CMJR524 APUS Crime Statutes and Racketeering Discussion Response




American Public University System

Question Description

Please respond to the below post. This can be an opinion, follow-up question, discussion, remark, argument, or agreement about what was stated. Remember to stay professional in your postings. You are free to disagree or agree with something that someone has said, but you must clearly show why. Discuss how you feel their postings relate or are different from your own. Feel free to debate points, and hold a discussion!

Note: Each participation response should be a "minimum" of 300 words each (does not count references and or restating what a classmate said) and include "at least" one properly referenced source each (in accordance with APA 6th edition), for full credit. Please see the syllabus for what constitutes a "substantive" participation response.

Respond to Michael:

The establishment and evolution of labor racketeering in the United States (U.S.) is a confluence of synergistic factors. Existing Organized Crime (OC) elements exploited unique socio-political and economic trends in the U.S. to create a uniquely American form of OC (Stewart, 2006). The post-Prohibition lull in profits, mostly from the bursting alcohol sales bubble, placed OC squarely in the Great Depression. The limited opportunities for profitable venture continued through the World War 2 period, where America experienced the American Labor Movement. OC opportunists were astute enough to involve themselves in the blossoming industrial pre-war workforce (Stewart, 2006). By the end of the Korean War and the mid-1950s, OC was firmly entrenched in labor racketeering with large workers union organizations such as the International Longshoremen or the Teamsters.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded in Chicago over a century ago. Local leaders conspired with businesses to restrict competition, accept bribes, and stage strikes (Belzer & Hurd, 1999). From the start, the duality of the Teamsters was evident. While it was clearly a corrupt organization, its members benefited from controlled work hours and fair wages (Belzer& Hurd, 1999). Various national leaders of the Teamsters experienced differential success in controlling over corruption within the organization. The McClellan Committee, explicitly formed in in the 1950s to investigate Labor Union corruption, pursued Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa, eventually leading to the Teamsters national exposure and Hoffa’s arrest (Belzer & Hurd, 1999). Hoffa’s successor, Frank Fitzsimmons, is notorious for his involvement of the Teamsters with the La Costa Nostra (LCN) mafia in New Jersey and New York. A historic Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) case was brought against the Teamsters in the 1980s, marking the first time a national union was overtaken by the government for any reason. This case is controversial and much debated in criminological history because the RICO act was passed for use against overtly criminal organizations (Belzer & Hurd, 1999).

Another labor union that fell victim to RICO was the International Longshoremen Association (ILA). Unlike the Teamsters however, The Department of Justice (DoJ) dismissed this RICO against the ILA due to a failure of the state to present adequate and suitable evidence (Dondlinger, 2010). The primary enterprise of the ILA was corruption and influence of labor unions and business on the waterfront. While activities of the ILA originated in the Great Lakes region in the mid-20th century, it quickly spread to waterfront areas in New York and New Jersey (Dondlinger, 2010). OC groups had influence in the waterfront activities before the ILA, primarily within Irish and Italian urban enclaves. Eventually, the LCN mafia organization entrenched itself in the Longshoremen, facilitating the RICO case (Dondlinger, 2010).

It appears that labor racketeering has a dual nature; one that benefits employees and businesses but also invites corruption and criminal enterprise. In its early development, labor racketeers protected their business and workforce from socio-political and economic threats. A down economy can be mitigated through controlling of labor and market prices. Additionally, the early “labor-czars” in places like Chicago protected employees from corrupt law enforcement (Jacobs, 2013). In essence, labor unions are a democratic institution, one that gives workers a voice in politics and the ability to negotiate with the state. However, these groups invite organized crime, especially when increasing membership and financial motivations are apparent (Jacobs, 2013). The early development years of the labor union, the Great Depression and pre-World War 2, were a unique environment where labor racketeering benefited business. As the environment changed, however, labor racketeering became a OC enterprise.


Belzer, M., & Hurd, R. (1999). Government oversight, union democracy, and labor racketeering: Lessons from the Teamsters experience. Journal of Labor Research, 20(3), 343–365. Retrieved from

Jacobs, J. B. (2013). Is labor union corruption special? Social Research, 80(4), 1057-1086,1322. Retrieved from

Stewart, R. (2006). Reflections on labor racketeering and interdisciplinary enforcement. Trends in Organized Crime, 9(4), 60–101.


