Court Dismisses UBC Case Against IUPAT, Building Trades and Labor Leaders

Another Win Against the UBC

In December, a U.S. district judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) that accused the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) General President James Williams, Mark Ayers, former president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) and three other labor leaders of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by “waging an extortionate campaign to force the Carpenters to reaffiliate with BCTD,” according to a new article in the BNA Construction Labor Report.  READ THE DECISION HERE.

In short, the IUPAT and other labor leaders were accused of using extortion to force the UBC back into the BCTD for monetary gain.  The complaint cited numerous actions the accused parties took while defending their jurisdiction from UBC raids across the country over the last 10 years as evidence of this alleged extortionate campaign.

The court ruled that it is not extortion to treat an announced enemy as an enemy.  Competing for work and members’ loyalty, and standing up for longstanding principles of labor solidarity is not a violation of the law.

“We’ve always believed that this case was without merit and we’re pleased with the court’s decision,” said Williams in statement after the decision was announced. “It’s just unfortunate, to say the least, that the leaders of the UBC felt it was necessary to invest such valuable time and financial resources into this case instead of using them for the service and growth of their own membership. This level of divisiveness within the labor movement does nothing to benefit the members we have sworn to represent.  Hopefully this decision will finally convince the leadership of the UBC to focus on far more important priorities for the union.

“My thanks to the membership for your support in all of our efforts as Building Trades unions under the leadership of BCTD President Sean McGarvey.  We won this latest battle because we remained united.  Let’s continue to stand together in all of our future endeavors.”

 

 

Many of you may know that we have been in a long, hard-fought campaign to protect our jurisdiction from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC).  In early 2012, the UBC filed a RICO lawsuit against me, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Ed Hill, AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department President Ron Ault and the former president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), Mark Ayers.  In short, we were accused of using extortion to force the UBC back into the BCTD for monetary gain.  The complaint cited numerous actions we took while defending our jurisdiction from UBC raids across the country over the last 10 years as evidence of this alleged extortionate campaign.

In December, a U.S. district judge decided in our favor and dismissed the case.   In short, he ruled that it is not extortion to treat an announced enemy as an enemy.  Competing for work and members’ loyalty, and standing up for longstanding principles of labor solidarity is not a violation of the law.

Although we won, we only won what was ours to begin with.  This case was unfortunately yet another incident brought on by the UBC that created an enormous waste of time and money to defend ourselves.

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