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house Bill H.R. 4422

Should Union Members be Prohibited From Committing Acts of Violence or Sabotage in Pursuit of Union Goals?

Argument in favor

By closing a loophole and holding some union members responsible for their destructive actions, we can further protect union members, government officials, and businesses from the sometimes-extortionate actions of a few.

Chickie's Opinion
···
06/02/2018
Union workers are told by the Union bosses to go and sabotage non-union jobs. For instance: Union iron workers in PA sabotaged the work of non-union iron workers. The general contractor of the job had to hire night security to protect the work performed so the union iron workers wouldn’t return to do further destruction. Union workers were not cited. This deplorable union mob mentality makes it difficult for non union workers to do what they were hired to do. In some instances, the general contractor would cave, releasing the non union trade and hire on the union trade. This is intimidation and blackmail. To those that say this violence protects the worker is only looking at one side. What about those workers who choose not to work for unions? Shouldn’t they be protected from the violence? Definitely Yay!!
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Jim2423's Opinion
···
06/02/2018
I was a member of the IBEW for forty years and we never committed any violent or destructive acts against management or equipment. That is what makes unions strong standing together not destructive. To make the union look good each member is to do their best and be productive. Violence and destruction has no place in a union. Attempting to demoralize the work force is a corrupt management tactic. That type of negotiations is what brings in walkouts or strikes.
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operaman's Opinion
···
06/02/2018
You mean criminal activity? Seems like a logical conclusion. Am I being led to questions believing that violent actions were not prohibited? Is this question pertinent because of the union beating Boeing Air in SC? I do believe the case will be heading for repeal. Truthfully, I never knew there were loopholes allowing violence or criminal activity under current law.
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Argument opposed

The actions of a few nefarious union members shouldn’t bring negative repercussions on unions as a whole and their means of maintaining members and professional objectives.

Ryan's Opinion
···
06/02/2018
This bill is too vaguely worded. Obstructing commerce could be as little as striking. If you remove a unions right to strike you damage it's efficicy. Unions need to have recourse against employers. We have given up all the rights workers have fought for over the years and are seeing the results of that with the greatest wealth disparity in the history of this country.
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Mark's Opinion
···
06/02/2018
In case no one noticed we already have laws against violence and sabotage. No specific laws geared towards “ unions” required. Enforce the laws we already have. Piling on more is of no value and further complicates life in what is already a hideously litigious society. Just enforce the damn laws we have you cowards. Stop dreaming up more crap so you can “look busy” and justify your sorry existence.
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RadicalModerate's Opinion
···
06/02/2018
Unions protect ALL American workers from ultra capitalist extremists. We should protect unions right to fight on behalf of all exploited workers.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedNovember 16th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 4422?

This bill ― the Freedom from Union Violence Act― would close a loophole in current law that technically allows militant union members to commit acts of extortionate violence or sabotage so long as they are in the pursuit of “legitimate union objectives.” The loophole stems from the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Emmons, which held that the Hobbs Act doesn’t prohibit union violence under those circumstances.

Impact

Union members; and businesses.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4422

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: “Union violence is an ongoing problem, and it deserves no protection in federal law,” said the author Rep. Steve King (R-IA). “Because of the Supreme Court’s disastrous 1973 Emmons decision, striking thugs have license to engage in conduct against their employers and fellow employees which would be recognized as extortion in other contexts.”

King’s legislation seeks to close this loophole by amending the existing federal anti-racketeering legislation (the Hobbs Act) to impose a prison term of up to 20 years on anyone who “obstructs, delays, or affects commerce, by robbery or extortion, or attempts or conspires so to do, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property.

One recent example of such union violence occurred in Boston, as union operatives targeted the cast and crew of the popular reality cooking show, Top Chef, with harassment, violence, intimidation and derogatory threats. Ultimately the judge’s instructions to the jury, based on the Emmons precedent, let the perpetrators off the hook.

Introduced in November of 2017, this bill is currently in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.


Media:

Summary by Lucas McConnell

(Photo Credit: grynold/istock)

AKA

Freedom From Union Violence Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend section 1951 of title 18, United States Code (commonly known as the Hobbs Act), and for other purposes.

