Clothing Union Corruption

According to Rep. Hoekstra’s subcommittee, the bosses of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees are profiting from their members job losses due to a special industry proviso in federal labor law.
The May 27 report states UNITE receives “liquated damages” from companies for contract breaches which include relocating production overseas. UNITE treats the payments as its own since no explicit obligation exists to distribute the money to its members.

“So as contracts leave the country and UNITE’s members lose their jobs, UNITE itself continues to receive ‘a piece of the action’… Over the past few decades garment unions have lost more than half of their membership to overseas competition. Yet during that same time, UNITE and its predecessors became the richest of all unions, as measured on an assets per member basis. UNITE not only on owns the Amalgamated Bank of New York, but also owns much prime real estate in New York City. Despite its wealth, UNITE’s fully vested pensions, we are told, are worth an average of only $85 per month,” said the report.

Hoekstra’s committee is also monitoring a RICO suit filed against UNITE in N.Y. and a separate suit by CA employees. Also, a FBI probe recently had 12 members and associates of the Luchese, Gambino & Genovese crime families indicted for an extortion racket in N.Y.’s garment district. Though no UNITE officials have been indicted, the FBI has said the investigation will probably go “into the union.”

Sens.: Cohen Approval Doubtful
Lawrence J. Cohen, President Clinton’s and the unions’ choice for general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, will not be approved predicted Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK) and Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR). Both Senators statements came at the Associated Builders & Contractor’s legislative conference on Jun. 10.

“We aren’t quitting until we kick the butt of Northwest Airlines.”
-AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard L. Trumka at a union rally near Minn.-St. Paul’s airport [Star Tribune 05/23/98]. NWA pilots authorized a strike in May. Trumka invoked the 5th Amendment to avoid federal investigators’ questions on the Teamsters scandal. Allegedly, he routed $200,000 to Carey’s campaign.