Government’s Union Watchdog Notches 5,000th Indictment

Rob Bluey /

The Department of Labor’s union enforcement office marked the 5,000th indictment in its history last month, dating back to 1964 when recordkeeping began. The Office of Labor-Management Standards has recouped more than $103 million for taxpayers since the beginning of the Bush administration, but last year became a target of liberals in Congress, who axed $12 million from its budget.

In January alone, the office notched eight convictions, nine indictments and court orders of restitution totaling $121,867. That brings the totals for fiscal 2008 (since Oct. 1, 2007) to 36 convictions, 47 indictments and court-ordered restitution of $877,212. Most of the cases involved the embezzlement of union funds. (See recent criminal enforcement actions.)

The office is responsible for administering most provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, including investigations of embezzlement from labor organizations, extortionate picketing, deprivation of union members’ rights by force or violence, and fraud in union officer elections. It also publishes union financial reports at