|For as long as there have been unions, there has been union violence. It is a sad but unfortunate fact that many union bosses would would love to hide. However, it is an undeniable truth.
When union violence occurs, it is usually during the course of a labor dispute and usually involves attacks on workers who choose to work during the dispute.
In some cases, union violence is aimed at union-free workers or employers who are not in a labor dispute but who are doing work that a union feels should be performed by union members—as the video below illustrates.
|However, when it occurs, it can involve tire slashings, beatings, stabbings, and sometimes even shootings.
All too often, union violence is not reported on in newspapers. However, some years ago, the National Institute for Labor Relations Research released a 25-year study on union violence as reported in the media. The study found more than 9,000 reported incidents of union violence during the 25-year period studied. [To read the summary, go here.]
|Union violence can also include sabotage against company property such as cutting brake lines or breaking windshields, attempts to run company trucks off the road, as well as the use of laser pointers to attempt to temporarily blind drivers, as this NLRB settlement with the Teamsters’ union illustrates.
|When union violence occurs, it is not always limited to the workers involved in the labor dispute, but may extend to threats against their families or pets (or innocent farm animals) as well.
In summary, union violence is real and, unfortunately, it does happen in the 21st Century.