Unions have a track record of unlawful behavior, and though some would pass off such activities as from “days gone by,” several recent stories reinforce the fact that breaking the law and bilking American companies and tax payers are still a part of the Big Labor playbook.
In December, Columbia Export Terminal in Portland, Oregon sued the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and more than 150 of its members for time-sheet fraud, which allegedly cost the terminal over $5 million. According to the Terminal suit, the union “organized and orchestrated the scheme to submit falsified time sheets.” The fraud extended over a period of four years, and appears to have been meticulously coordinated. “This scheme was participated in by each Defendant routinely over a period of years in a highly systematic and coordinated fashion.”
And as much as one would like to think the days of Mafia influence within unions is over, the UFCW’s participation with the Genovese crime family’s racketeering schemes dispels that myth. Locals 1D and 2D, each a wine and distillery workers union, were hip deep into such schemes, which included extortion and threats of violence. Millions of dollars were involved. Ah - the good ole’ days.