It's time to fight union thuggery



DEROY MURDOCK: It's time to fight union thuggery
Scripps Howard News Service
Last Updated 12:02 p.m. PDT Thursday, June 5, 2003

(SH) - Armed militants advance their agenda by bombing their opponents' property, assaulting their persons and even attempting to murder them. This is a case for the Department of Homeland Security, right?

Though they sometimes resemble terrorists, these non-state actors enjoy legal protection. Federal law lets Big Labor zealots threaten and commit violence that promotes sanctioned union goals.

In the 1973 U.S. v. Emmons case, the Supreme Court exempted unions from the 1946 Hobbs Anti-Extortion Act, which forbids the obstruction of interstate commerce through violence or blackmail.

Thanks to the Emmons loophole, however, organized labor can escape federal Hobbs Act prosecution, provided its mayhem furthers "legitimate union objectives," such as higher wages. At least 15 states similarly shield labor brutality.

Unions thus rain terror upon their enemies, primarily lawful strike-replacement workers and salaried staffers. Unfortunately, those who feel union muscle often remain unavenged. As Stan Greer of the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) explains, "the failure of overwhelmed or politically neutralized (local) police and prosecutors to enforce the law against union militants" leaves labor's victims hungry for justice.

The institute has found that victims of union henchmen rarely get satisfaction in local, state or federal criminal courts. According to media accounts the institute has analyzed, 2,193 incidents of union violence occurred nationally between 1991 and 2001. Only 62 individuals were arrested and 10 people punished for these promised or actual attacks on people and property, yielding a reported conviction rate of just 0.45 percent.

Events the media missed would boost these figures.

Consider these examples: - Labor Ready manager Matthew Kahn directed replacement workers to Hollander Home Fashions after the UNITE textile union struck its Los Angeles plant in March of 2001. He was attacked in a parking lot in May of that year, suffering a concussion and multiply head lacerations. Charges were dropped against a union organizer arrested in the attack.

-The Teamsters struck Overnite Transportation between October 1999 and October 2002. In Overnite's concurrent RICO lawsuit against the Teamsters, federal Judge Bernice Donald said that 55 shootings and additional brick and projectile attacks against Overnite's non-striking drivers were "related to attempted murder."

Twenty-year Overnite employee William Wonder was shot in the abdomen while driving a company vehicle near Memphis on Dec. 1, 1999. "Overnite bears a heavy responsibility here," Teamsters president James Hoffa, Jr. said in a statement that seemingly capitalized on Wonder's near-fatal injuries. "Overnite can end this strike at a moment's notice with a binding agreement." No one yet has paid for shooting William Wonder.

-As AK Steel's general counsel, David C. Horn, told the House Education and Workforce Committee last Sept. 26, negotiations with the United Steelworkers and AK's Mansfield, Ohio plant faltered in March, 1999. A company billboard soon sported a poster that read:

"Wanted - good reliable small arms, unused explosives (C-4 preferred) names and addresses of all salary employees. Payback time!"

On Dec. 6, 9 and 11, 1999, the home mailboxes of three salaried AK employees exploded. On the 11th, another bomb damaged a truck that indirectly supplied AK scrap metal, injuring Jamie King of Leesville, Ohio, then 22, who was asleep inside the vehicle. She temporarily ended up on crutches.

After additional violence, a union representative anonymously told a reporter in July 2000: AK's "going to get somebody killed by not coming to the (negotiating) table."

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., has had enough of this. His Freedom from Union Violence Act (H.R. 1656) would end the Emmons exemption so the feds may prosecute labor hooligans who abandon peaceful union activism for intimidation and carnage.

"One element of terrorism is instilling fear in the general public," Wilson says by phone. "This loophole instills fear in the workplace."

Will compassionate Democrats help stop this savagery, or will they wink at the thuggery practiced by too many unionists? After all, labor gave Democrats $89,882,124 for the 2002 elections, vs. $6,441,332 to Republicans, reports the Center for Responsive Politics' campaign finance database.

A vote on Wilson's measure will show Americans which members of Congress still want federal officials to snooze while union hoodlums bust jaws and send blood spurting across picket lines.

New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Fairfax, Va.


You make it sound like every union employee is out to shoot or harm somebody. Tell it like it is. You dont like unions so you put this crap on this board. A few guys get out of control and suddenly every teamster is a gangsta. Please... 99% of Union employees wouldnt hurt anyone so let it go.Why not make a post stating if big companies would deal in good faith it wouldnt push people over the edge. Thats if you really cared about anyone getting hurt. But we all know that has not one thing to do with your post.


