Labor racketeering: an historical survey and contemporary analysis of the realtionship of organized crime and labor unions



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Purpose: In recent years the topic of organized crime has attracted much interest, yet a void exits in regard to labor racketeering. The researcher has sought to ascertain the contemporary status of the relationship of organized crime and labor unions. Two goals were established: (1) to examine why the relationship exists, and (2) to create an awareness of the existence of such a relationship. Methods: With the advent of the McClellan Committee and the subsequent Landrum-Griffin Act, many Americans logically assumed that labor racketeering had been curbed. This disinterest, unfortunately, has had a negative impact upon research; opinions advanced on labor racketeering after 1960, for example, have had little evidence to substantiate them. In this speculative setting, a researcher must rely upon past trends and utilization of whatever relevant facts are available to support his beliefs and opinions. An historical analysis of labor racketeering, which has been the format of this thesis, provides the most effective means of detecting such trends. The chapters of the thesis were subdivided by era: (1) 1920-1940, (2) 1945-1960, and (3) 1960-1972. A central theme of the thesis has been that certain selected factors promoting labor racketeering in the 1920’s and 1950’s are applicable to the 1970’s as well. Findings: The researcher observed that the factors promoting labor racketeering in the past eras still exist. It was also demonstrated, throughout the thesis, how the supposed sanctions against labor racketeering are, in reality, ineffective. Congressional committees on labor racketeering have been established, and anti-racketeering legislation enacted, yet labor racketeering has persisted to be a recurring social problem. An accurate assessment of labor racketeering is impossible. And yet, on the basis of selected trends of labor racketeering, the researcher concluded that while labor racketeering is not the massive social problem portrayed by alarmists, neither can it be ignored completely. The trends noted herein suggest that labor racketeers are still capable of much mischief; this, coupled with the fact that labor racketeering is an organized crime activity, should suffice as sufficient notice to law enforcement officials that a serious challenge, demanding innovative and imaginative solutions, is in existence.



Labor unions--United States., Organized crime--United States., Racketeering--United States.