Hoffa: Opposition to Union Embezzlement = Opposition to Workers

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by my2cents, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    National Right to Work Committee

    Hoffa: Opposition to Union Embezzlement = Opposition to Workers
    2003-03-07
    by Stan Greer

    "If you are against labor racketeers, then you are against the working man."

    The celebrated newspaperman H.L. Mencken coined this "syllogism" many years ago to mock the loony logic corrupt union officials use to divert attention from their misdeeds.

    However, judging by his response to the U.S. Labor Department's proposed revision of the disclosure forms large unions are required to fill out and submit to the agency annually, Teamsters President Jim Hoffa doesn't see any irony in Mencken's "syllogism."

    In fact, Hoffa apparently would extend it to cover union embezzlement and fraud as well as racketeering.

    Under federal law, officials of all private-sector unions with annual revenues exceeding $200,000 file disclosure forms known as LM-2's with the Labor Department and are also required to provide a copy to any worker or other person who requests one.

    Unfortunately, these forms, as currently drafted, enable union officials to conceal important facts about how they spend the union dues that nearly eight million workers are forced under federal law to pay as a job condition.

    Workers are thus often forced, without their knowledge, to pay dues for parties, dinners at fancy restaurants, and travel to vacation hubs enjoyed by the union bosses who wield monopoly power to bargain their contracts.

    Workers also have no realistic way of finding out, short of suing the union, how much of their forced dues pay for union lobbying and electioneering designed to advance union officials' pet political causes.

    The Labor Department, led by Secretary Elaine Chao, recently moved to help union members and forced dues-paying nonmembers obtain, if they wish, meaningful information about how their money is spent. The agency's proposed LM-2 revision is modest and involves only disclosure.

    Nevertheless, Hoffa is furious about what his spokesman Mike Mathis ludicrously calls an "antiworker move."

    And Hoffa is even more furious about the fact that, when she appeared before the AFL-CIO executive council's annual meeting in Hollywood, Fla., February 26, Secretary Chao dared to defend the proposal.

    As Hoffa silently fumed, Chao read aloud about some of the roughly 450 federal indictments, convictions and guilty pleas for union embezzlement and fraud resulting from Labor Department investigations since early 2001.

    After overseeing such prosecutions for nearly two years, Chao believes many other union embezzlers are continuing to get away undetected and that LM-2 revisions would help bring them to justice.

    Chao's frank defense of this pro-worker reform reportedly caused Hoffa to complain that the Bush Administration had "veered further to the right"!

    Of course, Jim Hoffa is hardly the only member of the union hierarchy who is incensed about the Labor Department's efforts to combat union fraud.

    But his harsh denunciations are more significant, because some Bush Administration officials have expended a great deal of political capital courting Hoffa.

    In one case, for example, the Administration backed away from nominating a prominent, well-qualified attorney to the National Labor Relations Board after Hoffa denounced him.

    Now it appears that all such efforts to appease Hoffa have gone for naught.

    Reports from inside the Teamsters' headquarters indicate that former national field director and top Hoffa lieutenant Todd Thompson has been tasked with tripling contributions to the Teamster PAC (known as DRIVE) for the 2004 campaigns, and that the money will be spent to defeat "all GOP candidates"!

    Hoffa and his cohorts are clearly determined to make George Bush and his party pay in spades for even a tentative attempt to increase union transparency and crack down on union corruption.

    That means there's no logical reason any more for the Administration to limit itself to baby steps.

    As Chao recognizes, concerned and well-informed dues-paying workers are the key to combating union corruption.

    But empowering workers to take on crooked union bosses requires more than improved financial disclosure. Workers need the power to protest corruption by resigning from the union and withholding their dues.

    Right now, federal law allows workers to resign, but forces them to keep paying union dues or "fees," unless they are protected by one of the 22 state Right to Work laws.

    As the late Sen. John McClellan, who chaired seminal hearings on union corruption during the fifties, once said: "Compulsory unionism and corruption go hand in hand."

    Now that appeasing Jim Hoffa appears to be no longer an option, the Bush Administration should get serious about fighting union corruption by giving its full support to legislation pending in the U.S. House, known as the National Right to Work Act, that would abolish all federally-imposed forced union dues and "fees."

    Actively backing this bill would put the President on the side of the nearly 80% of all Americans, including millions of union members, who know it is wrong to force anyone to pay dues to a union just to get or keep a job.

    Stan Greer edits the National Right to Work Newsletter, published by the 2.2 million-member National Right to Work Committee.
     
  2. brownmonster

    brownmonster Guest

    It costs me $720 per year to get the pay and benefits I get at UPS. Keep um comin and they can be as corrupt as they are and always were!!
     
