Va. Union Officials Confess to Stealing from Disaster Relief Fund

Four frmr officials of Steelworkers Local 9336 pled guilty on July 12 to stealing more than $17,000 from the union and a disaster relief fund for workers affected by an explosion at a metal foundry that killed three people and left the rest jobless. A fifth defendant did not appear in the U.S. Dist. Court in Roanoke, Va., and was at large.

Of the $22,500 raised after the explosion at Intermet Corp.’s New River Foundry in Radford, the ex-local president, William Fricker, ex-president and vice president Edward Ramsey, ex-financial secy. Joseph Burress, and ex-grievance cmte. chair Rhoda Creed, and Elizabeth George stole more than $10,000. George, also charged with approving $900 in unauthorized payments to her companion, Robert Martin, is still at large.

In addition to the relief fund, all but George also pled guilty to claiming some $10,800 as time spent on union business while collecting paychecks from Intermet for the same time. The frmr officials face up to five years in prison and fines as high as $250,000 for each of the three counts of conspiracy and embezzlement. [Wash. Post 7/14/02]

NJ Fed. Ct. Orders New Election for Postal Wrkrs Local
On June 27, 2002, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the Department’s motion for summary judgment concerning the April 2000 election of officers in the North Jersey Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union. The court found that the local violated Section 401(g) of the LMRDA by making two mailings to the membership at union expense and on union letterhead. One mailing was laudatory of the incumbents and critical of an opposing candidate and the other “provided gratuitous and damaging material” about the opposition candidate.   The court held that all members of the opposing candidate’s slate are entitled to a new election under the supervision of the Secretary of Labor. The court case resulted from an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office. [DOL]