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Unions In the News - February 2015

Freedom to work gives us freedom to grow.- The Springfield News-Leader (Springfield, Mo.) published an op-ed on Feb. 28 detailing the benefits of Missouri's proposed right-to-work bill. According to the op-ed's author, Missouri State Rep. Eric Burlison, by becoming a right-to-work state, Missouir can create more jobs and develop a more competitive business enviornment. Burlison notes that when workers have a choice of whether or not to join a union, it forces unions to focus more on the needs of workers and not politics or executive bonuses. As a result, right-to-work states are seeing an increase in union membership, while forced-union states are experiencing declines in union membership.
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- The Springfield News Leader

Rep. Tyler August: Right-to-work legislation is right for Wisconsin. - The Gazette (Janesville, Wis.) published an op-ed by Wisconsin State Rep. Tyler August on Feb. 28 explaining the benefits of Wisconsin's proposed right-to-work bill. In his op-ed, August details the benefits of the bill - which would make it illegal for workers to be forced to join a union and pay dues if they choose not to - including that from 2004-2013, right-to-work states added 2.1 million more jobs and grew over twice as fast as forced-union states. Wages in right-to-work states also grew seven percent more than forced-union states from 2003-2013. Noting that union membership in Indiana rose by 50,000 members after the state passed a right-to-work law in 2013, August makes the case that the propsosed right-to-work bill would benefit Wisconsin's economy with reesearch showing 75 percent of businesses consider right-to-work status an important factor when deciding on a new location.
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- The Gazette

Rauner: Right-to-work zones needed to lure business - The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Feb. 27 that in order to create a more attractive economic climate for businesses, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing for a change in state regulations to allow for "empowerment zones" where voters at municipal or county levels could ban local workers from being forced to join a union or pay union dues. A variation of right-to-work laws passed throughout the country, Rauner said Illinois businesses are counting to be lured away by surrounding right-to-work states (such as Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan) who have less regulations and greater freedom of workers.
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- The Chicago Sun Times

Economist: Right-to-work could make central Wisconsin attractive to expanding businesses. - WXOW-TV (La Crosse, Wis.)reported on Feb. 24 that a senior business economist with the Federal Reserve of Chicago believes Wisconsin's proposed right-to-work bill could make the state more attractive to businessess looking to expand. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker echoed that sentiment on Feb. 25, according to BizTimes, when he claimed the state's possible right-to-work status would be one more factor companies have to make the case to move to Wisconsin.
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- WXOW

Georgia Postal Workers Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement. - The National Legal and Policy Center reported on Feb. 19 that Cynthia Collins, former secretary-treasurer of American Postal Workers Union Local 12, pled guilty on Jan. 21 in U.S. District Court to embezzling $23,345 from the union and concealing the theft in financial reports.
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- The National Legal and Policy Center

Ohio Bricklayers Local Treasurer Sentenced for Theft- The National Legal and Policy Center reported on Feb. 19 that Brian Stoneburner, former treasurer for International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 44, was sentenced on Jan. 13 to 90 days in jail, five years of probation, and 100 hours of community service after he pled guilty in November 2014 to embezzling $13,235 from the union. he has also been ordered to pay full restitution.
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- The National Legal and Policy Center

Nebraska Transportation Union Political Director Pleads Guilty- The National Legal and Policy Center reported on Feb. 11 that Ray Lineweber, former legislative director of the United Transportation Union's Nebraska legislative Board, pled guilty in U.S. District Court on Jan. 9 to embezzling $102,907 in union funds. Lineweber was indicted in November 2014 on one count of embezzlement, one count of mail fraud, and 15 counts of false financial record-keeping.
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- The National Legal and Policy Center

Steelworkers Financial Secretary in Ohio Sentenced for Embezzlement- The National Legal and Policy Center reported on Feb. 9 that former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 561, Robert Mays, was sentenced on Jan. 8 in U.S. District Court to three years of probation and 208 hours of community service after he pled guilty in September 2014 to embezzling $24,833 in union funds. Mays was also ordered to pay full restitution.
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- The National Legal and Policy Center

Kentucky Letter Carriers Local President Sentenced - The National Legal and Policy Center reported on Feb. 9 that former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 383, David Lynch, was sentenced to three years in prison (suspended to 30 days in the county jail while on work release) and at least two years of probation after he pled guilty to embezzling between $500 and $10,000 from the union. Lynch was also ordered to pay $15,805 in restitution.
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- The National Legal and Policy Center

Former Office Manager Accused of Embezzling Nearly $350K from Riverside Police Officers' Association - KCAL-TV (Los Angeles, Calif.) reported on Feb. 7 that Alis Archibeque, former office manager of the Riverside Police Officers' Association, has been arrested on two counts of grand theft and an enhancement for theft exceeding $100,000. Archibeque allegedly embezzled close to $350,000 from the union for personal use, such as car payments, travel, and child support. From May 2007 to March 2012, Archibeque allegedly made over 7,000 unauthorized withdrawals or purchases with union funds and used union credit cards to pay for personal items, such as: groceries, gas and utility bills, concert tickets, jewelry, tattoos, and home appliances.
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- KCAL - Los Angeles, CA

Alaska Carpenters Secretary Sentenced for Embezzlement- The National Legal and Policy Center reported on Feb. 5 that Jonathan Smith, former financial secretary of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 2247, was sentenced on Jan. 7 in U.S. District Court to four months in a halfway house, five years of probation, and 250 hours of community service for embezzling $41,770 from the union and using his union debit card to pay for personal expenses such as travel, food, drink, and gambling. Smith, who pled guilty to the charges in August 2014, was also ordered to pay full restitution.

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- KCAL - Los Angeles, CA

Electrical Workers Secretary in Michigan Sentenced for Embezzlement The National Legal and Policy Center reported on Feb. 5 that Ann Marie Shaffer, former dues clerk for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58, was sentenced on Jan. 16 in U.S. District Court to one year in prison and two years of supervised released after she pled guility in August 2014 to embezzling $101,059.56 in union funds. Shaffer was also ordered to pay $340,267.73 in restitution.

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- The National Legal and Policy Center

 

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