Violent Union Mob Mayhem in Washington State

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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Last Thursday, the judge upped the ante. He found the ILWU in contempt of court, adding that he would fine the union with the amount determined by an EGT analysis of the damage done during the thuggery that occurred on September 8th. Leighton, who didn’t order anyone to be put in jail, spent five hours berating the union protesters whom he referred to as a “mob.”

Testimony by one of the guards held hostage on that night was revealing. Terminal guard Charlie Cadwell told the court that every protester he saw that night was carrying “baseball bats, lead pipes and garden tools.” He also said he was pulled out of his car by a one longshoreman, while another one swung a pipe at him. After someone drove away with his car, Cadwell said “40 to 50 people” threw rocks at him, striking him in the knee and between the eyes. Longview police Sgt. Mark Langlois also testified, saying that he responded to a call about several vehicles leaving the longshore union hall on 14th Avenue in Longview, but was prevented from taking any action when a vehicle blocked his path. He, too, was threatened by a bat-wielding mob. “I was by myself. I was completely outnumbered,” said Langlois. “I wasn’t about to stop any of these people from doing whatever it is they were going to do.”

One can only wonder what will. Despite the judge’s contempt of court citation, the union remains undeterred. “Accountability goes both ways,” they said in a statement. “The workers faced the judge today, but so far there has been no accountability for multinational EGT, which has created chaos in the community by taking millions in a special tax exemption, breaking their agreement to hire ILWU workers, suing the port, and trying to destabilize the grain industry in the Northwest.” The final part of the statement revealed a further defiance of reality. “If union members stand on a train track exercising their First Amendment rights, it is a crime. But, if a major corporation plunders an entire community, it matters not,” it concluded.

Last Friday, union antics continued. Approximately 200 workers massed in front of the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice in Kelso, where they announced they were planning to “surrender themselves to the police” to answer charges for the previous week’s demonstrations. They were also responding to the previous day’s announcement by Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson that six more people had been arrested in connection with September 7th’s train blockade, with additional arrests likely to come. The protesters claimed they were tired of police officers following them home and arresting them. The police refused to rise to the bait, and the protesters dispersed after a half an hour.

Three things come to mind with respect to this story. The first was a very revealing quote during the confrontation between police and the protesters blocking the train on September 7th. When police tried to move the mob, union workers shouted, “We stood with you!” at the union police officers. This reveals a disturbing mindset, one that has already played itself out during the protests in Madison Wisconsin, where the unionized police force refused to enforce an order to remove protesters from the capitol building. In Washington state, police have acted admirably. In Wisconsin, they did not. Americans rightfully expect law enforcement officials to be police officers first, and union members second. It remains to be seen what choice unionized police forces make in the future. But it is very likely that Americans expecting consistency on a nation-wide basis will be disappointed.

Second, the lack of mainstream media coverage of these ongoing events is appalling. The reporting here has been overwhelmingly undertaken by local news organizations, despite two major incidents of union thuggery, a contempt of court citation by a U.S. district court judge, and work stoppages engaged in by other union members sympathetic to the ILWU’s cause. Stoppages that have effectively shut down cargo handling at the ports of Tacoma and Seattle. One can only wonder what it takes for such news to warrant the attention of mainstream members of the Fourth Estate.

Lastly, one is left to guess whether or not Teamster leader James Hoffa’s Labor Day call to “take these sons of bitches out and give America back to America where we belong” has begun to pay “dividends.” Perhaps the only thing more distressing than the remarks themselves was the fact that they were part of Hoffa’s introduction to President Obama’s appearance at the rally — an introduction the president himself refused to condemn, all previous exhortations for civility notwithstanding.

Even if Mr. Obama can’t bring himself to confront union thuggery for the right reasons, he might want to consider the political aspect of such reticence. Saturday was supposed to be a “Day of Rage” against the capitalist system that many unions rail against in their literature. 20,000 protesters were expected to converge on Wall Street. About 300 hundred people actually showed up. Furthermore, only 12 percent of the entire labor force belongs to a union and in many areas around the country, Americans have made it clear, especially with respect to public sector employees, that the status quo is no longer acceptable — or affordable.

That the president may have been reluctant to challenge members of a Democratic core constituency when these incidents first occurred might be, from a cynically political perspective, somewhat understandable. That he has said nothing after the issuance of a contempt of court citation is inexcusable.

