Saturday, April 18, 2015
[UNDER DE-STRUCTION: See "Labor Unions Trump Luddites" above: http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2015/05/working-on-angles-to-make-criminalizing.html ]
There are two RICO prosecutable sides to firing employees for attempting to organize labor. The side everybody naturally thinks of is the extortionate side – the pain of unemployment. The side everybody seems to miss is the illegal blocking of participation in the legally prescribed process of assembling a collective bargaining unit – solely for the sake of depriving employees of monies they could win from the employer in true free market negotiating.
Think almost perfect parallel with prolifers sued under RICO for blocking clinics – except that prolifers slipped off the RICO hook because they were not seeking to squeeze clinics for financial gain.
Let’s make up a situation which is all blocking -- no firing; no extortion. Imagine that the federal organizing formula required online application (Obamacare style) and that for some reason the computers needed to be on the work site – and that the employer permanently barred employees from computer access. If this is RICO/Hobbs prosecutable, then, firing is too.
Firing employees means they no longer have anything to organize -- inherently severs them from the legal prescribed process.
Deprivation of economic participation for attempting to organize – not to reduce staff or for poor performance -- ought to be RICO/Hobbs prosecutable all by itself. But the offense has been practiced without prosecution so much for so long (the free market?) that it may be hard for the courts to ever get their heads around the extortionate side of it.
Unions do not have to wait for prosecutors to catch on – should be able to seek injunctions against blocking of the federally prescribed organizing process – or sue after the fact. Get cases going; watch the perps run for the hills while the cases run their courses (not sure what their liability will be) – we can organize the country out from under them before the rulings come down.
Alternate route: states can make blocking of and/or extortion against union organizing activity a felony punishable by one year – that would meet a requirement for RICO prosecution. If pro union legislators everywhere attempt to pass such legislation every year – whether successful or not – I can think of no better ed-u-cational process about the criminality of habitually depriving most Americans of their economic and political wherewithal that Americans have gotten so used to tolerating (except maybe if our ed-u-cator-in-chief decides to make it his or her number one topic).