Observations on Unionism!

Observations on Unionism! by Jack Kettler

In this look at unionism, a number of issues will be relevant. To start, an economic analysis of union philosophy will be considered. Then, the nature of union oaths will be of utmost importance for Christians who desire to be faithful to the dictates of Scripture. Other problematic aspects of unionism will be looked at. The fact of unions and organized crime will be dealt with. In closing, public sector unions will be looked at.

Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises on Labor Unions:

Exclusively preoccupied with wage rates and pensions, the unions boast of their Pyrrhic victories. The union members are not conscious of the fact that their fate is tied up with the flowering of their employers enterprises. Planning for Freedom p. 91 Unions

The labor unions are deadly foes of every new machine. Human Action p. 269; p. 269 Unions

They and their members and officials have acquired the power and the right to commit wrongs to person and property, to deprive individuals of the means of earning a livelihood, and to commit many other acts which no one can do with impunity. Planning for Freedom p. 191 Unions

As people think that they owe to unionism their high standard of living, they condone violence, coercion, and intimidation on the part of unionized labor and are indifferent to the curtailment of personal freedom inherent in the union-shop and closed-shop clauses. Planning for Freedom p. 153 Unions

The labor unions aim at a monopolistic position on the labor market. But once they have attained it, their policies are restrictive and not monopoly price policies. They are intent upon restricting the supply of labor in their field without bothering about the fate of those excluded. Human Action p. 374; p. 377 Unions

No social cooperation under the division of labor is possible when some people or unions of people are granted the right to prevent by violence and the threat of violence other people from working. Planned Chaos p. 27 Unions

The labor unions of the Anglo-Saxon countries favored participation in the Great War in order to eliminate the last remnants of the liberal doctrine of free movement and migration of labor. A Critique of Interventionism p. 123 Unions

No one has ever succeeded in the effort to demonstrate that unionism could improve the conditions and raise the standard of living of all those eager to earn wages. Human Action pp. 764-65; pp. 77071 Unions

The issue is not the right to form associations. It is whether or not any association of private citizens should be granted the privilege of resorting with impunity to violent action. It is the same problem that relates to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. Human Action p. 773; p. 779 Unions

Strikes, sabotage, violent action and terrorism of every kind are not economic means. They are destructive means, designed to interrupt the movement of economic life. They are weapons of war which must inevitably lead to the destruction of society. Socialism p. 307 Unions

The cornerstone of trade unionism is compulsory membership. Socialism p. 435 Unions

The weapon of the trade union is the strike. It must be borne in mind that every strike is an act of coercion, a form of extortion, a measure of violence directed against all who might act in opposition to the strikers intentions. Socialism p. 435 Unions

The policy of strike, violence, and sabotage can claim no merit whatever for any improvement in the workers position. Socialism p. 437 Unions

Union membership in the light of Scriptural principles:

The attempt to use violence to force an employer to pay a desired non-economic wage is clearly robbery. It is a demand that either an employer rob himself or his customers, which can mean pricing himself out of the market.
R. J. Rushdoony; Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. 1, p. 508.

What should be of utmost importance for the Christian? The religious aspect of unionism is evidenced by the membership oaths that are required and where the members are bound to the membership oath under penalty of retribution. Should a Christian make a union oath?

The origins of an oath is clearly religious in nature:

Throughout the history of Western Civilization, oaths have been understood to be solemn declarations made in the presence of God, to whom we are accountable.

Because of the importance attached to oaths by Scripture and centuries of common law experience, it is important for us to consider the religious nature of an oath.

John Witherspoon, Presbyterian theologian, mentor of many of the Founders, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, explained that religion and the oath were inseparable:

An oath is an appeal to God, the Searcher of hearts, for the truth of what we say and always expresses or supposes an imprecation [a calling down] of His judgment upon us if we prevaricate [lie]. An oath, therefore, implies a belief in God and His Providence and indeed is an act of worship, and so accounted in Scripture, as in that expression, Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and shalt swear by His name. . . . . Persons entering on public offices are also often obliged to make oath that they will faithfully execute their trust . . . .
Reference: The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), vol. VII, pp. 139-40, 142, from his “Lectures on Moral Philosophy,” Lecture 16 on Oaths and Vows.

