Leaving A Union, A Power Millions Don’t Have

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Virginia IATSE Union Corruption Case Ends, Union Membership Left Years Before

On April 9, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Newport News Division, Benjamin Wisecarver, former President of International Alliance of Theatrical, Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 264 was sentenced to five months in prison, five months of home confinement, and two years of probation.  

But, this story of corruption illustrates the value of Right To Work.

Fortunately for defrauded IATSE Local 264 union members, because Virginia is a Right To Work State, these union members could just abandon the corrupt union. 

Unfortunately for people in the 23-forced-unionism states, if a similar situation occurred, everyone working under a union’s contracts would be forced to continue subsidizing a corrupt union or be fired. Everyone should have Right To Work protections that are effectively enforced.

On Feb 13, 2015, the union filed a “terminal” LM-3 report with the US Department of Labor.  From the union’s terminal report:

“DURING 2014, THE LOCAL’S MEMBERSHIP FELL BELOW THE CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED NUMBER OF MEMBERS AND THEIR CHARTER WAS REVOKED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF THEATRICAL STAGE EMPLOYEES, MOVING PICTURE TECHNICIANS, ARTISTS AND ALLIED CRAFTS OF THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES AND CANADA (“IATSE”). IN OCTOBER 2014, REMAINING ASSETS (CONSISTING ONLY OF CASH) TOTALLING $15,291 WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE IATSE. THIS LM-3 IS BEING FILED BY THE INTERNATIONAL BASED ON THE LIMITED INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF FILING.”

2014 LM-2 Report filed by IATSE Union Officers

(Wisecarver was also ordered to pay $53,704 in restitution.  On December 19, 2018, Wisecarver pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzle labor union assets, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.  The union was located in Hampton, Va.).