Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

UAW’s Infamous Black Lake Golf Resort

The Wall Street Journal profiled the UAW’s financial assets, highlighting the  union’s $33 million luxury golf resort.

The UAW, which is the wealthiest union in the nation, had $1.2 billion in assets. Some of the noteworthy items: $700 million in U.S. Treasury securities, $321 million in investments, $100 million in fixed assets, which includes a $3 million townhouse in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. and of course, the $33 million Black Lake golf course/resort.

The resort is formerly known as the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center, which features the Black Lake Golf Club and up to 1,000 acres of forest in Onaway, Michigan. The “education center” features a gym with two full-sized basketball courts, an indoor Olympic-sized pool, pool tables, a sauna, hiking and biking trails, athletic fields, and for good measure, a boat-launch ramp.

Despite the luxurious amenities, most union members never actually experience the resort’s wonders. In times of economic turmoil, the center has become, as the article frames it, a “sore point for many members.” And just like the union’s effect on the auto industry, the resort has been a “drain on the union, losing an estimated $23 million in the past five years.”

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