Episode 29 Part 3 Congress and Corruption
Hello listeners. This is labor. Your rights podcast. I'm your host. Dave. This episode is brought to you by the national ego, Justice and security professionals. The members count. First contact information can be found in the show, including our toll free number which is what eight five five six two five eight six one zero please check out life on record or gift of record messages for any special occasion to load one. She are showing for details. In nineteen fifty three. He announced his intention to reclaim land controlled by United fruit company in the name of the watermelon. People L D obeyed a woman uprising led by back military, liberation Colonel Carlos Castilla Armas the collapse of RBIs. Government was cheered in America. But Colonel Armagh soon revealed himself to be a right wing dictator intent on murdering his political opponents and erotic ating, the country's trade unions. See I went on to us, and af L C I O supported union in British Guyana in nineteen sixty one to undermine the duly elected. Government of prime minister, Chad Jagan and A I L V F L C I O staff were involved in the overthrow of labor friendly. Governments in the Dominican Republic in nineteen sixty five and in Chile in nineteen seventy three the US meddling in the affairs of foreign labor unions remade a secret for many years revolutions first servicing by accident in the mid nineteen sixties fearing hearings into tactics in Lathrop. Ick foundations by democratic congressman right patent of Texas patent who's small business subcommittee was looking for tax abuses stumbled into evidence that various real and dummy US villain throb AAC foundations were used by the CIA essay secret conduit to direct US funds to covert operations, like J lo'd stones. American unions also appeared to be involved a treasures of oil chemical and Tomic workers B C A W. As well as American newspaper guild were among those used pass through large cash payments. Batman went public causing an article about the mysterious guy funds to appear in New York Times on September. First nineteen sixty four. During this period of time. When some members of the labour busy attempting to reveal the vent of communism. Elsewhere in the world at home without it self on the defensive from allegations of corruption there had long been labor union related crimes. What did appear to be a relatively new and growing phenomenon in the post World War Two era was that of large Enes organize along business lines tolerating extensive corruption and abuse from within barrel leadership as well as attracting fulltime criminals from without the increase in. Memberships be mount of money gathering in year, treasuries, straight funds and pension funds had grown so large. It could not but have a transformative organizational affect. Controlling millions of dollars changed. The character of the union leaders job often his character as well a certain amount of questionable practices, payoffs and graft in the leadership ranks, but if they delivered on basic needs and stood up for workers, and acceptable level. Crushing would be accepted. The New York waterfront corruption that reminded America of its problems with labor related crime. When you're sun. Reporter Malcolm Johnson was sent to cover the murder of a Canard hiring bus in nineteen forty-seven. I west side piers Johnson investigated and wrote up historian. But intrigued remain on the waterfront for the better part of a year documenting and I'll LA. Fred here of unchecked Febuary smuggling shakedowns, kickbacks, robbery, extortion, and murder and underworld syndicate one whose reach extended throughout America. And even the world. The syndicate is like a big trade association in crime it began back in prohibition. And it is still strong today. It has interest in New York, of course. And in Hollywood, Miami, Chicago, Detroit and other key cities, the heart of this enterprise was a labor union, the international longshoremen's association through which Johnson wrote mobsters are able to control all key jobs on the piers and Reckitt operate without interference Johnson's son series, which won a Pulitzer prize in nineteen forty-nine helped insp-. Fire an even more public expose a in nineteen fifty fifty one when Tennessee Senator ESTES. Kefauver led Nationale Lee televised hearings into the underworld syndicate that featured the testimony of real life criminals since prohibition be American public had known of the sense. Asian lives activities of gangsters and the nineteen forty prosecutions of murdering corporate had revealed the existence of a nationally coordinated Jewish and I tell you of execution squad. Hurry, insulin here of the US Breyer of narcotics. Who had been following the efforts by Charles lucky Guccione buyer, Lansky and others to develop an offshore criminal haven in Keila head as early as nineteen Forty-six understood that the syndicate was far reaching in scope known formerly essence special committee to investigate organized crime in interstate commerce. They kept offer panels convened in seven seas, including New York, Washington and Los Angeles, the hearings were fellow by the public weren that the syndicate was a criminal Vandam government that enforces its laws carries out its own executions and that only ignores, but a horse the democratic process of Justice, which are held to be the safeguards of the American citizen. The report that emerged from. The hearings was very much of it time imagining labor corruption not unlike communism to be a secret government of criminals capable of some