Southern California UFCW Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty

On April 22, Kurt Kittleson, former secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 151D, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of making a false statement in a financial report on behalf of the Rancho Palos Verdes (Los Angeles County) union. He had been charged in March. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

NLRB Rules Against Dissenting Delaware Poultry Workers in Dispute with UFCW Local

One of the more enduring principles of labor law in America is that workers who are unhappy with their union representation have the right of exit. The current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seems determined to narrow if not eliminate this right. On April 21, the board, by 3-1, ruled in Mountaire Farms Inc. that all ballots cast by about 800 Delaware poultry workers as part of an effort to decertify a local affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) must be destroyed. A number of workers at the plant had challenged the basis for applying the “contract bar,” which prevents workers from holding a vote until at least three years into the contract period. After the ruling, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix accused the board of using labor law as “a protection racket for incumbent union officials.”  

Workers often … Read More ➡

Los Angeles-Area UFCW Secretary Charged with Making False Statement

On March 18, Kurt Kittleson, former secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 151D, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in a one-count information with making a false statement in a financial report on behalf of the Rancho Palos Verdes (Los Angeles County) union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  … Read More ➡

New Orleans-Area UFCW President Sentenced for Embezzlement

On March 30, Mark Douglas, former president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1101, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Arabi (near New Orleans) union. He also was ordered to pay restitution to the union in the sum of $7,078.35 and a special assessment of $100. According to prosecutors, Douglas, now 72, a resident of New Orleans, during November 2011-January 2015 had filed fake reimbursement claims for “lost time.” He eventually was charged in April 2019, and pleaded guilty that September. UFCW Local 1101 represents employees of the Domino Sugar Company. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  … Read More ➡

President of Southern California UFCW Local Pleads Guilty to Fraud

On February 11, Aja Jasmin, former president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 350C, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of wire fraud related to her theft of about $190,000 in funds from the Ontario (San Bernardino County)-based union. She had been charged last October in a two-count information with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

UFCW President in Southern California Charged with Wire Fraud, Identity Theft

On October 30, Aja Jasmin, former president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 350C, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in a two-count information with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to embezzle about $190,000 from the Ontario (San Bernardino County), Calif. union. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.  … Read More ➡

Ex-UFCW President in North Carolina Sentenced for Embezzlement

Workers at a pork processing plant may not have the most pleasant job in the world, but at least some of them are feeling more confident about where their union dues are going. On July 8, Keith Ludlum, former president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1208, was sentenced in Raleigh federal court to 14 months in prison, and ordered to pay full restitution for conspiracy, for embezzling around $213,000 from the Tar Heel, N.C. union, which represents about 3,600 Smithfield employees in the Carolinas. He had pleaded guilty in January. The union’s former secretary-treasurer, the aptly-named Terry Slaughter, already has been sentenced for his role in the scheme. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS).

Union Corruption Update has covered this case several times since the guilty plea of Terry Slaughter in February 2019, which quickly led to a plea Read More ➡

Mobster Sentenced for Racketeering in Brooklyn UFCW Shakedowns

Frank Giovinco was a moneymaker for the Genovese crime family. But where he’s going, the financial opportunities are very limited. On June 22, Giovinco was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to four years in prison, plus three years of supervised release, for acts of racketeering and extortion in the diversion of large sums of funds from Local 1D and 2D of the United Food and Commercial Workers, each based in Brooklyn, to mob-controlled operations. He had been convicted by a jury last December. The secretary-treasurer of Locals 1D and 2D, respectively, Frank Cognetta and Vincent D’Acunto, already had pleaded guilty in March 2019 for their roles. Two prominent Genovese mobsters, Steven Arena and Vincent Esposito, also have been sent packing. The actions follow an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor and the NYPD.

The personality of Frank Giovinco, now 52, a resident of Syosset, N.Y., if … Read More ➡

UFCW Secretary-Treasurer in North Carolina Sentenced for Embezzlement

A decade ago, the appropriately named Terry Slaughter organized slaughterhouse workers. Little did these workers know that he eventually would steal their dues. On February 26, Slaughter, former secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1208, was sentenced in Raleigh federal court to six months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling funds from the Tar Heel, N.C. union, which represents employees of Smithfield Foods pork processing plants in the Carolinas. He also was ordered to pay $63,315.18 in restitution. Slaughter had pleaded guilty in February 2019. Ex-local President Keith Ludlum pleaded guilty this January to stealing over $200,000. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Slaughter, now 46, a resident of Fayetteville, N.C., served as secretary-treasurer of Food and Commercial Workers Local 1208 during 2011-15 following a bitter corporate campaign and organizing drive against Smithfield … Read More ➡

North Carolina UFCW Ex-President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

A slaughterhouse presents potential health and safety hazards for its workers. Union representation, unfortunately, can present economic hazards. On January 28, Keith Ludlum, former president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1208, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to conspiracy to steal more than $200,000 from the Tar Heel, N.C. union, which represents about 3,600 employees of Smithfield Foods-owned pork processing plants in North Carolina and South Carolina. The aptly-named Terry Slaughter, who served as local secretary-treasurer, pleaded guilty a year ago. Ludlum would be indicted two months later following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Union Corruption Update covered this case following the February 2019 guilty plea of Slaughter. UFCW Local 1208 had been formed and recognized about a decade ago in the wake of an unusually bitter and prolonged campaign by union organizers against Smithfield. … Read More ➡