Union Official Sentenced to Jail for Extortion – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate
WASHINGTON (Inside INdiana Business) – A former union representative in northwest Indiana was sentenced to prison. The US Department of Justice says Thomas Williamson von Schererville, who previously worked as a sales representative for Iron Workers Local 395 in Portage, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy of extortion under the Hobbs Act.
Court documents indicate that Williamson organized and led an attack on a group of non-union iron workers in order to get a contract to carry out work at the Plum Creek Christian Academy in Dyer.
According to the DOJ, Williamson learned in early 2016 that the union-free company was working on the project, visited the construction site and threatened workers with persuading them to stop working. Then he attended the Dyer Baptist Church, which the school was affiliated with, and tried to convince church officials to use the union for the project the church rejected.
The following day, Williamson and then union president Jeffrey Veach led a group of ordinary union members who attacked the unionized workers, leaving one with a broken jaw that required multiple operations.
Williamson was sentenced to more than four years in prison after pleading guilty. Veach also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 42 months in prison last September.
Both Williamson and Veach will not be allowed to hold union positions for at least 13 years after serving their sentences.