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There are things in this country that can get you shot. Wearing a Klan robe in Harlem. Driving a blinged-out convertible through Watts. And apparently owning a non-union electrical company in the heart of union country.

Toledo, Ohio police are investigating the case of electrical contractor John King, who’s repeatedly been the victim of union-related violence. The owner of a once-small plumbing company, King has seen his business flourish, while union electricians are out-of-work, largely because they’ve priced themselves out of the market. Along the way, King’s seen his property vandalized, with his tires slashed countless times, one employee beaten by union thugs, and rocks thrown through windows. But these trying economic times have seen the union thuggery escalated to attempted murder.

From our friends at Red State:

Last Wednesday, however, the attacks on Mr. King became much more serious when he was awakened late in the evening at his home in Monroe County, Michigan and saw that the motion lights in his driveway had come on.  When he looked out his front window, he saw a figure near his SUV and went outside.

As soon as he got outside his front door, King yelled at the individual who was crouched down by King’s vehicle. As soon as King yelled, the suspect stood and, without hesitation, fired a shot at Mr. King.

King stumbled, which possibly saved his life. He was able to retreat inside his home and dial 911. It was only later that he realized he’d been shot in the arm. Dispelling all theories to the contrary, police found a spent shell casing at the scene, along with a Swiss Army knife, and the word “SCAB” scratched into the side of King’s SUV.

Suspicion has fallen upon members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who are obviously taking the “hood” part of their name quite seriously. In 2006, King won a case against the IBEW in the U.S. Court of Appeals, after it ruled that the union had improperly promised jobs on union sites to King’s workers in an attempt to entice King’s workers to unionize.

What’s the takeaway here? I’d say that Mr. King is damned lucky to be alive. And if I were he, I’d look into beefing up security around my home and office. Oh, yeah. And apply for a concealed carry permit, and take full advantage of his Constitutional rights to self-defense.

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  1. Only way to deal with bullies is to out-bully them. Remember the golden rule: “do onto others as they have done onto you.” Or, the modern translation: “Payback’s a bitch, Motherf***er.”

    • That’s a dumb thing. Hes already lost.

      You can’t win vs unions because the media will always of course treat unions like innocent people working for justice instead of the violent racketeering operating they truly are.

  2. And if I were he, I’d look into beefing up security around my home and office. Oh, yeah. And apply for a concealed carry permit, and take full advantage of his Constitutional rights to self-defense.

    Really Brad? I think I’d be looking for a new place to live and/or work.

    If I wanted to live and work in a war zone every day, I would have stayed in Afghanistan after my tour ended.

    • Mr. King built his business and I support his fight to keep what’s his, if that’s his choice. This ain’t a thugocracy, in large part because of the service you and your uniformed comrades have rendered. Thank you, sir.

  3. I love how people in this country simultaneously complain about jobs being shipped overseas while dumping on working Americans who are looking for a living wage to take care of their families. What needs to be done is to enact legislation that allows small businesses to take care of their AMERICAN workers without putting them in the red every month. ex. fix the health care fiasco and end multinational corporate tax loopholes, so we can give the benefits to small business. “Unions” as an all encompassing entity are not the BG’s in this situation, a couple of loons are. We need to stop the “all labor is bad” meme going on. we need to stop fighting over scraps while multinational companies and our financial institutions are watching and laughing from their luxury liners. Whether or not this was a sanctioned act by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will be proven in court.

    With that being said, It sounds like Mr, King needs to CCW ASAP.

    • There is no “all labor is bad” meme going on. Some people believe all unions are bad, but labor and unions are not one in the same. Remember, so-called scabs are labor too.

      • i meant the “all labor is bad” in the wider swath of media sources, not TTAG. What happened in WI comes to mind as an example.

        “Some people believe all unions are bad, but labor and unions are not one in the same”

        such a true statement.

    • So your solution to improve our economy is to raise taxes and force companies to pay people more than the benefit they provide to the company? People like you make those of us who’ve studied Economics cry at night.

