NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

What About Corrupt Labor Bosses?

August 1, 2002

The media have been vigorously reporting the shenanigans in some accounting firms and corporate boardrooms, but have largely been ignoring the corruption rife within some labor unions. Critics ask if that isn't just as big a story.

  • Critics charge that embezzlement, corruption and crooked bookkeeping are more widespread in union halls than in corporations.
  • Department of Labor records reveal that various labor union officials have been indicted for corruption, fraud and financial misdeeds at a rate of 12 new indictments and 11 convictions every month for the past four years.
  • While the Department of Labor has the power to conduct enforcement audits of labor union finances, the number of such audits dropped from 1,583 in 1984 to just 238 last year.
  • Critics attribute the drop to the efforts of Democratic politicians on Capitol Hill to hold down appropriations for such purposes.

During the Senate debate over the recently passed corporate fraud bill, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) led an effort to hold union bosses accountable for the union dues they oversee. However, his effort failed in the Senate on a mostly party-line vote.

Source: Peter Cleary (American Conservative Union), "Corruption Can Wear a Union-Made Label," Washington Times, August 1, 2002.


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