Union Bosses Could Damage the Weakened Economy Further

President Obama has been silent about a pending economic disaster that can be avoided.  We are not talking about the so-called "fiscal cliff."  Rather than the pending strike at America's ports by his friends at the longshoremen's union.  Such a strike would cripple our ports and damage our economy nationwide.  The clock is ticking on such a strike which could start in 30 days. The Washington Post describes the situation as: Thousands of dockworkers from Baltimore to Houston are threatening to go on strike Sunday over their pay, a move that could throttle an array of key ports and disrupt commerce at a critical juncture for the economy. Nearly half of the nation’s ocean-bound container traffic runs through the 14 threatened ports on the East Coast and the Gulf Coast, and a work stoppage would crimp imports of household goods, clothing and frozen foods, among other items. The biggest hub, in the New York area, handled $208 billion worth of goods last year. A widespread strike by the International Longshoremen’s Association, the first in decades, could put the White House in a bind. Scores of businesses have urged President Obama to do whatever it takes to prevent the ports from closing — including using emergency powers under a 1947 law to intervene. But such action by the president could alienate union allies. Certainly, the president cannot be counted on to alienate his union boss friends. Michelle Malkin looks behind the rhetoric to detail what the strike threats are all about: It’s not about jobs. It’s not about safety. It’s not about improving dockworkers’ living standards. The looming, long-planned East and Gulf Coastport strikes are about protecting Big Labor’s archaic work practices and corrupt waterfront rackets. Are you ready for a fiscal cliff? The union bosses of an estimated 14,500 workers at 15 ports are preparing to send the economy plunging back into recession over productivity and efficiency rules changes. You read that right. Much more on that in a moment. But first, here’s what’s at stake. The International Longshoremen’s Association’s (ILA) grip extends from Boston to Texas to Florida and all points across the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. The New York-New Jersey ports — which handle cargo valued at $208 billion — could come to a standstill. National Retail Federation executive Jonathan Gold issued a desperate statement: “The last thing the economy needs right now is another strike, which would impact all international trade and commerce at the nation’s East and Gulf Coast container ports. This is truly a ‘container cliff’ in the making.”

'Wrongful Use of…Violence and Fear'

'Wrongful Use of…Violence and Fear'

(Source: February 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Subscribe to The National Right to Work Committee® by Email Latest Indictments Show Mob Retains Grip on Several Major Unions Just last September, Tommy Leonardis, president of the Newark-based Local 1235 of the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), attended a hearing at the New Jersey Capitol in Trenton to protest a state program targeting Organized Crime in the New York harbor region. Mr. Leonardis insisted Mafia infiltration of the ILA and the waterfront was a thing of the past, grumbling that the program unfairly "tars the industry as mob-influenced." But last month, a federal grand jury issued an 82-page indictment charging that it is in reality ILA union bosses like Mr. Leonardis who continue to blacken the reputation of the New Jersey waterfront. The indictment accuses Mr. Leonardis, along with former Local 1235 Presidents Albert Cernadas and Vincent Aulisi, the latter's son Eddie, and Nuncio LaGrasso, vice president of another Newark-based ILA local, as well as other conspirators, of running an extortion operation in which unionized workers were the principal victims. Specifically, Mr. Leonardis and other conspirators "agreed to obtain property of ILA members, that is: money belonging to ILA union members, with their consent, which consent was to be induced by wrongful use of actual and threatened force, violence and fear." One especially egregious form of extortion of which several ILA union-boss defendants are accused is the collection of "Christmas tribute" money from dockworkers after they received year-end bonuses. This tribute was allegedly funneled into Genovese Crime Family coffers as well as ILA chieftains' pockets. A Foreman Who Protests Shakedowns May Need 'to Be Physically Assaulted’ Federal prosecutors' January 20 arrests of half-a-dozen current and former ILA officials and their cohorts were only part of a larger takedown that day. Also indicted was Ralph Scopo Jr., the former president of Local 6A of the New York Cement and Concrete Workers union. This local is affiliated with the notorious Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). The indictment in which Mr. Scopo is named alleges that he and his son, Ralph III, current union president and an unindicted coconspirator, have run Local 6A as a front for the Colombo Crime Family. Among the favors done by Local 6A kingpins for the Colombos was the "coffee boy" scam. In this shakedown, occurring at every 6A-controlled job site, workers were forced to buy all their lunches, snacks and drinks from a mob-selected vendor who kicked back $250 a week to the Colombos. When one foreman protested such extortion, Ralph Jr. escorted him to a meeting with Colombo captain Dino Calabro and Ralph III. According to the indictment, during the meeting Ralph Jr. explained to Mr. Calabro that he had brought along Ralph III in case the foreman "needed to be physically assaulted." Forced Unionism Culpable For 'Almost Every Antisocial Aspect in Labor Relations' "The ILA’s New Jersey locals and LIUNA Local 6A are representative of many other union operations that have remained crooked, decade after decade, despite multiple crackdowns by law enforcement," noted National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen.

