Crime and Corruption
SEIU members in Los Angeles were victimized by one of the most appalling cases of union corruption in recent history.
Members saw their money illegally used to support the city council race of Martin Ludlow. Ludlow was sentenced for conspiracy to illegally funnel money from SEIU Local 99 to his campaign and ordered to pay $36,000 in restitution.
- Four of the last eight Teamsters union presidents have been criminally indicted
- UNITE HERE has been found guilty of invading employees’ privacy and ordered to pay $17 million for defaming medical professionals, and it has been sued by its own employees after the union slashed their staff’s key retirement benefit by 95%
In the same scandal, former SEIU head Janett Humprhies collaborated with Ludlow to use union funds to pay the salaries of six union employees working on his campaign. One of Humphries’ lawyers said Ludlow and allies “were doing what unions do” and added, “The testimony has raised serious red flags about the integrity of union politics in Los Angeles.”
Other recent scandals include:
- In June 2006, the National Labor Relations Board found that SEIU interfered with the free choice of employees by illegally making promises to wave initiation fees – much like the union accuses employers of making promises to employees during union drives.
- In June 2006, a federal judge ordered SEIU Local 1000 to pay $37,000 as punishment for failing to give members adequate information about how the union was spending employees’ agency fees (which are forced payments from employees who do not wish to union members).
- In 2007, members of the powerful Local 503 in Oregon began circulating a petition to recall the union’s president, who was seeking to collect more than $100,000 in back pay that most members think he didn’t earn.
- The Macon Telegraph reported that local SEIU officials lost control of their government-employee union after troubling questions were raised over $30,000 of cash withdrawals from the local’s bank account, lack of documentation for $90,000 in hotel, airline, food, telephone and other expenses, and $36,000 in vacation buyouts that were not authorized by the union’s board.