Union Bosses Rally Violence, Get Off With a Notice Posting
A bitter, 17-month-old strike at the Brookline mines in Alabama, called by United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) union bosses, has featured an array of disturbing violence captured on videotape.
To protect the personal safety and property of their production employees, as well as their metallurgical coal facilities in Tuscaloosa County, Ala., officers of the Warrior Met Coal Mining firm have already sought and obtained judicial orders from an Alabama court and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Exhibits that have been cited at the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County and before the NLRB, which are still viewable on the Internet, show employees “being attacked in their vehicles, physically intimidated, and assaulted.”
And employees’ homes and vehicles have reportedly been vandalized.
Moreover, video monitors have repeatedly captured UMWA union bosses inciting militant strikers to break the law, and leading them to believe they can defy court injunctions and even assault nonstriking employees without fear of criminal punishment.
Union President, Local Vice President Commended Strikers For Violating Court Orders
On April 28, 2021, Alabama Circuit Court Judge James Roberts responded to numerous credible allegations of unlawful UMWA interference with nonstriking Warrior employees’ ability to carry out their job duties, many involving property destruction, threats of violence, and actual violence.
To prevent future acts of lawlessness and protect the safety of employees and the citizens of Tuscaloosa County, the judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering and decreeing that no more than 10 UMWA pickets be stationed at any entrance to a Warrior property at any time.
The judge also specifically ordered pickets not to sit or lie down on the road so as to block entrances to Warrior buildings and installations.
Unfortunately, international and local UMWA dons and their militant followers had no intention of obeying this court order, whose clear aim was to restore peace while allowing picketing to continue.
Three weeks after the preliminary injunction was issued, international UMWA President Cecil Roberts publicly commended union militants who had just “sat down in the road” to keep Warrior employees from doing their jobs, declaring he was “extremely proud” of them!
Larry Spencer, the vice president of UMWA District 20, enthusiastically seconded the commendation.
Union Thugs Got Reassurance That State Police Were on Their Side
At another UMWA rally conducted just one week after Judge Roberts had issued his order, Mr. Spencer openly suggested that politically motivated Alabama sheriffs would go easy on union thugs even if they viciously assaulted a Warrior employee:
“The sheriff has told us, both sheriffs don’t understand [the injunction.] . . . You got a right to walk that picket line. You got a, and I’m not going to use the words that the state trooper used, but you’ve got a right to MF’em if you want to.”
Many UMWA union goons evidently took Mr. Spencer at his word.
In the weeks that followed, according to an August 2021 complaint against the UMWA international union and five of its subsidiaries by Acting NLRB Regional Director Scott Thompson, UMWA thugs resorted again and again to “threats, vandalism, and or physical violence” at or near Warrior facilities.
No Criminal Charges Have Been Filed Against High-Ranking UMWA Bosses
Their criminal conduct included spraying Warrior employees with pepper spray, attacking and damaging their vehicles, throwing a brick or cinder block at a security guard while he was driving, and starting a car chase against one employee during which they “smashed his vehicle’s windows with projectiles.”
Under an NLRB order issued this June to settle charges it had issued against UMWA bosses, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Spencer, and several of their cohorts recently posted notices vowing to refrain from engaging in “threats, vandalism, and/or physical violence” at or near Warrior facilities.
Union kingpins have also agreed to pay the company and roughly two dozen individuals they admit have been attacked during the strike “make whole and consequential damages, plus interest.”
But despite the fact that the crimes the UMWA hierarchy is alleged to have sanctioned, and which union officials do not deny sanctioning, would normally be regarded as violations of the 1946 Hobbs Anti-Extortion Act, no criminal charges have been filed against high-ranking UMWA bosses.
National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad explained:
“When the Hobbs Act was being debated in Congress, the measure’s lead sponsor, Congressman Samuel Hobbs [D-Ala.], left no doubt that he did not intend for there to be any exemption for strike violence or other violence committed to advance Big Labor objectives. To quote Mr. Hobbs: ‘Extortion [is] extortion, whether or not the perpetrator has a union card in his pocket.’
“But just over a quarter of a century after the Hobbs Act became law, a 5-4 majority on the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the Hobbs Act, in U.S. v. Enmons, as exempting union officials for federal racketeering prosecution for acts of ‘unlawful union violence . . . used to gain legitimate union objectives.’
“Congress has the power to close the judicially-created ‘legitimate union objectives’ loophole in the Hobbs Act. But until it does, union bosses like Cecil Roberts and Larry Spencer will be able to get away with encouraging extortionate violence to get what they want, and face no more than wrist-slap punishment.”
Committee Building Support For Legislation to Close Enmons Loophole
Most Committee members who receive this monthly Newsletter in the mail will find enclosed with the current edition a letter mobilizing them to contact their elected officials in Washington, D.C., in support of H.R.5171, sponsored by pro-Right to Work Congressman Scott Perry (R-Pa.).
This legislation, also known as the Freedom from Union Violence Act, would close the Enmons loophole and hold union bosses who resort to threats and violence to secure Big Labor’s objectives accountable under the Hobbs Act, just as everyone else already is.
“For nearly 50 years, Enmons has been a blot on the American legal system. Every American who favors equal protection under the law should be eager to end this travesty of justice,” said Mr. Mourad.