New York Union to Appeal Indictment to Supreme Court

The Newspaper & Mail Deliverers Union of N.Y., will appeal a seven-year-old racketeering indictment to the U.S. Supreme Court. The prolonged case was filed in 1992 by Manhattan Dist. Atty. Robert M. Morgenthau, who charged the union with making deals with the Bonanno and Luchese crime families.  “We are filing an application for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court,” said NMDU attorney J. Kenneth O’Connor. “They don’t hear that many cases, but this is an interesting one. What is the criminal liability of a trade union? How do you find criminal liability where some of the members may have been engaged in criminality?” Where is this guy coming from? Expect cert. to be denied. [Daily News 7/26/99]

Tennessee Bosses Suspended after Fistfight with Manager
Willis Hall and Dale Atkin, business manager and steward, respectively, of Laborers’ Int’l Union of No. Am. Local 818 in Knoxville, were “de-badged” or suspended from a job site pending an investigation of an altercation between Hall and George Jones, a manager for contractor BNFL. Hall and Jones required medical attention after a fistfight on Jul. 22 at BNFL’s site. An argument reportedly led to the fight. Both sides gave conflicting reports about who instigated the altercation, but one of the issues apparently involved Atkin’s availability to conduct union business on Jul. 22. [Knoxville News-Sentinel 7/23/99]

Ontario Ex-Boss Sued for Assault
A former Toronto jail inmate filed C$1.35 million lawsuit Jul. 16 against Don Ford, a jail guard and ex-union president, for his alleged sexual assault. According to the suit, the woman alleges Ford “repeatedly touched her…without her consent” from Dec. 10, 1997 to Mar. 31, 1998. She also alleges he “forcibly had…intercourse without her consent” in a stairwell in the prison on one occasion. She further alleges Ford “assigned her to cleanup duty and would arrange for her to be in isolated areas of the prison, such as supply rooms, interview rooms and stairwells. “On a daily basis, in these isolated areas, the defendant touched her…without her consent,” the suit claims.

The woman is seeking $500,000 in general damages for sexual assault and battery and breach of fiduciary duty and $500,000 for punitive damages as well as $350,000 in damages for her two kids and their grandmother under Canada’s Family Law Act. Ford has been on a leave from the jail since May 17 for allegedly unrelated reasons. He was president of the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union at the jail for six years until last year. [Toronto Sun 7/23/99]