The mafia has nothing on unions when it comes to violent intimidation and shakedowns.

(TheDC) — The AFL-CIO labor union appears, at least theoretically, to support violence and vandalism when union members use those tactics in the interest of furthering “legitimate union activity.”

Last week, top AFL-CIO lawyer Jonathan D. Newman attempted to file an amicus brief in federal court after local union officials in Buffalo, N.Y. were charged with several acts of violence.

The Buffalo News reports that members of Operating Engineers Local 17 are charged with pouring sand into construction vehicles’ engines, stabbing a company executive in the neck, tossing hot coffee at non-union workers and threatening to sexually assault the wife of a company representative.

“We’re not condoning the allegations or arguing that union officials are completely immune from prosecution,” Newman said. “Instead, we simply want to make sure that the [federal law] is not interpreted in a way that could have a chilling effect on legitimate union activity.”

While the AFL-CIO is not directly condoning the crimes alleged against the union members, its friend-of-the-court brief leans on the 1973 U.S. v. Enmons Supreme Court ruling which condones union violence as long as it is in the interest of “legitimate union activity.”

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