Can’t Resist The Cookie Jar

by | Jul 21, 2022 | Corruption

The union corruption theme shall never fade away. Yes, the federal government can appoint watchdogs in an attempt to quell the fiascos, but the hits will nonetheless keep coming, even while the more notorious offenders (like the UAW) attempt to leave their scandals in the past. The UAW’s monitor recently revealed that the deep-pocketed union evades supervision, and elsewhere, unfortunate incidents (like embezzlement and money laundering) pile up for other unions.

This week, headlines highlight how workers are speaking out about their disappointment with the unions who claim to represent their interests:

  •  A West Coast dockworker opened up about the dire working conditions and corruption that he experiences within an International Longshore and Warehouse Union local. He detailed 17 years of observing backdoor deals and being left “in the dark” on contract negotiations; he also described militant rules, moving goalposts, and a bureaucratic structure full of officers who tell members to “keep your head down and your mouth shut” about contracts and where his dues go.
  • A United Food and Commercial Workers local bragged about passing a contract for 8,000 Krogers grocery retail workers in Indiana. The vote was a squeaker, but workers now believe that union officers manipulated the voting process to pass a contract with frustratingly low annual raises and no change in benefits. Worker opposition led to such a furor that the local actually deleted its Facebook page, presumably to slow the tide of complaints. Members claim that the union also avoids their phone calls and deletes social media comments.

More noteworthy corruption news is coming your way:

  • The SEIU Healthcare Michigan’s history of financial malpractice and continued mismanagement led the international union to reinstate a trusteeship. This move aims to shut down a dues-skim scheme, through which the Michigan local allegedly forced home caregivers (for disabled family members in their own household) to join the union and pay millions in dues.
  • An ex-Service Employees International Union (SEIU) officer pleaded guilty in federal court to embezzling over $500,000 in union dues, which she used to splash out on luxury goods and vacations. Her close associate pleaded guilty to adding another $42,000 to their total take. Both could face years in prison.
    A former Ohio cop (with 17 years on the job) pleaded guilty to stealing almost $50,000 in city police union dues. His scheme surfaced after investigators uncovered financial discrepancies within the union, and he’s since been booted off the job and sentenced to three months behind bars. An important detail: a further $600,000+ in union dollars remain unaccounted for at the union, raising questions of who, exactly, pocketed members’ money.

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