Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Fox Watching the Hen House

Part of the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Director’s job is to oversee the investigations and audits of union financial records and union officials’ conflicts-of-interest reporting. Obama appointee John Lund should have never been given this position, as performing those duties would be a conflict of interest for Director Lund. Don Loos first broke the story in April.

The Obama Ethics Executive Order requires appointees to pledge that they will refrain from involvement in matters involving their former employer or clients.  The AFL-CIO and other unions are former clients of John Lund , and these unions remain clients of his former and current employer, the University of Wisconsin School for Workers (Lund is currently on unpaid leave while at DOL).  The Wisconsin School for Workers’ primary mission is to train union officials; the very officials that Lund now purportedly investigates for corruption.

Now, even more disturbing details have surfaced. Lund is purportedly telling union officials they can bypass Department of Labor investigators and instead work with him personally. And a new U.S. Department of Labor internal document seems to back up the claim of Lund’s flagrant abuse of power. Don Loos explains the dirty details:

[B]y going to Lund, union bosses can work out deals to avoid jail time or criminal charges.  He can personally advise them how to “clean up” their reports to avoid consequences.  On the other hand, if pesky Department of Labor investigators get involved, then government investigative records will be made, facts will be verified, and falsehoods will be documented.

Loos also points out that had the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman similarly invited corporate presidents to deal with her directly and ignore SEC investigators, it would be breaking news with investigations to follow. Instead, Big Labor will continue to reap the rewards of Lund’s appointment at the expense of their dues paying members (who the OLMS department is supposed to protect). A thorough investigation should be made into the abuse of power at the Department of Labor, and specifically into Lund’s actions while at the DOL. When the fox watches the hen house, the village always goes hungry.

Categories: AFL-CIOCrime & CorruptionDOL