Troubles run deep for key labor union in D.C.

January 28, 2013

The Laborers’ International Union has in its legislative affairs office a lobbyist who pleaded guilty in a fraud case despite a federal law banning convicts from overseeing unions’ finances.

The troubled union also was hit this month with a tax lien from the District of Columbia, which charged that it owes nearly a half-million dollars in unpaid taxes dating back eight years.

According to a former employee, the workers at the nepotism-besieged headquarters felt so mistreated that receptionists and others tried to unionize under the AFL-CIO, only to have the Laborers’ Union headquarters engage in union busting.

Tax arrears

The District’s Office of Tax and Revenue issued a tax lien Jan. 9 against the union’s Connecticut Avenue Northwest headquarters in the amount of $460,736 for unincorporated franchise taxes, penalties and interest on 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2010 taxes, records obtained by The Washington Times show.

“Prevent seizure action by sending full payment today!” the letter says.

The union’s previous headquarters, on Vermont Avenue Northwest, had federal tax liens issued against it in 1991 and 1992 for $70,000 and in 1993 for $25,000, records show. They were settled in 1995 and 1996.

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