The Harrison Narcotics Tax act of 1914 is often associated as the starting point of the United States war on drugs (Redford, & Powell, 2016). The basic tenants of this act required anyone who imported, produced, sold, or dispensed “narcotics” to register and pay taxes. The businesses, organizations, or individuals participating in narcotic imports, at that time including raw coca leaves, were required to keep detailed records in accordance with the Harrison Act. These records would feed directly into official law enforcement activity, such as control of prescriptions and sale of these substances (Courtwright, 2015).

The enforcement of the Harrison Act fell exclusively to the Department of the Treasury (DOT). The DOT proceeded by standardizing regulations, registration forms, and reporting requirements within the Act (Hohenstein, 2001). The main purpose of the Act was an attempt to clean up the medicinal patent business and a progressive professionalization of medical regulation in the United States (U.S.). Most notably, this Act marked the first federal intervention into private medical practice. At its outset, federal revenue agents began to arrest doctors and druggists across the U.S. who were in violation of the Harrison Act’s procedures (Hohenstein, 2001). As many of the provisions within the Harrison Act were not well understood, Doctors and lobbyists asked for clarification. Several landmark Supreme Court adjudications, such as U.S. Vs Jun Fuey Moy, protected doctors against accusations of providing illicit substances to drug abusers. (Hohenstein, 2001). However, subsequent Supreme Court De4cisions would reinforce the provisions the Harrison Act, sentencing doctors who failed to register patients who were scripted illicit substances covered under the Act (Hohenstein, 2001).

The history of the Harrison Narcotics Tax act of 1914 is pertinent to the modern struggle against opiate addiction in the U.S.. Similar to now, the Harrison Act was a response to a sharp rise in opiate or narcotic consumption and subsequent addiction (Courtwright, 2015). With patent-medicine and opiate use by Americans on the rise in the early 20th Century, many states passed laws to curb sale of medicine without a prescription (Redford & Powell, 2015). As a result of these laws, interstate and international sales of these substances increased. The U.S. attempted to shed light on opium abuse and confront a growing domestic opium use problem. Generally speaking, these three lines of effort coalesced into the passage of the Harrison Act in 1914 (Redford & Powell, 2015).

As a predecessor to the modern war on drugs, the Harrison Act of 1914 addressed certain novel substances that exploded in popularity in the U.S. The first is the use of opium. Originating in Chinese enclaves, smoking opium became popular during the early 20th century with Americans (Redford & Powell, 2015). Another substance was morphine, which revolutionized how people and doctors managed pain. Despite its side effects, morphine was prescribed for more than fifty ailments in the post-Civil War era. In this prohibition-era, many organizations existed for alcohol control. Until the Harrison Act in 1914, no such initiatives existed or narcotics (Redford & Powell, 2015).

The main issue with the Harrison Act is the ambiguity with which many of the provisions are written (Hohenstein, 2001). A series of Supreme Court decisions established precedents and subsequently requested them. Additionally, this Act was pivotal in the transference of decision making power from Congress to other federal agencies (Redford & Powell, 2015). The Internal Revenue Department experienced jurisdiction, budget, and oversight problems when enforcing complex and poorly written laws. While the Harrison Act attempted to control a growing narcotics issue in the U.S. after the Civil War, it had the unintended consequence of laying the foundation for the modern war on drugs. The Harrison Act is a case study in the intervention of the federal government on perceived market failures. It established a problematic precedent against the idea of medicinal maintenance. Furthermore it normalized imprisonment for drug offenses and implementing zero-tolerance policies, the ramifications of which are being felt today (Courtwright, 2015).


Courtwright, D., (2015). Preventing and Treating Narcotic Addiction--Century of Federal Drug Control. The New England Journal of Medicine, 373(22), 2095–2097.

Hohenstein, K. (2001). Just What the Doctor Ordered: The Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act, the Supreme Court, and the Federal Regulation of Medical Practice, 1915–1919. Journal of Supreme Court History, 26(3), 231.

Redford, A., & Powell, B. (2016). Dynamics of Intervention in the War on Drugs: The Buildup to the Harrison Act of 1914. The Independent Review, 20(4), 509–530. Retrieved from

Forum Rubric

Zero Points





Substance (Possible 40 points)

Zero points: Student failed to respond to the question(s)

25 points: Presentation is unclear; a basic understanding of the topic and issues is not evident; explanation is lacking; segments of the required answer are lacking; sources and supporting facts are not utilized; length requirements may not have been met.

30 points: Student’s initial posting did not meet the length and or source requirements; and/or presentation evidences some confusion concerning topics under discussion; analysis may be lacking and/or elements of the question are not answered; support and references may be lacking.

