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Yes, I’ll sue an organizing labor union in a heartbeat. Zero hesitation

December 17, 2011

1. History, 2. Law

Yes, I’ll sue an organizing labor union in a heartbeat.  Zero hesitation

Labor unions are run by criminals that engage in illegal conduct to force new union locals on companies so that they can thereafter engage in legalized extortion.  And if the company owners tire of taking it up the ass?  The union leaders compel a strike, complete with vandalism and personal threats.  Oh, and all the union fees scrapped out of the workers’ paychecks?  The union leaders get Cadillac insurance policies and fatter pensions than the workers will ever see.  Let’s be clear:  Union members – generally – are not the problem; union leaders are the problem, and should be locked up followed by a melting of the keys.

Alright, enough editorializing.  Check out this case.  Small bus companies didn’t want their workers unionized.  Fair enough.  But the workers didn’t want it either.  So the union-leader thugs went on the offensive in an attempt to get yanked the bus companies’ legal ability to continue delivering kids to school.  Taking on each of the bus companies, the unions girls asserted the following:

a. “This company has collectively robbed its Aurora workers of $719,000 in wages it was required to pay under its contract”;
b. “Cook-Illinois has underpaid workers despite its contractual obligations,” and “has also forced them to drive dilapidated buses.”; and
c. Drivers must ask for basic items that are guaranteed in the contract with District 129.

More:

a. underpaid its drivers in violation of the contract with District 129;
b. utilized overage school buses in violation of the contract with District 129;
c. utilized school buses that were in disrepair and unsafe; and
d. threatened and intimidated its drivers.

More:

a. violated its contract with District 57 by failing to pay required wages and benefits to its drivers; and
b. threatened and intimidated its drivers.

More:

a. Alpha and ISB school buses were unsafe and had failed inspections;
b. Alpha and ISB school buses were in non-compliance with the District 218 contract;
c. Alpha was double-billing District 218; and
d. Alpha was committing unfair labor practices.

More:

a. Alpha’s school buses were unsafe and that it was violating its contract with District 218;
b. Richlee Vans was underpaying its drivers “in violation of the school contract with District 129 to the tune of $700,000”; and
c. the District 129 School Board has pending legal action against Richlee Vans for its violations of the contract with District 129.

The problem, naturally enough, is that not a single one of the allegations is true.  Each and every one of the allegations is false.  The union made up everything in its pathetic attempt to force unionization on the workers and companies.  How sad.

Enter Federal law.  18 U.S.C. § 1962:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who has received any income derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt in which such person has participated as a principal within the meaning of section 2, title 18, United States Code, to use or invest, directly or indirectly, any part of such income, or the proceeds of such income, in acquisition of any interest in, or the establishment or operation of, any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce. A purchase of securities on the open market for purposes of investment, and without the intention of controlling or participating in the control of the issuer, or of assisting another to do so, shall not be unlawful under this subsection if the securities of the issuer held by the purchaser, the members of his immediate family, and his or their accomplices in any pattern or racketeering activity or the collection of an unlawful debt after such purchase do not amount in the aggregate to one percent of the outstanding securities of any one class, and do not confer, either in law or in fact, the power to elect one or more directors of the issuer.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person through a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt.
(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to conspire to violate any of the provisions of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section.

[My emphasis]

Let’s toss in the opening part of a definition:

(1) “racketeering activity” means (A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.

“Extortion.”  Yes, precisely. Thank you.  So let’s define Extortion (in part):

(d) Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Refer back to the allegations made by the union gals.  “Reputation of the addressee.”  Bingo.

Labor unions had their place in our economic history.  When they focused on safe workplaces and fair wages, they added value.  But they lost their focus.  The UAW and its feminine brethren destroyed GM and Chrysler.  The largest single problem facing state governments is the pension and healthcare costs of unionized workers.  While we read articles of us commoners never retiring, union leaders laugh as age 65 comes replete with beer guts, BBQs, and wearing clothes that make them feel pretty (usually borrowed from their wife’s side of the closet).

The issues to me are clear.  If workers want a single voice when negotiating with the owners of a company, then informally nominate that person(s).  There’s no need to give 1% or more of your wages to achieve that.  Workers also need to understand that they don’t own the company.  When a union steps up to say that they’ll cover their share of the losses of a company instead of purely “sharing” in the profit, then we’re taking.  And, finally, when unions stop spending hundreds of millions of dollars on politics, then maybe – just maybe – they’ll have credibility when they talk about how poor their members are.

Unions are a cancer.  They’ve killed many companies and, in the process, have driven many more overseas.  As membership has plummeted, their belligerence has taken center stage.  To wit, the above case.  It’s time for the corporate push back, and I’m heartened to read this case.

We’re all in this economy together.  Some of us put everything they own into starting a company.  Many fail.  Just because one of us is successful doesn’t mean that the workers can extort de facto ownership – and only of profits without any obligation for losses.

If a company is being targeted by unions, and those unions are falsely whacking the reputation of the company, let me know.  I’d love to take the case.  Love it.

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About Clyde

Clyde is the lead attorney in the firm. Licensed to practice in 1993, he's also taught Constitutional and Criminal Law for several years at a private university, primarily at the Master's level.

View all posts by Clyde

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