The federal government on Tuesday indicted multiple union members for burning down a Quaker church in 2012.
Ten members of a Philadelphia ironworkers union face charges of arson and racketeering in connection with a fire against the church, which was employing non-union workers.
“Ironworkers Local 401 [was charged] with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to commit criminal acts of extortion, arson, destruction of property, and assault in order to force construction contractors to hire union ironworkers,” the FBI said in a press release. “Specifically, the indictment charges RICO conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering, three counts of arson, two counts of use of fire to commit a felony, and conspiracy to commit arson. Eight of the 10 individuals named in the indictment are charged with conspiring to use Ironworkers Local 401 as an enterprise to commit criminal acts.”
The group of self-described THUGS—an acronym for “Those Helpful Union Guys”—allegedly burned down the meetinghouse as part of a wider campaign of violence against non-union work sites across the city.
The indictment goes on to describe how the union used non-union point men in an effort to distance the union from allegations of violence. Those individuals served as scouts in order to identify and threaten any construction site that was not utilizing union labor.
Read more: Free Beacon