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  • Larry

    And here's me thinking that there were criminal laws covering things like assault, assaulting police, assault with a weapon, criminal damage, and unlawful restraint.

    I wonder when they are going to be acted upon?

    • chocopot

      After one of the victims decides to defend himself and injures (or worse) one of the thugs attacking him. Then the media will finally cover this disgraceful behavior and have a headline about the vicious anti-union thug attacking the peaceful union protester.

  • taxpayer

    Isn't this how Hitler began, with thugs beating up people who disagreed with him? They were called the "brownshirts". Look how that ended. This will also not end well for America and the rule of law.

  • Harvey

    Nothing will be done with the Unions as long as their Number one supporter is in the White House.We have got to have a Congress that is willing to pass Federal Laws makeing the whole of the United States a right to work Country,we can no longer leave it up to the States.
    Unions must be stoped,they are costing th United States billions of dollars each year .We also must get this President out of office in the next elections,as long as hes in office the Unions will do exactly as they want to,and they want to destroy this Nation.

  • needchangein12

    The union chief said, " Obama, we are your army. "

  • Kal Kenett

    Took my business, moved it to Canada, where corporate taxes are now 15.5%. 6 of my 141 employee's 2 years ago decided to organize – The pressure of SEIU + others, a union steward in my business. They wanted representation on my board. Here's my advice to business owners: " They say that the squeaky wheel get's the grease." I'm here to tell you that sometimes it get's… REPLACED! – So because of 6, 135 people LOST their JOBS. Try again to take food out of my children's mouths.

    • davarino

      I used to work in a union that was fairly benign and the owner of the business was fair and kind to the workers. There came a time when the non union shops were killing him by undercutting his prices. He asked for some relief from the workers by taking pay cuts but the unions and older workers would have none of it. They tried to act like the owner was trying to screw them even though he had always been fair in the past. Thats when I got out and got an education and that really tainted my opinion of unions. They are shooting themselves in the foot. But hey, this is a free country, people are allowed to shoot themselves in the foot, and owners are free to move to another country as well.

      Good luck with your little protest ILWU, you might just work yourselves out of jobs after this is over.

      • Kal Kenett

        If we don't do something to simplify the tax system, we're going to end up with a national police force of internal revenue agents.  ~Leon Panetta

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Good thing this isn’t Disney Co. or Jack Ruby’s strip bar, because then the argument would have gone the other way, with “anti-Semitic” pro-fascist union busters, instead of thuggish, pro-fascist unions. Ever notice how some of the same labor lawyers bust the proprietor or bust the union depending on who paid them to come?

  • StephenD

    We must admit that there were valuable contributions from organized labor. We have 40 hour work week, Safe working conditions, Employee advocates and representation during Grievance and Arbitration procedures, etc. But apart from these long standing items that everyone fair minded can agree are not bad things, what else can be positively attributable to the unions to justify their continued existence? They all seem to be leaning precipitously toward Socialism in their long term goals and in their short term tactics they behave as such. Remember, the Nazi’s were Socialists! Those "Brown Shirts" were essentially working for a Union Boss. They cry out for “the working man” but my reply must be “which working man should I support, the one asking for more, more, more or the one that has to pay for it?”
    The Unions have served their purpose and in order to retain any relevancy they should assign themselves to being employee advocates and monitors of work place safety only.

    • Questions

      I'm no union member or supporter, but the nonsense that Nazism = socialist = pro-union is more than a little disingenuous. Only several months after assuming power in 1933 was forcibly disbanding all German trade unions and imprisoning their leaders. The government then created a phony "union" that was nothing more than a regime agency.

      • Jim_C

        I must say it is a pleasure to know sane conservatives inhabit this site, as well.

  • voted against carter

    Union Dues are nothing more that LEGAL EXTORTION.

    If you want a JOB you HAVE to join the UNION,.. AND you HAVE to PAY DUES.

    When I was in Unions If I could have NOT payed dues I wouldn't have payed it.

    I HATE UNIONS. You want UNIONS.

    Fine.

    Go get a job in DETROIT. Oh,.. wait you can't.

    THERE ARN'T ANY!!!

    AND THE REST OF AMERICA pretty soon too.

    UNIONS are Destroying America.

    Look at Detroit MI to see what the UNION's AND

    the DemocRAT party have planned for America.