The following oath has been taken for generations by members joining the Teamsters Union. In light of the above material by Witherspoon about the religious nature of oaths, the following Teamster oath binds its members into a religious covenant known as the “Brotherhood of Teamsters.”

OBLIGATION

Fellow worker, you will now take an obligation that will bind you to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and this Local Union and that will in no way conflict with your religious belief [an outright lie since unionism, i.e., socialism is incompatible with Christianity] or your duties as a citizen:

I,________________, pledge my honor to faithfully observe the Constitution and the laws of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the bylaws and laws of this Local Union.

I pledge that I will comply with all the rules and regulations [The bylaws are a rather lengthy document which very few individuals whom swear allegiance to this document have ever seen let alone read it] for the government of the International Union and this Local Union.

I will faithfully perform all the duties assigned to me to the best of my ability and skill.

I will conduct myself at all times in a manner as not to bring reproach upon my Union.

I shall take an affirmative part in the business and activities of the Union and accept and discharge my responsibilities during any authorized or lockout. I

I pledge not to divulge to non-members the private business of this Union, unless authorized to reveal the same.

I will never knowingly harm another member.

I will never discriminate against a fellow worker on account of race, color, religion, sex, age, physical disability or national origin.

I will refrain from any conduct that would interfere with the Union’s performance of its legal or contractual obligations.

I will at times bear true and faithful allegiance to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and this Local Union. {A classic mark of cultism}
Source: Teamsters Article II: Membership

Another example is the oath required for membership by the International Typographical Union:

I hereby solemnly and sincerely swear (or affirm) that I will not reveal any business or proceedings of any meeting of this or any subordinate union to which I may hereafter be attached, unless by order of the union, except to those whom I know to be in good standing thereof; that I will, without evasion or equivocation, and to the best of my ability abide by the Constitution, By-Laws and the adopted scale of prices of any union to which I may belong; that I will at all times support the laws, regulations and decisions of the International Typographical Union, and will carefully avoid giving aid or succor to its enemies, and use all honorable means within my power to procure employment for members of the International Typographical Union in preference to others; that my fidelity to the union and my duty to the members thereof shall in no sense be interfered with by any allegiance that I may now or hereafter owe to any other organization, social, political, or religious, secret or otherwise . . . that I will not wrong a member, or see him or her wronged, if in my power to prevent. To all of which I pledge my most sacred honor.

As seen from the above quotes, unions are “brotherhoods.” It is problematic for a Christian to be a member of a union because of accepting unbelieving, ungodly men as brothers. In addition, this puts the Christian in a position of sharing the un-biblical rationale regarding labor practices promoted by unions.

Scripture calls the believer to communion with fellow believers and forbids fellowship with the ungodly. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

As noted above, the swearing of an oath is an initiation rite and religious in nature. God is sovereign over this world, over human life, and in heaven. Making non-biblical oaths and vows violates God’s sovereignty. Jesus forbade the taking of oaths of this nature in Matthew 5:33-37, which is especially relevant to union oaths. Jesus taught us to be content with our wages in Luke 3:14. In contrast, unionism teaches us not to be content with our wages.

It should be noted that a biblical and civil oaths require, sanctions or penalties for violating the oath. This is true of unionism. Violence and threats are still a big part of union enforcement tactics. Unionism also uses fines levied against a member who exercises his First Amendment freedom to speak out against the forced union membership requirements. The Teamster oath binds the member to never bring “reproach upon my Union.” This oath would forbid a member from bringing attention to union corruption. Or, forcing unwilling individuals to join something in good conscious they are opposed to.

In addition, it should also be noted that when union members call themselves brothers and sisters, this is a concept borrowed from Christianity and further evidence that this “brotherhood” has a religious element to it. Union membership does not qualify to make someone my brother or sister in Christ. Union brotherhood is non-Christian in nature, and violates the clear command of the scriptures where we are told not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Today thousands are forced into union membership against their will by state and federal law authorities. This is outrageous and highly immoral.

