From today’s Wall Street Journal, “Unions in Debt,” with the secondary headline, “Big labor has big financial problems it wants to keep quiet.”
‘We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama,” declared Andy Stern last month, and the president of the Service Employees International Union wasn’t exaggerating. The SEIU and AFL-CIO have been spending so much on politics that they’re going deeply into debt.
That news comes courtesy of federal disclosure forms that unions file each year with the Department of Labor. The Bush Administration toughened the enforcement of those disclosure rules, but under pressure from unions the Obama Labor shop is slashing funding for such enforcement. Without such disclosure, workers wouldn’t be able to see how their union chiefs are managing their mandatory dues money.
And an insight:
[Unions] can’t resist the lure of the Beltway precisely because they fare so poorly in the private marketplace. The union red ink helps explain why Mr. Stern and AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney are lobbying so hard for Congress to rig the rules to make it easier for unions to gather more dues-paying members.
Former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao outlined the attacks against disclosure and the Department’s Office of Labor Management Standards in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last month, “Obama Tries to Stop Union Disclosure: No more sunshine on how worker dues are spent.”
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