The Building and Construction Trades Dept. of the AFL-CIO has once again issued another of its politically motivated attacks on Associated Builders and Contractors, its chapters and member companies. BCTD claims in the article “Union Groups Lob Volatile Accusation at 22 ABC Chapters” to have “uncovered” certain “tax discrepancies” in reports filed by a few ABC chapters for their tax treatment of insurance-related income (ENR 6/14 p. 7).

The attack is both distorted and misleading. Our preliminary research into the allegations shows the union has maligned a select number of ABC chapters without legal or factual basis. In particular, the BCTD report fails to take
into account wide variations among ABC chapters’ insurance activities and the individualized nature of the income reported on each chapter’s tax documents.

ABC chapters are separately incorporated entities, each of which files its own tax return based upon independent tax advice appropriate to each chapter’s unique circumstances. Each chapter benefits differently from a variety of different insurance programs, each of which merits separate tax treatment. The chapters with which we’ve been in touch on this issue have assured us that their tax preparers stand by their assessments concerning unrelated business income tax.

It is clear that BCTD’s motivation in attacking ABC’s chapters is to divert attention from the union leadership’s financial mismanagement. On June 2, the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs issued its report on the scandal surrounding the union pension-owned Union Labor Life Insurance Company (ULLICO). The Senate report should be a matter of great concern to federal agencies, union members and taxpayers.

According to that report, ULLICO board members failed completely in their oversight duties, resulting in fraudulent enrichment of pension fund managers, and the union leaders themselves, at the expense of ULLICO stockholders.

ABC is proud of the benefits offered by its National Insurance Trust. The latest unsupported attack by BCTD will not deter us from pursuing high-quality, cost-effective health insurance for our member companies and their employees.