IF I knew of a violent act that someone I knew commited, I would turn them in, in a heartbeat. And If I had first hand knowledge, I would testify against them. Violence is never the answer. Never. It is a language used by those that refuse to think in more creative ways.




The post has nothing to do with liking unions or not, it has to do with a flawed statute that exempts a labor union and its agents (members) from prosecution when/if they commit acts of violence during disputes. I agree, only a hand full of union members would commit a violent act, it only takes one bullet or stick to take a life. Unions are adamantly opposed to closing the loophole. Are the unions opposed pro violence?


It wouldnt do you any good to turn them in they get a free pass.


I testified before the United States Senate in September 1997 on this very issue. The AFL-CIO spends big bucks (dues money) to keep this loophole wide open. There is no reason to keep the loophole unless violence is considered a necessary part of the process.


The only people who go over the edge are the ones standing on the edge. These people aren't pushed over the edge....they eagerly JUMP over the edge and start the violence.
Of course you would blame the innocent victims. It's their own fault, if only they would have negotiated in good faith.
You see this loophole as a good thing, it's ok to commit violence when someone disagrees with you. You are a loyal follower, maching blindly to the drumbeat of the FEW who espouse this behavior.


Labor laws in regards to compulsory unionism, are long overdue for an upgrade. The union violence issue is one of the pillars propping up compulsory unionism, so it deserves an airing from time to time. As upsdude pointed out, there have been Congressional hearings on the subject in the past and possibly in the future, so it is an issue which should stay on the radar screen.

Even if actual violent acts may not be commonplace, the ones which do occur still send out a strong message if one decides not to toe the union line. More often than not, the threat itself is often more intimidating than the physical act of violence. In short, a climate of fear and intimidation is often created or it exists as an ongoing workplace folkway. As we all know, the message is "shut up and toe the union line, or else." This is coercion, pure and simple.

In regards to my own views, the union violence issue was a factor in my decision to resign my membership. I don't believe in the use of violence and/or coercion as a means to an end in the furtherance of "legitimate union objectives." Moreover, I don't believe in compulsory unionism and I have concluded it is a crude experiment in social engineering and it is an ideology I have rejected after studying the issue from both a textbook standpoint and through workplace experience. There is a difference between voluntary and compulsory unionism, so if one is against the compulsory model, one is labeled "anti-union." Whatever.


I would never support violence to achieve a finacial goal. My main focus on this article was comparing Union members to terrorist. It offended me. . After reading and doing some research I agree with you all on the point that those who break the law should face it. I took the terrorist comment and not the context of the article.
Upsdude even though this is an important issue that needs to be resolved in your favor. 2cents put it here to Union bash. If you do a little research Rep Joe Wilson's Freedom from Union Violence Act (H.R. 1656) still allows for "minor acts of violence and minor property damage. If 2cents really cared 2cents would have said how this act doesnt go far enough.
As for Vette I didnt mean that big companys who dont deal in good faith justify the use of violence, but doing so does add gas to the flame of violence. You are right some would follow or except this practice. I am just not one of them.
As for compulsory unionism...You think it makes sense that having Union and non-union working together is fair. This is what happens. The non-union employee rides the tail of a contract reaping the benifits of the union while not taking the chance of being replaced as we are during every contract or paying dues. They dont say "well I would have settle for lesser of a contract so I am going to give some of the benifits and wages back". Either all union or no union. As for rejecting unionism. I am a guy who delivers packages who made over $65k last year. Without the union I wouldnt have.


From History, there has been accounts of violence instituted by both sides but in recent years the violence does appear to be more on the side of the union. All union members should at all times oppose violence no matter what and Hoffa's cavelier response to the Overnight shooting is just flat wrong. He should at least condemn the shooting and then go forward with his comments about Overnight agreeing to a contract.

What really is of interest to me in his matter is terrorism and homeland security. Because of terrrorism and homeland security will this door of a loophole be slammed shut as a result of 9/11 and it's after effects? Bush said his adminstration will fight terrorism no matter where it exists and yes you can say that union violence or the threat of is a form of terrorism so this could get real interesting going forward IMO. The Patriot Act (which for the record I'm not a fan of to begin with no matter the noble cause) has far reaching tenticles and lawyers, especially gov't ones, love to go places where there was never legislative intent so it could be in time that union thugs might find themselves on the same field as Al-Queda, Osama and Saddam. IMO, this whole process could get interesting. Time will tell!

It is more important now than ever before that all IBT members conduct themselves at all times in a respectful and professional manner no matter what the environment they find themselves in. JMO.


If I misunderstood your stance on unions,or any others, using violence as a means to achieve their agenda, I apologise.
I also believe you when you say you would not resort to physical violence for financial goals.