Henry Van Til of Calvin College wrote a book on Calvinism and culture. Regarding unions, He asserted that:

the believer, in his opposition to the world, therefore, must see that the so-called “neutral union” is an enemy of the cross of Christ just as well as the communistic party leader that curses the church and her King. For the neutrality postulate of the union involves a tacit curse upon the anointed One, whom the Father sent into the world and by whom he now rules over all things . . . The labor unions of our day are not one whit behind those of whom the Psalmist testifies that they took counsel together against the LORD and his anointed . (Psalms 2)
Henry R. Van Til, The Calvinistic Concept of Culture, Baker, 1959, pp. 201, 202.

Inherent problems with Union membership and representation:

Consider what is involved in making a car, computer or television purchase. You expect to have a printed guarantee of the specifications of the item purchased. You want to know how much memory the computer has, the size of the hard drive, how fast the CPU is. You want to know how many pistons and horse power the engine of the car or truck has, how many miles per gallon you will get in the car or truck you are about to purchase. In regards to televisions, you want to know what the picture will look like compared to the other models in the show room.

You also expect to have a service contract that protects you if you get a defective item. In other words, you expect and deserve a written money back guarantee or replacement of defective parts. A written guarantee protects you, the buyer.

Unions try to get employees of a company to buy a service contract. What is involved in the contract?

Unions will never to put into writing a guarantee of what the union will do for those being pressured to sign a union contract in the area of increased wages, and benefits. Imagine that, a union wants people to pay for union service but refuse to put in writing what they will do. In addition, and more importantly, a union will always refuse to put in writing a money back guarantee if people conclude the service is defective or does not live up to promised expectations. This is a standard right as consumers!

No one in their right minds would purchase a car, truck, computer or television with out some kind of written guarantee to protect and insure that if the product is defective it can be returned for a refund or replacement. A union should held to the same standard as any other business that wants money for a service or product, a written guarantee. This is only reasonable.

The middle man. Who needs a middle man?

Everyone have heard about eliminating the middle man. In this day and age, you do not need a middle man which can make things cost more. Today we can buy online direct from the manufacturer or go to a factory outlet store to save money. In contrast, a union wants to come between individuals and private business entities as a high-priced middle man service.

Problems with unions negotiating contracts:

If unions were fair, you should only have to pay once every three to five years to negotiate a contract. Not being charged month after month, year after year, pay check deductions. Any legitimate bargaining business would only charge a one time fee for the contract and then when the contract is up, you could hire them again if they did a good job. The union wants to be hired as full time middle men and then clauses built into union contracts, make it next to impossible to fire them.

Unions don’t mind negotiating bad contracts:

The union wants the tax cash flow to start going into their bank account as soon as possible. This is how they make money. Union business agents are trained in how to manipulate a vote to get the members to accept lousy contracts. A contract may be lousy for the members, but good for the Union. Why would the union profit from a bad contract? First, the union profits from a high employee turnover. All new employees pay the union initiation tax in addition to the payroll tax. This initiation tax is a lucrative revenue source for the Union.

The turnover will start when the senior employees take a big financial hit in a union contract. Contrary to what the union propaganda, everything is on the table including the wages of those loyal employees that have been with the company for many years. There will only be one wage scale and the top of the scale will not be where many of the senior employee’s hourly rates are currently. This means that the most loyal employees will have a wage reduction, which is the recipe of employee turnover.

One thing the union fears is a work force of employees that have a special bond which comes from years of working together. Why is this? Employees with this special bond know each other and trust each other and are able to organize themselves effectively to fight against the union protection and taxation racket. An employee work force with a high turn over means employees that do not know each other and will find a difficult time in trusting each other. With a high turnover work force, it will be extremely difficult to organize a campaign to boot the union out. That is why some businesses have had Unions for years simply because of the inability of the transitory, high turnover work force to mount any type of resistance to the union’s skillful manipulation techniques.

