Union corruption watchdog, the Nat’l Legal & Policy Ctr., has demanded the resignation of several Ullico, Inc., board members allegedly involved in the growing insider trading scandal. NLPC sent a open letter May 16 to three board members of the union-dominated insurance firm: Robert Georgine, Ullico chairman, Morton Bahr, Communications Workers of Am. president, and Douglas McCarron, United Bhd. of Carpenters president. Each potentially made huge profits at the expense of union members, whose pensions invested in Ullico stock.
NLPC’s letter was published as ad in Roll Call magazine on Capitol Hill and is at: http://www.nlpc.org/olap/aflcio/rollcallfinal.pdf. It began: “AFL-CIO says ‘No more Enrons.’ We could not agree more!” NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm, author of the letter, put the pressure on the board members: “Your first responsibility is to union members, not your personal bank accounts. Yet, according to recent news reports, you and other union presidents on Ullico’s board allegedly enriched yourselves–at workers’ expense–with secret, insider stock deals. You and other board members have turned down invitations to testify before Congress to explain what you knew about this growing scandal, and are now being investigated by a federal grand jury and the Department of Labor.”
Boehm added “To set the record straight on the Ullico scandal, board members should explain why Arthur Coia, a former laborers union president and convicted felon, Jake West, former head of the ironworkers and recently indicted on federal embezzlement charges, and Marty Maddaloni, head of the plumbers union and under investigation for pension irregularities–were all part of the Ullico board who approved the stock scheme. They–like you–cashed in on the insider Ullico stock deal with the excuse that lawyers gave the secret scheme their ok. Wasn’t that the Enron defense?”
The letter concluded “Union leaders on Ullico’s board must act immediately to set the record straight and restore the damaged integrity of union leaders by; 1) Returning to Ullico the millions of dollars in insider stock profits by union leaders. 2) Testifying before Congress about your involvement in the stock scheme that allowed Ullico directors to receive a disproportionate share of Ullico profits while shortchanging rank and file union members. 3) Offering a full accounting of all profits you and other Ullico directors received as part of the special stock deal you voted for yourselves, but did not offer to rank and file owners of Ullico. 4) Explaining the qualifications you and the other Ullico directors have to make judgments about sophisticated investment strategies in the insurance business. 5) Apologizing to union members and retirees. They deserve to hear from union heads–not spokesmen–about the impropriety of the Ullico board’s actions. 6) Resigning.”