On Jul. 22, NLPC blasted MD Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D) and Paul S. Sarbanes (D) for becoming mouth-pieces of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) in the fight against the Giant Foods and Royal Ahold merger. Mikulski & Sarbanes have taken $153,700 in political action committee (PAC) contributions since the 1980 elections from union organizations which have a vested interest in Giant Foods. “It should be no surprise why Mikulski & Sarbanes entered the fray on the side of the unions,” said NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm. “They’ve been bought and paid for with union PAC money. When union bosses crack the whip, the politicians shamelessly obey — especially when tens of thousands of dollars are involved.”
UFCW Local 27 President Buddy Mays issued a media released on Jul. 14, in which he accused Royal Ahold of secretly targeting only unionized Giant stores for divestiture as a way of satisfying possible Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerns about the merger. On Jul. 15, Mikulski & Sarbanes sent a letter to the FTC opposing the possible divestiture due to “existing labor contracts” and related issues. In addition to the UFCW, one of America’s most corrupt and scandal-ridden unions, the Teamsters, is the second major union involved in Giant Foods. Both the UFCW and the Teamsters are members of the AFL-CIO.
According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, since the 1980 elections Sen. Mikulski has received $34,650 from UFCW’s PAC, $27,100 from the Teamsters’ PAC and $19,000 from the AFL-CIO’s PAC for a total of $80,750. In the same period, Sen. Sarbanes has received $27,100 from UFCW’s PAC, $24,500 from the Teamsters’ PAC and $21,350 from the AFL-CIO’s PAC for a total of $72,950. These totals DO NOT include soft money contributions from these union organizations, nor do they include contributions from union bosses as individuals. They also don’t include any other “political” activities that are not required to be reported to the FEC. The totals reflect the most current FEC information on the 1998 cycle.