Union Bigwig Adds New Meaning to the Term "Hand-in-the-Till"

A 186-page, 44 count indictment was handed down in November on Brian McLaughlin for alleged crimes he committed during his tenure as president of the New York City Central Labor Council, and a Queens, NY assemblyman.

According to the New York Sun, the Big Labor Boss, and prominent Democrat had surrendered to authorities October 17 after “federal prosecutors charged him with stealing $2.2 million from the state government, union members, a political club, and a Little League baseball association.”

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, Michael Garcia, is quoted as saying Mr. McLaughlin’s crimes “add new meaning to the term ‘hand-in-the-till.’”

“Prosecutors charge that Mr. McLaughlin, 54, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from city street lighting contractors, installed his cronies in fictitious positions with the state Assembly and the labor council to funnel cash to himself, and laundered money to hide his crimes and evade law enforcement.”

The union chief allegedly used funds from a Street Lighting Association union fund “as his personal piggybank, routinely diverting money earmarked for union members to himself, relatives and close friends.”

As president of the council, Mr. McLaughlin led more than one million city union members. The umbrella group is the nation’s largest municipal union association and is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

McLaughlin’s actions are a slap in the face to union members and all those who are barred from bargaining with their employer on their own behalf as well; as from being represented by any organization other than their federally-sanctioned “exclusive” bargaining agent.

The fact is, as thousands of complaints filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) every year attest, many union officials systematically abuse their monopoly bargaining power.

Under current law, employees who are subject to such abusive tactics by union officials cannot withhold their dues in protest – that is, stop paying for forced-union representation that is obviously contrary to their best interest – unless they are prepared to be fired from their jobs.

Workers deserve the freedom to decide as individuals whether or not a labor union, like any other private group, deserves their financial support.

It’s time to pass a National Right to Work law.