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Former Northwest Indiana Union Official Sentenced For 'Brutal' Workplace Assault

The headquarters of Iron Workers Local #395 in Portage, Indiana.

The headquarters of Iron Workers Local #395 in Portage, Indiana. (Courtesy Google Maps)

A former northwest Indiana union official was recently sentenced to more than four years in prison for extortion after an assault on non-union workers. It started when members of a local union found out work was being done without union workers in their area.

According to the Department of Justice, 70-year-old Thomas Williamson Jr. learned that a non-union company was working on a church in Dyer, Indiana. Investigators say he considered it to be in the Iron Workers Local 395’s “territory.” 

Williamson attempted to halt construction at the church by threatening workers. When they refused, he returned the next day with members of the union and carried out what the DOJ describes as a “brutal and coordinated” assault on non-union workers. The attack left one of the non-union workers with a broken jaw that required several surgeries and prolonged hospitalization.

Both Williamson and former union President Jeffrey Veach are sentenced to prison. Upon release, federal law bars them from union positions for at least 13 years.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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