Tuesday, February 5, 2008

When Organizing Becomes Racketeering, You are Governing through Crime

When a union started complaining about working conditions in Smithfield Foods giant hog slaughtering operation in Tar Heel, North Carolina, they didn't get mad, they got lawyers and field a RICO complaint. The law, designed to capture elusive mobsters has increasingly been used by government lawyers against white collar crime. Now corporations are turning around and using it against unions. According to Adam Liptak, of the New York Times, the underlying "bad act" of this crime, looks a lot like free speech.

This brings us full circle back to the beginning of the 20th century when unions were considered criminal conspiracies.

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