'Wrongful Use of…Violence and Fear'

'Wrongful Use of…Violence and Fear'

(Source: February 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Subscribe to The National Right to Work Committee® by Email Latest Indictments Show Mob Retains Grip on Several Major Unions Just last September, Tommy Leonardis, president of the Newark-based Local 1235 of the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), attended a hearing at the New Jersey Capitol in Trenton to protest a state program targeting Organized Crime in the New York harbor region. Mr. Leonardis insisted Mafia infiltration of the ILA and the waterfront was a thing of the past, grumbling that the program unfairly "tars the industry as mob-influenced." But last month, a federal grand jury issued an 82-page indictment charging that it is in reality ILA union bosses like Mr. Leonardis who continue to blacken the reputation of the New Jersey waterfront. The indictment accuses Mr. Leonardis, along with former Local 1235 Presidents Albert Cernadas and Vincent Aulisi, the latter's son Eddie, and Nuncio LaGrasso, vice president of another Newark-based ILA local, as well as other conspirators, of running an extortion operation in which unionized workers were the principal victims. Specifically, Mr. Leonardis and other conspirators "agreed to obtain property of ILA members, that is: money belonging to ILA union members, with their consent, which consent was to be induced by wrongful use of actual and threatened force, violence and fear." One especially egregious form of extortion of which several ILA union-boss defendants are accused is the collection of "Christmas tribute" money from dockworkers after they received year-end bonuses. This tribute was allegedly funneled into Genovese Crime Family coffers as well as ILA chieftains' pockets. A Foreman Who Protests Shakedowns May Need 'to Be Physically Assaulted’ Federal prosecutors' January 20 arrests of half-a-dozen current and former ILA officials and their cohorts were only part of a larger takedown that day. Also indicted was Ralph Scopo Jr., the former president of Local 6A of the New York Cement and Concrete Workers union. This local is affiliated with the notorious Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). The indictment in which Mr. Scopo is named alleges that he and his son, Ralph III, current union president and an unindicted coconspirator, have run Local 6A as a front for the Colombo Crime Family. Among the favors done by Local 6A kingpins for the Colombos was the "coffee boy" scam. In this shakedown, occurring at every 6A-controlled job site, workers were forced to buy all their lunches, snacks and drinks from a mob-selected vendor who kicked back $250 a week to the Colombos. When one foreman protested such extortion, Ralph Jr. escorted him to a meeting with Colombo captain Dino Calabro and Ralph III. According to the indictment, during the meeting Ralph Jr. explained to Mr. Calabro that he had brought along Ralph III in case the foreman "needed to be physically assaulted." Forced Unionism Culpable For 'Almost Every Antisocial Aspect in Labor Relations' "The ILA’s New Jersey locals and LIUNA Local 6A are representative of many other union operations that have remained crooked, decade after decade, despite multiple crackdowns by law enforcement," noted National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen.