Union Gangsters: John Sweeney

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What kind of tactics? The complaints alleged by Sodexo sound like an episode of the Sopranos. Sodexo claimed SEIU officials threatened to harm the business unless it gave into union demands. They ostensibly carried through on those threats, which included:

  • Throwing plastic roaches onto food being served by Sodexo USA at a high profile event;
  • Scaring hospital patients by insinuating that Sodexo USA food contained bugs, rat droppings, mold and flies;
  • Lying to interfere with Sodexo USA business and sneaking into elementary schools to avoid security;
  • Violating lobbying laws to steer business away from Sodexo USA, even at the risk of costing Sodexo USA employees their jobs; and
  • Harassing Sodexo USA employees by threatening to accuse them of wrongdoing.

Sodexo also claimed monetary damages, noting that the SEIU’s actions cost the company a contract with the Department of Defense worth $765 million, and contended that they had interfered with other contracts as well. If such allegations were proven, the monetary damages might have been great enough to put the SEIU out of business.

On July 27th, the case took a turn for the worse–for the SEIU. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton rejected the union’s attempt to have the racketeering lawsuit dismissed because Sodexo “has stated a claim upon which relief can be had.” In a show of bravado, the union released a statement. “The ruling means that SEIU will have an opportunity to prove the facts about our organization, our members, and our work regarding Sodexo,” the labor group said in the release. “We look forward to proving what this campaign is really about and defending our freedom to speak out against abuses by corporate entities.”

In reality, the ruling was a critical turning point because it allowed Sodexo to proceed with formal discovery, giving them the right to examine a treasure trove of union information, including union letters, emails, internal memos and union finances. In other words, as incriminating as John Sweeney’s Contract Campaign Manual was in and of itself, it might have represented the tip of a far more thuggish, and possibly corrupt, iceberg.

Apparently union leaders must have thought so. On September 15th, Sodexo announced they had reached a settlement with the SEIU, in which they agreed to drop their RICO suit in exchange for the union ending its Clean Up Sodexo campaign.

Perhaps the most enlightening part of this case was the fact that the Manual was introduced as evidence. Even if one assumes Sweeney wrote it in his last year at SEIU, it means that these tactics of intimidation have been employed for at least the last 16 years and possibly far longer. Some of Sweeney’s chapter titles require no explanation. To wit: Escalating Pressure Tactics; Pressure on Individual Officers; Helping Reporters Do Their Jobs; Legal/Regulatory Pressure; Political/Legislative Pressure; Workers’ Role in Researching Pressure Points; Keeping Strikes Strong; and Organizing Successful Rallies and Demonstrations.

Such calculated thuggery has now become routine, with a new wrinkle: union mobs now feel entitled to air their grievances in front of the private residences of individuals they see as impediments to their agenda. And as most Americans are slowly becoming aware, unions and their tactics have been integrated into the OWS movement. In Oakland, such tactics are beginning to bear fruit: on Wednesday, the nation’s fifth busiest harbor was effectively shut down, while banks and other businesses were vandalized. By early Thursday morning, police in riot gear were battling protesters who pelted the officers with chunks of concrete, bottles–and molotov cocktails. According to City Administrator Deanna Santana, the initial protests included about 5 percent of city workers, and according to Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint, 18 percent of the district’s 2,000 teachers didn’t show up for work. Whether any of them were part of the more violent protests remains to be seen, when those arrested are processed.

Smart labor leaders would disassociate themselves from the OWS mobs while there is still time to do so. Yet as one peruses Mr. Sweeney’s Manual, a disquieting idea arises: coordinated intimidation may no longer be a last resort option for addressing union grievances. It may very well be the only option in the eyes of today’s union leaders. Leaders who have adopted the codified intimidation tactics of John Sweeney.

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  • kafir4life

    Avoid union made products whenever possible. It gets easier every day as union run business fold.

