National Affairs: Living It Up

About 12 million U.S. workers have a stake in union welfare funds, totaling some $17 billion and theoretically set up to provide pensions, medical care and other benefits for members. Last week New York's State Insurance Department, making a fast public audit of a dozen-odd union funds at hearings in Manhattan, proved that some union officials are firm in the philosophy that benefits should begin with the guardians of the funds. Samples:

¶Two leaders of a C.I.O. restaurant workers' local tapped its welfare funds for $32,760 a year, plus two Cadillacs, a Packard, and gasoline for summer trips to the Catskills, winter...

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