We’ve noted before that unions are desperately trying to shake off their well-deserved reputation as “thugs.” Unfortunately for their rebranding effort, union bosses just can’t seem to get out of the old habit of physical violence, with an SEIU Local 32BJ organizing coordinator charged with numerous offenses relating to him allegedly assaulting New York City police officers just the latest example.
The Daily Beast reports that Robert Murray, an Organizing Coordinator for Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, was charged on five counts (including two felony counts of assaulting a police officer) relating to an attack on NYPD officers managing an anti-police demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge. Murray, whom Local 32BJ officials say was participating in the protest in his individual capacity, was paid total compensation of $105,704 in 2013 by the union, according to Department of Labor records.
So, what exactly do the NYPD allege Murray did? Capital New York has the details:
Robert Murray, 43, an organizer for 32BJ SEIU, who surrendered to police and who police previously identified as “Male No. 3,” is alleged to have pulled Lieutenants Philip Chan and Patrick Sullivan “to the ground” as they attempted to arrest CUNY adjunct professor Eric Linsker for allegedly throwing or trying to throw a metal garbage can.
The Beast report notes that Police Lt. Chan suffered a broken nose in the scuffle.
Murray’s alleged assault is yet another reminder that union staff and officials have been implicated in numerous cases of violence and intimidation. Currently, unions are exempted from federal criminal prohibitions on certain violent acts and threats of violence in the furtherance of union objectives. That’s a scandal—a scandal that 93 percent of the American public recognize and that the Employee Rights Act (ERA) would fix. It’s past time for Congress to take the threat of union violence and intimidation seriously, and act on the ERA.