Employees Working With Corporations To Stop Corruption And Overreach Of Unions

It should be of no surprise that companies are now starting to "weaponize" their own employees to try and keep the corruption and price gouging of unions out of their respective places of business.

Unionization has not only resulted in the lack of free market price discovery for labor, but it is also been recently found to be extraordinarily corrupt. As we pointed out in a January 2018 article:

...a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), obtained by the Detroit Free Press, proves that the corruption inside of union offices around the country is far more rampant than you ever imagined.  As the Free Press notes, in the past two years alone, more than 300 union locations have discovered embezzlement of union funds totaling millions of dollars...and that's just counting the people who got caught.

Even though the UAW is the poster child of union corruption, cases reported by the DOL involved unions representing nurses, aerospace engineers, firefighters, teachers, film and TV artists, air traffic controllers, musicians, bus inspectors, bakery workers, roofers, postal workers, machinists, ironworkers, steelworkers, dairy workers, plasterers, train operators, plumbers, stagehands, engineers, electricians, heat insulators, missile range workers and bricklayers.  Meanwhile, the various cases involve embezzlement and fraud ranging from $1,051 up to nearly $6.5 million.

So it was no surprise when today, on Bloomberg it was reported that U-Haul workers were lobbying for the Trump administration to tackle rules that would make it tougher for unions to organize:

The men, along with dozens of other people working for U-Haul, the self-storage company, seem to have taken an outsized role in the debate over whether the Trump administration should revisit the rule. They’ve been doing this by flooding the National Labor Relations Board with very similar comments. While at least one employee said workers got together on their own, labor experts contend that the campaign has all the hallmarks of a company-influenced effort. U-Haul agreed, saying that while it didn’t compel workers to take part, it did provide the language for them to use.

Over the past few months, the NLRB received at least 100 similarly worded submissions urging it to throw out the policy that shortens the time between when some employees decide to unionize and when a vote is held. More than 60—roughly one out of every 25 comments submitted so far—used names matching people who work at the self-storage and rental giant, according to a review of LinkedIn pages and recent company announcements. More than a dozen additional comments appear to come from people who worked for the company in the past. 

U-Haul was profiled as a company that is encouraging its employees to stand up for the same free market price discovery that allows their business to function, and ultimately pay them. Imagine the shock!

The article continues, noting that the practice has "seen a renaissance" in recent years:

The volume and similarity of comments raise questions as to whether there was a coordinated effort, said Paul Secunda, who directs the labor and employment law program at Marquette University. “These U-Haul employee comments to the NLRB smack of employee mobilization by the company itself,” he said, though encouraging employees to comment on proposed rulemaking is perfectly legal. That companies urge employees to take part in campaigns for or against government regulations isn’t novel, but the tactic has enjoyed a renaissance of late. Employers and the business lobby have recently urged workers to fight various corporate
taxes and support the recent tax legislation. Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, a political scientist at Columbia University who just wrote a book on the topic, recounted how a lobbyist bragged of helping a financial company get 100,000 letters opposing the fiduciary rule—the now-endangered conflict-of-interest regulation for financial advisers. Hertel-Fernandez said a telecommunications company interested in shaping a different debate established an internet portal for workers, providing letter templates they could tweak before sending.

Unionizing, and the forced labor rules and regulations that accompany it by the government does little to help free market price discovery. Instead, it is yet one additional method for government to stick their nose not only into the economy, but also into the world of both private and public businesses. Free market price discovery in the labor market means that individuals should be compensated by their skill set, productivity and what they bring to the table as employees, not by what the government has pre-arranged in as a deal for them or by what unions can embezzle.

It should come as no surprise that once these labor unions are granted power via regulation through the government that they can become extremely large, corrupt and powerful and often times associated with additional corruption and foul play outside of the workplace as we wrote about in January.

Of course, the biggest and most highly publicized union embezzlement scheme of 2017 involves multiple Fiat Chrysler and UAW employees who stole millions of dollars intended for worker training...

Jerome Durden, a former financial analyst in corporate accounting at Fiat Chrysler and former Controller of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, pleaded guilty in August 2017 after preparing and filing tax returns that concealed millions of dollars in prohibited payments directed to others in 2009-15. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Alphons Iacobelli, former vice president at FCA, was charged in July 2017 with conspiracy and delivering more than $1.2 million in prohibited payments and things of value to the late General Holiefield, former vice president of the UAW, Holiefield's wife and other UAW officials. His trial is scheduled for March 19.

Monica Morgan, wife of Holiefield, was charged in July 2017 with tax evasion and conspiracy stemming from her family’s receipt of more than $1.2 million from the former vice president of FCA between 2009 and 2014. Her trial is scheduled for March 19.

Virdell King, a former assistant director of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, pleaded guilty in August 2017 to receiving more than $40,000 in prohibited payments and things of value from the former vice president of FCA and “others acting in the interest of FCA.” Payments received between 2012 and 2015 included purchases of clothing, jewelry, luggage, golf equipment, concert tickets and theme park tickets. She is scheduled to be sentenced May 1.