Once the union gets in and destroys a company’s ability to reward long term committed loyal employees, attrition begins. The business then starts losing its most committed employees because of the one wage scale in the union’s socialistic pay system. The union loves a wage pay system in which everyone is paid the same. Merit pay is out the window in union shops and many employees are forced to find work elsewhere. A business has to keep hiring new employees to keep their business operating. The company’s employees are now made up of new hires with no long term leaders who can organize resistance to the union protection and taxation racket. Bad contracts are good business for Unions and bad business for career minded employees.

Since their inception, trade unions have been influenced by communists and mafia crime syndicates:

Labor investigator Michael Moroney, who has served as a consultant to the federal Organized Crime Strike Force argues that mobsters back in the 1930s didn’t simply “infiltrate” unions; they established them. “The five crime families of New York are the foundation of American trade unions,” he said. “Without the support of the Mafia, and government officials who have winked at them, most unions simply would not exist.”

Unions are the modern form of communism, restricting what members can earn and by telling them what political stance they can have. They dictate to their members what they will earn. They dictate to their members what their political views must be. Freedom of choice is no longer valid when you are in a union.

Every year union members give a portion of their hard earned money to labor unions. What do they get in return? Union membership provides nothing, except substandard medical and dental benefits.

Unions take the money from their members and spend it on politics. They spend the money endorsing political ideas that may or may not reflect the values, ideas or political parties of their members. They do it without asking, polling or voting on what the members want or would like. The unions only care about advancing their power and control over their members, business and politicians.

Unionism is a form of organized crime. Unionism threatens to damage a company financially through its strike threat. This is where unions have historically gained concessions, by bringing a company to its knees through financial loss. The strike threat union’s use is nothing more than an attempt of collective or group theft.

A recent National Labor Relations Board’s annual report for included the number of Unfair Labor Practices alleged against unions. Union officials faced a disproportionately high number of allegations of wrongdoing, when compared to employers. The worst part: The vast majority of allegations said that members were the ones hurt by the union officials that are supposed to protect them.

This report detailed the fact that Unions faced a total of 6,381 allegations and 82% of charges against unions alleged illegal restraint and coercion of employees.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) represents more than 1.3 million members. It is perhaps best known for its historical relationship with the mafia. In 1989 the Justice Department brought a racketeering case against the union, saying that it was a “wholly owned subsidiary of organized crime.” Since 1992, the Teamsters have been overseen by an Independent Review Board (IRB) that is charged with making sure the union stays clean. It is not entirely clear that this IRB has succeeded; in fact it is extremely doubtful.

A 2002 article in the generally pro-union New Republic magazine noted that the IBT is “still plagued by corruption; ex-felons and people with reputed mob associations lurk around the edges of key Teamster locals seeking influence over the union. Indeed, corruption within the Teamsters may actually have increased in recent years.

Embezzlement, False Reports, Violence is the history of Unionism. Most people don’t know just how many crimes are committed every year through which union officials hurt their own members. The number of reputed and verified crimes is staggering.

Union officials have regularly ordered or approved of violent, coercive and harassing conduct aimed at making an example of employees who don’t toe the union line.

“Schemes involving bribery, extortion, deprivation of union rights by violence, and embezzlement used by early racketeers are still employed to abuse the power of unions.” Source: U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, 2004

According to a 1999 Congressional report four of the last eight Teamsters presidents have been indicted according to the FBI.

Despite being outspent 10-to-1 by his opponent, Teamsters presidential aspirant Tom Leedham received a third of the vote in the union’s November 2006 election. The centerpiece of Leedham’s campaign was a vocal dissatisfaction with President James P. Hoffa’s administration, which Leedham says has a “dismal record of failure.” As he told the October issue of In These Times: “[Hoffa] pushed through the largest dues increase in the history of the union without a membership vote … [H]e ran on a pledge of no dues increase … He doubled dues, but there’s been no doubling of union power … He developed an anti-corruption program with great fanfare and spent $15 million, but it collapsed when he blocked investigators when they were getting close to his office … [Dues] support [the] lavish lifestyle of top officers, with the number of international employees receiving multiple salaries increasing from 16 to 163.”

