While not every union is corrupt, there are certainly many examples of corruption within many different unions. Over the years, while some unions were infamously infiltrated by organized crime, other unions have been plagued by other types of scandal. [Go here to view Enforcement Actions from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor Management Standards.]
Due in part to the decline of unions, as well as most Americans' lack of familiarity with unions, many people only know about union corruption by what they see in movies like Hoffa, Casino, On the Waterfront (all based on actual events) and other Hollywood portrayals. However, corruption is alive and well in unions.
In 2008, the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), a division of the U.S. Dept. of Labor obtained 131 indictments and 103 convictions of corruption within unions. In addition, more than $3.2 million of restitution was either made or ordered in 2008. To read the OLMS press release, go here.
For some examples of union corruption, click here.
To access archived articles about union corruption, by union, click here.
Unfortunately, stories of union corruption, top-down "dictator-like" leadership, and even violence are not uncommon with today's unions.
While labor union bosses would like to shield workers from the truth about union violence, it does happen—and it happens more often than union bosses would like to admit. Unfortunately, the majority of violence that occurs usually takes place during labor disputes (either a union-called strike or an employer lockout). In fact, the vitcims of this type of union violence are very often workers who have gotten on the "bad side" of the union--either by crossing union's picket line or sometimes even challenging the union's leaders. [To learn more about srikes and labor disputes, click here.]
Below are just a few articles and examples on the topic of union violence:
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