Union Jacked

How DC 37 became America's most indicted municipal union

Gotbaum wasn't looking for friendship. Presumably he was trying to accumulate power in New York City, where it's been estimated that 100 out of the city's 600 locals are dominated by crime familes. For Victor, a trip to the candy store with Cutolo could help him reach the presidency of the Central Labor Council.

If working with the mob was a matter of personal ambition with Gotbaum, in the Hill regime, it became a matter of personal survival. It's not just that Hill was weak. For corrupt leaders, workling with the mob isn't a matter of personal strength or preference. It's a matter of impersonal processes. It all starts with their decision to substitute patronage for participation. Then one thing leads to another. The trips to the candy store probably didn't end with Gotbaum or with Hill. Last Wednesday night's Election Massacre preserves the necessary process of keeping the members out of the life of the union.

Stanley Hill Loyalists Helen Green (Center) and James Butler are sworn in as AFSCME Vice Presidents, after Defeating a Reform candidate.
photo: George Cohen/ DC-37
Stanley Hill Loyalists Helen Green (Center) and James Butler are sworn in as AFSCME Vice Presidents, after Defeating a Reform candidate.

Part Two: Patronage produces corruption.

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