Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Court Dismisses RICO Case Against BCTD

The United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington has dismissed the RICO lawsuit filed by the UBC against the National Building Trades.

From the very beginning, most in the Labor movement, considered the lawsuit as frivolous, however, it still had to be defended.

According to a complaint filed Feb. 21, The AFL-CIO’s Building & Construction Trades Department, its president, and four other high-profile labor officials have violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Washington state law by engaging in an “unlawful extortionate campaign” to force the Carpenters and Joiners of America to make monthly payments to BCTD and to be governed by its rules.

The 246-page complaint was brought by the Carpenters, a number of its affiliated councils, and 19 individual plaintiffs in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. In addition to BCTD and its President Mark Ayers, the plaintiffs are suing: Ed Hill, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Jimmy Williams, president of the Painters and Allied Trades; Ron Ault, president of the Metal Trades Department; and David Molnaa, president of the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council.

The defendants have been conspiring to carry out a “campaign of intimidation, threats, violence and other unlawful extortionate conduct” to compel the Carpenters’ entry into multiple “involuntary agreements,” according to the complaint.

Specifically, it alleges, the defendants have been trying to extort the Carpenters to make monthly payments to BCTD in perpetuity, to let BCTD exercise the Carpenters’ rights to recruit, accept, and train dues-paying members, to enter into BCTD-negotiated project and other agreements, to be bound to BCTD’s Plan for the Settlement of Jurisdictional Disputes, and to allow BCTD to control the Carpenters’ political activity, among other things.

Below is a copy of the decision for those who would like to review.


  1. To withstand a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a complaintmust set forth factual allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief above thespeculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thetenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaintis inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a causeof action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id . (“Althoughfor the purposes of a motion to dismiss we must take all of the factual allegationsin the complaint as true, we are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusioncouched as a factual allegation” (internal quotation marks omitted)). A pleadingthat offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of acause of action will not do.” Id .Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must contain a“short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled torelief.” The pleading standard set by Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of CivilProcedure “does not require ‘detailed factual allegations,’ but it demands morethan an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).


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