Big Labor Syndicate Hires ACORN Henchmen To Run 'Mob-Style Protection Racket'

In case you missed it, earlier this month the Washington Examiner reported that from 2005 to 2008, Big Labor's big money boys have funneled nearly $10 million from forced-dues-fueled union treasuries to the scandal-ridden Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (popularly known as "ACORN") and its affiliates.

According to the report, leading the way is the scandal-plauged Service Employees International Union (SEIU), doling out a whopping $7.4 million; followed by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Longshore and Warehouse Union, the Communication Workers of America (CWA), and the National Education Association (NEA) unions. The Examiner also notes:

SEIU Locals 100 and 880 were listed as allied organizations on ACORN’s web site until The Examiner highlighted this connection.

LM-2’s show over $600,000 in contributions between these SEIU locals and other ACORN operations. A 2007 LM-2 form shows SEIU Local 880, which is active in Illinois and Minnesota, donated $60,118 to ACORN for "membership services." Organized labor has kicked it back in the form of gifts and grants to ACORN totaling $2.4 million, according to the disclosure forms.

ACORN activists have participated in highly aggressive, well-coordinated anti-corporate campaigns across the country unofficially called “Muscle for Money” funded by SEIU.

In other words, SEIU union kingpins shelled out top dollar for ACORN activists to conduct corporate shakedown campaigns, with tactics that include crashing business meetings and harassing company officials and their families at their own homes, to extract corporate donations and intimidate employers into accepting the Big Labor syndicate's compulsory unionism agenda (which prominently includes forcing the companies' workers into union ranks).

One must wonder if the workers who are "represented" by SEIU union bosses are even aware that their dues are funding a "mob-style 'protection' racket."


To learn about your rights, including your right to opt out of paying union dues which union bosses use on non-bargaining activities such as union politics, lobbying, and member-only events, please check out the Foundation's "Know Your Rights" page here.

Pro-Worker Think Tank: Big Labor Pushing Dangerous Public Safety Monopoly Bargaining Mandate

The National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) has just published an eye-opening fact sheet revealing the dangers of Big Labor's latest push to use the U.S. Congress to impose union monopoly bargaining and forced dues on public safety workers in cash-strapped states and localities.

Never satisfied with the special privileges already granted to them by their bought-and-paid-for lackeys at all levels of government, union bosses are pushing alarming new federal legislative proposals that increase their stranglehold on otherwise independent-minded workers, such as the draconian Police and Firefighters Monopoly Bargaining bill (H.R. 413).  States have rejected similar legislation dozens of time in recent year.  (In fact, Big Labor-backed Democrat Governor Bill Ritter in Colorado vetoed such a bill at the request of cash-strapped mayors).

The Police and Firefighters Monopoly Bargaining bill would allow public safety union bosses to seize monopoly bargaining privileges over public safety employees who otherwise have chosen to refrain from being represented by or  financially supporting a union. Union officials would gain new powers in 28 states to become  "exclusive bargaining agents" of all public safety employees at a unionized workplace, thereby depriving the employees of the right to make their own individual employment contracts.

According to NILRR:

The only policies acceptable under this measure are those that empower union bosses to bargain on behalf of police and firefighters who have refused to join the union and want nothing to do with it, as well as those who have voluntarily joined.

...H.R. 413 would rewrite the public-sector labor laws of the vast majority of the 50 states to make them more pro-forced unionism.

In states that don’t currently authorize public-safety monopoly bargaining, H.R. 413 would impose it, denying localities the option to refuse to grant a single union the power to speak for all front-line employees, including those who don’t want to join. And in most states that already authorize union monopoly bargaining, H.R. 413 would widen its scope.

To view NILRR's fact sheet, click here.

Employees Force Settlement in Precedent-Setting Federal Union Racketeering Lawsuit

News Release

Employees Force Settlement in Precedent-Setting Federal Union Racketeering Lawsuit

Right to Work Foundation uses innovative legal techniques after company and union officials collude to enrich union bosses

Phoenix, AZ (July 22, 2009) – With free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, five Phoenix-based employees who refrained from formal dues-paying union membership forced a settlement with the defendants in a federal lawsuit laying out how union agents conducted a corrupt scheme to divert sales commissions from the employees to union officials.

