More from the Philadelphia Business Journal:
A Philadelphia ironworkers union leader accused of using extortion and violence to force non-union contractors to hire organized labor was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday.
Edward Sweeney, 56, of Philadelphia was a business agent for the Ironworkers Local 401 when he admitted to participating in a series of incidents as part of a plan to force non-union contractors to hire union labor.
Among the 10 incidents of extortion or attempted extortion were a December 2012 arson at a Chestnut Hill Quaker meetinghouse, an arson on Grays Avenue in Philadelphia, and an attempted arson in Malvern, all of which federal prosecutors were in retaliation for contractors' failure to hire union ironworkers.
Sweeney pleaded guilty on Sept. 30 to RICO conspiracy, maliciously damaging property by means of fire, use of fire to commit a felony, maliciously damaging property by means of fire, conspiracy to maliciously damage property by means of fire, and attempted maliciously damaging property by means of fire.