      Regarding the union scum trying to kill him, it will not be “decided in court” – all that a court will say is what the judge / jury feel like deciding, not what actually happened. This is not uncommon behavior for unions (I have several relatives who work in / worked for unions and threats of violence against them and their family (even children) are quite common to get what the union wants). Then they wonder why so many people despise unions…

      • oh i see, so then you are ok with your “family memebers” being paid wages like a migrant worker picking tomatoes?

        “Regarding the union scum trying to kill him, it will not be “decided in court” – all that a court will say is what the judge / jury feel like deciding, not what actually happened”

        great analysis of the legal system there, i think you got it.

  4. As a non-union worker in a right to work state working for union companies, I’ve always “enjoyed” the stuck up attitude of union reps who act like I’m scum because I choose to not join for reasons that are my own. Though I must admit, no one has ever threatened violence…

    My favorite example was when I was told that I couldn’t have afforded nice things like my motorcycle if it wasn’t for the union, I turned around and verbally lit up that rep because I had saved for 2 years (at a previous job) to buy that motorcycle in cash.

    After several incidents similar to that, I won’t join unions purely out of spite.

  5. I’m getting tired of being the resident cynic at TTAG, but have to ask… am I the only one who finds this story fishy?

  6. This is nothing new. Southeast Texas (Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange) has had a reputation for labor violence for many years, despite Texas’ “Right to Work” status.

    While there has been substantial labor peace here for many years, this was not the case in the early 80’s when William Hinote was shot after crossing the picket line during a strike at the local Fina (Petrofina) plant. I believe the weapon used as a 10/22. The rifle was recovered in the river by a crab fisherman, but the serial number had been obliterated

    Here is a small part of the story, as told by Mr. Hinote; read the FULL story to get all of the details about the union leaders no-billed by the grand jury, the civil lawsuits (and who was on the jury!), state supreme court appeals, the outcomes, and the threats:


    “They shot me as I opened the door of my pickup truck. They hit me five times. One bullet tore into my left knee. A bullet went into my right hand. A bullet went into my right side and exited next to my navel. Two bullets went into my thigh. I felt like I was being burned with a hot poker, and then I went into shock.

    I dragged myself behind the truck, hoping to protect myself from further shooting. I dragged myself into the house so I could call for help. An ambulance took me to Mid-Jefferson Hospital, a few miles away in Nederland, Texas. I didn’t see or hear anything.

    I didn’t have to see them to know they were militants from the local of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union. This was October 2, 1982, amidst a bitter strike at the American Petrofina oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, where I helped maintain boiler systems. I had been the first to defy union bosses and exercise my right to work. “

  7. Back in the day, unions and management were violent, but only a few unions and businesses were well-known for it (e.g., the Teamsters and Ford). I’ve had a lot of “dealings” with the IBEW over the years, and my impression of the locals I dealt with and fought with (legally speaking) was that they’re well-organized and well disciplined. If it was IBEW policy to be violent toward Mr. King, I think they would have done a better job of it. This might be the work of some schmucks with a vendetta, and schmucks don’t have a union.

    • +1. I’m from Toledo. It’s a “union town” but in manufacturing, not in the building trades. The story is fishy all over, a total anomaly. Man bites dog.

      I got curious and it took me about three minutes of web searching to learn this guy is not quite who he says he is. This story might have more in common with Balloon Boy or Runaway Bride than actual union strife.

  8. I was working my way through college in the late 1970’s in a unionized meat packing plant. As summer temporary help, I was not required to join. However, I was “initiated” one day in the blast freezer by a union coward with a meat hook “gently” applied across my chest. Apparently, my crime was that I was working too fast, and making the others look bad.
    Message received: Fuck Unions!

  9. I took a seasonal job, 12 weeks. Because it was a Union shop I had to pay dues. For my dues I received no benefits. Basically I had to pay the Union so I could work for a few weeks. When the mob did that to people it was called extortion. I read in the paper yesterday that my city was ranked one of the poorest in the nation yet the city employees Union insist on more & don’t believe they should have to pay for their benefits. At best I can say these folks are greedy bastards that have become a cancer on the ass of society. Unions would rather see the city go down the toilet than make reasonable concessions. Unions lost my sympathy 15 years ago.


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