Nine Trade Unionists Charged In Cinema Arsons

Nine Are Charged in Wave of Cinema Arsons

November 7, 2003
Filed at 11:48 a.m. ET

CHICAGO (AP) -- Nine union members and their associates have been charged with taking part in a wave of violence that included movie theater arsons in 10 states in a labor dispute, federal officials said Friday.

The nine are named in a federal indictment charging a conspiracy to commit acts of violence, vandalism and arson nationwide against three major motion picture companies.

Prosecutors said the indictment alleges a series of assaults and 20 arson incidents spanning a period of 18 months in 1998-99 in the midst of a labor contract dispute.

All of those charged were described by the U.S. attorney's office as members or prospective members of Chicago Local 110 of the motion picture projectionists union.

Four of those charged, including the current business manager of Local 110, were arrested Friday by agents
in Chicago, officials said.

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald scheduled a news
conference for later Friday to discuss the indictment.
Randall Samborn, a Fitzgerald spokesman, would not disclose additional details immediately.