He was apparently known as the Philadelphia Ironworkers’ “hit man” for carrying out his violent tactics against the area’s non-union contractors. These tactics included slashing and puncturing tires, assaulting workers at a nonunion construction site and using an acetylene torch to cut the metal infrastructure and anchor bolts of a new Quaker meetinghouse being built.
Now, convicted-union thug, James Walsh is one of the prosecution’s star witnesses in the trial of his union’s leadership.
JAMES WALSH, one of the most notorious of the “goons” in the local Ironworkers union who committed acts of violence and sabotage at nonunion-contractor sites, told a federal jury yesterday that his actions had the approval of the union’s leadership.
They were “endorsed, and they were appreciated by the administration of the local,” Walsh, 50, testified.
That administration included Joseph Dougherty, 73, the former longtime head of Ironworkers Local 401, who is on trial on racketeering conspiracy, arson and extortion charges. The feds contend he authorized acts of violence – or “night work” – against nonunion contractors in an effort to get them to hire union members.
Dougherty’s lawyers contend he didn’t authorize the acts, and that they were ordered by the union’s business agents.