As recently reported in the Post & Courier, the Machinists Union’s unlawful behavior is in the headlines once again – this time for using its members’ retirement money to fund lavish trips, meals and parties, and to hire “consultants” with whom they have personal relationships. These allegations are in addition to the ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation into widespread voter fraud during the IAM’s recent attempt to organize Delta Airlines’ Flight Attendants.
On Jan. 24, 2016, the U.S. Secretary of Labor filed a lawsuit against the trustees of the IAM National Pension Fund, including the IAM’s current International president. Here are just a few examples of how they spent their members’ retirement funds:
- A dinner featuring bottles of wine priced as high as $1,185 each
- Another single dinner costing $1,954.39, including $375 bottles of wine
- Holiday parties in 2009 and 2010 that cost in excess of $90,000
- Unnecessary quarterly meetings at resort destinations during peak times, including Hawaii, Beverly Hills, and Martha’s Vineyard
- Paid $125,000 in extra cost to hire a poorly qualified consultant who had personal relationships with the union’s leadership
The complaint also alleges that these union leaders “created conflicts of interest, unlawfully solicited and accepted gratuities from service providers, spent and permitted others to spend Fund assets lavishly on unnecessary trips, parties, and inordinately expensive food and wine, failed to prudently, and loyally monitor and control Fund costs, and generally engaged in a pattern of conduct in which they disregarded their fiduciary duties.” (A complete copy of the 30- page complaint is available here).
The complaint seeks repayment from these union leaders individually for the value of these lavish expenses and any financial benefit they received as a result of their illegal conduct.
The next time someone asks you to sign a union card, consider whether this is an organization you can trust with your money, your career and your future.
Know the facts about the Machinists; keep your own voice and don’t sign a union card.