35 points: Student answered/addressed most aspects of the question/topic posed in the Forum; initial posting met length and source requirements; a basic understanding of relevant concepts/theories is demonstrated; relevant sources were located; minimal or no facts/examples were used in support of presentation.

40 points: Student answered/addressed all aspects of the topic/question posed in the Forum; initial posting met length and source requirements; analysis of concepts and theories clearly demonstrates superior knowledge and a clear understanding of the topic; relevant and scholarly resources were located and used appropriately; facts and examples are used in support of presentation.

Collaboration (Possible 30 points)

Zero points: Student filed none of the required replies.

15 points: Student filed only one of the required replies OR filed the required replies but failed to meet length and or source requirements.

25 points: Student filed the minimum number of replies, meeting the length and source requirements and evidencing an understanding of the issues under discussion and the views of colleagues. Student failed to respond to specific queries posed to him by colleagues or by the Instructor. Student did not take initiative in advancing the discussion throughout the week.

30 points: Student filed at least the number of required replies and they met the length and source requirements; the replies were substantive, thoughtful responses and contributed to the discussion; student exceeded minimum requirements by answering all queries posed to him by others and remained present and actively engaged in the discussion throughout the week; student led the discussion by raising complex issues, connecting concepts, and illuminating the discussion with examples.

Timeliness (Possible 10 points)

Zero points: Student filed more than two required postings in an untimely manner.

2 points: Student filed two required postings in an untimely manner.

7 points: Student filed one required posting in an untimely manner.

10 points: Student filed all required postings in a timely manner.

Writing (Possible 10 points)

Zero points: Student failed to respond to the essay question

4 points: Writing contains several grammatical, punctuation, and/or spelling errors. Language lacks clarity or includes some use of jargon and /or conversational tone; sentence structure is awkward.

6 points: Student demonstrates consistent and correct use of the rules of grammar usage, punctuation and spelling, with a few errors; there is room for improvement in writing style and organization.

8 points: Student demonstrates consistent and correct use of the rules of grammar usage, punctuation, and spelling. Language is clear and precise throughout all submissions. Sentences display consistently strong, varied structure and organization is excellent.

10 points: Student demonstrates a quality of writing consistent with scholarly works in the relevant discipline; student is facile in the use of subject-matter vocabulary and terminology consistent with the level of instruction; student applies concepts with ease; writing style and organization are designed to successfully convey the message and the related information to the reader with maximum effect.

Citations (Possible 10 points)

Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references

4 points: Citations of reference sources exist; citations apparently correspond to the correct source but do not enable the reader to locate the source. APA 6thedition format not evident.

6 points: Attempts to cite reference sources are made, but the reader has difficulty finding the sources; attempts to useAPA 6th edition format are evident but poorly executed

8 points: Reference sources are cited as necessary, but some components of the citations are missing and/or APA 6th edition format is faulty in some respects.

10 points: Reference sources relied on by the student are cited appropriately and accurately. No writing of others is left without quotation and/or attribution, as appropriate. APA 6thedition format is used correctly and consistently.

