Lawsuit Alleges Solis Failed to Report Free Jet Trips from Los Angeles-Area IUOE Local

hilda-solisFormer Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis readily admits it: She’s a union woman. But her affinity with organized labor is more than just a matter of shared views. On February 10, the Cerritos, Calif.-based Hews Media Group revealed that Solis, now campaigning for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, had accepted thousands of dollars worth of free private jet travel more than five years ago, while still serving in Congress, from International Union of Operating Engineers Local 12, but without disclosing these trips, as required by federal law. This finding is cited as a material fact in a federal civil racketeering suit filed in January by four members of the Pasadena-based local against some two dozen people.  While Solis is not listed as a defendant, the details suggest her tenure as labor secretary during President Obama’s first term was seriously ethically challenged.

Organized labor long …

Democrats Move Funds into Union-Owned Amalgamated Bank

amalgamated-bankUnions have an understandable dislike for doing business with nonunion employers. It’s a matter of self-interest. And as the City of Charlotte prepares to host the Democratic National Convention during September 3-6, a growing roster of labor and politically allied organizations are indicating their displeasure over the party’s decision to hold the event in that decidedly nonunion locale. Some groups, which include an apparently chastened Democratic National Committee, are shifting deposits from the Charlotte-based Bank of America (BoA) to a union-owned New York City institution, Amalgamated Bank. This exodus in large measure has been motivated by payback for BoA bankrolling much of the event. Yet this process, if taken far enough, could result in more investment decisions of the sort that put Amalgamated, and union depositors, in harm’s way not long ago.

Amalgamated Bank isn’t exactly a union. Yet it looms as potentially the most important labor organization in the …