Friday, August 19, 2011

Unions Believe Violence Solves Problems

What you are seeing is the peaceful picketing that unions would have you believe is as tough as they ever get. Anybody with an IQ higher than an armadillo's knows that this peaceful picture is not how unions are getting their way these days. Public sector unions and their supporters have occupied state capitols and roughed up their opponents. The SEIU has its resident thugs at any meeting where there might be heard a discouraging word.

And that's the gentle part of union thuggery. Let's take a look at a couple of these peaceful strikes. First, there was the United Mine Workers strike. Sure, there were picket lines and stirring speeches. Those covered up the real activities of the union goons. One non-union contractor named Eddie York crossed a UMW picket line and was rewarded for his bravery with a fatal shot to the back of his head.

UMW president Richard Trumka not only failed to discipline any of the strike organizers, but set aside major union forced dues for the defense fund for the eight strikers charged with the murder. Trumka's reward was to be elevated to the presidency of the AFL-CIO. In that position, he has proudly quoted the words of Karl Mark from the Communist Manifesto, advising his workers to rise and rid themselves of their chains (much like former SEIU president Andy Stern). He keeps the Bolshevik violence out of his public speeches, but not out of his union meetings.

Prior to the murder case, a Virginia judge had ruled in a UMW private property damage and criminal threats case that "the evidence shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that violent activities are being organized, orchestrated and encouraged by the leadership of the union." The unions have slowly lost their hold over the working public, and their rhetoric convinces no worker to join their unions voluntarily. They have to convince them somehow. If the speeches don't work, the violence which had been on the down trend for several decades has come back in force. Intimidation and actual physical harm to both employers and employees is the order of the day.

The most recent example is the activity which has taken place away from the picket lines shown in the picture accompanying this article. The latest target of organized thug labor is Verizon. Says a spokesman for the Communications Workers of America: "There's nothing wrong, or un-democratic, or un-American about militancy. It's part of our tradition." That was a valid statement nearly a century ago when companies which practiced union-busting used goons of their own. With the advent of the NLRB, state laws, creation of OSHA, and other modern developments, the companies grew up. The unions are still like dangerous, angry, willful and ungrateful children.

There have already been 123 verified destructions of Verizon property, including at the homes of Verizon customers. One picket-line crossing Verizon employee had his arm broken in a very nasty melee. Fellow strikers from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers blocked the entrance to the home of a sixty-four year old semi-invalid woman's house after she called Verizon from a neighbor's house to repair her cut phone line. Verizon's security office is receiving hundreds of daily reports of sabotage, threats, or actual violence.

The most famous outrage occurred last week, when John King, an electrical contractor in Toledo (who was doing work for Verizon during the strike) was awakened to the bright lights of his home security system coming on as he heard loud noises in his driveway. He came outside to find a gang of union goons scrawling the word "scab" on his car. He shouted for them to stop, and one of the thugs came up with a gun and shot King in the arm. A few weeks earlier, the union goons had thrown a rock through his shop window inscribed with the word "kill."

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) have a long history of nefarious activities. It used huge sums of forced union dues for thug activities and political action, despite the wording of the National Labor Relations Act. In a landmark case, the union was heavily fined and required to produce records for any union member who requests them concerning how their forced dues were being spent. It turned out that somewhere between 50% an 60% of those dues were being used for non-permitted union activity.

The NLRB and finally the United States Supreme Court ruled that nobody could be forced to be a member of a union, but if they worked in a union shop, they had to pay a percentage of the full member dues for those activities permitted by the Act. In cases that subsequently went to court, CWA had told the protesting employees that their dues would be reduced by no more than 4% to 5%, since that was all that was being spent on union activities disallowed by the Supreme Court ruling.

In fact, when the evidence was produced in court, [pro-Democratic] political activity alone (unpermitted for forced dues for non-members) accounted for 40% to 55% of the union's spending. Huge refunds and penalties have been imposed, but CWA, IBEW, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and a myriad of other unions continue to lie about how their dues are spent.

For your information, the case is Communications Workers of America vs. Beck. Employees who choose not to be members of the union and request an accounting for how their dues are being spent are said to be "filing a Beck statement." They are always told they are giving up all the fabulous benefits of union membership and will still only reduce their dues by a minimal amount. But at least this is just union theft. It's when a "Beck employee" makes too much public noise about the dues that the intimidation and violence follows.

