What do Tiger Woods and Big Labor bosses have in common? They play a lot of golf — only union officials pay for their rounds with workers’ forced-union dues. In fact, according to information now disclosed in LM-2 forms filed at the Department of Labor, Big Labor spent over $1.3 million on rounds of golf in 2005.
Union officials’ spending habits are a bit more transparent thanks to modest reforms of government filing requirements implemented by Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. This increased public disclosure means that workers laboring under union contracts that force them to pay dues or fees as a condition of employment now know that in 2005 alone their forced dues paid for
* $7.3 million at plush resorts
* Nearly $1.3 million for amusement park events
* $148,000 for liquor
* $641,000 for sporting events
* A new Cadillac for the retiring president of Ironworkers Local 40 in New York
* Over $153,000 in movies tickets for members of SEIU Local 660 in Los
Big Labor hates that their members can now get a better glimpse of how their mandatory dues are spent. In fact, the National Education Association (NEA) took Chao to court to overturn the disclosure requirements. The NEA argued in court that it had no fiduciary responsibility to “members” and didn’t have to account for how their forced-dues were spent. The US Court of Appeals disagreed.
Big Labor will likely continue to use the courts and even the legislative process to try to hide the fact that a large part of the money forced from workers’ paychecks is spent on politics, golf, liquor, amusement parks, resort getaways, movie tickets and fine dining.