Virulently Anti-Right to Work Union Bosses Accused of Dues Theft

Al Bond, St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council (STLKCCRC) union executive secretary-treasurer, has made a name for himself as Missouri Right to Work freedoms’ bitter enemy.

Bond frequently takes it upon himself to act as the spokesman for the state’s multi-million anti-Right to Work drive, which is funded primarily by money extracted from the paychecks of workers as a condition of employment.

What Bond fails to mention as he repeats long-discredited claims about Right to Work laws and their impact is that, since August 2016, he and every other STLKCCRC union officer have been defendants in a state civil case filed by Jonathan Gould, a floorlayer and a former compliance officer for the council.

According to the lawsuit, Missouri carpenters union kingpins have for years been “embezzling money from members to inflate their own pensions and cash in on travel perks for spouses.”

Until Thanksgiving weekend last year, there had been no media coverage regarding Gould’s lawsuit or union lawyers’ efforts to delay it. Bond et al. apparently hoped they could continue to wage war against Right to Work in Missouri without having to answer questions about Gould’s charge that they have “a long-standing practice of stealing and squandering [forced] union dues.”

But on November 26, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a well-documented news story by Joel Currier regarding the civil case against the “entire Carpenters’ council,” which controls 34 union locals in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, as well as individual union bosses. The case is now set to go to trial on February 4, 2019. “Union dues are being appropriated, stolen, embezzled and converted from the union coffers to inflate the pensions of Carpenters’ officials without the consent of the union members,” wrote Currer, quoting directly from Gould’s civil complaint.

Gould contends he was fired from his job as a union compliance officer in August 2014 “for exposing alleged fraud and theft . . . .” He further claims the STLKCCRC hierarchy “has inflated paychecks and pensions for years for 51 executives through an ‘illegal vehicle policy’” and “misspent [forced] dues money on airfare for spouses and on alcohol purchases for labor conventions.” He also accuses several union officials of defaming him by “allegedly saying he was ‘a liar,’ had ‘gone crazy,’ and suffered mental breakdowns.”

Big Labor ex-Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed Missouri Right to Work in 2015, seemed so impressed by the STLKCCRC union bosses’ free-spending campaign to sustain his veto that, just before leaving office, he wrote that he was proud to have worked “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Al Bond to squash freedom for Missouri workers.

However, Bond and his cohorts suffered a setback last February when the state’s newly-installed Governor signed a Missouri Right to Work law less than three months after the Governor had decisively defeated his union boss-backed opponent in a campaign.  Missourians’ votes sent a clear message in the 2016 elections, where Compulsory Unionism vs. the Right to Work was a dominant issue in both the gubernatorial campaign and legislative campaigns statewide.

But freedom-loving Missourians, who had for years been working to pass a state law revoking union officials’ forced-dues and forced-fee privileges, quickly saw their victory celebration put on hold by Big Labor bosses, with help from members of Nixon’s outgoing administration.

Bond and the seven other STLKCCRC union bosses are ringleaders in a drive to strangle Right to Work in the cradle.  Big Labor used Missouri’s legal code to block the Right to Work law, adopted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor,  and add it to the November ballot.

The Big Labor-instigated ballot measure will, if successful, permanently wipe Missouri’s Right to Work law off the books.

Big Labor bosses like Al Bond have publicly suggested again and again that they are waging their forced dues-funded fight to retain their power to deny employment to Missouri workers who refuse to bankroll a union for the workers’ “own good.” But the evidence in Jonathan Gould v. STLKCCRC points to another, more plausible explanation: Compulsory union dues and fees help Big Labor bosses run their organizations for their own benefit, at workers’ expense.

Right to Work proponents have known for decades that forced union dues and fees foster union corruption by prohibiting employees who suspect union bosses of misappropriations from fighting back by cutting off all financial support for the union without having to lose their jobs. It now appears the Carpenters union brass in Missouri may be a powerful illustration.

Al Bond purports to favor the forced unionization of workers because mandatory fees are beneficial for all employees Really? Image: CARPENTERS

Corruption, defamation claims fly in lawsuit against St. Louis-Kansas …