(Click here to view Dougherty’s conflict-of-interest reports (Form LM-30) that Philly Union Boss John J. “Johnny Doc” Dougherty filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) covering the years 2004-2008.)
Like most union bosses, recently indicted John Dougherty stopped filing conflict-of-interest reports after the Obama Labor Department eliminated union corruption disclosure and enforcement efforts. The LM-30 conflict-of-interest reports, like most of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, is about empowering employees against corrupt union officials via public disclosure.
However, thanks to Dougherty’s conflict-of-interest reports when he was required to file them in the past, his “brothers and sisters” in the union can see that he stayed several times for free at contractor Peter DePaul’s Luxury Condo on the Delaware River across from the U.S.S. New Jersey. Dougherty received over $58,000 from Independence Blue Cross according to these reports. Dougherty’s senate campaign even received over $169,000 in 2008 from people who did business with the union.
Philly employees working under IBEW contracts or who rely on the union trusts would not know these financial connections if not for Bush-era disclosure reporting.
Unfortunately, for employees working under the union’s monopoly bargaining contract and being forced to pay union dues, the Obama Department of Labor heavily favored union bosses over individual employees. Obama’s Labor Department eliminated basic disclosure by thousands of union employees and officers. Under Labor Secretary Tom Perez (now DNC Chairman), union officers like Johnny Doc no longer had to worry about federal investigators, reporters, the public, or members scouring USDOL reports for patterns of corruption.
At [the Obama] DOL, John Lund cut the number of labor union investigators, rescinded disclosure of union officer benefits, eliminated financial reporting for unions like the Wisconsin Education Association Council, and eliminated conflict-of-interest reporting for thousands of union officials. Each of these actions benefits Big Labor Bosses, but undercuts those forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment.
(In 2004, unions filed 96 LM-30 forms. In 2005, that number was 13,326, thanks to the Bush administration’s enforcement efforts.) The Obama administration has also stopped requiring financial disclosure for oft-abused union trusts or strike funds.
Nothing has changed under Trump Labor Secretary Acosta. Conflict-of-interest reporting and union front group records remain undisclosed.
Just how big of a disclosure hole has been created by the Obama-Trump labor departments? For example: In 2004, there were 1,291 LM-30 conflict-of-interest reports filed by IBEW union officials. For 2018, only one IBEW official has filed an LM-30 report.
If the blossoming Philly/Johnny Doc story is any indication of what’s happening today with unaccountable union bosses, then it is time for the Trump Labor Department to give employees the tools they need to police their own unions and renew basic transparency.