    Union workers are told by the Union bosses to go and sabotage non-union jobs. For instance: Union iron workers in PA sabotaged the work of non-union iron workers. The general contractor of the job had to hire night security to protect the work performed so the union iron workers wouldn’t return to do further destruction. Union workers were not cited. This deplorable union mob mentality makes it difficult for non union workers to do what they were hired to do. In some instances, the general contractor would cave, releasing the non union trade and hire on the union trade. This is intimidation and blackmail. To those that say this violence protects the worker is only looking at one side. What about those workers who choose not to work for unions? Shouldn’t they be protected from the violence? Definitely Yay!!
    Like (53)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is too vaguely worded. Obstructing commerce could be as little as striking. If you remove a unions right to strike you damage it's efficicy. Unions need to have recourse against employers. We have given up all the rights workers have fought for over the years and are seeing the results of that with the greatest wealth disparity in the history of this country.
    Like (98)
    Follow
    Share
    In case no one noticed we already have laws against violence and sabotage. No specific laws geared towards “ unions” required. Enforce the laws we already have. Piling on more is of no value and further complicates life in what is already a hideously litigious society. Just enforce the damn laws we have you cowards. Stop dreaming up more crap so you can “look busy” and justify your sorry existence.
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    I was a member of the IBEW for forty years and we never committed any violent or destructive acts against management or equipment. That is what makes unions strong standing together not destructive. To make the union look good each member is to do their best and be productive. Violence and destruction has no place in a union. Attempting to demoralize the work force is a corrupt management tactic. That type of negotiations is what brings in walkouts or strikes.
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    Unions protect ALL American workers from ultra capitalist extremists. We should protect unions right to fight on behalf of all exploited workers.
    Like (31)
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    No! The wording of this bill is too broad and undefined. It is another Repugnicant attempt to discredit unions.
    Like (27)
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    To punish all of us union workers for people who are ALREADY breaking the law if they commit violence or destruction! This is an attack on our RIGHT to strike! This bill helps only wealthy business owners looking to gain the upper hand in wage negotiations!
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    Bills like these are deceptive. They have common sense titles but aren't exactly what they seem. This bill isn't anti-violence, it is anti-worker.
    Like (16)
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    Acts of violence and sabotage are already illegal. This is a backhanded attack on the unions. Take a second and remember who brought you your 8 hour work days and weekends off.
    Like (14)
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    There are already laws to make this illegal. Do we really think spending time on making it more illegal is time well spent for Congress that at best works 9 months of the year?
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    This bill is a blatant way to sabotage unions even further in this country. Unions are what built the middle class in America. If any union member were to rob anyone, isn’t that already illegal? Also, the wording in this bill is vague enough that any kind of union demonstration that affects commerce in any way could be prosecuted under this law. Vote no!
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    You mean criminal activity? Seems like a logical conclusion. Am I being led to questions believing that violent actions were not prohibited? Is this question pertinent because of the union beating Boeing Air in SC? I do believe the case will be heading for repeal. Truthfully, I never knew there were loopholes allowing violence or criminal activity under current law.
    Like (9)
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    I do not support this bill
    Like (9)
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    This just adds to the horrifyingly bizarre series of "flack" bills designed to confuse and enrage voters. Violence is ALREADY illegal and this bill seeks to keep rich people rich by keeping unions suppressed.
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    There are already laws on the books again these acts. Workers should be able to strike for safer worker rights, wages & benefits, overtime pay or it being mandatory, etc without threat of jail time. “Right to Work” state laws need to be made illegal. People should have the right to unionize. Since Reagan’s term unions have been eroded and the middle class has shrunk because those who once had union representation are now threatened with firing for speaking out against management.
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    The Union busting GOP need to be voted out of office! This is just a way to regress to the “good ole days” when there were no regulations, policies or standard to protect workers. This mentality of non-protections needs to stop before we have regressed to the sweatshops of the past. The Idiots that these regulations protect have voted for this administration! Idiots!
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    The wording of this bill is vague and can be interpreted in certain ways to impose unfair penalties
    Like (7)
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    This is just another Union busting anti-worker law from the republicans. The current laws already cover this. No special anti-union laws needed.
    Like (7)
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    We have laws that serve as penalties for those who commit crimes. Why would separate laws be enacted against unions? Calling Partisan BS on this. ***Your wages, union member or not, your work conditions, union member or not, have all improved Because unions moved the bar.***
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    This seems like a sneaky way to union bust. Acts of violence are already illegal. This bill is pointless and redundant.
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