By Robin Culverwell
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – More charges have been filed against members of the Ironworkers Local 401 alleging they damaged work sites where non-union construction workers were hired.
Two additional counts of “extortion which interferes with interstate commerce” have been filed against members of Local 401, and additional criminal conduct charges have been filed in conjunction with 14 earlier charges.
Federal Prosecutors say the eleven defendants worked as part of a “shadow gang,” which would vandalize buildings under construction where NON-union workers were employed, using sledgehammers to damage anchor bolts and other equipment. They say this was done in an effort to force contractors to hire union workers.
Those buildings include a commercial business in Malvern, elementary schools in Wallingford and Sharon Hill, a firehouse in Eddystone, and an assisted living facility in Horsham.
In one instance, prosecutors say union members told a business meeting that if Local 401 workers weren’t put on a job, the builder would encounter “some unsuspected delays.” At that site, work was delayed by a week at a cost of $150,000.
Each of the defendants could face significant prison terms if convicted.
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