George Cashman, president of Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25, now faces charges that he extorted employer kickbacks, put his personal interests above the union’s pension fund, and undermined his own union’s organizing efforts.
The charges were outlined in a 10-count indictment unsealed by the U.S. Attny. for Mass. on March 13. Count One of the indictment lays out a conspiracy by Cashman and business owner Thomas DiSilva to funnel payments from Cardinal Health, Inc. to DiSilva, in exchange for Cashman using his position as a Teamster pension trustee to settle a lawsuit over Cardinal’s obligations to the pension fund.
To settle a strike at Cardinal’s warehouse in Peabody in Feb. 1998, officials of Teamster Local 42 agreed to return to work through a 3rd party labor leasing company. Cashman, in his role as an IBT regional vice president, procured the leasing contract for DiSilva. After the strikes, Cardinal withdrew from the New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund. Fund officials sued Cardinal, claiming a loss of $1 million in unfunded pensions for Teamster members.
In March 1999, Cashman allegedly met a representative of Amer. Intl. Security Corp., which provided security to Cardinal during the strike, in a Boston hotel. In that meeting, Cashman allegedly offered to settle the lawsuit for $400,000 in return for Cardinal providing $100,000 in business to DiSliva, who had lost his leasing contract with the company. By June, Cardinal had paid the pension fund, but had not paid DiSilva. According to the indictment, Cashman personally threatened Cardinal’s attny. and a frmr. Cardinal executive, and threatened to erect picket lines and reinstate Teamster members at the warehouse if DiSilva didn’t get his money. In Oct., the attny. and executive paid DiSilva $50,000 each. DiSilva then allegedly paid the security official $20,000.
In addition to the conspiracy count under 18 U.S.C., Sec. 371, Cashman and DiSilva also face three counts of extortion under 18 U.S.C., Sec. 1951 & 52, four counts of mail fraud concerning the postal delivery of the checks under 18 U.S.C., Sec. 1341 & 42. Cashman is also charged with accepting personal kickbacks to the detriment of the pension fund under 18 U.S.C., Sec. 1954, and taking payments from Cardinal to influence a labor-mgmt. dispute in violation of the Taft-Hartley Act, 29 U.S.C., Sec. 186(b)(1) and (d)(2).
Cashman and DiSilva are already scheduled to go on trial on April 22 for allegedly placing non-employees on the payrolls of various companies in order to collect health benefits belonging to qualified Teamster members. Cashman is still under investigation for reportedly extorting no-show jobs from film producers in Massachusetts. [U.S.A.O. Mass. 3/13/03, Boston Globe 3/15/03]