Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

OLMS for the Poor Union Members

It appears some politicians have gotten religion on tightening spending — at least when it comes to the budget for the federal agency that oversees how union bosses spend their members’ money. Since stepping into control of Congress, it seems like some Democrats have been itching to pay back their union supporters, and they’ve found just the way by cutting down the OLMS budget so that the government has less oversight of labor leaders. The Examiner ran an op-ed from the Center for Union Facts this morning, which took a look at some interesting numbers:

Perhaps union officials and their allies in Congress are embarrassed about what the public finds in the union financial disclosures overseen by the agency.

There was the union boss who drove off with a $50,000 parting gift — a Cadillac — as his retirement gift. There are the tens of thousands of dollars spent at steakhouses, including $13,000 from one transportation union alone.

Don’t even ask about the resorts (though UFCW members should ask why their officials spent more than $1 million at a luxurious Florida resort over the last two years). Those are just the cases when the unions comply with current financial disclosure guidelines.

An analysis from the Center for Union Facts based on documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request found that only 43 out of 643 union audits — that’s a dismal 6 percent — by OLMS passed muster.

UPDATE: Carter Wood adds:

OLMS provides important accountability of organized labor for the way union members’ dues are spent. The motivation behind cutting its budget seems — what’s the word? — transparent. 

Categories: Political Money