birding the country from within the Kip half or hearings was covered by newspapers. And the medium televised executives of the three major stations were excited that such civic minded programming garnered high ratings as twenty million Americans were believed to have watched some of the Japan ever hearing only one in five households at ATV set. Those who did not gathered outside of stores who had them displayed in windows the link between organized crime and the longshoremen's union of New York was central to both Malcolm Johnson's and esus Fathur's were in of course, raised uncomfortable questions. About organized labor. It was Robert Kennedy who had investigate this connection more closely. Senator John McClellan, chairman of the committee of Arkansas was sparked by an incident in New York City on the evening of April fifth nineteen fifty six when York Post labor columnist Victor racial who had just left Lindy's steakhouse was attacked by group in who test acid in space. The assault came only a few days after resell had published a comb criticizing New York's trucking and clothing industries for alleged connections to organize crime resou-. I Bain Joan Gardy also known as Johnny DO a union officer racketeer in the garment business who'd already done time in sing-sing. He was convinced DO head hired his attackers. Resale went on meet the press to tell the story of his attack. He asked why the government can Vesta gate a foreign threat such as communism lag, nor a local fit of labor racketeering. George me quickly responded saying that just as we have defeated the east without who tried to desperately to destroy the labor movement. So we defeat enemies from within those wrongdoing can undermine the effectiveness of everything we are trying to accomplish the AFL CIO ethical practices committee was orange extend it staff confront the dilemma as others for paired to deal with what bloomed as a major public image crisis for federation and all organized labor. It was Clark Mellon Hof a lawyer and investigative reporter for the desma registers from you approach Robert Kennedy about the possibility of all up on resuls suggestion for formal inquiry into labor racketeering. Can't he was Vince Irving as counsel to the Senate permanent committee on invest? Negations which had been recently looking into corruption on the part of suppliers and low level government officials in the clothing procurement system of the armed forces at the time all labor unions were required churn in annual financial reports to secretary of labor as they are today. But then they lacked the staff and will to scrutinize these submissions. The information was considered confidential. It is public today. Kennedy's first stop was to visit several cities where labor crush it had been reported accompanying him worse. Former FBI agent and accounting expert Carmen who Email they focused primarily on international brotherhood of Teamsters. With one point six million members, the nation's largest trade union in meeting journalists and police knowledgeable about its activities during this trip. Candy heard enough tells of extortion Phoebe in evidence. Two more than confirm claims. She'd heard one important in Kennedy's outrage at this early stage of the inquiry where the unique skills of his traveling companion for Elino a table full of canceled checks ledgers and scraps of paper authored a forensic he to the Teamsters wrongdoing and the accountant confirmed to Kennedy that deceit and phony transactions appeared to about because of the difficulty of tying individuals to the cookbooks Bellina warned Kennedy not to start this unless he was ready to go all the way Kennedy replied, where going all the way the pro. I looked at Teamsters president, Dave Beck. The former head of the Union's Western Conference who had taken over the IB t in nineteen fifty two from the unions itching founder jail Jj Tobin related dairy old nanny way having served for forty five years can. Candy and Beleno suspected backup playing fast and loose with union funds making questionable purchases often bay sectioning. Many through a Chicago labor relations intermediary named Nathan view Scheffer. Mun a longtime union BUSTER for Sears, Roebuck and company Beck had vent union money on everything from home appliances to boats as well as lavish renovations to his family's all in Seattle. Instead of using the standing Senate permanent committee on investigations to gemin- abuses in organized labor. Hoosein head created a new panel. The select committee on improper activities in the labor or management field to be chaired by John McLaughlin of Arkansas and endowed with an appropriations of three hundred fifteen thousand dollars Katie was chief counsel edition to McClellan. The other Democrats on board were Sam urban Patrick McNamara and John Kennedy who joined reluctantly, but at his brother's insistence in order to keep Strom Thurman, then s later for regressive us on all questions off the committee. Republicans included urban is karo mutt. Very old water and Joseph McCarthy. Kennedy issued a subpoena for Beck in early nineteen fifty seven but back conveniently left the country to spend several weeks in the Caribbean. He claimed fee vacation was for his wife's health when he did finally appear. He took the fifth George me with agreement of both reussir had warned that any official taking the fifth in order team. Baid the committee's questions would be expelled from the AFL CIO in one day back took the fifth more than sixty five times unaware of the way, the TV audience which see. That taking the fifth so many