From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (4/16/1976):
A stolen yellow forklift charged through the Jupiter Chemical Co. construction site and ravaged two office trailers like a bull goring a matador.
First one and then the other was ripped open. Three men astride the steel vehicle fired carbines from their hips and put 21 holes through one trailer compartment where eight men [lay on the floor].
One of those [men] was Joe Hooper, 26, who that January morning had come in to sign up for his first job in weeks. He died in his own blood on the floor with a bullet through his chest.
Running through gate whooping and hollering [following] the forklift were nearly 100 men carry sticks and guns. They overturned the guard shack as security man Luther LaBove, from inside, fired off 14 ineffectual shots from his pistol and rifle.
Then the attackers fanned out, wounding four workers by gunfire and injuring another of the 14 workers and overturned 13 cars and four trucks.
Then they were gone…
On January 15, 1976, Little Joe Hooper, who had been unemployed for weeks and had family to feed, was gunned downed because the union representing the Jupiter Chemical Company was not a member of the AFL-CIO.
AFL-CIO union bosses wanted monopoly-bargaining power over Joe Hooper and the rest of Jupiter Chemical’s employees and they apparently were willing to kill try to get it. The AFL-CIO’s violent intimidation tactics unquestionably lead to Joe Hopper’s death by the murderous union agitated mob.
Joe Hooper was not the only victim that day or during the year-long violent union agitation. Joe Hooper left behind a grieving widow and two small children – children and a wife who never saw their father and husband alive again all because he was just trying to work.
Organizers and perpetrators of this type of coordinated violence and intimidation must be held responsible for the consequences. Big Labor should not be allowed to continue to hide behind exceptions that grant union officers immunity from prosecution for extortion and racketeering.
It is past time to reverse the terrible Enmons Decision and pass the Freedom from Union Violence Act.
Click to contact your legislators today and demand that they co-sponsor the Freedom from Union Violence Act.
Click here for additional background information about the Freedom from Union Violence Act.
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