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Boston Teamsters attempted to extort ‘Top Chef’ show (Read More…)

By: Antonio Planas, Laurel J. Sweet - September 30, 2015

Five Teamsters have been slapped with federal indictments for allegedly threatening a production company filming Bravo’s “Top Chef” reality cooking show in Boston in an “old-school thug” attempt at getting union members jobs, according to U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.

“The indictment alleges that a group of rogue Teamsters employed old school thug tactics to get no-work jobs from an out of town production company,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “In the course of this alleged conspiracy, they managed to chase a legitimate business out of the City of Boston and then harassed the cast and crew when they set up shop in Milton. This kind of conduct reflects poorly on our city and must be addressed for what it is – not union organizing, but criminal extortion.”

Former medical marijuana industry union organizer indicted for taking bribes (Read More…)

By Rebecca Strom September 17, 2015

OAKLAND (BCN) — An Oakland labor official working to organize the medical marijuana industry was indicted by a federal grand jury today in connection with allegations that he used his position for personal gain according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Daniel Rush, a former union organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers union, was indicted on charges including taking illegal payments as a union employee, honest services fraud, attempted extortion and money laundering, federal prosecutors said.

Rush, 54, allegedly received payments or other things of value such as shares in a medical dispensary from people within the medical marijuana industry and from attorneys between 2010 and August 2014. In return he provided union support for dispensaries, advice on how to thwart union organizing efforts and client referrals.

Medical dispensary operator Carl Andersen provided payments to Rush in 2010 and shares in the dispensary operation worth at least $51,000 in return for UFCW support for his efforts to obtain an Oakland dispensary permit, prosecutors allege.

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