National Right to Work Foundation attorneys used the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) anti-corruption statute (establishing new legal precedent in the process) and the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) to attack a scheme allegedly orchestrated by Qwest Communications and Dex Media, publisher of the yellow pages phone books, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1269 union bosses.

Evidence discovered in the lawsuit showed that IBEW Local 1269 union officials manipulated company procedures to receive greater compensation at the expense of the nonunion plaintiffs. Some of the methods used to increase the union agents’ compensation included reassigning accounts from nonunion employees to union officials, giving union agents “double commissions” for sales made by other workers, and allowing union officials to regularly sell lucrative “group ads” while denying similar opportunities to nonmember employees. By knowingly aiding union agents as they manipulated company rules to increase their performance-based pay, Qwest and Dex were accused of bribing union officials to act against workers’ interests in bargaining negotiations.

(Continue reading this news release...)

News Release

Employees Force Settlement in Precedent-Setting Federal Union Racketeering Lawsuit

Right to Work Foundation uses innovative legal techniques after company and union officials collude to enrich union bosses

Phoenix, Arizona (July 22, 2009) – With free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, five Phoenix-based employees who refrained from formal dues-paying union membership forced a settlement with the defendants in a federal lawsuit laying out how union agents conducted a corrupt scheme to divert sales commissions from the employees to union officials.

National Right to Work Foundation attorneys used the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) anti-corruption statute (establishing new legal precedent in the process) and the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) to attack a scheme allegedly orchestrated by Qwest Communications and Dex Media, publisher of the yellow pages phone books, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1269 union bosses.

Evidence discovered in the lawsuit showed that IBEW Local 1269 union officials manipulated company procedures to receive greater compensation at the expense of the nonunion plaintiffs. Some of the methods used to increase the union agents’ compensation included reassigning accounts from nonunion employees to union officials, giving union agents “double commissions” for sales made by other workers, and allowing union officials to regularly sell lucrative “group ads” while denying similar opportunities to nonmember employees. By knowingly aiding union agents as they manipulated company rules to increase their performance-based pay, Qwest and Dex were accused of bribing union officials to act against workers’ interests in bargaining negotiations.

In April, a United States District Court judge denied significant parts of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment and held that the union officials and company should stand trial for giving preferential treatment to union agents through the distorted performance-based pay system. The judge’s decision and an earlier decision denying motions to dismiss have established a favorable anti-corruption precedent enabling National Right to Work Foundation litigators to target other union schemes under the federal racketeering statute.

“Because IBEW Local 1269 union bosses acquired monopoly bargaining privileges from Qwest and Dex Media, they were emboldened to conjure up a scheme fleecing the very workers they claimed to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The only meaningful way to limit union corruption is stripping union officials of their government-granted monopoly bargaining privileges and making union representation truly voluntary.”

“The Foundation employs cutting-edge legal strategies to take on such compulsory unionism abuses nationwide and forcing corrupt union bosses to be accountable to the rule of law.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

Election Fundraising Fraud: Granite State Union Bosses Illegally Divert Worker's Dues Money to Union PAC

When Nashua, New Hampshire postal worker Philip Wakeman paid dues to the National Post Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU), a division of the Laborers' International Union, he had no idea that union bosses would illegally launder his money into their political coffers.

In July 2006, Mr. Wakeman gave a check to the NPMHU union for the full amount of his annual union dues. On the "Memo" line at the bottom of the check, he wrote "Union Dues."  A union official later acknowledged receipt of the dues and everything seemed fine – that is – until he received a bizarre phone call.

In October 2008, over two years after submitting the check to the NPMHU union, a stranger informed Wakeman that she found his information on the internet and suggested he do a "Google" internet search of his name. The search results were astounding:  Mr. Wakeman found his name disclosed as making a contribution in the exact amount of his annual NPMHU union membership dues to the NPMHU Political Action Committee (PAC) – all without his knowledge.

Apparently NPMHU union bosses had illegally diverted his dues payment to the union's PAC.  Wakeman contacted the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and Foundation attorneys filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission. 

