Labor’s Office of Inspector General released a report Tuesday detailing what it calls “unethical practices” at a number of the nation’s largest unions.
The OIG found that, among other things, unions have engaged in practices that threaten employees’ rights, including:The OGE said the findings underscore that “unionism is a system of collective bargaining, not a single institution.”
In the report, OIG Director John Beauregard Smith said union leaders often act in “egregious” ways and often are not fully informed about union contracts and other contracts and policies.
Smith said that, while there is a “need for improved accountability and accountability,” union leaders “can and should do more to better protect their members and employees.”
Among the findings of the OIG report are:Union contracts that do not allow for binding arbitration, or binding non-binding mediation, can lead to “unfair and unfair labor practices.”
Unions are “unaccountable” for the loss of union members and workers’ health insurance coverage and can “significantly impact employees’ ability to organize.”
Union leaders often “fail to disclose to employees and the public the risks associated with union activity, and often fail to adequately warn their members about the risks of union activity.”
Unifors have been caught violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by “making unfair, misleading or deceptive representations to employees.”
Uniformed workers and their employers are required to pay union dues.
The report also says that union officials are required by law to provide employees with the following information to them:• How to file a grievance• How and where to report grievances• How the union can negotiate and arbitrate employment disputes• How long an employee may be employed by the union• How much money the union has to pay employees who quit, are fired, or have any other type of health problem that affects them, and how to access union-paid health insurance and medical care.
Unions also are required, if a union contract is terminated, to provide the employees with a severance package, in the form of a lump sum payment.
Union contracts have not been made public, but some labor groups have sued to force the disclosure of the contracts.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, the Communications Workers of America and the Service Workers’ World Council are among the organizations that have sued in court.