Union Boss "Fight Poverty" at a Cigar Club, Golf Tournament, Hotels ...

It's all in the name of "fighting poverty" or so said Tyrone Freeman, the boss of the Service International Employees Union in Los Angeles. That's all fine and dandy, except the problem is he's fighting poverty by spending $300,000 tab on golf tournament, cigar club, and steakhouses!

Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times broke the story with this investigation:

The Los Angeles-based union, which represents low-wage caregivers, also spent nearly $300,000 last year on a Four Seasons Resorts golf tournament, a Beverly Hills cigar club, restaurants such as Morton's steakhouse and a consulting contract with the William Morris Agency,
the Hollywood talent shop, records show. [...]

Based on documents filed with the Labor Department and Internal Revenue Service, the Guidestar nonprofit database, business records submitted to several state and local agencies and numerous interviews, a Times investigation has also found that:

* Payments to the company owned by Freeman's wife were among the local's largest single expenses last year. Payments by the charity, the Homecare Workers Training Center, to his mother-in-law's firm represented more than 10% of the nonprofit's total annual expenditures. [...]

* The local's nearly $10,000 tab at the Grand Havana Room, a cigar lounge known for its celebrity clientele and invitation-only memberships, was for "lodging," according to the union's annual financial report. A Grand Havana spokeswoman said the club does not provide accommodations. Freeman declined to characterize the expenditure, and after The Times inquired about it, he said he had refunded it.

Link | Continuing coverage at the LA Times

(Photo: Lawrence K. Ho / LA Times)

Yeah it's all power. But before I worked a minimum wage union job I had no idea how sleazy unions were. They were supposed to be why it's ok to work a low-wage job. But in most cases, at least in our recent economy, union fees are high compared to the protections they negotiate with the employer.

Example: Cashier for a large grocery? Be expected to get paid minimum wage, maybe 10 cents more, get very little hours, watch while management brings in a group of 10 or more people every month, see your hours go even lower, get no benefits of course (you don't work enough hours) and see your paychecks get hit with a $150 initiation fee. $150 for a person getting paid minimum wage and not getting enough hours to even think about getting health care on their own. Unions are lousy when they could be so much better. Oh, and this is Local 881.
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This is an example of why unions have failed Americas. We want to believe that someone is fighting for worker rights, but in the end it is everyman for himself.

Democrats pay too much tribute to these organizations that have not been able to keep the jobs here or raise the living wage. Instead they are dinosaur that has not been told of their demise.
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Unions had their place, about 100 years ago. Now the only thing they're good for is raising any given employer's cost of doing business by a significant percentage. If it weren't for the corrupt union bosses like this bozo, that money could very well be going into the pockets of the workers instead.

I worked one unionized job in my entire life, and that was only for 7.5 hours -- didn't even finish my shift, the job was so crappy. I live in a right-to-work state, but when I balked at signing the union card, I was visited by some very large coworkers and strongly encouraged to put my doubts aside. "Rocking the boat" on my first day would not be in my best interest. In the end I signed, and was durned lucky to even get a dime for my trouble that one day.

Oh, and the others that were hired that same day but didn't have the sense to walk out ended up being laid off two weeks later. Some union.
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Geez, the O'Reilly Factor viewers are out today, aren't they? ALL unions are corrupt, eh??

Sheesh. What a bunch of ill-informed nonsense.
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Just so you know, the person who runs UnionFacts.com, Sarah Longwell, is also the spokesperson for Conservative Network, not a big fan of unions. It's more right wing crap from Conservative Network, whose big stars are Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin, Laura Ingraham, etc.
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Also, if we put down all the corporate CEOs who wasted money on BS like this, we'd have a list a mile long. Remember the $5,000 shower curtain? Dennis Koslowski? Tyco International?
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Yeah that's the idea, if you can't attack the message, attack the messenger!

Corporate CEO do need to suffer in hell a lot longer, but this is about Union and many years of being corrupt.
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No, this story is about ONE union. And from that, you extrapolated to "unions are all corrupt" with the aid of your right wing, corporate, anti-union web site.
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All corporations must be corrupt, too, using your analysis. Dennis Koslowski was corrupt, so ALL corporations are corrupt. Right? Isn't that your theory?
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Ok moon, I will clearify.

This union listed is corrupted. Just like ever union I have ever heard off. If I run across an honest union, I'll let you know.
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