Today’s guilty plea by top union auditor Frank Massey, partner at Thomas Havey, LLP, is merely a small step down the road toward rooting out union corruption. Havey is widely recognized nationwide as the unions’ audit firm of choice — every union audit and disclosure prepared by the audit firm is now suspect.
Union officials have long lived limousine, all-expense-paid lifestyles. Unfortunately, rank-and-file workers are forced by federal law to foot the bill with their mandatory union dues. But when union officials and their auditors falsify the minimal information that they must disclose, employees are left completely in the dark about how their hard-earned money is spent.
But the answer does not simply lie in stricter audit and disclosure requirements. The answer is to eliminate the numerous union special privileges granted by federal law in the first place. It is those privileges and legal immunities that make union officials feel infallible, and the resulting culture of arrogance leads to rampant corruption.
While there are many, the greatest of these privileges is the federally authorized power to collect compulsory union dues. Nearly 8 million Americans are forced to pay more than $5 billion in compulsory dues as a condition of employment.
“Compulsory unionism and corruption go hand in hand.” So said Senator John McClellan (D-AR), who chaired the Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (generally referred to simply as the “McClellan Committee”) and held extensive hearings on union corruption in 1959. The upshot of these hearings was the passage of the Landrum-Griffin Act that among other things, requires unions to annually disclose certain financial information the information that Thomas Havey, LLP and Frank Massey have apparently helped unions avoid disclosing.
It’s time to end compulsory unionism. Only then will workers have the power to withdraw their support and hold the union hierarchy accountable.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.