When is a "Union Goon" a Union Goon?

Paul Carpenter of the Pennsylvania Morning Call was called out for using the term union goon in describing the murder of a union worker on orders from United Mine Worker bosses.  But Mr. Carpenter isn’t backing down, nor should he.

Mr,. Carpenter reminds readers that “there is a new federal lawsuit involving a union with a history of corruption even worse than that of the UMW.

It cites officials of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the Teamsters Union, which represents some PTC employees.

The lawsuit says PTC Chairman Mitchell Rubin, two other PTC officials and Teamsters official Mark Rowe had PTC employee Donald Kovac fired because Kovac violated an ”unwritten rule” that union employees ”had favored political connections” and ”would be afforded favorable treatment” in grievance cases.

In this case, Kovac acted against a toll collector who assaulted a motorist, in full view of a video camera.

When Teamsters Local 77, based in Montgomery County, challenged Kovac’s action, the suit says, Kovac was ordered by a PTC manager to reinstate the toll collector; when he balked, it was Kovac who got fired — with Rubin’s approval.

One peculiarity was the way Kovac was fired on Nov. 20. He was driving a PTC vehicle as part of his duties, the lawsuit says, when a Pennsylvania state police trooper was sent to pull him over on the road and tell him he was fired.

So it seems that if a Teamsters member beats up a motorist, it will be the guy who bothers the bully who winds up fired — and it is now a function of the state police to enforce the rules of the union goons.

A PTC spokesman said he could not comment on the litigation, even though I asked general questions about whether the PTC had ”unwritten rules” to coddle politically connected union people. I also contacted Teamsters Local 77, repeatedly, but the people there did not get back to me.