Glenn Spencer Glenn Spencer
Senior Vice President, Employment Policy Division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


March 19, 2024


On March 15, the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Rep. Virginia Foxx, sent letters to 12 unions asking about their policies and procedures to prevent fraud and corruption in their unions.

The letters were triggered by Chairwoman Foxx’s concerns that investigations by the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and Office of Labor-Management Standards have led to 725 federal indictments and 693 convictions of union officials and associates over the past decade. 

The letters were sent to the Service Employees International Union, the Teamsters, the United Steelworkers, the United Auto Workers (UAW), the Electrical Workers, the Communications Workers, the Machinists, the Carpenters, the Plumbers, the International Longshoremen’s Association, and the United Mineworkers.

Each of the letters asks for a comprehensive description of the policies and procedures the union has in place to monitor and deter fraud, corruption, and improper accounting, including any third-party audits, the types of training and education provided to prevent fraud or corruption, internal reporting mechanisms, and disciplinary policies. These questions apply both to each union’s headquarters as well as its locals. 

Chairwoman Foxx cites specific examples of corruption for each union. For example, in the Teamsters letter, she cites a state senator from Illinois who was indicted for taking more than $245,000 in fraudulent income and other benefits from Teamsters Joint Council 25 while purporting to be a union organizer.

The UAW letter cites the example of the former secretary-treasurer of UAW Local 412, who embezzled more than $2 million in union funds and was sentenced to 57 months in prison. The letter further states that this was the 17th defendant convicted in that investigation. 

It remains to be seen how the various unions will respond to the letters. In the meantime, Chairwoman Foxx has sent a helpful reminder that her committee takes its oversight responsibilities very seriously. 

About the authors

Glenn Spencer

Glenn Spencer

Spencer oversees the Chamber’s work on immigration, retirement security, traditional labor relations, human trafficking, wage hour and worker safety issues, EEOC matters, and state labor and employment law.

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