Corrupt UFCW Boss Sentenced

Daniel Rush, a former UFCW boss, was fined and sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for fraud and other crimes. Rush was the UFCW’s organizing coordinator for the marijuana industry. Several years ago, he was appointed to a local marijuana regulatory board; while in that role, he demanded a job from an applicant for a marijuana store permit. He also requested a $600,000 loan from a marijuana store owner, which he received. In lieu of full repayment of the loan, Rush offered to sabotage the unionization efforts at the marijuana stores belonging to the store owner and his business partner.

Of course, this will not be Rush’s first stint in prison. He was previously jailed for shooting a police officer in the eye during a strike. More recently, he hung out with bikers from the Hells Angels — even paying their cell phone bills — and declared bankruptcy. And yet, somehow, the UFCW thought he was trustworthy enough to be a union official.

Daniel Rush, a former UFCW boss, was fined and sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for fraud and other crimes. Rush was the UFCW’s organizing coordinator for the marijuana industry. Several years ago, he was appointed to a local marijuana regulatory board; while in that role, he demanded a job from an applicant for […]






UFCW Stands by its Man

All across the country, powerbrokers in Hollywood, in the media, and in politics, are resigning or being shoved aside as sexual harassment allegations against them surface. Yet, the UFCW continues to stand by its man, Mickey Kasparian, nearly a year after sexual harassment allegations against him first broke. Kasparian is the powerful boss of a UFCW local in Southern California.

Last December, a former UFCW staffer filed a lawsuit alleging that she had suffered gender discrimination and wrongful termination by Kasparian. Shortly thereafter, another former UFCW staffer sued Kasparian alleging that he had sexually harassed her for years. In the following weeks, a third UFCW staffer was demoted and then sent out of state; she viewed this treatment as punishment for her support of one of the other accusers. After her firing in March of this year, this third UFCW staffer filed a complaint with the State of California alleging gender discrimination against Kasparian’s union. Also in March, a fourth woman filed a complaint with the state alleging that her organization, which was funded by the UFCW, had engaged in gender discrimination against her due to her support for the other alleged victims and her refusal to support Kasparian.

In spite of all of these allegations, the UFCW International is unmoved; a UFCW International spokeswoman recently stated,

“With respect to the other issues [presumably including the allegations of sexual harassment], they have been addressed directly by President Kasparian and by an internal committee led by female leaders of the local. The internal review, which was conducted independent of President Kasparian, reflects some of the significant steps that the local has taken to address these questions.

“Additionally, by every measure, President Kasparian has the strong support of his members. In his years as president, he has promoted female leaders and encouraged a positive and diverse work environment, while holding all staff accountable to the high standards our members expect and deserve.”

It seems odd that the national UFCW organization would be content with a local “review” of multiple, serious allegations against a powerful local union boss — if it were truly interested in truth and justice for its staffers and members.

Perhaps the women will be able to get justice next year.

All across the country, powerbrokers in Hollywood, in the media, and in politics, are resigning or being shoved aside as sexual harassment allegations against them surface. Yet, the UFCW continues to stand by its man, Mickey Kasparian, nearly a year after sexual harassment allegations against him first broke. Kasparian is the powerful boss of a UFCW […]






Why Doesn’t the UFCW Respect Women?

Since last year, Mickey Kasparian, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135, and his lackeys have been accused of discrimination and/or mistreatment by not one, not two, not three, but four Hispanic women. Three of these four accusers worked directly for the UFCW; a fourth works for a UFCW-funded organization.

Last December, Sandy Naranjo, a UFCW organizer, filed a lawsuit against UFCW Local 135 alleging gender discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. This was a shocking turn of events, given the fact that she had previously viewed her job as a “dream job.” In her lawsuit, she alleges that “Kasparian created a work environment that was particularly hostile toward women.” Kasparian had fired this woman shortly before Christmas — while she was recovering from a work-related car accident.

