Two leaders of the local Iron Workers union in Portage pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy charges in federal court today for assaulting non-union workers at a church.
Local 395 union president Jeffrey Veach and former business agent Thomas Williamson Sr. pleaded guilty to what the Department of Justice called a “brutal assault” in a news release. It happened in January 2016 after the men discovered that non-union workers had secured a construction contract on a church in Dyer, Indiana.
When workers refused to join the union, according to the Justice Department, Veach and Williamson came to the job site with about 10 other union members. They then attacked the workers with their fists and loose pieces of hardwood. As a result, one worker suffered a broken jaw that required several surgeries.
Under federal law, Veach will forfeit his union presidency and neither men will be allowed to hold positions in the union for at least 13 years following any jail time.