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Dynamics of Intervention in the War on Drugs: The Buildup to the Harrison Act of 1914 Redford, Audrey;Powell, Benjamin The Independent Review; Spring 2016; 20, 4; ProQuest Central pg. 509 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. How the Mob (Museum) Was Won: Crime in the U.S. Michael Green, Ph.D. importance for the sake of knowledge and tourism. Department of Social Sciences UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal Volume 17 Issue 2 101 connections. 102 UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal Volume 17 Issue 2 following: UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal Volume 17 Issue 2 103 did not exist. . 1 Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 49 UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal Volume 17 Issue 2 still provides information and entertainment. There is a lesson here for the tourism and UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal Volume 17 Issue 2 105 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. James B. Jacobs Is Labor Union Corruption Special? labor racketeering has attracted a good deal of attention from law enforcement agencies, legislators, and journalists, but surprisingly little attention from corruption scholars. While the origin of the term “labor racketeering” is obscure, it has come to be associated with a type of corruption perpetrated by union officials under the direction of, or in conjunction with, organized crime (Cohen 2003, 575–76, 587–91; Jacobs 2006, 11–12). Organized crime bosses exploit unions and union members through alliances with corrupted or intimidated union officials (Jacobs 2006, 234). In return, union officials provide mobsters access to the union treasury, pension and welfare funds, no-show jobs with the union, and support in establishing and enforcing employer cartels (Jacobs 2006, 14, 65, 80). Some organized crime members have held formal union office (Jacobs 2006, 20, 50, 203–04). In addition, of course, corrupt union officials, whether or not connected to organized crime figures, engage in “ordinary” organizational corruption, such as misappropriation of funds. The most distinctive form of corruption by union officials is taking employers’ bribes to ignore violations of the collective bargaining contract, or even to allow employer to operate nonunion shops (Jacobs 2006, 102). a history of union corruption as a subfield of corruption studies There are enough disparate union-corruption and racketeering studies by social scientists, historians, and journalists to constitute a union- social research Vol. 80 : No. 4 : Winter 2013 1057 corruption specialty. Chicago sociologist John Landesco was the earliest social scientist to shine a light on union corruption.1 His pioneering work, Organized Crime in Chicago (1929), provided an in-depth description and analysis of the symbiotic relationship between organized crime factions and corrupt union officials and employers, all this before the emergence of Italian-American organized crime. Landesco documented how gangsters leveraged control over unions into control over businesses by threatening uncooperative companies with strikes, labor troubles, and sabotage. He identified 23 racketeer-controlled trades, observing that racketeers used their control over the unions’ labor monopoly to force businesses to join employer associations. They then charged the employers “dues” in exchange for enforcing cartels. Employers also paid off corrupt union officials, and the gangsters with whom they were allied, to avoid having to comply with collective bargaining agreements. In 1938, Harold Seidman, a university-based political scientist, published Labor Czars: A History of Labor Racketeering, describing how labor racketeers flourished due to weak and/or corrupt law enforcement, and describing the careers of early gangster-type “labor czars.” Three years later, conservative union-bashing journalist Westbrook Pegler won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing racketeering in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) (Witwer 2012). Pegler also revealed the relationship between Building Services Employees International Union (BSEIU) President George Scalise and mob bosses, particularly Dutch Schultz. A half century later, historian David Witwer elaborated on Pegler’s account (Witwer 2003b). After World War II, Malcolm Johnson, a reporter who previously published a Pulitzer-Prize-winning series of newspaper articles on “gangsterism” in the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), published Crime on the Labor Front (1950), documenting extensive corruption and racketeering in the ILA, BSEIU, IATSE, the Waiters Union, the Cafeteria Workers Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT or Teamsters Union), and several construction unions. Johnson explained how mobsters take over a union: “A mobster can 1058 social research break into a union by threats and violence or he can ‘fix’ an election so that one of his stooges becomes a key official. Once in power, he can bribe his opposition into cooperation, or he can sew them in sacks and drop them in the river” (Johnson 1950, 35). Johnson also illuminated the symbiotic relationship between mobsters and employers, who “in permitting themselves to become extortion victims, nearly always seek some advantage for themselves, usually at the expense of the workers” (Johnson 1950, 17). The two labor federations, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), merged in 1955, despite CIO unhappiness with the extent of corruption in the AFL-affiliated unions and AFL unhappiness with Communist elements in CIO-affiliated unions (Jacobs 2006, 41). In 1957, the AFL-CIO expelled two unions on account of corruption (AFL-CIO 2013). That same year, the US Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management (the McClellan Committee Hearings) commenced its unprecedented investigation of corruption and racketeering in the labor movement (Bernstein 