Longshore Union Czar Is, and ‘at All Relevant Times Has Been, Associated With Organized Crime’

On Friday the Newark, N.J.-based Star-Ledger reported on a $160 million lawsuit filed earlier this month against International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA/AFL-CIO) union czar Harold Daggett, a number of other ILA union bosses, and several of their alleged cohorts.

The lawsuit was filed February 7 by American Stevedoring, a former shipping terminal operator in Newark and Brooklyn, N.Y., in U.S. District Court in Manhattan under federal anti-racketeering law.  The suit alleges that the defendants constitute an Organized Crime-connected “Waterfront Group” engaging in “extortion, bribery, fraud, embezzlement, and other forms of racketeering.”  American Stevedoring Chairman Sabato Catucci charges that Daggett and his cohorts forced his company out of the terminal operating business “after it refused to go along with their racketeering schemes”:

“Defendant Daggett is and at all relevant times has been, associated with organized crime,” the suit states.

One of the allegations in the suit by American Stevedoring is that ILA leaders told the company’s chairman, Sabato Catucci, in August 2011 that if he refused to pull up stakes and leave the port he would be carried out “in a box.”

Charges that the ILA is a corrupt, mob-influenced organization are not [new].

Dozens of ILA officials have been convicted or pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, many of those cases cited as examples in the suit by American Stevedoring. The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor was created in the 1950s to keep the mob off the docks, following revelations dramatized in the Marlon Brando film, “On the Waterfont.” The commission is still active, and among several law enforcement agencies, along with the U.S. Attorneys offices in New Jersey and New York, that continue to bring criminal and civil cases against ILA officials and others in recent years.

Terminal operator sues longshoremen’s union, says it was punished for resisting racketeering schemes