In 2005 alone, federal racketeering investigations resulted in 196 convictions against union officials and $187 million in fines. Union tactics including deception and intimidation during organizing campaigns, strikes that hurt members more than they help, spending mandatory union dues on radical political agendas, and the use of anti-democratic voting practices are long overdue for exposure.

Union membership has numerous parallels with joining a gang!

A gang is a group of Individuals that share a common identity, even if the identity consists of little more than their association with one another. Gang is a general class of behavior in which collective action and support of community interests and goals to active social cohesion or solidarity. Solidarity is very important in Gangs, Cults and Unions.

1. Membership in both unions and gangs provide the false security of belonging to the group. In reality, it is no security at all.
2. Joining unions and gangs are similar in that it is usually involuntary or pressure is applied to individuals to force them in.
3. Neither unions nor gangs can deliver on their promises.
4. Both unions and gangs use intimidation and threats of and real violence to keep their members in line.
5. Both unions and gangs engage in theft.
6. Unions and gangs have links to other criminals.
7. Both union and gang members are manipulated and controlled by the leaders.
8. It is easier to join a union and gang than to leave.
9. Leaving or opposing a union or gang can involve personal risk such as the threat of violent payback and or financial damage i.e. union fines or destruction of property.

One Internet blogger notes: Just join a Union….same lifestyle as a gang but with benefits and political clout.

News: Los Angeles building-trade unions are stepping up recruitment in the inner city, where many new hires are former and current gang members. Posted May 21, 07 in US, Business, Arts & Living

Reader’s Digest July 1986; Time To Put Labor Racketeers Out of Business

The following article is dated but it nevertheless provides valuable insights into the corruption that has been part of the union movement since its inception.

Gangsters dominate four major U.S. unions-and use them to pick the pockets of all Americans. We have to declare total war on their corrupt empire

BY EUGENE H. METHVIN

READER’S DIGEST Senior Editor EUGENE H. METHVIN was a member of the President’s Commission On Organized Crime and supervised its investigation into union corruption.

Joe Teitelbaum, owner of a Miami stevedoring company, became so fed up in 1975 with shakedowns by the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) that he turned to the FBI. The G-men were ecstatic to have an industry insider bold enough to wear secret tape recorders and introduce undercover agents to his business.

A federal probe lasting five years uncovered a massive, Mafia managed cartel stretching from Boston to Houston. The racketeers sold labor peace on the docks where delays can cost shipowners $35,000 a day, rigged bids on ship repairs, orchestrated fraudulent workmen’s compensation claims, shook down employers for payoffs and fingered cargoes for truck hijackers. Dockworkers even had to pay a daily kickback to get work.

The FBI’s biggest catch was the ILA’s No. 3 officer, Anthony Scotto, boss of Brooklyn Local 1814. FBI electronic surveillance captured irrefutable evidence that Scotto was a capo in the Gambino gang, one of New York’s top crime families. The Gambino organization controlled the docks as far south as Norfolk, Va., while the Genovese gang-another major New York crime family-ran the ILA locals farther south.

By 1981 Justice Department prosecutors had convicted 52 union officers and 58 company executives and corporations. Despite the convictions, little changed. The FBI subsequently recorded Gambino boss Paul Castellano boasting, “It’s our International.” Last January the President’s Commission on Organized Crime reported, “Life on the docks today remains much as it was.”

“Bad Four.” The frustrating result of this, the most successful labor-racketeering probe the FBI ever mounted, underlines a national scandal: four major American labor unions, with a total of nearly three million workers, are dominated by La Cosa Nostra, the crime syndicate, and its allies. The “Bad Four” are:

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), whose l.9 million members range from airline pilots to truck drivers. The IBT has been under the mob’s thumb for three decades. Former president Roy Williams, imprisoned for conspiring with Mafia leaders to bribe a U.S. Senator, acknowledged under oath that every major Teamster local “had some connection with organized crime” and his successor, Jackie Presser, is as controlled “as I was.”*

The ILA, representing 116,000 dockworkers on the East Coast, the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes. Through this union, reports FBI Director William Webster, the mob imposes a “racket tariff” on all goods shipped through U.S. ports. Syndicate-managed thefts at Miami docks alone total $2 billion a year-costs that are passed directly to shippers and consumers.

The Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International (HERE), whose 400,000 members are “owned” by the Chicago Mafia, according to Congressional testimony and the FBI. In nine years the union’s assets have dropped from $21.4 million to less than $14 million. Millions have been siphoned away in “loans” to gangsters and associates.

The Laborers’ International (LIUNA), whose 509,000 members are concentrated in heavy construction and the building trades. In addition to extorting kickbacks and payoffs, LIUNA leaders rig bids, fix prices and order contractors to buy supplies from mob-controlled firms. By one authoritative estimate, the Mafia monopoly adds 20 percent to construction costs in New York City.

The presidents of all four of 11 these unions have invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusing to answer official inquiries about criminal activities. Though AFL-CIO policy prohibits officials who take the Fifth from holding union office, the presidents of the three AFL-CIO unions continue to sit on the parent body’s executive board. (The Teamsters were expelled from the AFL-CIO for corruption in 1957.)

Neglected Weapons. Federal law-enforcement authorities, for their part, have ample legal power to clean up these unions, particularly with two weapons Congress gave the Justice Department in the 1970 Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations statute (RICO).

Legislators provided in RICO both criminal and civil sanctions for those engaged in a “pattern of racketeering.” To imprison them, prosecutors must produce “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” But in a civil proceeding, government prosecutors or private parties need only supply a “preponderance of evidence.” Then a jury or judge can impose triple damages. A judge can dissolve or seize racketeers’ companies, oust them from their union posts or welfare-fund trusteeships, and ban them for life from specified business or union activity.

The late Sen. John L. McClellan (D., Ark.), the legislation’s author, predicted the civil RICO law would assure the “wholesale removal of organized crime from our organizations and forfeiture of their ill-gotten gains.”

But in 15 years, the Justice Department’s organized-crime strike forces have brought just 68 criminal RICO prosecutions, with a distinct minority of those against union racketeers. These cases yielded only $1.1 million in fines and $3.2 million in forfeited assets. The neglect of the civil RICO weapon has been even worse: a mere six cases in 15 years, only one against a union racket.

By contrast, states that have adopted their own RICO statutes have put Washington’s record to shame. Florida has had its statute only nine years, yet its attorney general has won $8.3 million in 39 civil RICO cases against racketeering enterprises as diverse as pornography, prostitution, theft, fraud and drug smuggling. In six years Arizona has brought 75 RICO prosecutions and chalked up judgments exceeding $16 million.

Rare Victory. Clearly, there is a great deal more to do on the federal level. Indeed, one of the few outstanding federal civil attacks on labor racketeering shows what can be accomplished by an all-out offensive.

In New Jersey, Mafia capo Tony Provenzano and his family ruled a Teamster empire, embracing 35 locals and 90,000 members, by sheer terror. In his own Local 560, two members who dared oppose Tony Pro were murdered-one gunned down as he left home the morning after speaking out at a union meeting.

The Provenzano group bilked Teamster welfare funds and oversaw Mafia loan-shark activities. They also infiltrated legitimate trucking companies to perpetrate a series of frauds and inside thefts, bleed the firms white and force them into bankruptcy. To avoid labor troubles, employers were compelled to make wholesale payoffs and hire ghost employees.

Justice Department prosecutors sent Tony Pro to prison for extortion. Yet he continued to run the union from his prison cell, his brothers assuming his official posts in Local 560. When Provenzano was finally put away for life for murdering a Teamster worker, his successor was none other than his 23-year-old daughter.

Then on March 9, 1982, Newark Strike Force chief Robert C. Stewart filed the first-ever civil RICO suit against a union. After a four month trial, he won a resounding victory. Federal Judge Harold Ackerman declared that the evidence revealed “how evil men engaged in a multifaceted orgy of criminal activity,” and he ordered the removal of the entire Local 560 executive board and the appointment of his own trustees to run the union. An appeal of his order is pending.

Rich Potential. Stewart’s New Jersey triumph had strong reverberations in Washington. Assistant Attorney General Stephen S. Trott told Congress, “The Local 560 case has opened our eyes to the potential of civil RICO. Future cases along the lines of Local 560 will be instituted.”

