Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Teamsters Boss Accused of Extorting Own Members

Abuse by union bosses of their members tends to take the form of stealing money. But a longtime Teamsters official has been accused of directly harming his members by forcing them to work for him. The New York Times has the story:

The former president of a New York area Teamsters local was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he forced his union members to do work for him personally, including building a new roof on his country home, squiring his daughter to her yoga class and setting up a Christmas tree at his Manhattan apartment.

The onetime union leader, Anthony Rumore, extorted “personal services” from members of his union for nearly 15 years, officials of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan said. According to a federal indictment handed up on Tuesday, the members complied with Mr. Rumore’s demands because they feared being fired from their jobs.

The details are sure to embarrass. Rumore is accused of making his members:

  • Mow his lawn
  • Clean his gutters
  • Erect a tent for a family party
  • Drive his daughter around before a wedding

Then there’s this reminder:

The charges against Mr. Rumore come as another labor leader, Brian M. McLaughlin, prepares to go on trial next year in the same Manhattan courthouse. Mr. McLaughlin, a former president of the New York City Central Labor Council, was charged last year with “illegally obtaining” $2.2 million from taxpayers, labor unions, contractors and even his own former Little League team in eastern Queens. 

Categories: Center for Union FactsCrime & CorruptionTeamsters