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 failing to inform Mr. Wakeman that his membership dues would be used for political purposes.

To read the Foundation's media release regarding the FEC complaint, click here.

To read the FEC complaint, click here.

News Release

Postal Worker Files FEC Complaint for Illegal Union PAC Money Laundering Scheme

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.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

Professional Union Bully Hypocritically Accuses Activists of Mob Tactics Regularly Used by Big Labor

Last week, AFL-CIO bosses viciously accused the grassroots citizens who are increasingly alarmed about unfolding Big Government power grabs (and who are expressing their legitimate concerns at Congressional town hall meetings on government run health care) of orchestrating "extremist disruptions" in coordination with "a growing number of health care reform opponents, including Republican leaders trying to kill President Obama’s reform initiatives."

AFL-CIO operatives are convinced that these so-called "extremist disruptions" are meant "to kill health care reform, not debate it, not refine it, not find a middle ground, just kill it."

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer and heir apparent to AFL-CIO chieftain John Sweeney, had this to say:

"Mob rule is not a democracy. People have a democratic right to express themselves and our elected leaders have a right to hear from their constituents -- not organized thugs whose sole purpose is to shut down the conversation and attempt to scare our leaders into inaction."

Such over-the-top hyperbole might be dismissed if it didn't come from someone who makes his living coercing and intimidating. After all, union bosses are the ones known for intimidating and shouting-down people who refuse to toe the union line. When anyone questions Big Labor's government-granted special privileges, union bosses frequently resort to intimidation, harassment, or worse to end the discussion.

And Trumka himself has tacitly endorsed such thuggery. Here's how he responded to reports of UMW union violence against independent-minded workers:

"I'm saying if you strike a match and put your finger in, common sense tells you you're going to burn your finger."

The presumptive AFL-CIO president Trumka isn't the only culprit, of course. When California teachers Judy Liegmann and Jeralee Smith spoke out against forced union dues for politics, union bosses rounded up a mob of union toughs to shout down and intimidate them.  As Ms. Liegmann and Ms. Smith bravely announced their opposition to funding union political activism, union militants chanted "shame on you" while other Big Labor goons booed and hurled insults. This sounds like REAL "extremist disruption" to me. 

Fact Sheet: Union Monopoly Privileges Linked to Lower Earnings and Disposable Incomes for Workers

Contrary to the usual propaganda union bosses would like you to believe, the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) -- an anti-compulsory unionism think tank that exposes the harm forced unionism inflicts on workers -- released a report today entitled "Union Monopoly Linked to Lower Purchasing Power" that details how workers in least-unionized states enjoy the benefits of higher cost-of-living-adjusted earnings and disposable incomes.

You see, not only does government-granted union monopoly bargaining privileges infringe on employees' individual liberty, it also harms employees' economic interests.

According to NILRR:

As of 2008, according to economists Barry Hirsch and David Macpherson, 8.4% of private-sector employees nationwide were under “exclusive” union representation. But in 15 states -- Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,. Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin --10.0% or more of private-sector workers were unionized.

...

In 2008, cost of living-adjusted average weekly earnings in the states with 10.0% or more of private-sector employees subject to union monopoly bargaining were $770.

That’s $48 less than the average in the states with private-sector unionization of 5.0% or less. (These low-union density states are: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.) That comes to a roughly $2500-a-year disadvantage for full-time workers in states with high monopoly-bargaining density.

Aggregate cost of living-adjusted weekly earnings for states with private-sector union density of 5.1% to 9.9% were $783, or, for full-time workers, nearly $700 a year more than in the highest-union-density states, but more than $1800 a year less than in the lowest-union-density states.

NILRR also reports that "disposable income data tell the same story."

The economic benefits of voluntary union membership should come to no surprise to regular Freedom@Work readers, as we reported last month in "Compulsory Unionism Bankrupting States: Workers Flee to Right to Work States for Jobs":

NILRR recently found an especially strong correlation between a state’s Right to Work status and its job growth, while employees in Right to Work states are benefiting from faster job growth and higher real purchasing power than their compulsory unionism counterparts.

To view NILRR's fact sheet "Union Monopoly Linked to Lower Purchasing Power", click here.


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