New York Union Boss Arrested, Kickbacks Exceed $700K

New York Union Boss Arrested, Kickbacks Exceed $700K

United States attorney Loretta E. Lynch:   Hector Lopez turned the union members’ benefits fund into “a personal piggy bank, lining his pockets with the fruits of their labors.” The former boss of an International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) union local in Long Island City, Queens, was arrested on Tuesday and accused of abusing his position through a host of illegal schemes, including taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a company he contracted to run the union’s health benefits plan, the New York Times reports: Hector Lopez, the former president of Local 8a-28a, which represents metal polishers, sign painters and other tradespeople, set up an elaborate money-laundering operation involving several companies that funneled secret payments to him, according to a 29-page indictment that was unsealed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. In the most serious kickback scheme, Mr. Lopez, 54, is accused of accepting $740,000 over a seven-year period in exchange for guaranteeing one company the contract to administer the union’s benefits fund. The indictment did not name Mr. Lopez’s alleged accomplices or the names of the companies involved.

Boss Trumka Begs for Help

Boss Trumka Begs for Help

[media-credit id=7 align="alignleft" width="300"][/media-credit]Margaret Thatcher once quipped that the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people's money.  The same can be said for the union bosses -- after taking advantage of so many workers for so long, eventually you run out of people who want to be taken advantage of. That's why it is not surprising to see AFL-CIO union boss Richard Trumka begging students to become part of Big Labor.  Red Alert Politics reports "Trumka practically begged liberal students to join the labor movement in a speech this morning at Campus Progress’ annual national conference in Washington, D.C. 'The American labor movement truly needs you,' Trumka told attendees of the conference." They continue: Trumka tried to explain every which way to Sunday why it would benefit the college students to team up with the teamsters. The union boss even admitted that he could see why unions would turn off young people. “You probably think we’re a bunch of stodgy, old school people with outdated ideas, too interested in what’s good for us and too disinterested in what’s good for the others in our community,” said Trumka.  “And I’ll be perfectly frank with you, there’s a grain of truth to that.” Trumka admitted that unions were often seen as self-serving and as slow-to-change institutions, thus young people might not necessarily consider joining a union to be in their best interest.