With the 2016 election heating up, union bosses are busy promoting their agenda. And the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia was a perfect opportunity to flex some muscle.
Take John Dougherty, the business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98. As The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
“For Dougherty, it was more like contact, as he hugged guests, leaned in for kisses, and glad-handed a galaxy of local political figures, including Council members Mark Squilla and Bobby Henon at a boisterous party that his politically connected union hosted at McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon next to Citizens Bank Park.
Over the week of the convention, Dougherty estimated, his union spent more than $80,000 on parties, including $20,000 to $25,000 to host the McFadden’s shindig.”
For AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, “flexing some muscle” turned literal. When Arun Gupta, a journalist, began questioning Trumka about free-trade agreements and other hot-button issues important to AFL-CIO membership, the union boss tensed up and eventually swatted Gupta in the face with a cardboard sign. Uninterested in talking policy, Trumka declared, “We’re done. We’re done.” (You can see the video here.)
Getting physical is in his DNA. Back in the early 1990s—when Trumka was president of the United Mine Workers in West Virginia—the union boss ordered more than 17,000 workers to walk off their jobs. According to Breitbart and the National Right to Work Foundation, it gets worse:
He explicitly told strikers to ‘kick the shit out of’ employees and mine operators resisting union demands. UMW enforcers obliged him. They vandalized homes, fires shots at a mine office, and cut power to another mine, temporarily trapping 93 miners underground. Worse yet, a union goon on July 22, 1993 murdered heavy equipment operator Eddie York, a nonunion contractor, shooting him in the back of the head in his pickup truck as he drove past strikers at a Logan County, West Virginia work site; a bunch of goons then proceeded to pelt York’s would-be rescuers with rocks.
Rather than apologize, Trumka offered the following rationalization: ‘I’m saying if you strike a match and put your finger in, common sense tells you you’re going to burn your finger.’
Ladies and gentleman, say hello to America’s “champion for working families.”
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