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Causality for “It’d be a shame if ….”

December 30, 2010

I’d hate to see what happens to your beloved city because you reduced my pay and benefits….

Hot Air:  “They sent a message to the rest of the city …. said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed that…..Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts 

There will be PLENTY of commentary over the veracity of the claims. But it brings a trend to light – in so many of the most minor ways, big labor unions sometimes operate like organized crime more than organized labor.

Remember this – SEIU protests at a bank execs house, terrifying his 14 year old? There are plenty of recent examples where the threats were real, and acted upon – including a first person account of how violent leaders took over a union in Texas and ultimately ended in this man being shot 5 times. The union chaplain was quoted as saying it was a shame he couldn’t have been one of the shooters….sigh. Organized crime definition:

Ongoing conspiratorial enterprise engaged in illicit activities as a means of generating income (as black money). Structured like a business into a pyramid shaped hierarchy, it freely employs violence and bribery to maintain its operations, threats of grievous retribution to maintain internal and external control and thuggery and contribution to election campaigns to buy political patronage for immunity from exposure and prosecution

….A 1975 UN definition of organized crime adds “… large scale and complex criminal activity carried on by groups of persons, …for the enrichment of those participating and at the expense of the community and its members

It’s very much in the grey zone wrt CRIMINALITY to choose to not do your job thoroughly in order to send a message about how necessary you are…  but still, it is definitely the unions needs/wishes at the expense of the community.

How about the expenses to union members?…Reader’s Digest

 ….West and other  international ironworkers union officials embezzled over $400,000 — and spent it on vacations and country club memberships….

…four steelworkers officials in Virginia pleaded guilty to pilfering some $10,000 from a relief fund that was established for workers following a foundry explosion. …

….a Chicago Teamsters leader who retired a few months ago earned $586,000 last year. Salaries like his may explain why the rank and file across the country often pay $500 or more in annual dues.

 One hypothesis from a recent book as to the causality of the similarities gives us a start…but certainly not a conclusive tie for me…

Unions are susceptible to organized crime because they receive a constant flow of funds from members automatically deducted by employers; AFL-CIO rules prohibit challenges to representation once a union has been recognized; and oversight of unions is difficult for both insiders and outsiders because few union members are interested in governance and because violence, intimidation, and control of information make monitoring costly and risky

Other thoughts on the inter-relationships between mafia and organized labor behavior?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2010 10:17 pm

    Ah – great points. I hadn’t made the connection but you are 100% on target. The communists largely didn’t care who lived or died & were completely content to allow entire populations to suffer (Ukrainian famines) where the mafia were largely protectors of an area when the police were unable/unwilling to (North End in Boston) but hard on individuals.

  2. December 30, 2010 1:03 pm

    Unions used to be Mafia territory — it was the one segment of American society where the Mafia was accepted, expected, and tolerated as a sort-or normal thing.

    But in recent years, much like corporations have pushed the Mafia out of casinos, the far-left/communists are pushing the Mafia out of union leadership. In many cases, the blend has been subtle; it is hard to draw a bright line between Eugene Debs and Andy Stern and the Tony Soprano-types that are still present in droves. But bit by bit, the higher leadership and direction has been steering back toward the Marxism that the movement was rooted in.

    An odd aspect: Many Mafia members, and even leadership, considered themselves highly patriotic despite their unorthodox approach to business. But the new/old crop of leftists tends to despise the US, and wants to see it subjugated to global rule. Global union rules, more correctly. I expect that this causes some internal tensions between the Mafia locals and the leftist national leaders.

    But when it comes to the effects of these groups upon society, there is more in common than different. Again, though, the Mafia tends to be locally destructive, where the communists act on a national level against the US.

    Bad news either way. And I cannot say who was more involved in the New York decisions, but the approach feels further left than the Mafia. They tend to focus revenge and punishment upon individuals, not whole American cities.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

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