    • aliened operator

      Just goes to show you how are society is allowing 'Animal Spirits' and/or 'Irrational Exuberance' (books by Robert Shiller, that I have'nt read yet) flurish. All in the name that Industrial Manufacturing has moved to China because annual average wages there are about $7,000 a year._

  • mojoron

    The most deplorable complication that Mr. Sweeney involves himself in is the Catholic Church's "campaign for human development" (CCHD) that funds money from the annual event to organizations that fuel abortion and social justice involvements by left-leaning organizations. His henchmen are on the secular board of the CCHD and were involved in the church giving money to ACORN. The CCHD stopped giving money to ACORN once their agenda was made public but are still giving money to more than 60 other socialist front organizations. OBTW, the annual collection is this month.

    • Amused

      now just remove the first o and the j from your screen name

  • xlent

    S weeny just another name for commie. The filth and scum of our nation destroying in the name of "solidarity".

  • Herman Caintonette

    Jewish Mobsters: Arnold Ahlert

    Explain to me again why people banding together and pooling their resources with the goal of securinfg a living wage is a bad thing. If all Jews were like him (fortunately, the vast majority have a sense of social justice and the vestige of a conscience, and consider Team Horrorwitz to be the crazy aunt in the attic), I would call for another Krystallnacht.

    • Western Canadian

      And again, we see the projection of a hard left loon.

  • Amused

    Dont miss a chance to slam jews , eh Herman ?

    • Ken

      His/her anti-semitism shows through ALL the time!!

  • Amused

    I hope that was satire Herman . or just a bad corrollary .

  • Amused

    As for you xlent GFY you ignorant bastard .Ahlert threw you the red meat and you jumped , like most ignoramus' , in addition it promotes and evokes imbecilic remarks from true morons like kafi4life 's .

  • Amused

    And now for you Ahlert , yea the Unions use muscle , but I guess in your self imposed state of ignorance , you are oblivious to the labor history of this country . Henry Fords "goon squads " , Matwan , or San Francisco in the 40's when union strikers were shot by the police . Most of the panzies that show up on this blog dont want to acknowledge that FAIRNESS in the workplace is not bestowed by big buisiness on workers , they need to be dragged kicking and screaming , laws had to be legislated in order for a ecent wage , safe working conditions , a 40 hr. week , compensation for overtime and all the things you littlle bitter whiners enjoy routinely .

  • Amused

    The unions set the standards , and STILL DO . Of course big buisiness wrings their hands about high labor costs , and that's because no one can compete against foreign SLAVE LABOR , GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED FIRMS, MARKET DUMPING , CURRENCY MANIPULATION, all used in UNFAIR COMPETION and EMBRACED BY AMERICAN FIRMS to FATTEN THE BOTTOM LINE . That and failure to modernize , lack of innovation , lobbying of politicians and greed on their part , have driven jobs out of this country . And of course all have forgotten what their fathers have taught them …."there ain't no free lunch "….somebody down the line PAYS .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    It would seem that the outcome of labor and management negotiations depends
    to a great extent on the character of the parties. With the degeneration in moral
    and ethical standards in America and the consequences of destroying the American
    economy in order to build a World economy for greater profits by the elites, there
    may be nothing left but economic upheaval, social strife and a great depressed
    era in our future. Who can point to true social answers with any certainty of
    quality performance and recompense for labor that supports profit for investors.
    The future does look bleak and until extremists are scoured out reason will not
    prevail. I lay the blame on our permissive society raising irresponsible and weak
    individuals unable to take over our Nation and stand up to the rigors of life.
    I have yet to hear anyone address our more serious problems with strength
    and eminent losses with a clear agenda to restore America to prosperity.
    It seems Americans love wooden nickles and have no eye for gold……….William

  • Amused

    I think more a matter of Americans , o9nce recognizing that they are being habded wooden nickels , they're throwing them back at the disingenuous "benefactors " , who wish trhem yto remain dumb and satisfied . __"Profits for investors " has often superceeded the good of the company , and that usually starts with the minimizing of , and abuse of employees .The CEO's are beholden to investors and are rewarded accordingly with with wild and OSTENTATIOUS SALARIES , and to the exclusion of all other concerns . The situation we find ourselves in today financially , has nothing to do with "extremists " and everything to do with avarice and greed , on the part of those you seem to be decribing as the "victims " . Your statement is highly HYPOCRITICAL , since these "exremists " you describe , are exactly those who REFUSE to take "wooden nickels " . So please , do not generalize [with the exclusion of yourself ] in describing "Americans " who love wooden nickels , it goes beyond presumptious and is nothing more than a sneering biased statement on your part .