If not anything else, the employees of U-Haul are getting taught a lesson to not  “bite the hand that feeds them" and hopefully more companies moving forward will actively employ the same strategies to help keep free market price discovery in the labor market as ever present as they can, outside the confines of an already overly regulated economy and job market.

Comments

J S Bach Billy the Poet Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:35 Permalink

I've worked with the UAW and I understand their desires to adhere to a standard of living higher than their third-world competitors.  However, they do not understand that their support for liberal communistic socialism is their doom.  It is the diametric opposite to their benefit.  By their absurd wages, they will inevitably be brought low to the equivalent of their sweat-shop Chinese co-workers so long as untariffed and open-bordered policies remain in place.  Gravity always brings water to a "sea-level".

In reply to by Billy the Poet

Citizen_x J S Bach Tue, 04/03/2018 - 07:17 Permalink

I agree, affiliations with either democrats or republicans will be a trade/labor union's doom. 

Recent history points to the fact that both the democrat and republican parties are corporation/the 1% /Israel first-er. 

If union members start their own political party, reach out to working families and veterans...the swamp just might get drained.

In reply to by J S Bach

fbazzrea RafterManFMJ Mon, 04/02/2018 - 23:35 Permalink

exactly...

Unionization has not only resulted in the lack of free market price discovery for labor, but it is also been recently found to be extraordinarily corrupt.

it is not the unions that have destroyed free market price discovery for labor, it has been the continuous chiseling away of labor's negotiating position by corporate lobbyists-introduced legislation allowing American corporations to export jobs and return their foreign-built products unimpeded into the American domestic market combined with tax incentives for accelerated depreciation on automation investments fueled by unlimited amounts of free money compliments of the bankster cabal, which also owns the majority of equity in these same corps. 

as a result, the recent import tariffs are not penalizing China as much as these same American corps that have offshored labor and gutted the American middle-class while increasing profits to the 1%.

labor unions were the tools used in the early 20th century to lift American labor up from what amounted to slave labor wages and 80-hr work weeks, outlaw child labor, and implement safe working conditions against the industrialists who built great fortunes while workers struggled to survive.

sound familiar?

In reply to by RafterManFMJ

Golden Phoenix Mon, 04/02/2018 - 21:54 Permalink

Mandatory unions take wages from people who don't want to belong to unions then use the money to influence politics contrary to their own beliefs. Union membership and dues should be voluntary otherwise they are simply gangster shakedowns officially endorsed by the DNC.

Citizen_x Golden Phoenix Tue, 04/03/2018 - 07:36 Permalink

Must you be reminded what the banker class have done in the past 10 + years...AKA "shakedowns"

They gave half million dollar mortgages to any teenager with a paper route...

They bundled the mortgage notes up into a bond-issue and...

Sold it to pension plans around the world and cleaned them out of their cash!

Lobbied and eliminated Mark to Market, ushered in Non GAAP and received 800 Billion dollar Taxpayer Bail-out..

Oh but the sacrificed on of their own...Bernie Madeoff... for the public thirst for justice and sense of what's right and wrong.

Take a hard look at who are the true gangsters.

In reply to by Golden Phoenix

dirty fingernails Quantify Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:26 Permalink

Is that why executive compensation is 300x the average worker? Because of lost profits due to high costs of labor?

No, they outsourced because they could.

Put down the propaganda and realize that unions, for all their BS, are and have been the ONLY thing standing between us and the shit our great-grandparents died fighting.

 

In reply to by Quantify

Blankman dirty fingernails Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:53 Permalink

The union we are a part of the president makes ~1,000,000 a year from his wages and being a part of several boards of directors of interested businesses that pay him on average 100k to be a member of their board.  Average member take home is around 55k. President doesn't want to know your name and has no contact with the members of the union.

 Everyone is out for themselves that can manipulate their way to the top.  End the fed and this all disappears.  We will all have to work hard to make our nation a better place.  Look at your towns older neighborhoods circa 1920 and prior. There will be a doctors house next to a carpenters house which will both be fashioned in beautiful accord.  Hard work was once appreciated.  Now only the manipulation of debt is regarded as a way to wealth...

 

"It's a big club and you ain't a part of it"

In reply to by dirty fingernails

Dumpster Elite Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:04 Permalink

The Union that I worked under for 30 years, TWICE had to get rid of the two different Treasurers, because of embezzlement. Having said that, there has to be some kind of a level playing field. We are quickly returning to the wondrous days of the late 1800s, when the J. P. Morgans, Carnegie's,  and Rockefeller's of the country controlled everything, including the government, and people were shot by Pinkerton's on a semi-regular basis for work "infractions."

Dumpster Elite gatorengineer Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:21 Permalink

I think all public sector Unions should be eliminated. Public employees already have far too many job protections. Public employee jobs were originally for those who couldn't find private sector employment. They were never designed at the start to be a way to an "elite" lifestyle. 

I live in the Northeast, and none of my pipe fitter buddies has ever made anywhere near 200k. Maybe in NYC or Boston perhaps?

