The ex-president of a local Longshoremen’s union was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for taking $150,000 in bribes. Glenn Blicht, 57, was convicted of using his powerful post as president of the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1964 to shake down the owner of a dry cleaning and laundry business. He spent the dirty money — which he referred to as “tickets” — on designer watches, custom clothing, sports tickets, meals at pricey restaurants, and cigars, the feds said.
As the president of a labor union, Glenn Blicht’s duty was to fight for his union members. Instead, he repeatedly sold them out in exchange for cash bribes, which he spent on luxury items. For this betrayal, he has been sentenced to federal prison, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. Blicht’s downfall came was due to the president of a laundry business becoming a cooperating witness.
The ILA repped workers of the business, many of whom contributed $25 monthly dues while earning minimum wage, prosecutors. The bribery scheme began as early as 2009, when Blicht was an officer of the union. Around that time, Blicht crossed paths with the laundry owner and his wife in a restaurant, according to court papers. Blicht noted a ring the owner’s wife was wearing. I could own that ring if your husband doesn’t do the right thing, Blicht allegedly said. If you want to have a good union, you want to have peace, you’ll take care of me, he said on a different occasion, prosecutors. Blicht got impatient ahead of a meeting with the laundry owner at a restaurant last July.
Don’t screw me on this. Cause if you do this is not a threat, it’s a promise — you’re gonna regret it, he said in a call recorded by prosecutors. He was arrested after that meeting carrying a $10,000 bribe, prosecutors said. Blicht had argued he was a tireless advocate for workers and noted that an independent monitor determined the bribery did not affect his union’s representation of its members.