. After struggling with drugs and alcohol in his youth and then going through rehab, he didn't socialize after work with union guys chugging beers.
And he had no family ties in the union, which helped other members get steady jobs.
So Walsh "chose a different route to make a name for himself in the Ironworkers Local 401," Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Livermore wrote in the court document. On his days off, he drove around Philly looking for job sites where Ironworkers weren't employed.
Knowing that members who committed crimes on behalf of the union -- referred to as "nightwork" -- got the best jobs, Walsh let it be known to its then-longtime head, Joseph Dougherty, and four business agents "that he was willing to perform whatever crimes were necessary," Livermore wrote.
Those crimes landed Walsh in federal court yesterday before U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson. Walsh, 49, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and five arson-related counts. He faces a mandatory-minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. Co-defendant Greg Sullivan, 49, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and to extortion....
Walsh's story, according to the government's plea memorandum, showed the extremes that an Ironworkers member went through to get noticed.
"Walsh aspired to be a legend in the union -- to commit acts which other ironworkers only talk about doing," Livermore wrote, adding that another member called Walsh the union's "big-time hit man."
Walsh first took part in "nightwork" in summer 2012 when he protested the new Goldtex apartments being built on 12th Street near Wood. He slashed and punctured tires of nonunion vehicles and assaulted nonunion workers.
In December 2012, he cut the metal infrastructure and anchor bolts of a new Quaker meetinghouse under construction in Chestnut Hill with the hot flame of an acetylene torch.
He also participated in a July 2013 arson of a warehouse on Grays Avenue in Southwest Philly and an October 2013 attempted arson in Malvern. Sullivan yesterday admitted his more minor roles in those two cases.
Once, when Walsh and Sullivan had talked "about a legendary ironworker known to tear down buildings constructed by nonunion ironworkers, Sullivan suggested to Walsh that Walsh filled the vacancy left by this legendary ironworker and took his 'spot,' " Walsh's plea memo says. "Walsh replied, 'I know I did, dude. I think about that all the f---ing time.' "
While most union members are hard working, though misguided, if they chose to belong to a union.  However, most union leaders are nothing but thugs who steal members dues so they could leave the good life while doing nothing to help their members.
And then you have the lowest of the thugs who put people in danger with their tactics.  Not only did the union thugs not condemn the thug tactics, they encouraged the guy to commit the thug tactics.
All these union thugs need to go to jail for a long, long time.
Just another reason why unions should be outlawed.

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