Union Funds Up for Grabs

On November 30, the Pittsburgh, (PA) Tribune-Review reported two separate incidents of local union funds being embezzled.

Under the headline, “Woman charged with embezzling from Pitt police union,” they reported the grand jury indictment of Carroll L. Phillips, who allegedly stole $7,300 from the union representing the University of Pittsburgh campus police, while acting as the union’s treasurer.

Under the headline, “Fayette man charged with embezzlement,” the Tribune-Review reported, without saying how much, that Stephen A. Kostelac, of Fayette City, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of embezzling dues payments while serving as secretary/treasurer of Boilermakers Lodge 906, AFL-CIO.

Union coffers, flush with funds gained under federal labor-law provisions that authorize the firing of employees for refusal to pay dues to a union, are often alluring and easy targets for unscrupulous Big Labor officials with access to such funds.

And, Pennsylvania, as a forced-unionism state, denies workers the freedom to decide as individuals whether or not a labor union, like any other private group, deserves their financial support.

Maybe, it’s time for a change.