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Unions In the News - September 2015

Oshkosh Union Treasurer Faces Embezzlement Count. - The Oshkosh Northwestern reported on August 31 that a former Fox Valley labor union treasurer faces embezzlement charges. Helen Genal embezzled more than $20,000 over a two year period and then misreported year-end balances to cover up her crime. Genal faces up to six years in prison and fines of more than $250,000.
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- The Oshkosh Northwestern

BLET Secretary in West Virginia Sentenced for Embezzlement. - The National Legal and Policy Center reported on August 31 that the former Secretary-treasurer of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 101 Nathan McCallister was sentenced to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the union. McCallister of Hinton, W. Va. was ordered to pay nearly $1,500 in restitution.
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- National Legal and Policy Center

The Truth About Wages in Right-to-Work States. - The Daily Signal reported on September 2 that private sector wages are not lower in right-to-work states than in states that compel union membership. A recent Economic Policy Institute paper claimed that right-to-work laws reduce wages by 3 percent. However, when cost of living is accounted for, such wage discrepancies disappear, according to a report by The Heritage Foundation.
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- The Daily Signal

2 Norfolk Police Officers Charged with Embezzling From Union. - The Associated Press reported on September 3 that two Norfolk police officers face embezzlement charges. Police officers Randy Brann and Jacob Wright were each charged with embezzling from the International Brotherhood of Police. Both officers have been with the Norfolk Police Department for seven years, and both have since been placed on administrative leave while the case is being reviewed.
- Associated Press

When Friends Steal From You It Hurts Double. - The Chicago Tribune featured a column by David Rutter which highlights how troubling it is when union officials steal from their own union. According to the column, the federal Office of Labor Management Standards has found that more than $102 million has been paid or ordered to be paid back to defrauded unions during the past decade—and more than 1,500 union officials have stolen from co-workers from 2000 to 2010.
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- Chicago Tribune

Ex-Union Treasurer in Arizona Gets Prison in Embezzlement. - The Arizona Republic reported on September 15 that Richard Wayne Johnson, former union treasurer for the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for embezzlement. Johnson pleaded guilty to using the union’s debit card for a home theater system, as well as personal cash withdrawals. He also forged union checks for his personal use and his family’s personal use.
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- The Arizona Republic

Former Buffalo Union Officials Sentenced for Embezzlement. - WGRZ reported on September 21 that Betty Martin and Duane Rush were sentenced to 12 months in prison for embezzlement. Martin and Rush were president and vice president of the Transportation Aids of Buffalo Union. While serving positions within their union, the pair stole approximately $120,000 from the union to pay for personal items.
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- WGRZ News

Ohio Economy Falling Behind Right-to-Work Neighbor Michigan. - reported on September 23 that Michigan’s long-term job creation rate has surpassed Ohio’s. Since December, Ohio has gained 9,500 private sector jobs while Michigan has gained 66,900. According to Opportunity Ohio President Matt Mayer, compulsory union dues are a hindrance to Ohio’s economic growth. Since 2013, Michigan’s right-to-work law has been in effect.
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- The Detroit News

Four Teachers Win the Right to Work. - The Detroit News reported on September 24 that four Michigan teachers are now able to exercise their freedom to leave the Michigan Education Association (MEA). The Michigan Employment Relations Commission ruled that the MEA committed an unfair labor practice when it chose to enforce an August-only opt-out window for union membership. The ruling is a result of the teachers’ claim that the union threatened to turn them over to a collections agency unless they paid union dues.
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- The Detroit News

Former Seabrook union head to plead guilty to embezzling $14,000. - The New Hampshire Union Leader reported on September 29 that the former President and Chief Steward of the Seabrook Nuclear Security Officers Assn. Local 501 Gregory Paradis stole more than $14,000 from the union. According to Paradis, he used the union’s money so frequently he lost track of how much money he stole. Paradis used a debit card linked to union funds at grocery stores and restaurants, as well as making cash withdrawals from the debit card for his personal use.
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- New Hampshire Union Leader

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