In Saturday’s New York Times, Steve Greenhouse co-authored a great article demonstrating that the era of union corruption and labor leaders misspending members’ dues did not wind down with the final reel of On The Waterfront. The Times reports on the financial crisis facing the International Longshoremen’s Association, which is exacerbated by the whopping salary its president takes home.
The Times unloads on the dockworkers union bosses:
- Union president John Bowers earned $587,078 last year;
- His son John Jr. earned $292,440;
- Membership dropped by 26 percent from 59,000 two years ago to 43,500 in 2006;
- The union’s assets (money earned by members and wasted by officials) were down 34 percent;
- A key reason those assets dropped so much was the mounting legal obligation from the government’s RICO racketeering case against the union leadership;
- Legal fees reached $3.6 million for the International and the Atlantic Coast District, “with $2.5 million going to the law firm of Thomas W. Gleason, a son of the union’s former president. His brother Robert E. Gleason is secretary-treasurer of the national union, with a salary of $413,580.”