Vitter’s bill criminalizes union violence

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said he would introduce a bill that would make any violence committed as a part of labor union organizing a federal crime.

“We need to stand up for the workers who would rather work than follow the orders of their union leaders,” Vitter said Tuesday.

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The Freedom from Union Violence Act (FUVA), which would impose a fine of $250,000 and a possible prison sentence of 20 years for anyone who commits crimes such as robbery, extortion, or physical violence during a labor dispute.

Vitter said his bill was necessary because under current law there are criminal penalties for acts of robbery or extortion affecting interstate commerce but not union violence.

“Over the last four decades, union officials have gotten away with thousands of acts of violence and extortion — all because of a legal loophole,” Vitter said. “And all too often, the targets of this violence — hardworking men and women — are the very people unions claim to represent.”

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) has a companion measure in the House, H.R. 2021.

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