Florida Congressman Introduces the Freedom from Union Violence Act

On September 10, 2019, Congressman Francis Rooney introduced the Freedom from Union Violence Act (H.R. 4256) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Greg Mourad, Vice President of the 2.8-million-member National Right to Work Committee, fully endorses this legislation and delivered a statement calling for other members of Congress to back the FUVA.

“Substantive action is necessary toward seriously addressing the continuing occurrence of union violence in order to protect rank-and-file workers across America.  The House should work to pass the Freedom from Union Violence Act (FUVA), a measure introduced by Congressman Rooney yesterday” Mourad declared.

Mourad cited United States v. Enmons (1973), where the U.S. Supreme Court held that strike-related violence “used to gain legitimate union objectives” cannot be prosecuted under the Hobbs Anti-Extortion Act.  This goes against the Act’s framers original intent to “criminalize the obstruction of interstate commerce through violence, threat, or coercion.”

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Mourad contends that “thousands of acts of union violence, much of which is directed against non-striking workers, go unpunished” as a result of this decision.

The Vice President of National Right to Work Committee highlighted one notable example of union harassment:

One recent example of such union sanctioned 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 Enmons precedent, let the perpetrators off the hook.

Mourad believes that the aforementioned case “is not an isolated incident.” He expanded:

The National Institute for Labor Relations Research has recorded almost 10,000 media-reported incidents of union violence since 1975.  Experts on labor and strike-related violence estimate that unreported acts of harassment, vandalism, and violence could swell that figure to 100,000 or more.

Mourad also claimed that “The Freedom from Union Violence Act would close the Enmons loophole and remove the unique immunity from federal prosecution that union officials currently enjoy.”

The Vice President of the National Right to Work Committee concluded with the following statement:

On behalf of the National Right to Work Committee’s 2.8 million members nationwide, we urge each member of the Congress to support this legislation.  Violence should not be a lawful collective bargaining tool, and no American should live in fear for opposing union demands.

Passing the FUVA would be a major step in curbing the influence of unions on politics in America. With 27 Right-to-Work states, the labor freedom movement is one of the few successful forms of right wing activism in America.

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