In reply to by gatorengineer

ldd gatorengineer Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:32 Permalink

unions served a purpose when there were adverse working conditions. what is needed is a gov't regulated (yes i know this is crazy in todays bloated bureaucracy) system whereby abuse is unacceptable and (yes utopian i know) impossible. but this also requires workers not abusing the system.

my professions regulatory body have literally dropped the ball. can i say vested people trying to protect their positions in a fast changing world where tech advances make people redundant. organizations always devolve to be self serving at the expense of the future of their organizations.

In reply to by gatorengineer

Billy the Poet Dumpster Elite Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:18 Permalink

Grinding poverty, malnutrition and ill health was the usual condition of the common man from the dawn of time until the age of the so called Robber Barons. The Industrial Revolution and those who ushered it in improved the lives of the average Westerner immensely.

 

 

Starting in the late 19th century, income inequality began to decrease dramatically and reached historical lows in the late 1970s.

https://ourworldindata.org/income-inequality

In reply to by Dumpster Elite

brown_hornet Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:11 Permalink

Toyota manufactures cars in the USA with no union.

Pay is about $3 less an hour than UAW when counting all benes and employment costs.

In the last 5 years, only two people have been fired from 6500 person Georgetown, Ky plant.

And they always top reliability rankings for most of their respective lines.

rejected Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:23 Permalink

Unions corrupt? Shit,  Corporations worried about Union corruption,,, now there's double negative! lol

Read up on how the working conditions were in the late 1800's,,, early 1900's. You slaved 16 hours a day for pennies and no bennies!. Get sick,,, Your fired. Get injured,,, Your fired. Get too old (over 40),,, Your fired. Die on the job,,, Your wife and kids starve. 

Your kids wore old used cloths, Your wife always trying to figure how to feed all of you with little food. 

Then came unions, that fixed all that and created the middle class. And government? Sided with the corporations just like today. Agents would harass you and maybe kill you.  

It was a really sad time in America. 

Yes,,, today Unions are corrupt but so are the corporations and all their little buddies in government. Say you haven't noticed the war they're waging on the worker slaves? Where are all the manufacturing jobs?  Who helps bring in the H1B's? How are all the illegals getting in taking what work is available?  Who is destroying the money? 

Corporations, Government and the Central Bank. 

just the tip rejected Mon, 04/02/2018 - 23:47 Permalink

and yet production grew as did immigration.  workers came from all over to work in the conditions you describe.  as conditions were far worse from where they came.  while niggers were brought in by force, hundreds of years before, many a chinamen came during those times, of their own free will, to work as slaves of the railroad.

In reply to by rejected

Organic Patriot rejected Tue, 04/03/2018 - 08:33 Permalink

It's not the late 1800's,,, early 1900's anymore and government regulations now prevail over safety, work hours, overtime pay, discrimination, etc, etc.  And, the competitive labor marketplace drives wages and benefits.  Unions are not necessary any longer and should be outlawed for the public sector (including teachers and postal workers).  However, if private company employees want to unionize, fine.   So long as there is no outside pressure, help from the union or the company.

In reply to by rejected

Cabreado Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:42 Permalink

"U-Haul workers were lobbying for the Trump administration"

Lobbying Trump, eh?

Ah, Dear Leader Syndrome arrived even more quickly than I expected.

If you don't know how your government was designed to work,

you likely won't accomplish much with regard to the forces in play.

sunkeye Tue, 04/03/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

I'm pro Union AND pro ownership - and there's a way to accomplishing that.

Employee Stock Ownership Plans. Are they prefect? No, but a means to bridging the labor-management conflict. Just saying ...

hibou-Owl Tue, 04/03/2018 - 03:02 Permalink

My first job out of uni was with HJ Hienz, the main reason I left was unions.

As an engineer it was so restrictive. I brought a tech out from Germany to comission a label inspection system. He was to install and modify the PLC system.

Which union are you in mechanical or electrical, neither! Well choose and pay up.

Ah, PLC's are electrical work. You can't touch it. And only the operator can run it, which means you'll have to pay overtime for (them).

You can't remove the manual label inspector, because the machine missed one a few hours ago, 950 cans per minute. Label inspector was asleep in the Canteen.

The site closed because of costs, 1200 people lost their jobs.

ItsAllBollocks Tue, 04/03/2018 - 03:14 Permalink

Zerohedge has gone to shit. One article says corporations are enemy number one and the next says we should work with them and there's not one article mentioning the fact the US was ordered to leave Syria because they lost the war. It would appear zerohedge and MSM are becoming indistinguishable. Such a shame. Perhaps it's been taken over by compliant owners, just like Poloniex is now owned by Goldman Sachs.

p.s. Be sure the unions really are the bastards they are being made out to be and the whole issue is not just another propaganda campaign designed to eliminate what little is left of workers rights completely.

ItsAllBollocks Tue, 04/03/2018 - 03:32 Permalink

... and fix the fucking comments. This new system where nearly everyone ads a reply to the first comment sucks. Or maybe confusion is the intention of the new owners. Perhaps Zerohedge has become yet another subsidiary of Israel's global media cartels.

DeaconPews Tue, 04/03/2018 - 04:47 Permalink

I don't really give a fuck about private sector unions. If they can find enough idiots to join them, more power to them. It's the public sector unions that must go.