Months passed, and nothing happened. Last March, the President’s Commission on Organized Crime scored Justice Department inaction and called for a nationwide strategy “to bankrupt individual mobsters and to discourage union officers, employers and public officials from accommodating organized crime.” But an effective federal assault will have to overcome these longstanding obstacles:

1. Lack of political will. Busting union rackets has never been popular work in Washington. Explains one former Labor Department investigator: “The rank-and-file union members are powerless, while their leaders can make campaign contributions, provide telephone banks and move voter blocks–muscles that win elections.”

Thus, ILA vice president Scotto marched Brooklyn dockworkers to cheer candidate Jimmy Carter, and President Carter invited him to lunch-even after FBI agents had recorded incontrovertible proof of his Mafia membership and union piracy.

President Reagan has entertained Teamster leaders Williams and Presser at the White House. In 1980 top LIUNA officers trooped to the White House to have their picture taken with Vice President Walter Mondale and present him with a campaign contribution. In the last two Congressional campaigns, the Bad Four collected $4.7 million to aid favored candidates.

Declares the President’s Commission: “When corrupt union leaders are seen joining hands with politicians it conveys a message that political leaders are beholden to the union. Such contacts can erode public confidence and dampen the desire to end racketeering. Organized crime is aware of this and purposefully seeks to cultivate and benefit from political influence.”

2. Anemic enforcement. Congress has never provided enough personnel and funds to enforce the laws it has passed to safeguard union members’ rights. “I have fewer than two hundred people to oversee fifteen thousand federally protected union pension and welfare funds containing billions of dollars in trust for millions of workers,” complained Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor John J. Walsh before he quit in 1984. (The union funds are in addition to the 700,000 other private pension plans that the Department oversees.) The DOL has only 89 investigators to help the Justice Department combat labor racketeering. A veteran prosecutor told me, “I could use more than that in Manhattan alone.”

The racket-busters’ principal antagonist is Robert J. Connerton, a lobbyist and LlUNA’s longtime general counsel. Lawyers in Connerton’s firm wrote a law-journal article denouncing DOL corruption fighters as “a national police force with little accountability”-without noting that one of their firm’s major clients is the racket-ridden LIUNA. Connerton spearheaded an AFL-CIO lobbying drive that sank a Reagan Administration effort to persuade Congress to provide I50 more DOL investigators.

3. Bureaucratic bumbling and bickering. For decades, lethargy and rivalry have dogged federal anti-racketeering efforts. When the Justice Department indicted Florida LIUNA official Bernard G. Rubin for embezzling $400,000, for instance, prosecutors moved to place union funds under trusteeship. After DOL declined to assist, pleading “lack of manpower,” the Justice Department abandoned the effort. Rubin was convicted (he is appealing), but Senate investigators found he embezzled an additional $2 million before he went to jail.

DOL’s 89 crime investigators do not have the authority to carry guns, execute search warrants or make arrests. When a DOL agent wants to bust a racketeer, he has to hunt up an FBI agent to accompany him. Sen. Sam Nunn (D., Ga.) has introduced remedial legislation, but a turf-jealous Justice Department has stalled it for almost three years.

4. Inadequate planning, analysis and pursuit. The FBI, its agent strength cut by nearly ten percent between 1976 and 1980 has lacked the manpower to mine its vast lode of surveillance tapes of top mobsters. The G-men in Chicago, for example, recorded thousands of hours of criminal conversations between Teamster president Roy Williams and his cohorts, but harvested only a single case.

“I know what those tapes contained, and it’s a shame only a single prosecution came out of it,” one FBI agent told me.

Proper planning and analysis could pyramid such intelligence bonanzas into seizures of racketeers’ property, expelling them from office and placing their unions under court supervision. Scores of FBI veterans are retired at age 55, when they’re considered too old to “work the streets.” Why not use them as intelligence analysts to pore through the files and plan strategic long-range strikes?

