Tire manufacturer, Titan Int’l, Inc., filed racketeering charges in U.S. Dist. Court in Springfield, Ill., Sept. 29 against the United Steelworkers of Am. Locals 164 and 303L and over 100 named individuals. The suit is for damages of $240 million.
“It is time for companies to stand up to labor unions and demand that the laws be upheld,” stated Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan president and CEO. “Companies need to defend the rights of their employees. The Titan lawsuit will bring to light the union’s unbelievable disregard for laws. The union is accustomed to using its propaganda machine to influence politicians and public opinion, but it is very difficult to bully a Federal Court with the same tactics. Titan will be asking other companies to step forward with information regarding similar acts committed by USWA. Titan also plans to organize a group of companies to focus on changing the labor laws of this country to better protect workers’ rights.”
For over two years, Titan reports that it has been hiring and training a new 1,100 person workforce due to strikes at tire facilities in Des Moines, Iowa, and Natchez, Miss. The employees have worked to strengthen the company in the face of the negative propaganda of the USWA.
USWA allegedly has threatened workers who wished to return to work with injury to themselves, their spouses and children. The pattern of these threats and actions suggest that the USWA bosses are involved. [Titan Int’l, Media Release 9/29/00]
“A lot of people are sick and tired of seeing people go out and get their pensions after they commit a crime.”
– East Providence, R.I., Councilmen Rolland R. Grant and retired East Providence police officer discussing his proposed ordinance that would take away pension benefits of police officers and firefighters who are convicted of crimes related to their employment. Ex-East Providence police sergeant, Alan A. Gouveia, currently faces criminal charges for allegedly embezzling $26,189 from the local Fraternal Order of Police while he served as FOP’s treasurer. Gouveia is now “retired” and collecting a pension from the city. [Providence J.-Bull. 9/22/00]