Union Corruption Issue Defeats Nebraska Union

In an Aug. 16 representation election, employees of the Neb. Beef processing plant in Omaha voted against representation by the United Food & Commercial Workers Int’l Union. Employees vote 57% against union representation, according to the Nat’l Labor Relations Bd.’s Overland Park, Kan., regional office, which oversaw the vote. Donna McDonald, president of UFCW Local 271, said the union intends to file objections to the election. She attributed UFCW’s loss to the “fear factor” engendered by the employer’s “strong anti-union campaign.” [BNA 8/20/01]
This campaign reportedly made effective use of the union corruption issue. When employees left the plant on Aug. 15, the employer provided them with a 36-page, English and Spanish notebook, with a cover stating: “Vote No, No Union.” It listed UFCW bosses’ salaries and text about bosses who had been charged or convicted of embezzlement or corruption. [Omaha World-Herald 8/16/01]

UCU readers may recall that UFCW is the union in which ex-int’l secretary-treasurer Joseph C. Talirico pled guilty in 1998 to embezzling some $925,000 from UFCW Local 1 in N.Y., including $10,000 for hair transplant and travel on UFCW’s jet to have the transplant done. Four members of his family were also part of the $1.7 million scandal, which included union funds paying for extensive remodeling and landscaping of their homes.