On Feb. 15, the New York Times’ Steven Greenhouse declared N.Y. City to be “the national capital of union excess and corruption” and “the mother lode of union corruption.” Here are some excerpts:
“Other cities are well known for union corruption, of course, among them Chicago, Boston, Providence, R.I., and several New Jersey locales. But labor investigators and experts say no other city today comes close to New York in the number of officials under investigation or the dozens of union locals under trusteeship. …Labor corruption is so widespread in New York that union locals representing 300,000 workers — nearly one-fourth of the city’s unionized work force — have been in trusteeship at some point over the last two years.”
The U.S. Dep’t of Labor and FBI “have placed more racketeering investigators in New York than in any other city. Although other cities may have extensive corruption in two or three unions…in New York, there have been deep-seated problems in many unions, including those involving the carpenters, government employees, ironworkers, longshoremen, mason tenders [a.k.a. laborers], painters, plumbers, service employees and teamsters.”
“For labor leaders, there is concern that all the corruption is souring the public on unions and eclipsing the positive developments that point to a rebirth of labor. …’The high-profile episodes of corruption and skullduggery in New York and elsewhere are unquestionably hurting efforts to revive the labor movement,’ said Nelson Lichtenstein,” a pro-union advocate and liberal professor at the U. of Va.