Washington, D.C. – The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) today issued the following statement in response to news reports that the AFL-CIO has concealed the precarious state of its finances with “creative accounting.”
“Today’s news that union bosses have been cooking the books, and misusing and mishandling the hard-earned dollars of their workers is deeply disturbing, yet in no way surprising. This should serve as notice to those elected officials supporting the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act, a bill that rewards union bosses with unfettered and unlimited access to our nation’s small businesses,” said Katie Packer, executive director of the Workforce Fairness Institute. “Why Congress would even consider providing Big Labor heads with access to more power and more money, while they prove to lack the integrity and honesty to manage the finances and retirements of their own members is beyond bewildering. We stand united and will not allow worker protections afforded in the secret ballot and right to vote on contracts to be traded away in an effort to provide political payback at the expense of America’s small business community.”
A bill to eliminate secret ballot election in the workplace is currently making its way through Congress. Something like this could never happen, right? Actually, it could. Under the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act,” workers, in violation of our Democratic principles, would be denied their American right to a private ballot in union organizing elections in the workplace. Workers would be forced to publicly state their vote -- for everyone to see. This is more appropriately called the FORCED CHOICE ACT and would fundamentally change the rights of employees in the workplace ... it would force unions on them; force contracts on them and force payment of dues on them.
The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace. To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.
To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Mary Beth Hutchins (ext. 105) at (703) 683-5004.
“The AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. union organization, concealed deteriorating finances through ‘creative accounting,’ according to a union leader. Tom Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said in a report that the labor federation obscured its financial difficulties heading into last year’s presidential election campaign, in which it backed Democrat Barack Obama. Net assets of the 11 million-member AFL-CIO declined to a negative $2.3 million as of June 30, 2008, from a $66 million surplus on July 1, 2000. ‘A new leadership — leaders chosen by our members, leaders help accountable by our members — is needed,’ wrote Buffenbarger, who is a member of the AFL-CIO’s finance committee and the president of one of the nation’s largest unions. Alison Omens, a spokeswoman for the AFL-CIO, declined to comment on the report.” (Holly Rosenkrantz, “Creative Accounting Masked AFL-CIO’s Finances, Official Says,” Bloomberg News, 5/29/09)