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August 9, 2022

Former Iron Workers Local 395 Official Sentenced For Violent Extortion –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 4, 2021

INDIANA (ECWd) –

We wrote several articles about this situation (read them here) – the latest was on the guilty plea of the former union president and business agent.

Thomas R. Williamson Sr., of Schererville was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison. He also must help pay $30,869.00 in restitution to the victims of the 2016 assault.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PRESS RELEASE:

An Indiana man and former business agent of Iron Workers Local 395 was sentenced today to more than four years in prison for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion.

Thomas Williamson Sr., 70, of Schererville, pleaded guilty on Jan. 24, 2020 . According to court documents, Williamson organized and led an assault on a group of non-union ironworkers as part of an attempt to obtain a contract to perform construction work on the Plum Creek Christian Academy, a school affiliated with the Dyer Baptist Church in Dyer, Indiana.

In January 2016, Williamson learned that a non-union ironworking company was performing work for the Dyer Baptist Church, which he considered to be in Local 395’s “territory.” On Jan. 6, 2016, Williamson visited the construction site and made threats to the workers to get them to stop work on the site. Upon being rebuffed, Williamson then visited the church and attempted to persuade church officials to use Local 395 for the project instead of the non-union workers.

The day after these efforts failed, Williamson returned to the construction site along with then-Local 395 president Jeffrey Veach and a group of rank-and-file union members. At Williamson’s direction, the union members executed a coordinated and brutal assault on the non-union workers, beating their victims with loose pieces of hardwood, punching them and kicking them.

The attack left one of the non-union workers with a broken jaw that required several surgeries and prolonged hospitalization.

Veach also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion and was separately sentenced to 42 months in prison in September 2020. Under federal law, both Williamson and Veach will be barred from holding any union position for at least 13 years following the end of their prison sentences.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.

The FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office and the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Chicago Regional Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Alexander Gottfried and Robert Tully of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section prosecuted the case. Assistant Chief for Labor-Management Racketeering Gerald Toner provided invaluable assistance in the prosecution of this case. Through its Labor Unit, the Organized Crime and Gang Section supports federal criminal prosecution in cases involving labor management relations, internal union affairs, and the operation of employee pension and health care plans.

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3 Comments
  • Jimmy H.
    Posted at 08:43h, 05 May

    13 years without holding a union position?? WTH?! They should be banned for life. 4 years in prison?? WTH?! These thugs should have received 5-10yrs each. This kind of violence – by people who THINK they are in charge and entitled – should be treated like the scum that they are. The guy with the broken jaw will deal with that for the rest of his life. Kick these bums in the ass, lock em up for a long time, ban them from union membership & activity forever, and sweep them out the door with the rest of the trash.

    • Josh
      Posted at 19:46h, 16 June

      You have no clue what you are talking about, these are 2 of the greatest men I have ever known I my life, yeah they screwed up but they have been ups standing members of the community for 30-40+years. These guys got screwed getting the sentence they got,

      • John Kraft
        Posted at 12:51h, 17 June

        LOL – they got less than what they deserved.

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