  3. traveler

    traveler Guest

    In effect what you are saying is "steal all you want as long as I get my share of the loot!"
     
  4. thedrooler

    thedrooler Guest

    Just the mentality "da boys at da hall" love.

    Drooler
     
  5. upsace

    upsace Guest

    Just more evidence of how crooked they are. So what's new?
    They have no shame!!!!![​IMG]
     
  6. dammor

    dammor Guest

    It costs me $720 per year to get the pay and benefits I get at UPS. Keep um comin and they can be as corrupt as they are and always were!!

    There is something about that statement that really bothers me. I don't claim to know much about the corruption issue, but if it is a fact it will effect our pensions. That being the case we will surely miss the 750 a year we are paying now when we retire.
     
  7. traveler

    traveler Guest

    That's a good point. That seem to translate to "if they steal money, what makes my money safe from them" (your pension perhaps?).
     
  8. brownmonster

    brownmonster Guest

    When the market was booming nobody noticed the corruption and skimming. The bottom drops out and now it's not so easy to hide!
     
  9. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Brownmonster,

    Are you totally blind? Check out NLPC's Organized Labor Accountability Project for tons of stuff, since 1997. Additionally, here's the DOL's Criminal Action List for your reading pleasure. While you are at it, you can also catch up on the DOL's Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations Press Releases.

    Here's one more for you: Do you know how many shares your pension fund may have had of Ullico stock? I would be interested in knowing the answer to that one because union members got hosed by the self-dealing union officials who were on the board. Its not called "Big Labor's Enron" for nothing.

    I suppose as long as you think the union bosses are bringing home the bacon, you really don't care. Its much easier to pretend reality doesn't exist by putting your head in the sand. Why do you think the Landrum-Griffin Act was passed in way back in 1959? Wake up.
     
  10. michael

    michael Guest

    my2cents ,

    Well put, I hope more of the brotherhood takes your advice and catches up on their reading. It can only help them in the long run.
     
  11. brownmonster

    brownmonster Guest

    Let's just give the pension to UPS because we all know you sure can trust your money with the big corporations. Is there a place where you can really count on retirement money being there for you? Social Secutity? Under funded company plans? Maybe under your mattress.
     
  12. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Given a free choice, I would probably take my chances on a greedy and exploitive company administered plan. One of the union trustees on the plan I fall under now is under a federal racketeering indictment. I have never bought into the Marxist us vs. them crapola either. Retirement savings is a hybrid mixture nowadays of 401(k)s, stock holdings, personal savings, etc.
     
  13. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    Many non-union UPSers are in fact retiring with some very healthy retirements. Your running joke makes the assumption that UPS will steal your retirement. While in fact UPS is paying well while your own union retirments are in some cases paying well and in others flushing down the toilet.
     
  14. deliver_man

    deliver_man Guest

    My local is doing an outstanding job with our pension. We recently (last year) had a guy retire with $4100.00 a month, I think he had 33 or 34 years in.
     
  15. proups

    proups Guest

    One thing that all of you are ignoring from the article that my2cents posted is that Hoffa is going to use Teamster PAC money to try and defeat all Republicans in the next election.

    That would be a disaster for big business - like UPS!
     
  16. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    In 2002, DRIVE contributed 86% of it's PAC cash to Democratic candidates. No doubt this figure will rise to over 90% again. This is no real surprise because the core of the Democratic party consists of unions and trial attorneys.
     
  17. brownmonster

    brownmonster Guest

    Tie, it's hard not to be cynical these days towards corporations. I'm sure there are some bones rattling in the executive closets even at the venerable Brown.
     
  18. ups_vette

    ups_vette Guest

    Brownmonster:

    I can only speak from my own experience. I retired in 1995 with over 32 years working for UPS...6 1/2 half as a driver and 25 1/2 in management.

    A very good friend who started when I did, in the same center 2 weeks after me, retired the same time.

    I know for a fact, that my monthly retirement check is 4 times the amount of his. Also, from his, he must pay for his medical coverage, while mine is covered.

    Now, I do know of other Teamster plans that do pay more than my friends, some even more than the amount I receive by a few dollars a month.
     
  19. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    "Tie, it's hard not to be cynical these days towards corporations. I'm sure there are some bones rattling in the executive closets even at the venerable Brown."

    Not talking about closets or cyniscm. I'm talking about a reference to how UPS manages retirement plans that is unfounded. We have a very nice retirement plan. Despite the comments by your union in 97 the fact remains that UPS has paid an excellent retirement for 95 years and has not curtailed benifits. Many of you sound like you have good plans also. But at the same time there are others that do not. UPS paid the same basic amounts to all plans and expects all UPSers to have a nice retirement. We did not get our moneys worth and our people did not get their moneys worth.