Big Apple Carpenters Union Local Stays Crooked

Big Apple Carpenters Union Local Stays Crooked

Federally-Authorized Compulsory Dues Undermine Clean-Up Efforts (Source: September 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Samuel Johnson said it was second marriages that represent "the triumph of hope over experience." But were the eminent sage living in the United States today, he would surely agree that an attorney who accepts appointment as the federal monitor of a corrupt union is even more quixotic than a widower who remarries. Michael Forde was the fourth chief of New York City's District Council of Carpenters union to be charged with corruption since 1980. In late July, he pleaded guilty to racketeering and other related charges. Credit: Ward/Daily News (N.Y.C.) One such brave soul is former New York state organized crime prosecutor Dennis Walsh. This spring, Mr. Walsh became the fifth federal monitor in the past 15 years to take on the daunting task of cleaning up the notorious New York City District Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners union (UBC). Alleged Genovese Crime Family Associate Linked to New York Union Shakedown Scheme In late July, Mr. Walsh achieved a breakthrough when Michael Forde, chieftain of the council from 1999 until 2009, confessed in court that he had for many years regularly extracted bribes "in the form of cash payments" from construction contractors. He also confessed to perjury and obstruction of justice. In November, Mr. Forde will be sentenced, and he is expected to receive at least a nine-year prison term.

White House Deference to Big Labor Impedes Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Efforts

White House Deference to Big Labor Impedes Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Efforts

(Source: July 2010 Forced-Unionism Abuses Exposed) Roughly three months after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded, killing 11 workers and instigating the biggest offshore oil spill ever to occur during peacetime, the Obama Administration faces mounting charges that, in order to avoid offending politically powerful union officials, it has obstructed operations to clean up the spill. A wide range of critics are focusing on the White House’s refusal, in the days after oil began spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from the sunken rig, to suspend the 90-year-old Jones Act.  The Jones Act requires all shipping between U.S. ports or in U.S. coastal waters to be carried in U.S.-flagged ships that are owned and crewed by U.S. citizens. But presidential administrations can grant blanket waivers of the Jones Act during national emergencies.  In recent years, the George W. Bush Administration temporarily suspended the Jones Act to assist recovery efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. However, top bosses of the AFL-CIO-affiliated Seafarers International Union (SIU), with the backing of the entire AFL-CIO hierarchy, oppose a blanket waiver.  Rather than cross Big Labor, and thus potentially risk losing some of its massive, forced dues-funded political support, the Obama Administration has required all foreign vessels that wish to participate in the cleanup and believe they may need a waiver to apply for one individually. 

Top Union Boss Huffs and Puffs, But Cannot Blow the Facts Down

Top Union Boss Huffs and Puffs, But Cannot Blow the Facts Down

(Source: June 2010 Forced-Unionism Abuses Exposed) It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes or an Hercule Poirot to deduce that state policies promoting “exclusive” union bargaining and forced union dues and fees in the public sector have played a major role in driving multiple states to the verge of insolvency this year.  All it takes is the willingness to look at, and respect, the facts. In 2009, according to respected labor economists Barry Hirsch and David Macpherson, 41% of public employees nationwide were subject to a contract negotiated by their employer with a union monopoly-bargaining agent. However, in 22 states, none of which authorize forced union dues for government employees and most of which don’t authorize public-sector union monopoly bargaining, either, fewer than 30% of public servants were unionized.  Not one of these 22 low public-sector-unionization states was to be found on Business Insider’s list, published just last month, of the nine states “most likely to default.” 

President Obama Hopes U.S. Taxpayers Forget The Past While He Condemns Them to Repeat It

President Obama Hopes U.S. Taxpayers Forget The Past While He Condemns Them to Repeat It

(Source:  May 2010 Forced-Unionism Abuses Exposed) Just last summer, the Obama Administration handed over $49.5 billion in federal taxpayers’ money to the Big Labor-controlled, money-hemorrhaging General Motors Corporation (GM). At the time, bankrupt GM was on the verge of being forced into liquidation. Its assets would then have been sold off. The White House pitched this costly taxpayer-funded bailout as a bid to save American jobs. In reality, GM’s reported U.S. employment has shrunk by nearly 25%, down to 68,500, just since last year’s bailout, and is almost certain to continue falling. More than 80% of U.S. automotive manufacturing jobs are now in union-free firms, and these firms, not bailed-out GM and Chrysler, surely represent the future of domestic auto manufacturing employment. Rather than workers, the single greatest beneficiary of the GM bailout was the United Autoworkers (UAW) union hierarchy. Along with sympathetic Obama agents, union officials were effectively left in charge of the company. Given that the wasteful work rules that UAW bosses, wielding government-granted monopoly-bargaining power over employees, insisted on for decades were largely what drove the company into bankruptcy, they certainly didn’t deserve kid-gloves treatment. Yet that’s what they got.

California Public-Sector Union Bosses Proving They Can Squeeze Blood From a Turnip

California Public-Sector Union Bosses Proving They Can Squeeze Blood From a Turnip

(Source: April 2010 Forced-Unionism Abuses Exposed) By declaring bankruptcy, an insolvent municipality may avoid paying its bondholders anything near what it owes them.  It may even succeed in cutting public employees’ health benefits.  But it will not succeed in doing one thing that the bankrupt city of Vallejo, California absolutely must do to get back on its feet:  Rescind labor policies that encourage healthy municipal employees to retire when they are 50 or 55 with lavish pensions. That is what public-sector union bosses are now out to prove in the Golden State.  Two years ago this spring, Vallejo, a seemingly prosperous San Francisco suburb of roughly 120,000 residents, voted to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. In 2008, Vallejo’s budget, like those of many other California municipalities, had been driven deep in the red by government union bosses.  Union officials wielding monopoly-bargaining power handed to them by state law had driven up taxpayer costs for compensation of public-safety employees and retirees so high that they consumed 74% of Vallejo’s $80-million general budget. Public-safety employee wages, though surely generous, were not the reason municipal spending was out of control.  The real culprits were overtime costs, driven by complicated and counterproductive Big Labor work rules, and pension costs, driven primarily by union boss-instigated retirements of employees still in the prime of their lives.