Labor unions: A history of violence

Labor unions: A history of violence

Something not usually discussed on Labor Day is the violence and thuggery which has always been part of the union movement. And it still happens. One recent report counts almost 8,800 acts of union violence between 1975 and 2011.

Union leader demagoguery is a big reason for the violence the history of the labor movement is littered with extremists who used violence to get their their way.

 At the beginning of the movement the violence was outer directed; toward the government, management, or the police who were using violence themselves to destroy the labor movement. As the movement matured the violence became directed inward, targeted towards keeping the rank and file “in line,” going after replacement workers, or sabotaging the particular company under siege. …

To show the evolution of union violence, here are six examples of violence committed by Big Labor.

6. The Haymarket Square Incident, May 1886


The rally began at 8:30 pm and the crowd was calm (and wet from the rain). … [A] pipe bomb was thrown from a vestibule at Randolph and Des Plaines Streets. The bomb exploded in the middle of a column of police. One officer was killed instantly and six others were mortally wounded. The remaining officers quickly recovered and began shooting wildly into the fleeing crowd of laborers. The shooting continued for more than five minutes. …

5. 1905 The Assassination of former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg


1. Tea Party Violence??  There was racial violence in St. Louis long before the Michael Brown shooting.  Sometimes it was even condoned by the government. On August 6, 2009 Kenneth Gladney went to a town-hall meeting hosted by Rep. Russ Carnahan, Missouri Democrat. While passing out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, he was viciously attacked by SEIU members. One even called him a “nigger.” and that was just the start.

A group of people with purple t-shirts were leaving the rally. … [A man] shouted at me, “What kind of nigger are you?!” Then, he grabbed my board, so I quickly grabbed it back, then the man punched me in the face and charged at me . I put my hands up to block the second blow from the large man, when two other people from that group grabbed me and threw me to the ground and started punching and kicking me. I was kicked in the head and in the back, legs and buttocks. Then a white woman ran up to me while I was on the ground and began kicking me in my head as well. A few people came to my rescue for which I am forever grateful.

This time the union violence was celebrated by the government…

Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.