There is a hole in the Act that allows union bigwigs to get away with this highway robbery and violence. Union officials are exempt from personal liability as long as the violence they promote is in the name of "legitimate union objectives." That makes it very hard to tie the rhetoric to the actual physical violence. Jimmy Hoffa made this rule work for him for over a quarter of a century until the union turned on him after his federal convictions on other charges.

Right now, the situation is about as bad as it can be. The Obama campaign desperately needs the support of the unions, and Eric Holder's Justice Department is willfully blind to these union criminal activities. The NLRB is now loaded in favor of socialist hacks who will not take any stand that opposes union activity. Remember that Marx-spouting SEIU past president Andy Stern still holds the record for most overnight stays at the Obama White House.


Joel Farnham said...

Good Article LawHawk.

Is there any chance of getting these guys on charges? And the leadership as well?

Tehachapi Tom said...

Isn't it interesting we hear about the greatone's bus tour and vacation in a steady stream of monolog on the radio stations. We do not hear any of this not even on the conservative talk shows.
The other troublesome area mis police unions.
Will they turn a blind eye to what they should be stopping? It would be interesting to see a confrontation where police would have to cross a picket line inorder to do their job.
Between bo's embrace of the unions, his racisim and use of the countries recources our country is getting a blackeye.

Jocelyn said...

I really find all this disgusting. I have been following the Verizon strike some and someone on BIGovernment posted a letter from one of the head Union Thugs telling the strikers that it's okay to have a tire iron ready if someone, who isn't striking, is coming out of a man hole. And I feel there is no justice being done. They are letting these bully's get away with it!

I feel that even if the courts keep ruling and telling Unions they can't go harassing and threatening people it won't prevent them from not doing it. It's just really aggravating.

Unknown said...

Joel: There's always that possibility. The Verizon contractor had been attacked before, so he had a fairly sophisticated security system. The police have not revealed any information yet on whether he had a working CCTV system or if any of the thugs were caught on camera. Chances are, they were. The leadership is another story, though. They've dodged prosecution in the past, and as I mentioned in the article, the exemption in the National Labor Relations Act requires showing a direct link between the leadership and the perps. That law needs to be revised.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: Fox News has been slamming the President on his bus tour, including his "jobs" nonsense when the bus was manufactured in Canada. As for the unions, even in my radical days, I hated organized crime and I don't see a lot of distinctions between that and unionism. In my younger days, the ILWU (Longshoremen) in San Francisco made the mafia look like amateurs. They finally managed to kill the commercial freight business on the San Francisco docks almost entirely.

Unknown said...

Jocelyn: This administration is so far to the left that for the first time in my life (and that's a long time), union leaders feel free to spout Marxist slogans again. Back in the 40s and 50s, one of the main jobs of the union leadership was to expel their criminal elements and purge the locals of communist infiltrators. Now that leadership is the criminal/communist gang they had tried to expel.

AndrewPrice said...

The unions in this country are out of control. This is exactly the sort of thing that RICO was meant to get at. I hope the next Justice Department comes down hard on these things.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I agree on RICO. Although a revision of the National Labor Relations Act would address the union bosses issue specifically, RICO already addresses the exact same problem, though not specifically union criminal organizations. A revision of the NLRA removing the exemption for union bosses would allow the future Republican Attorney General to fight the criminal union bosses on two fronts.

As you know, I'm not in favor of creating new law where law already exists unenforced. But revising the NLRA would remove the cover that the union bosses have been hiding under for decades, and make RICO prosecution more viable.

Unknown said...

Another tactic the CWA is using in the Verizon strike is to recruit retired Verizon union employees to tie up the phone lines at Verizon help center. Those with legitimate complaints and/or dangerous situations cannot get through because the help lines are backed up for hours. The retirees are given a script which tells them to stay on the line until a customer service representative actually answers, then tie the rep up with a scripted complaint (they are given several scripts to choose from). CWA calls it a "virtual picket line." Yeah, it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.

Unknown said...

John Huntsman just took a shot at Rick Perry, thinking he was damaging Perry with a snarky reply to Perry's fundamentalist views. Huntsman is quoted by TimesWatchTracker: "In a Twitter message sent Thursday afternoon, Mr. Huntsman wrote: 'To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.'"

OK--you're crazy!

He may have struck a glancing blow to Perry on the evolution issue, but he lost 90% of Republicans and about half of independents with his ongoing global warming foolishness. I'm almost willing to bet that the day after he withdraws from the race for lack of any significant support he switches parties. The Democrats can have him.

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