    A ONCE Great American City COMPLETELY DESTROYED

    BY the DemocRAT Party and their UNION masters.

    WAY to go AFL-CIO, UAW, USW, AFT,TUA, WGA and SEIU.

    This IS what they WILL do to YOUR town if you LET them.

    • Raymond in DC

      Shortly before becoming a graduate teaching fellow at the U of Michigan many years ago, all such fellows came under the domain of a sort of teachers union (linked, if I recall correctly, to the UAW!). Though I wanted nothing to do with a union, I still had to pay "dues".

  • mrbean

    These days, unionized government workers not only earn more than other Americans, but they have vastly superior benefits, including pension plans that often allow them to retire as early as age 50 with 100 percent or more of their final year's salary. These pensions often to $100,000 a year and come with cost of living adjustments and free lifetime medical care. Getting a government job and sticking with it is like winning the lottery. This plundering of treasuries, made possible by aggressive union tactics and spineless politicians, results in higher taxes and massive debts that ultimately will be borne by our grandchildren. The current situation is "unsustainable." The problem goes beyond finances. Government unions protect even the worst public employees from accountability. Schools don't attempt to fire incompetent teachers-and union protections make it nearly impossible to even fire ones accused of abuse and other misdeeds. As government gets bigger and more powerful, government officials have more uncontrolled power over the rest of us-to enrich and protect themselves at the expense of the public good. The public's servants have truly become the public's masters

  • Yassir Sanchez

    A person should have a right to join a Union if they wish. A person should also have a right to NOT belong to a Union if they wish.

    Glad I live in a Right to Work State like Texas where Unions have largely been unable to gain a foothold. And people wonder why Texas has grown economically even though this Depression????

  • http://www.tartanmarine.blogspot.com Robert A. Hall

    Only the start indeed. In five years, these will be the good old days of peace and plenty. I will link to this from my Old Jarhead blog  Robert A. HallAuthor: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic(All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans)

  • UCSPanther

    If and when the dark days of union busting come back, these union thugs will only have themselves to blame…

  • Omar Said

    I was a union member once also. One thing that you never hear is how the union bosses are part of a larger scheme to keep members. The union bosses were where everyone went to get drugs, gamble and borrow at loan shark rates. The bosses try desperately to get members "hooked" then they own them. Easily 60% of my shop were heavy drug users. Cocaine, heroin, dust, speed all were their. Need corvette money? They will let you buy your vette or boat without any credit reports at 5% a week.
    Unions suck. Hurt people. All are corrupt as our presidency is.

  • elihew

    From all of the pictures of, and comments from Union thugs, in the various news clips, I must surmise they are nothing but a bunch of ignorant (single digit IQ's), fools who still wear tank tops…their methods of making their "cause" known, they fit in well with the pictures and comments of the godless palestinians…"Useful Idiots".

  • mrbean

    You can't fix stupid. LBJ's great slacking society of breeding bastards with differefor dollars has runined this country but the dems get the votes anyway while the rest of us pay for them!

  • Ellman

    This reminds me of "Out of the Night" by Jan Valtin, who renounced the Communist Party and fled to the US. The scenes and acts described in this article were those that were used in shipping docks in Germany and other countries in Europe under the auspices of the Comintern acting under orders from Stalin. The agitators behaved exactly as these union thugs did with one difference: they would actually kill the police who tried to enforce the law.

  • kafir4life

    I avoid union made products whenever possible. Fortunately, it gets easier every day. I know I can't avoid it completely, but we do what we can.

    • wsk

      I don't eschew union made products- after all they are Americans. I will not buy anything from China if I can help it and neither should anyone else.

  • Ronald W. Carnine

    When I was a younger man I worked at the GM plant in KC while I was going to college. It was a good place to work, good wages and working conditions. I was a member of the UAW #31. I did notice one thing. 90% of the UAW reps. time was spent on 10% of its members. Most of the guys were hard workers, who showed up for work almost every day and did their jobs to the best of their ability. But the 10% that took up most of the UAW's time were those who didn't show up for work and who when they were there didn't do their jobs to the best of their ability. Some of these same 10% sabotaged the products and company property. They should have been fired.

  • CisscoKidd

    Can illegal mexicans wear these jackets? They can surely afford them–
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/02/immigration-

    Now do you know where you should be concentrating your marketing efforts? Now do you know? Now?