Granite State union bosses illegally diverted postal employee's membership dues to fund political coffers
Nashua, New Hampshire (July 28, 2009) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking it to investigate charges made by a Nashua-area postal worker who discovered his annual union membership dues were illegally diverted into the union’s political action committee (PAC).
In July 2006, United States Postal Service employee Philip Wakeman paid $429 in membership dues to join the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU), a division of the Laborers’ International Union. On the “Memo” line at the bottom of the check, he wrote “Union Dues.” A union official later acknowledged receipt of the union dues.
In October 2008, over two years after submitting the check to the NPMHU union, a stranger called Wakeman on an unrelated matter and informed him that she found his information on the Internet. The stranger then suggested that he do a “Google” Internet search of his name. After doing so, Mr. Wakeman was astounded to find his name disclosed as making a contribution to the NPMHU PAC in the exact amount of his annual NPMHU union membership dues – all without his knowledge.
Apparently NPMHU union bosses had illegally diverted his dues payment to the union’s PAC. Mr. Wakeman contacted the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, and Foundation attorneys filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission for him and the Foundation.
It is illegal for union officials to fund union PACs using “dues, fees, or other moneys required as a condition of membership in a labor organization.” NPMHU union bosses are also accused of violating federal election law by making a political campaign contribution in another person’s name and soliciting political contributions under false pretenses while failing to inform Mr. Wakeman that his membership dues would be used for political purposes.
“This union money laundering scheme makes a mockery of the right to political autonomy,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Foundation attorneys intend to trigger prosecution of this NPMHU union boss political fundraising fraud and an investigation into whether there is a larger scheme afoot. We urge the FEC to take decisive action.”