Save Taxpayer Money for Air Traffic Control

President Obama has claimed airline delays because of the Sequester cannot be avoided, however, Diana Furchtgott-Roth notes, that taxpayers are funding 17 air traffic controllers to work for their union instead of for public air safety: With air traffic controllers furloughed and travelers delayed at airports, it's time to ask why Uncle Sam is paying 17 air traffic controllers to work full time as representatives for government unions rather than guiding airplanes. Uncle Sam calls hours that federal workers spend working for their unions and not working for taxpayers "official time." Sixteen of the 17 air traffic controllers on official time make six-figure salaries. In a report issued in February, just before Presidents Day weekend, the Office of Personnel Management announced that the federal government paid more than $156 million in 2011 for career civil service employees to work on official time, up from $139 million in 2010 and $129 million in 2009. Government employees, including air traffic controllers, spent more than 3.4 million hours in 2011 on official time, up from 3.1 million in 2010 and 3 million in 2009. OPM reports numbers of hours on official time. The only way to ascertain the number of full-time employees is to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to each individual agency. Americans for Limited Government, a conservative nonprofit organization, requested the data for each agency. Kathy Roy, FOIA officer at DOT, reported that 35 employees did no work at all for the department in 2012, including 17 air traffic controllers. go here for the list. They were paid average salaries of $138,000, for a total cost to taxpayers of $4.8 million annually. Many more DOT employees spent some of their day at departmental duties, with the rest as official time, courtesy of the taxpayer.

'Tis the Season to Shake Down Workers?

'Tis the Season to Shake Down Workers?

One ILA union don, Edward Aulisi (right), was allegedly caught on tape assuring a gangster that a change at Local 1235's helm wouldn't stem the flow of workers' money being funneled into mob coffers. Credit: Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)  Longshore Union Dons Accused of Holiday Extortion, Other Crimes (Source:  January 2012 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter) A superseding indictment filed last month by federal prosecutors adds dozens of counts to a January 2011 indictment charging former International Longshoremen's Association (ILA/AFL-CIO) union bosses and other conspirators with running an extortion operation for decades. Unionized workers were the principal victims. According to a press release issued December 15 by the office of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the latest indictment includes "61 additional predicate acts of extortion" of ILA-"represented" workers by Albert Cernadas. Mr. Cernardas is the former president of Newark-based ILA Local 1235 and a former executive vice president of the ILA itself. Nunzio LaGrasso, the vice president of another Newark-based ILA local, is accused of 12 additional predicate acts of extortion of unionized workers. One especially egregious form of extortion in which Mr. Cernadas, Mr. LaGrasso, and other ILA kingpins allegedly engaged was the collection of "Christmas tribute" money from New Jersey dockworkers after they received year-end bonuses. This tribute was allegedly funneled into Genovese crime family coffers as well as ILA chieftains' pockets. Some victims were coerced by their ILA "representatives" into paying "thousands of dollars each year" to Genovese mobsters at Christmastime, charges U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. 'Force, Violence and Fear' Systematically Used by Union Bosses to Coerce Dockworkers

'Tis the Season to Shake Down Workers?

'Tis the Season to Shake Down Workers?

One ILA union don, Edward Aulisi (right), was allegedly caught on tape assuring a gangster that a change at Local 1235's helm wouldn't stem the flow of workers' money being funneled into mob coffers. Credit: Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)  Longshore Union Dons Accused of Holiday Extortion, Other Crimes (Source:  January 2012 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter) A superseding indictment filed last month by federal prosecutors adds dozens of counts to a January 2011 indictment charging former International Longshoremen's Association (ILA/AFL-CIO) union bosses and other conspirators with running an extortion operation for decades. Unionized workers were the principal victims. According to a press release issued December 15 by the office of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the latest indictment includes "61 additional predicate acts of extortion" of ILA-"represented" workers by Albert Cernadas. Mr. Cernardas is the former president of Newark-based ILA Local 1235 and a former executive vice president of the ILA itself. Nunzio LaGrasso, the vice president of another Newark-based ILA local, is accused of 12 additional predicate acts of extortion of unionized workers. One especially egregious form of extortion in which Mr. Cernadas, Mr. LaGrasso, and other ILA kingpins allegedly engaged was the collection of "Christmas tribute" money from New Jersey dockworkers after they received year-end bonuses. This tribute was allegedly funneled into Genovese crime family coffers as well as ILA chieftains' pockets. Some victims were coerced by their ILA "representatives" into paying "thousands of dollars each year" to Genovese mobsters at Christmastime, charges U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. 'Force, Violence and Fear' Systematically Used by Union Bosses to Coerce Dockworkers