2002, chap. 7).2 Under the leadership of Senator John McClellan (D–AR) and Chief Investigator Robert Kennedy, and over the course of three years, a 100-person staff conducted 253 investigations, served 8,000 subpoenas, held 270 days of hearings, and took testimony from 1,525 witnesses (many union officials and mobsters refused to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds) (Jacobs 2006, 47–48). The hearings resulted in passage of the 1959 Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (the Landrum-Griffin Act or LMRDA), which sought to promote union democracy as the best antidote to labor racketeering. The LMRDA guaranteed democratic rights to union members and created several union-specific federal crimes (Jacobs 2006, 123; Taft 1964). Both McClellan and Kennedy published books excoriating the labor corruption they had uncovered (Kennedy 1960; McClellan 1976). In 1959, Sidney Lens, director of Local 39 of the United Service Employees Union, AFL-CIO, and a prominent radical intellectual, published Crisis in American Labor. He argued that gangsters gained a toehold in the labor movement when labor officials recruited employ- Is Labor Union Corruption Special? 1059 ers’ strike-breaking thugs (Lens 1959, 108). Lens also highlighted the importance of labor racketeering for organized crime, observing that “labor racketeering is not only a source of income for the syndicate, but a means of rounding out its empire; it is a not-too-hidden persuader, an integral part of a criminal trust that stretches across many fields” (Lens 1959, 112). In 1972, UCLA historian John Hutchinson published The Imperfect Union: A History of Corruption in American Trade Unions, in which he provides a thorough account of trade union corruption—including in the ILA, the IBT, and the United Mine Workers—across different cities, industries, and time periods. However, like other twentieth-century labor scholars, he did not discuss organized crime’s role in labor union corruption.3 In the late 1970s and 1980s, the US Senate Committee on Government Operations, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (the Senate Permanent Subcommittee), under the leadership of Senator Sam Nunn (D–GA), held several hearings on organized crime’s influence in and exploitation of labor unions (Jacobs and Mullin 2003). Some witnesses and legislators criticized the Department of Labor for inadequately enforcing union members’ Landrum-Griffin rights in mob-controlled unions and for failing to stop the looting of the IBT’s’ Central States Pension Fund (Jacobs and Mullin 2003). Follow-up hearings concluded that the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Racketeering had made significant progress in combatting labor racketeering (US Congress 1996). In 1981, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee investigated organized crime infiltration of the ILA and, in 1981 and 1983, the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Subcommittee on Labor, held hearings to consider increasing penalties for fraud by union officials (Jacobs and Mullin 2003). From 1982 to 1984, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee held hearings on Chicago mob boss Anthony Accardo’s influence on the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HEREIU) (US Congress 1992–1994). 1060 social research In 1986, the President’s Commission on Organized Crime published “The Edge: Organized Crime, Business, and Labor Unions,” detailing labor racketeering in the IBT, ILA, HEREIU, and Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). The commission urged the US Department of Justice to attack the problem by using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act’s (RICO) civil enforcement provisions to impose court-monitored reform on those unions. In 1990, the New York State Organized Crime Task Force’s (OCTF) Final Report on Corruption and Racketeering in the NYC Construction Industry offered a penetrating examination and analysis of labor racketeering in New York City’s construction industry. OCTF explained that racketeers are successful in penetrating unions when both racketeering “susceptibility” (the strategic importance of a union for an industry) and racketeering “potential” (the advantages that can be derived from exploitation of a union) are high. OCTF identified the following endemic corruption: extortion, bribery, theft, frauds, intimidation and violence, sabotage, and collusive bidding/bid rigging (Goldstock et al. 1990, 19–36). The report concluded that, in the past, successful criminal prosecutions had little impact on Cosa Nostra’s influence over labor unions because other Cosa Nostra members or associates filled the positions vacated by incarcerated comrades. It recommended new criminal laws, a construction-industry-specific regulatory agency, and stronger support for union democracy. In a 1994 book I coauthored with Chris Panarella and Jay Worthington III, Busting the Mob: United States v. Cosa Nostra, we documented and analyzed the federal attack on organized crime beginning in the late 1970s. The book presented case studies of the Department of Justice’s 1982 civil RICO suit against (New Jersey) Teamsters Local 560 and the Department of Justice’s 1988 civil RICO suit against the Teamsters Union’s international executive board. Jacobs’ 2006 book, Mobsters, Unions and Feds: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement, documented how Italian-American organized crime families (Cosa Nostra) Is Labor Union Corruption Special? 