'I Was Concerned That If They Pushed a Little Harder, My Head Would Be Crushed'

Organized Labor in Philadelphia “has a long history of intimidation, harassment, vandalism, violence — and impunity,” reports Jillian K. Melchior of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity a few paragraphs into a three-part investigation appearing in National Review Online this week.

Monday’s installment begins with the brutal beating of an engineer, captured by his wife on camera:

Just seconds before, the couple had arrived at the open-shop construction site in downtown Philadelphia, walking past the cluster of union protesters who had congregated outside the fence.

As the engineer tried to enter the site through a tiny gap between a chain-link fence and a stone wall, the protesters rushed him, pressing the fence against his body and pinning him. The engineer shouted out, then howled, clutching the fence with both hands. His cries grew hysterical as he thrashed, first trying to escape, and then simply trying to shield himself. When the aggressors finally relented, he crumpled to the ground and passed out.

“It was terrifying,” the engineer tells me, asking to remain unnamed for fear of union retaliation. “I was concerned that if they pushed a little harder, my head would be crushed. Even after I was on the ground the Civil Affairs cop came up. Who knows what they would have done if he hadn’t been there?” 

The engineer’s assault was caught on tape. But despite being charged with simple assault, reckless endangerment of another person, and conspiracy simple assault, two union members, Ryan P. Stewart and Philip J. Garraty, each got off with a $200.50 fine and 18 hours of community service.

Their lawyer, Joel Trigiani, who also represents the Laborers District Council of Philadelphia, successfully petitioned for Stewart and Garraty to participate in the Accelerated Misdemeanor Program. Consequently, the incident is eligible to be expunged from both men’s arrest records.

Parts I and II of Melchior’s series are linked below.  Part III will appear tomorrow.  As Melchior makes clear in the article itself, the archives of the National Right to Work Committee and its research affiliate, as well as Committee President Mark Mix (whom she personally interviewed), were important sources for her reporting, which vividly shows how and why the rule of law has broken down over the course of the past several decades in the City of Brotherly Love.  And unfortunately, many other large cities in Big Labor-stronghold states are similarly plagued by union thuggery.

Goon City – Jillian Kay Melchior – National Review Online

Goon City — Part 2