As bad as those allegations are, the most troubling allegations are from Isabel Vasquez who filed a lawsuit against Kasparian and UFCW Local 135 for sexual harassment just a few days before Christmas last year. She claims that Kasparian repeatedly demanded that she have sexual relations with him. At one point, a co-worker interrupted one of these sexual acts, but nothing was done, and the harassment continued. Last year, after more than a decade of abuse, she decided to retire early from the UFCW. In her lawsuit, she further alleges that Kasparian sexually harassed another woman in 2011. After this woman’s husband found out about the harassment and beat up Kasparian, she too was fired.

In February, a local paper called on Kasparian to step down. At an anti-Kasparian protest that month, another woman who had worked for the UFCW for nearly a decade accused Kasparian of making “everybody [in the office] feel fearful of losing their jobs.”

After expressing support for Vasquez, Anabel Arauz, a UFCW organizer, was fired in March of this year. The following month, she also filed a lawsuit against UFCW Local 135 and Kasparian alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In her lawsuit, she referred to the union and Kasparian’s “demonstrated animus, bias, and discriminatory intent/conduct against women.”

Also in March – Women’s History Month – Nohelia Ramos Campos filed a complaint against the San Diego chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), which is funded by the UFCW. In her complaint, she accused her employer of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Specifically, she alleged that a superior pressured her to support Kasparian and mentioned that Kasparian had threatened the UFCW’s funding of ACCE over her comments on social media in support of Kasparian’s accusers.

While serving as the president of UFCW Local 135, Kasparian was also the president of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, a group of local unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO. In May, Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, ordered the removal of Kasparian from the leadership of the labor council and placed the organization into receivership.

While one might guess that Kasparian would have taken his removal from the labor council presidency as a sign that it was time for him to resign from the leadership of his union, that was certainly not the case. Instead, the shameless Kasparian announced the creation of a rival labor council the day after his removal; this new labor council’s membership included SEIU Local 221 and several other unions. And through it all, the local Democrat Party leadership has continued to support Kasparian.

All of which leads to one question: how many more women will have to speak out about their mistreatment by Kasparian before the UFCW and its allies start taking women seriously?

Since last year, Mickey Kasparian, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135, and his lackeys have been accused of discrimination and/or mistreatment by not one, not two, not three, but four Hispanic women. Three of these four accusers worked directly for the UFCW; a fourth works for a UFCW-funded organization. Last […]






UFCW Boss Accused of Harassment, Discrimination

Three women, who are current or former UFCW employees, are accusing Mickey Kasparian, a powerful UFCW boss, of discrimination and/or harassment. The most serious allegations are from a recent retiree; she alleges that Kasparian repeatedly demanded she engage in sexual acts with him. She has filed a lawsuit against not only Kasparian but also the UFCW because the union did nothing to stop his abuse.

Three women, who are current or former UFCW employees, are accusing Mickey Kasparian, a powerful UFCW boss, of discrimination and/or harassment. The most serious allegations are from a recent retiree; she alleges that Kasparian repeatedly demanded she engage in sexual acts with him. She has filed a lawsuit against not only Kasparian but also the UFCW […]






Why Doesn’t the UFCW Respect Women?

Since last year, Mickey Kasparian, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135, and his lackeys have been accused of discrimination and/or mistreatment by not one, not two, not three, but four Hispanic women. Three of these four accusers worked directly for the UFCW; a fourth works for a UFCW-funded organization.

Last December, Sandy Naranjo, a UFCW organizer, filed a lawsuit against UFCW Local 135 alleging gender discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. This was a shocking turn of events, given the fact that she had previously viewed her job as a “dream job.” In her lawsuit, she alleges that “Kasparian created a work environment that was particularly hostile toward women.” Kasparian had fired this woman shortly before Christmas — while she was recovering from a work-related car accident.

As bad as those allegations are, the most troubling allegations are from Isabel Vasquez who filed a lawsuit against Kasparian and UFCW Local 135 for sexual harassment just a few days before Christmas last year. She claims that Kasparian repeatedly demanded that she have sexual relations with him. At one point, a co-worker interrupted one of these sexual acts, but nothing was done, and the harassment continued. Last year, after more than a decade of abuse, she decided to retire early from the UFCW. In her lawsuit, she further alleges that Kasparian sexually harassed another woman in 2011. After this woman’s husband found out about the harassment and beat up Kasparian, she too was fired.

