The indictment tells an outrageous story of union thuggery including violence and arson. In a 49-page grand jury indictment, federal prosecutors arrested on Tuesday, 10 members of Ironworkers Local 401’ s business officials for racketeering and arson as part of an alleged campaign by the Philadelphia ironworkers union to coerce building contactors into hiring them over non-union competition.
Prosecutors allege that union officials and workers cost contractors hundreds of thousands of dollars over at least three years in a campaign of violence that included attacking non-union workers with baseballs at a Toys-R-Us work site in King of Prussia and torching a Quaker meetinghouse under construction in the Chestnut Hill section.
“While unions have the right to legally advocate on behalf of their member, my office will not tolerate the conduct of those who use violence to further union goals,” said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger at a news conference. “If unions do not like a worksite using non-union workers, there are many legal and appropriate ways to express opposition.”