Court Clears Path for Trial in Gruesome Union Violence Suit
WINCHESTER, Va. – National Right to Work Foundation attorneys convinced the Circuit Court of the City of Winchester to clear the path for a lawsuit against a powerful union for authorizing, ratifying, and condoning a bloody campaign of violence against non-striking workers at Abex Friction Products in 1996.
The court ruled that the United Auto Workers (UAW) union cannot hide behind Virginia’s Worker’s Compensation Act to insulate it from liability. Union bosses left a massive trail of violence and vandalism in their wake during the four-week strike at the Winchester automobile brake manufacturing plant.
In rejecting the union’s arguments, the court commented, “the workplace is not a jungle in which coemployees may prey upon weaker coemployees.”
Union terrorists spit on human rights
In one of the most vicious attacks during the strike, union thugs placed a bloody, severed cow’s head on the hood of worker Shucheng Huang’s car. But the harassment didn’t stop there for Huang. A few days later, the relentless union goons sent her an anonymous letter with a horrifying photograph enclosed. The picture was of the cow’s head on her hood, but instead with her face superimposed over the cow’s head. Huang continued to exercise her Right to Work, but the union thugs’ threats became even more blatant. In an obvious threat on her life, they posted her picture at work under the headline “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
Union militants did not limit their attacks to Huang. The list of attacks on employees who worked during the strike fills more than 40 pages. Such attacks include smashing car windows, shooting into several workers’ homes, flattening car tires with nails, throwing eggs, tools, and auto parts at workers - sometimes from catwalks above the factory floor - telephone death threats, thugs following families in cars, routine workplace postings of filthy, obscene signs attacking the character of workers’ wives and families, vicious harassment on the job, dangerous destruction of employees’ work stations and machinery, shooting one worker with a ball-bearing from a high-powered sling shot, trapping workers in a locked restroom for over three hours, death threats on restroom walls, and pornography and threats mailed to workers’ homes.
Union agents organized violent crimes
Foundation attorneys introduced evidence to a Virginia special grand jury that union operatives met at the union hall to organize the violent crimes and then distributed newsletters that directly encouraged acts of violence against peaceful, non-striking workers. Additionally, the General District Court found several union militants guilty of multiple counts of harassment and violence.
“It’s an outrage UAW officials are trying to wash their hands of the bloody terror they inflicted upon workers,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.
The civil suit heads for trial on June 4, 2001. The employees seek compensatory and punitive damages totaling nearly $1.7 million from those union activists who perpetrated the terrorist acts as well as Local 149 and the UAW International union for having authorized, ratified, and condoned the acts of violence.