Good Living in Detroit

Using over a hundred thousand dollars of coerced workers’ dues money, a number of union officials directed contributions to a controversial nonprofit linked to Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. His “Civic Fund” received more than $100,000 in contributions including $50,000 that Detroit-based Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 79 reported as a “political contribution.”

The Laborers International union in Washington State gave $25,000 to the fund on Sept. 7, 2005, and a large Los Angeles local of the SEIU gave $10,000 on Oct. 14, 2005, union records show. The AFL-CIO also gave $25,000 in November 2005.

The Detroit News reports that:

The contributions raise new questions about the purpose of the Civic Fund, which has been under scrutiny since it was revealed it paid nearly $9,000 for a weeklong visit to a California luxury resort for Kilpatrick, his wife and three sons. . . .

By labeling its contribution “political,” SEIU Local 79’s $50,000 — $25,000 on June 30, 2005, and another $25,000 on Sept. 26, 2005 — may lend credence to concerns, first expressed during Kilpatrick’s 2001 mayoral campaign, that the nonprofits were boosting his political aspirations. The mayor has denied any connection between his campaign and the Civic Fund.

Sadly, this episode provides workers in Michigan another example of how their dues money is being abused by the Big Labor Bosses. Only passage of a state Right to Work law would protect workers and give them a say and a choice in the matter.