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Don’t miss FrontPage’s other Union Gangsters profiles featuring Craig Becker, Richard Trumka, Stephen Lerner, Andy Stern, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., John Sweeney, Leo Gerard, Wade Rathke, Heather Booth and Daniel De Leon.
Sometimes union thugs wear pinstriped business suits.
Investment banker Ron Bloom is one of those thugs.
He decided in the 1970s to devote his life to helping labor unions stick it to America’s corporations. As an organizer, negotiator, and researcher for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Booth observed that many union negotiators didn’t have the skills they needed to bargain effectively with management.
“Unions were being backed into corners by companies and couldn’t understand on a sophisticated level, the company’s arguments … Labor needed to be armed with the equivalent skills.”
A longtime leftist, Bloom acquired the skills he needed to run circles around management. He went to Harvard Business School and built up his resume.
Bloom, who was President Obama’s car czar and then manufacturing czar, excels at wheeling and dealing. Last year Time magazine fawned over Bloom, naming him as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Bloom’s “role in brokering the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler while preserving more than 100,000 jobs demanded a synergist who could work both sides of the equation with authority and respect.”
Although it is true that Bloom was one of the principal architects of the auto industry bailout, Time failed to mention that he made certain that the deal enriched the United Auto Workers at the expense of bondholders. Bondholders accept low rates of return on their investment in the expectation that if the company goes belly-up they will be among the first creditors paid back, but Bloom and his colleagues in the Obama administration upended that ancient rule of repayment priority in the name of so-called “social justice.” They made sure that President Obama’s allies in the labor movement got far more than their fair share.
In his career as an investment banker, Bloom has used his considerable skills as a negotiator to engineer deals that benefit trade unions.
For example, when Brazilian steel company Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN) tried to merge with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp. in 2006, steelworkers feared the deal would decimate their ranks. Bloom, who joined the United Steel Workers (USW) union as a special assistant to the president in the 1990s, put together a hostile takeover bid by Chicago-based steel distributor Esmark to fend off CSN.
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