In February, a local paper called on Kasparian to step down. At an anti-Kasparian protest that month, another woman who had worked for the UFCW for nearly a decade accused Kasparian of making “everybody [in the office] feel fearful of losing their jobs.”

After expressing support for Vasquez, Anabel Arauz, a UFCW organizer, was fired in March of this year. The following month, she also filed a lawsuit against UFCW Local 135 and Kasparian alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In her lawsuit, she referred to the union and Kasparian’s “demonstrated animus, bias, and discriminatory intent/conduct against women.”

Also in March – Women’s History Month – Nohelia Ramos Campos filed a complaint against the San Diego chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), which is funded by the UFCW. In her complaint, she accused her employer of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Specifically, she alleged that a superior pressured her to support Kasparian and mentioned that Kasparian had threatened the UFCW’s funding of ACCE over her comments on social media in support of Kasparian’s accusers.

While serving as the president of UFCW Local 135, Kasparian was also the president of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, a group of local unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO. In May, Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, ordered the removal of Kasparian from the leadership of the labor council and placed the organization into receivership.

While one might guess that Kasparian would have taken his removal from the labor council presidency as a sign that it was time for him to resign from the leadership of his union, that was certainly not the case. Instead, the shameless Kasparian announced the creation of a rival labor council the day after his removal; this new labor council’s membership includes SEIU Local 221 and several other unions. And through it all, the local Democrat Party leadership has continued to support Kasparian.

All of which leads to one question: how many more women will have to speak out about their mistreatment by Kasparian before the UFCW and its allies start taking women seriously?

 

Since last year, Mickey Kasparian, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135, and his lackeys have been accused of discrimination and/or mistreatment by not one, not two, not three, but four Hispanic women. Three of these four accusers worked directly for the UFCW; a fourth works for a UFCW-funded organization. Last […]






Money To ACORN

Since 2005, the UFCW has given the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) more than $2.3 million in contributions.1 This is the equivalent of more than 15,000 union members’ dues doing nothing other than supporting ACORN.2

While the UFCW was giving ACORN more than $2.3 million, criminal charges were filed against the organization for submitting fraudulent voter registrations in numerous states, such as Missouri, Washington and Wisconsin.3 One newspaper claimed that ACORN has engaged in a “shady, if not flat-out criminal, enterprise nationwide for more than 30 years.”4

After continuous reports of electoral misconduct, the U.S. House of Representatives convened a panel to hear about the organization’s alleged illegal actions. During the hearing the panel heard the statement of an ACORN whistleblower who testified about the mob-like practices of the organization.5

ACORN was also found by the National Labor Relations Board to have engaged in unfair labor practices by interrogating employees about their union activities, threatening them with discharge, and laying off employees who were considering forming a union.6

UFCW members work hard for the dues money they pay to the union. That money should be used to benefit those members, not to shower cash on an organization that practices voter fraud and punishes its workers.


1 UFCW LM-2 Filings, Office of Labor-Management Standards, 2005-2008
2 UFCW LM-2 Filings, Office of Labor-Management Standards, 2005-2008
3 Patrick M. O’Connell and Jake Wagman, “Ex-ACORN Worker Indicted In Voter Fraud Case,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/6/09; Keith Ervin, “Three Plead Guilty In Fake Voter Scheme,” The Seattle Times, 10/30/07; Larry Sandler, “Vote Sign-Up Fraud Probed,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/7/08
4 Editorial, “What ACORN Has Sown,” The Augusta Chronicle, 10/16/08
5 S.A. Miller, “Hill Panel Testimony To Accuse ACORN Of Mob Tactics,” The Washington Times, 3/19/09
6 Association of Community Organizations For Reform and Sarah A. Stephens and Erin Marie Howley and Gigi Nevils, Cases 16-CA-21007-1, 16-CA-21007-2, and 16-CA-21173, 3/27/03

Since 2005, the UFCW has given the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) more than $2.3 million in contributions.1 This is the equivalent of more than 15,000 union members’ dues doing nothing other than supporting ACORN.2 While the UFCW was giving ACORN more than $2.3 million, criminal charges were filed against the organization […]