Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Union Boss Race Discrimination Costs Members $800,000

The Center for Union Facts has previously documented some of the race problems surrounding labor leaders, described by one of their own as “male, pale, and stale.” The numbers aren’t pretty: thousands of EEOC discrimination cases have been filed against union bosses, with millions paid out in settlements. The latest is from the building trades.

Courtesy of the Bureau of National Affairs Daily Labor Report this morning (subscription required):

A federal district judge in New York May 7 approved an $800,000 partial settlement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s claims that Local 580 of the Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers had violated prior court orders by failing to refer nonwhite construction workers to jobs on the same basis as white union members (EEOC v. Local 638, S.D.N.Y., No. 1:71-cv-02877-RLC-MDH, settlement approved 5/7/07).

As part of a long-running discrimination suit against New York building trades unions, EEOC had filed a contempt motion against Local 580 in June 2001, alleging that the union was not referring black and Hispanic journeymen to jobs on the same basis as white workers because of their race and/or national origin. The commission also contended that Local 580 was not complying with a required apprentice-to-journeyman ratio on job sites and had not implemented a court-ordered computerized recordkeeping and referral system.

That settlement, of course, is funded by members’ paychecks. What a deal!

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