Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Organized Crime and Organized Labor

"The Untouchables" usually focused on booze runners, but also pointed out how there's a thin line between organized crime and organized labor. Gangsters organized and coopted unions and Big Bosses extorted dues from workers, as in the "Hammerlock" episode:

Not just bakers and their deliverers but the garment industry was organized by gangsters:

Buchalter, the guy mentioned in above video for organizing NYC garment industry, ended up on an FBI wanted poster:

Mobs controlling labor unions wasn't just from the fervent imaginings of Hollywood screenwriters. From Winter 2001 "City Journal" article "How To Run the Mob Out of Gotham" by Steven Malanga:

"For 100 years, organized crime, working through corrupt unions, has levied a huge tax on New York’s economy. Now prosecutors and pols are learning how to fight back.
One of the worst consequences of New York’s long love affair with the labor unions has been the power it has given to organized crime. For decades, the mob, working through corrupt unions, has infiltrated whole swathes of Gotham’s economy—everything from the garment industry to garbage carting to construction—while timid politicians, fearful of losing union support, have determinedly looked the other way."

Corrupt labor unions working with extortionist gangsters was also corroborated by Ugene H. Methvin "Reader's Digest" article "THE MOB'S STRANGLEHOLD ON NEW YORK":

"Federal authorities say Mafia gangsters control 104 New York locals, embracing 163,000 members, of four major unions-the Longshoremen, Laborers, Teamsters, and Hotel and Restaurant Employees. Such control, reports the President's Commission on Organized Crime, 'has enabled the Mob to determine who will do business, to decide when and where people will work and even to dictate wages and benefits. Millions of consumers unknowingly pay organized crime a surcharge on a wide range of goods and services.'" 

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