Freedom from Union Violence Act
The Freedom from Union Violence Act closes a loophole in the federal Hobbs Anti-Extortion Act, eliminating the special judicially-created exemption in this law for union-related violence and extortion and holding union officials to the same legal standards as other Americans.This legislation would establish that the 1946 Hobbs Act applies to all Americans, including union officials seeking to advance so-called “legitimate union objectives.” Present law offers this unique exemption for union officials.
NILRR union violence investigations have determined that union violence is responsible for at least 203 Americans deaths since 1975; 5,869 incidents of personal injury; and more than 6,435 incidents of vandalism and tens of millions of dollars in property damage.
Congress need not extend federal jurisdiction over law enforcement to crack down on union violence. All Congress need do is ensure the 53-year-old Hobbs Act is evenhandedly applied so that union officials cannot get away with crimes for which other Americans are rightly punished.
The Freedom from Union Violence Act would accomplish this task by clarifying the Hobbs Act, making it plain that union officials must be held accountable under this law for the violence they foment.