Sounds More Like the “Mob”

Under what organizational structure does the President work for the Business Manager?

That question came to mind when reading an article citing comments in a letter by Mark Congi, former President of Laborers Local 91 in Niagara Falls, to U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara. (Newsday, December 21, 2006)

According to the Associated Press (AP) story, Congi claimed he answered to the union’s late business manager, Michael Quarcini. “If there was a problem on a job site, he would notify me and instruct me how to handle it.” Congi is alleged to have written. “(If) he told me to do something, I did it, even if it was unlawful.”

Mr. Congi “was sentenced on Wednesday [December 20, 2006] to 15 years in federal prison for attacking rival construction workers and staging large-scale vandalism at job sites in Niagara County.” The now-former union boss had pleaded “guilty to racketeering conspiracy in August for his role in a campaign of extortion and violence – including a 1997 firebombing – meant to pressure contractors into hiring the union’s laborers.”

This sounds more like a “mob,” than a union.

The fundamentally flawed assumption underlying all U.S. labor policy is that individual working Americans are incapable of pursuing their own best interest and, for their own good, must be forced to have a union official act on their behalf. That assumption is just wrong.

And, as Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek admitted, “Whatever true coercive powers unions may be able to wield over employers is a consequence of this primary power of coercing other workers.”

Employees, forced under federal law, to follow Big Labor’s dictates are doubly harmed when leaders like Mr. Congi use their powers of coercion to break the law.