Mr. Union Basher does in fact care, which is why he posted the article in the first place. Upsdude made excellent points in his post, so it would have been a waste of time to state the law doesn't go far enough because that is obvious. I believe the minor incidents will be left up to local law enforcement to sort out. FUVA, as upsdude eloquently stated, will close the loophole. Below is a copy of the bill, which was recently introduced in the House.

Freedom From Union Violence Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

HR 1870 IH


1st Session

H. R. 1870
To amend section 1951 of title 18, United States Code (commonly known as the Hobbs Act), and for other purposes.


April 29, 2003
Mr. WILSON of South Carolina introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To amend section 1951 of title 18, United States Code (commonly known as the Hobbs Act), and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Freedom From Union Violence Act of 2003'.


Section 1951 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

`Sec. 1951. Interference with commerce by threats or violence

`(a) PROHIBITION- Except as provided in subsection (c), whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion, or attempts or conspires so to do, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section, shall be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned for a term of not more than 20 years, or both.

`(b) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section--

`(1) the term `commerce' means any--

`(A) commerce within the District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States;

`(B) commerce between any point in a State, territory, possession, or the District of Columbia and any point outside thereof;

`(C) commerce between points within the same State through any place outside that State; and

`(D) other commerce over which the United States has jurisdiction;

`(2) the term `extortion' means the obtaining of property from any person, with the consent of that person, if that consent is induced--

`(A) by actual or threatened use of force or violence , or fear thereof;

`(B) by wrongful use of fear not involving force or violence ; or

`(C) under color of official right;

`(3) the term `labor dispute' has the same meaning as in section 2(9) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 152(9)); and

`(4) the term `robbery' means the unlawful taking or obtaining of personal property from the person or in the presence of another, against his or her will, by means of actual or threatened force or violence , or fear of injury, immediate or future--

`(A) to his or her person or property, or property in his or her custody or possession; or

`(B) to the person or property of a relative or member of his or her family, or of anyone in his or her company at the time of the taking or obtaining.


`(1) IN GENERAL- Subsection (a) does not apply to any conduct that--

`(A) is incidental to otherwise peaceful picketing during the course of a labor dispute;

`(B) consists solely of minor bodily injury, or minor damage to property, or threat or fear of such minor injury or damage; and

`(C) is not part of a pattern of violent conduct or of coordinated violent activity.

`(2) STATE AND LOCAL JURISDICTION- Any violation of this section that involves any conduct described in paragraph (1) shall be subject to prosecution only by the appropriate State and local authorities.

`(d) EFFECT ON OTHER LAW- Nothing in this section shall be construed--

`(1) to repeal, amend, or otherwise affect--

`(A) section 6 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 17);

`(B) section 20 of the Clayton Act (29 U.S.C. 52);

`(C) any provision of the Norris-LaGuardia Act (29 U.S.C. 101 et seq.);

`(D) any provision of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.); or

`(E) any provision of the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 151 et seq.); or

`(2) to preclude Federal jurisdiction over any violation of this section, on the basis that the conduct at issue--

`(A) is also a violation of State or local law; or

`(B) occurred during the course of a labor dispute or in pursuit of a legitimate business or labor objective.'.

To anyone who has been an actual victim of union violence, the terrorism charge isn't that far off the mark. Its sickening to see these acts being committed, while the perpetrators evade prosecution. To anyone who is interested in learning more about this subject check out the policy analysis called Freedom From Union Violence.

We've had this discussion on this board before as New Zealand has a successful voluntary unionism statute, which the U.S. should emulate. Believe it or not individual employment contracts can co-exist right along side collective bargaining agreements. Even the father of the modern day labor movement (Sam G) believed union membership should be totally voluntary.


Just look at My2cent name beside threads started. Does anybody see a pattern. You will also see that there are no comments of his own with these acticles posted. He is not a Union basher...
wink.gif just prove my point. For those of you who just care about people not getiing hurt like me. If you take the time to read why people think they need the FUVA is because state and local law inforcement dont want to get involved. The loop hole isnt being closed. This is a line from the FUVA act under the heading of Exempt conduct."`(B) consists solely of minor bodily injury, or minor damage to property, or threat or fear of such minor injury or damage; and . Seems to me that any fancy lawyer could place any act into those headings.
So now you can say " I wont kill you,but I will inflict pain and damage your stuff. I feel safer already......not.

(Message edited by Kidlogic on June 11, 2003)


Another bizarre rant from the far side. Kid, how do you do it? You have the perfect screen name. If you tire of "Kid Logic," I believe "non sequitur" is still available. You are the true master in this arena. Have you appeared in any Monty Python films? LOL!