5. Neglect of corporate racketeers. While businessmen are often unwilling victims, they may also be eager customers for the mob’s chief product: muscle to terrorize workers and keep them quiet while corrupt union and corporate executives strike sweetheart deals.

The Commission on Organized Crime heard from one self-styled mob “leg breaker” who described how corrupt Teamster leaders conspired with Fortune 500 company executives to cut wages and welfare benefits, and jettison safety rules.

The Justice Department prosecuted only seven defendants-not one of them a Fortune 500 executive.

EVERY AMERICAN, whether union member or consumer, has a direct stake in ending the mobster empire of labor racketeering. When your Congressman and Senators ask for your vote this autumn, ask them these questions: What have you done to root out racketeers and get the Justice Department moving to break the Mafia stranglehold on key unions? Are you accepting campaign contributions or endorsements from the “Bad Four” unions?

Meanwhile, write Chairman Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Senate Labor Subcommittee, 428 Senate Dirksen Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510;; Chairman William L. Clay (D., Mo.), House Labor-Management Relations Subcommittee, 2451 House Rayburn Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515; or Attorney General Edwin Meese 111, U.S. Justice Department, Washington, D.C. 20530. Tell them it’s time to put labor racketeers out of business, now.

No one should be forced to pay tribute or protection money to a union in order to keep a job.

Under federal law, if union organizers win a representation election by even 50% plus one of those voting, they are empowered to negotiate contracts on behalf of all 100% of the workers. In fact, under some circumstances, union officials become monopoly “representatives” even when most workers are against them! And by law each and every worker loses his or her right to negotiate directly with the employer on his or her own behalf.

This trampling of individual rights flies in the face of what the Bill of Rights is all about:

The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to place certain subjects . . . beyond the reach of majorities. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
Justice Robert Jackson in Board of Education vs. Barnette

As noted economist and Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek wrote about U.S. labor law:

It cannot be stressed enough that the coercion which unions have been permitted to exercise contrary to all principles of freedom under the law is primarily the coercion of fellow workers. Whatever true coercive power unions may be able to wield over employers is a consequence of this primary power of coercing other workers.

A recent poll by the Marketing Research Institute found that over 84% of Americans believe that employees who do not wish to be represented by a labor union should have the right to bargain for themselves. In fact, some 75% of union-member households agreed that such monopoly bargaining is wrong. If a union is great, let them operate side by side with non-union employees and let them prove that their negotiating leads to better benefits and wages than the non-union workers. If unionism is voluntary, I have no problem with it. If they force me to join and pay tribute, I will consider it tyranny.

Union political contributions to unprincipled Congress Creatures can be described as a circle of influence buying political payback corruption. The net affect of this in the real world is that freedom loving, individuals are forced into unionism against their wills and then subjected to unfair union payroll taxation without representation. Union leadership is not representation in a Constitutional sense of the word. Forced unionism is an affront to the Constitutional guarantees of one’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. – Thomas Jefferson

Public Sector Unions:

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that “under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Letter on the Resolution of Federation of Federal Employees Against Strikes in Federal Service August 16, 1937

Public sector unions are particularly evil, since they are organized against the tax payers who are at the mercy and victims of corrupt politicians who have received substantial campaign contributions from these unions and in return scratch the backs of the unions. This an unholy alliance.

The following links are provided so you can educate yourself about the dangers of forced unionism!

Union officials have ordered or approved of violent, coercive and harassing conduct aimed at making an example of employees who don’t toe the union line. See: http://www.unionfacts.com for examples of union crimes!

The National Right to Work Foundation
National Right to Work Committee
Say No To Unions
Labour Watch Association
National Alliance for Worker and Employer Rights
Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Union Facts
Youtube Right to Work Channel
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition manifesto
Unions: Why A Faithful Christian Cannot Belong To Or Support Labor Unions
Forgotten Facts of American Labor History by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Click here for an online pamphlet by the Protestant Reformed Church on Christians and unionism.
Freedom is not free, you have to fight for it! Stop UN-Constitutional unionism Today!

The above links are active at http://www.undergroundnotes.com/Unionism.html

Mr. Kettler is the owner of Undergroundnotes web site where his theological, philosophical and political articles can be read.

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