New Study Exposes Construction Labor Union Slush Funds

According to an Associated Builders and Contractors news item, the results of a new study, conducted by George Mason University's John M. Olin Institute for Employment Practice and Policy, showed from 2000 to 2007, construction labor unions spent more than $1 billion in union wages to underbid nonunion contractors in a practice called "job targeting." In job targeting programs, also known as market recovery funds, organized labor officials collect fees from union members and then funnel that money to union contractors - and in a few cases, nonunion contractors - to compete for projects on which they otherwise would not be competitive. Additional Results of the The Olin Institute study, "Job Targeting and Market Recovery Practices of Construction Unions: Their Apparent and Hidden Costs," included: Job targeting programs needlessly increase public construction costs Job targeting programs give unions an unfair advantage Job targeting programs are unknowingly funded by taxpayers