I love when people result to name calling....means they couldnt prove me make me smile

Look at the threads 2cent has started. Nothing but negativity on the Union. Anyone who looks to see will know you are........just scroll down...nothing about UPS..just Union stuff. Seems to me someone who has just got done stating that he doesnt believe in Unions then you look at the threads starting by them and you see not one the isnt about the Union. Could you explain then why you started the last 3 or 4 threads then and please put a positive spin on them ..You cant..

(Message edited by Kidlogic on June 12, 2003)


Look at the threads you have started: Hoffa: Federal Supervision of IBT Could End this Year
Excerpt from the June 9th issue of Union Corruption
UpdateTeamsters Union Hit With Federal Charges For Violating UPS Workers Rights
Houston Local Under Investigation for Possible Kickbacks & Embezzlement
From the May 26th Edition of Union Corruption Update
Teamsters oust union chief
There is the proof.


My two cents I agree with issue but I too am wondering why you posted this info. For the most part we've got a pretty good group here and this article seems to be a jab at the union guys.


This really is getting weird. Paranoia perhaps? Geez, by posting an article on the union violence issue, it turns into a touchy, feely thing, instead of discussing the subject on its merits.

The article appeared in my local newspaper and found it of interest, so I did a Google search and posted it for general interest. Still can't see what the big deal is and this isn't the first time I have posted on this subject. I remember posting a link on this board when Congress held a hearing on the subject last year, the same one mentioned in the editorial. Additionally, I am also a regular reader of "Union Corruption Update," which comes out twice a month. If I find something of interest, I may post it.

Just for the record, the right to work and union corruption issues are the two most likely areas readers of this board will see posted from me and I offer no apologies for doing so. These are issues which are often ignored or buried and I do in fact, try to bring them to life. I don't expect many positive responses to most of the material I post. In reality, I expect negative responses, flames, etc. Just goes with the territory. If I post an article with no comment, it simply means I'll let the article speak for itself. If others comment, fine, because I'll join the discussion as I see fit.

I believe people like Kid Logic posts to disrupt and manipulate. I know the purpose of his agitation is to provoke or bait people into saying something stupid or something they will regret later. The tsar of the non sequitur also has the manipulative ability to personalize his attacks, while polarizing at the same time. Too bad most people see through these pathetic and vile tactics. These blackhat techniques reflect a destructive code of ethics. Something I have absolutely no respect for.

Kid, I have sunk to your level mainly because I was trying to solve the paradox of the absurd. I won't make this mistake again and I have no interest in replying to your petty and trivial rants. Total waste of time and energy. Better things to do.



My take on the whole Teamster/UPS deal is this.

Im as anti Teamster as you can get, I am however, very pro union. I am completely against compulsory membership. Samuel G, the founder of the AFLCIO, was also against compulsory membership. 99% of the crooked leaders in the Teamsters are from a non UPS background. Think about that for a moment. We as UPSers may be hard to get along with at times, we may cause a ruckus, weve been known to make a mistake or two, but we do have integrity. The company does an excellent job of weeding out those that steal and harm our image. We can do better with our union too. We need our own organization to represent us and further our goals. We dont need a bunch of cronies who couldnt make it in the business world if their life depended on it. We need UPSers, Drivers, Part Timers, Pilots, and Mechanics working for our future.

Now, back to compulsory membership.

You want strength? Build an organization that truly represents OUR needs, not those of substandard poorly run companies. Once you build such an organization folks will knock the door down to become a part of it. Forced membership will not be necessary.


2cents I just have an opposing view then you which I try to back with articles and information which I check out. I find it odd that when someone comes from an angle of fact finding and no name calling it proplexes some people.If I had used facts and common sense to back up your view of the topic would it also be vile???
I am pro-worker and pro-customer. That is what I am and that is what my post reflect.
You start threads that put the union in bad light. That's your point of view. I can respect that. You dont like them so be it. But to start 4 threads and say in your post you have dislike for the union then say you arent anti-union. Come on.You know when even Tieguy which I am not on his Christmas card list can see my side of my post then you have to take a good hard look on the inside.
As for me having some master vile plan to distract and use trickery....You give me way too much credit. I like facts. Show me a fact that will change my view point and I will flip my view in 1 second. On the arguement you just have emotion and opinion.


Kid, believe it or not, I am not anti-union but pro free choice. If I think it is in my best interest to be in a union, I'll be a member. If not, I should have the right to represent myself. I still don't think you understand what voluntary association means.

Much of what is wrong with unions today is rooted in their compulsory roots. When given absolute power the natural result is corruption. This is something I'll never voluntarily support. I don't think you will grasp this concept either, so I'll allow you the parting shot.