1061 infiltrated and took control over scores of union local and regional councils, as well as four international unions: ILA, IBT, LIUNA, HEREIU. It identified dozens of unions with a history of organized crime penetration, control, and influence. The Teamsters Union has attracted by far the most journalistic, congressional, and scholarly attention. In the 1990s, for example, Congress held nine hearings focused on corruption and racketeering in the Teamsters Union (Jacobs and Mullin 2003; US Congress 1998). David Witwer’s Corruption and Reform in the Teamsters Union (2003a) and Stier, Anderson, and Malone’s The Teamsters: Perception and Reality (2002) provide detail and insight into the history, causes, consequences, and strategies for combating labor racketeering in the IBT since the turn of the twentieth century. And my recent book, with Kerry Cooperman, Breaking the Devil’s Pact: The Battle to Free the Teamsters from the Mob (2011), is a study of United States v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters—the massive 1988 civil RICO lawsuit against the leadership of the Teamsters Union and Cosa Nostra—and the court-supervised remediation that continues to the present day. special corruption vulnerabilities of labor unions Advantages of Incumbency In their seminal 1956 study, Union Democracy: What Makes Democracy Work in Labor Unions and Other Organizations?, sociologists Seymour Martin Lipset, Martin Trow, and James Coleman concluded that democratic governance does not and probably cannot flourish in labor unions. To the contrary, labor unions are generally dominated by a single clique that maintains power by means of carrots and sticks, and even “reformers” who win union elections tend to resort to their predecessors’ corrupt tactics in order to stay in power (Lipset, Trow, and Coleman 1956, 1, 6–7). Likewise, former University of Pennsylvania law professor Clyde Summers, the leading union democracy scholar, observed that “elected union leaders will continue to dominate the political struc- 1062 social research ture and seek to create a monolithic bureaucracy which eliminates or immobilizes organized opposition. . .” (Summers 1984, 95). Rank and file apathy and organized crime’s support give incumbents further security (Lipset, Trow, and Coleman 1956, 10). Dissidents who challenged organized-crime-backed incumbents were blacklisted and, if that was not sufficient, beaten and even murdered. Inadequate Monitoring Corruption thrives where principals (the rank and file) cannot effectively control their agents (union officers) or hold them accountable. External monitoring of union officers is weak. The OCTF pointed out that “it is all too easy for racketeers to control and exploit, in part because there is no effective mechanism for policing internal union affairs. The Landrum-Griffin Act was passed in an attempt to assure that workers would be represented by democratic unions” (Goldstock et al. 1990, 49). In the 1980s, congressional hearings surfaced sharp criticism of the Department of Labor’s failure to monitor unions and their pension and welfare funds effectively (Jacobs and Mullin 2003). Because the Department of Labor’s “primary mission is to resolve labor-management problems[,] this necessarily requires good working relations with high-ranking labor officials, and makes investigating and enforcing the complaints . . . against top labor officials at best awkward and, at worst, a conflict of interest” (Goldstock et al. 1990, 181). By contrast, public corporations are monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a large and well-funded independent federal regulatory and enforcement agency (US SEC 2013a). The SEC has an annual budget of more than $1.3 billion and, for fiscal year (FY) 2014, is requesting $1.674 billion to support 5,180 positions (US SEC 2013a; US SEC 2013b). It employs more than 3,700 staff members, more than 2,700 of whom are deployed to enforcement and compliance (US SEC 2013a; US SEC 2013c; US SEC 2013d). Every year, the SEC brings hundreds of civil enforcement actions against individuals and compa- Is Labor Union Corruption Special? 1063 nies for violations of securities laws, such as insider trading, accounting fraud, and providing false or misleading information to the SEC (US SEC 2013a). It also refers some cases for federal prosecution (US SEC 2013e). This is not to say that the SEC has been adequately effective,4 but the absence of anything like an equivalent external government monitor for labor unions is unfortunate. Since 1978, the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations Unit (OLR) “investigates labor racketeering and organized crime influence or control in unions, employee benefit plans, and the workplace” (US DOL 2004, 1). From FY 2008 through FY 2012, OLR opened 498 labor-racketeering investigation cases, obtained 722 indictments, and secured 656 convictions (US DOL 2013a). Still, OLR is not comparable to the SEC. As the OCTF explained, the OLR “has always faced an uphill battle for resources and support” (Goldstock et al. 1990, 195). Indeed, a significant portion of OLR’s resources are devoted “to prevent[ing] and detect[ing] fraud and abuse in DOL programs and operations” (US DOL 2013b). A typology of union corruption Bribery The most distinctive form of union corruption is bribery. The impetus can come from either party. The corrupted union officer agrees to ignore violations of the collective bargaining agreement—for example, an employer’s hiring of nonunion workers, failure to make pension and welfare fund payments, or failure to pay contractually required wages— or agrees to a collective bargaining contract with a lower-wage local (Seidman 1938, 245–46; Taft 1964, 687; Hutchinson 1972, 289). Employers may pay off union officials to obtain sweetheart contracts or “waivers” of collective bargaining provisions (Goldstock et al. 1990, 22–23). Extortion In practice, it can be difficult, even for participating parties, to distinguish extortion from bribery. Money passes from employers to union offici...
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Crime Statutes and Racketeering
Thesis statement: The merging of the Tem Divers International Union and the Teamsters
National Union in 1903 to bring about the International Brotherhood of Teamsters could be
influenced by the need to strengthen their muscles in matters of workers representation.

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Crime Statutes and Racketeering
Institution Affiliation




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