  • Amused

    And BTW , WARD , "restoring America to prosperity" , doesn't mean just the CEO's and investors , as you have so mindlessly and selfishly stated , but must include those who the former and latter [and yourself ] seem to be purposely oblivious of .
    Americas work force which has contributed greatly to the success of this nation . INCLUDING the victory in WW2 , and still does , in spite of the attempts to destroy in by Big Buisiness and the politicians they have bought lock stock and barrel , and through that same greed attracts lackeys like yourself . Productivity on the part of American workers is among the highest in the world , and that has to do with the workers you so easily denigrate , yet they are the one most responsible for the success of buisiness . After all try getting their without them . It's a two way street Ward , and YOU seem to be part of an "irresponsible and weak " segment of society .

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Amused, take a deep breath, have another shot of what ever you have
      been drinking and go to bed……………………..William

    • ClaireSolt

      I am really sick of this whiney faux middle class. Tell your sob stories to the world who earn a lot less.

  • Amused

    Oh really Ward …..that the best you can do to refute any part of my statements ? I expected as much , your views are narrow , selfish and most likely memorized from anothers thoughts . No real intellectual ability to argue the points , but only able to spout the propaganda you have absorbed . I doubt you have EVER done any physical labor for a living , and suspect you have no desire to ever do so …you're likely poorly equipped to handle an 11 hour day or a six day week .
    You are typical of most critics of Unions …soft hands and hard arses [from sditting on thewm and someone willing to p[ay for it ….run along Ward , you've got nothing .

    • WilliamJamesWard

      That you show yourself incapable of reading without injecting your hostility
      into any statement while missing all salient points gives me a clue to your
      clumsy personal advocacy of chaos. You have missed everything in my
      comment and your rant is indecipherable, the imaginary fairyland you live
      in has nothing to do with me, what I have to say nor is and excuse for your
      misplaced assumptions to overlay my words with vacuous idiocy. Amused
      you are a jerk and unworthy of any debate, that being said you are fun and
      should stick around as a measure of what crazy is doing…………….William

  • Amused

    Very good Ward , you have not defended a single statement you made . So criticism is hostility ? LOL….your statement was not one of content but that of sneering bias , thus your replies contain nothing but ad hominem remarks .In spite of the words you try to pump your ego up with ,. your arguments still remain in the realm of gradeschoolers , who are likely impressed by your bullsheet . They however have an excuse for their ignorance …their age , you have no such excuse .Who do you think you're fooling Ward , with that "rigors of life " , and " labopr that supports profits for investors " crap . If there are any elitists here , you are certainly one , with a tailor-made superiority complex .You offer no debate Ward , just imbecilic statements .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    My statements are to you and imbecile, one who misconstrues what any
    one says with the artistry of a complete dunce, what you say is false and
    misleading and that is as you would have it in your foolishness. What is the
    debate, how stupid you really are, it is self evident and you express it with
    a great glaring disclarity. You are a smarmy little mind with no class but
    amusing, just funny……………..learn how to read and interpret the English
    Language and jump up from dummy to mere dolt…………you are unworthy
    of anymore time………………………………………………………..William

  • Amused

    …….and you are incapable of an intelligent refutation .To an elitist in denial , such as yourself , reality is indeed "foolishness " , but what else could be expected of you ? False and misleading ? Ah , atleast you acknowledge that a statement has been made , one infact you can only meet with ad hominem remarks , and an overused vocabulary . Typical of your ilk . You're a FRAUD . And a deluded one at that . Don't hurt yourself thinking , CHUMP .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Ah still here spewing your dyspeptic arrogancy, you make no statement but
    attack without and understandable point other than you do not like my
    words while their meaning is above your pay grade. It is as obvious as the
    grotesticle hair hanging from the nasty mole on your fat nose that you are
    a bag of wind without content. You have not refuted my comment as you
    do not understand the language and are empty of all but savage impulse
    and disgusting vitrol. Have a nice day, I will enjoy my elitist hours toying
    with my minions, and if you are upset please do not let it be anything
    I say, you are so easy to play……………………………….William