times would be seen as a guilty plea. He would be forced to resign. His gene stirs post and later was convicted of grand larceny and tax evasion. He was sentenced to five years the federal penitentiary James Jimmy Hoffa, the son of an Indiana coal miner who died when James was four he and his family moved to Detroit where the man left school. After the seventh grade were on the loading docks of a grocery warehouse. He his first strike at age nineteen and brought his three hundred man union into the Teamsters local two ninety nine the Teamsters enormous organizing strength by controlling over the road trucking as well as wellcoll delivery drivers in warehouseman, they could virtually bring local regional or even national commerce to a halt oughta and Deb's ever to grow the Teamsters led to. Such expensive membership grove the IB teens welfare and pension fund grew to almost two hundred and fifty million making the Teamsters largest and wealthiest union in America. Hopper was no stranger to Capitol Hill. Having recently been the subject of a house investigation led by Representative Claire Hoffman of Michigan and went Smith of Kansas into the missions of some of those vast IB T resources, it was alleged that off ahead handed over control of a Teamsters health and welfare fund to start up insurance agency ran by Ellen and rose Dorfman who were related to Paul red Dorfman, a suspected organized crime figure who headed a large Chicago trash haulers in the door funds had now prayer extremes in insurance too much S three million in fees and commissions from the fun half of which resulted from the overbilling. And excessive fees the Hoffman. Smith, inC, fiery was mysteriously terminated before it could complete its work probably under pressure from the Republican party, which was eager to win fort for upcoming election. In michigan. Oppa came under scrutiny by the McClellan committee day to his connection student. Johnny DO, the New York garment business racketeer suspected of ordering the salt on Victor resou- DO is suspected to have helped Hoffa maintain paper locals in New York. See when DO arrived at the capitol to test. He managed to make headlines before uttering a word irritating. Win news photographers came too close to snap his pitcher. He routed in anger striking one of them. And Manding don't, you know, I have a family Hoffa in contrast to the site -able DO confidence if he took the w-. Witness stand facing eighties questions. He knew the committee had limited authority and that like the houseman Smith investigation is findings would either be marginalized by backroom political. Maneuvering are it would simply run out of steam hop return. Katie's many info referring to him as a friendless person a bully a spoiled brat. Someone who never had work wouldn't know how to work a curly headed smart Aleck in early nineteen fifty seven Hoffa approach. John C chesty, a former member of the secret service and offered him a salary of two thousand dollars per month. If he can get a job with the McClellan committee in order to tip off Hoffa about witnesses the government had lined up and to feed candy information that would poke doom Dave Beck, whom Hoffa was ear to succeed as Teamsters boss chesty who. Whose character Hoffa, obviously misjudge promptly reported? The proposal to Kennedy the EPA the manage to photograph Hoffa on March thirteenth nineteen fifty seven appearing to have a payoff to Jesse in Washington D Pont circle leading to Hoppe's arrest on bribery and conspiracy charges hafa during his trial claim that if that he was paying chesty for legal services, not a bribe his legal team seeing the jury was two thirds African American had auctioned legend, Joe Lewis show up in support of hafa, but also hired Martha Jefferson, a black attorney. He was also known for reposing segregation in the IB t candy head told reporters that he would jump off the capital, if hop was acquitted when the jury did just that Joe's asked by an intermediary to give an autograph for one of candy sons replied, give it to you for his son. But not. For him to him to go. Take a jump off impair state-building the committee exposed a scheme where in the mid nineteen fifties off and other Teamster executives used money what half million dollars and used it a collateral for a loan of a developer in Orlando, Florida pitch to members prospect of buying plots of land in a retirement village known as Sun Valley, the developer would make what half the plots available to half a privately at a steep discount. We're were a few houses built there and a short road of about two thousand feet evil with all the scrutiny of half and his hoodlum empire. His popularity swelled. Off a compared himself to semi Ogun pers- William green and Philip Murray. Oughta assured his followers I have given twenty five years of my life to fighting for the union, I have fought for what I believe is Ray and good against forces more vicious than you can imagine I propose to continue that by as long as I live. We will be going into the more complete history of labor racketeering in the future in these episodes. We will discuss the how and way crime organization snoop into unions. We will discuss Facific locals in specific cases that involve unions and organized crime. Thank you. Cast with your family and friends, please our podcast on itunes. It helps other side us. If you want to contact us to suggest a topic have a question or just want to say, hi, our contact information is in the show along with our sponsor, the National League of Justice and security professionals where members come first.