Union Ties to Organized Crime

Union Ties to Organized Crime - Creation of Unions •...

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Unformatted text preview: Creation of Unions • Formation of the Unions Union Ties to Organized Crime Crime Unions Unions Early Start • 1886 – Formation of American Federation of Labor – Skilled Labor --Cigar Makers & --Cigar Printers • 1890’s – Bitter Labor strikes at Pullman Car Company and Homestead Steel result in riots and several workers being killed – Protect Membership from Bosses Abuse – Fair Labor Practices – Health Insurance Insurance – Safe Working Conditions – Equal Pay for Equal Work – Overtime Pay – Pensions National Labor Relations Act of 1935 • Grants workers right to join unions • Prohibits Employers from committing Unfair Labor Practices – Threaten a Worker if he joins a union – Retaliates against a worker for Union involvement • Also prohibits Unions from forcing workers to join unions. • The government was empowered to obtain an 80-day injunction against any strike that it 80deemed a peril to national health or safety 1 Taft – Hartley Act of 1947 Prohibits: • Unions from running “Closed Shops” • Public Sector Employees can unionize but cannot strike against the government – Used in the 1980’s by President Reagan to fire Air Traffic Controllers Landrum – Griffin Act 1959 • Congress passes National LaborLaborManagement Disclosure Act – Requires Unions to publicly disclose how union dues pensions and finances are union dues, pensions, and finances are handled handled – Effort to thwart Organized Crime involvement in usurping Union Management and rifling pension funds 1950’s Organized Crime Infiltration of Unions • George Meany – President of the American Federation of Labor from 1952 until 1979 1979 • Vehement Anti Communist • Allows LCN to infiltrate Unions like Teamsters and AFL-CIO AFL- Congressional Hearings into OC/Union Connections • Kefauver Committee – Concluded there was a nationwide syndicate known as the Mafia (1950(1950-51) • McClellan Committee – Recorded testimony of first member of Mafia to confirm its existence – Chief Counsel for the Committee was Robert F. Kennedy – who goes on to accuse the Teamsters Union and its President Jimmy Hoffa of having Organized Crime ties. 2 Hoffa and OC • President of the Teamster Union 1957-1971 1957• Confronted by JFK and RFK accusing the Union was infiltrated by Mafia • Convicted of attempted bribery of a federal grand juror -1967 • Sentenced to 15 years imprisoned • Sentenced commuted by Nixon in 1971 if he did not participate in Union Activity • Disappeared in 1975 after leaving a lunch with men linked to the Mafia Mafia Control of ILA • Vincent “the Chin” Gigante – Head of the Genovese Crime Family – Ran the International Longshoreman’s Union in New York, Brooklyn and Newark – Gigante feigned mental illness for over 30 years – In 1990 , Gigante was arrested and charged with with racketeering and murder; however, it wasn't until 1997 that he was brought to trial. – Gigante's lawyers produced witnesses who testified that Gigante was mentally ill and unfit to stand trial. – Mafia underbosses testified against Gigante – Died in Prison in 2005 Mafia Infiltration • Nicodemo “ Little Nicky” Scarfo – Convicted of Racketeering, Extortion and Murder, ran the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Employees Union in Philadelphia & Atlantic City – Sentenced to 69 years imprisonment Justice Department Control of Unions • Laborer’s International Union – 800,000 members – 1995-DOJ filed RICO Civil Suit 1995– In 2000, reach an agreement to remove 226 corrupt officials -125 linked to OC li OC – Arthur Coia – PresidentPresidentDemocratic Fund Raiser and White House visitor during Clinton Presidency – Convicted of Federal Tax Evasion but keeps his $250,000 salary as President Emeritus 3 Justice Department Control of Unions (con’t) • UNITE - HERE – Hotel and Restaurant Workers and Union of Needle trades, Industrial and Textile Employees • 2004 Merger of 2 unions Merger of unions • 1991- DOJ takes over 1991HERE union local in Atlantic City due to OC ties and control • 1995 –DOJ asks courts to take over entire union due to OC ties Roofing Union in NYC July 2004 • Manhattan DA Robert Morganthau obtains a 54 count grand jury indictment against Roofers Union Local 8 charging racketeering and mob racketeering and mob influence. influence. • Indictment alleges that union officials and members of the Genovese crime family as part of the entire leadership of the union RICO RICO Suits to Control Union/OC Involvement • July 2005 Civil RICO Suit which places ILA in New York and NJ under Federal government’s direct control – Suit claimed that since 1995 the Genovese and Gambino crime families had conspired with ILA officials in officials in a "waterfront conspiracy" that used waterfront conspiracy that used extortion, extortion, money laundering and wire and mail fraud to control the union and its benefit programs • In November 2007, Federal Judge in Brooklyn throws out the lawsuit for procedural errors Mob Tax • Prosecutors say union corruption in New York City inflates the already high cost of building union projects in Manhattan by $200 million to $500 Manhattan by $200 million to $500 million million a year, an amount prosecutors sardonically call the “ mob tax .” 4 ...
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