Freedom from Union Violence Act Introduced in Congress
National Grassroots Lobby Urges Congress to Pass Freedom from Union Violence Act
2.8 million National Right to Work Committee members call on Congress to protect rank and file workers
Washington, DC (September 11, 2019) – Yesterday, Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL-19) introduced the Freedom from Union Violence Act (H.R. 4256) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The following is a statement from Greg Mourad, Vice President of the 2.8-million-member National Right to Work Committee, in support of the Freedom from Union Violence Act:
“Substantive action is necessary toward seriously addressing the continuing occurrence of union violence in order to protect rank-and-file workers across America. The House should work to pass the Freedom from Union Violence Act (FUVA), a measure introduced by Congressman Rooney yesterday.
“In United States v. Enmons (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court held that strike-related violence “used to gain legitimate union objectives” cannot be prosecuted under the Hobbs Anti-Extortion Act, even though the Act’s framers sought to criminalize the obstruction of interstate commerce through violence, threat, or coercion. As a result, thousands of acts of union violence, much of which is directed against non-striking workers, go unpunished.
“One recent example of such union sanctioned violence occurred in Boston, as union operatives targeted the cast and crew of the popular reality cooking show, Top Chef, with harassment, violence, intimidation, and derogatory threats. Ultimately the judge’s instructions to the jury, based on the Enmons precedent, let the perpetrators off the hook.
“Unfortunately, that is not an isolated incident. The National Institute for Labor Relations Research has recorded almost 10,000 media-reported incidents of union violence since 1975. Experts on labor and strike-related violence estimate that unreported acts of harassment, vandalism, and violence could swell that figure to 100,000 or more.
“The Freedom from Union Violence Act would close the Enmons loophole and remove the unique immunity from federal prosecution that union officials currently enjoy.
“On behalf of the National Right to Work Committee’s 2.8 million members nationwide, we urge each member of the Congress to support this legislation. Violence should not be a lawful collective bargaining tool, and no American should live in fear for opposing union demands.”
The National Right to Work Committee, established in 1955, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, single-purpose citizens’ organization dedicated to the principle that all Americans must have the right to join a union if they choose to, but none should ever be forced to affiliate with a union in order to get or keep a job. Its web address is NRTWC.org.