Thursday, March 6, 2008
In what is becoming increasing prevalent in modern labor disputes, Cintas has filed a RICO suit against UNITE HERE, Teamsters, and Change To Win in the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleges that the unions, in their attempt to get the employer to accept a neutrality and card check agreement, have engaged in an "extortion" campaign. This campaign was said to consist of false attacks on the employer and involve unlawful racketeering and infringements on the employer's trademark.
This isn't the first RICO suit filed by Cintas or numerous other employers (such as Smithfield and Wakenhut). Unions haven't been shy about using RICO either. This, of course, touches on a problem with courts' extremely broad interpretation RICO. However, I do wonder whether the Supreme Court's BE&K decision--which made is much more difficult for the NLRB to find that a lawsuit that was intended to harass the other party consisted of an unfair labor practice--has contributed to an increase in these suits. I don't know whether there even has been an increase, but I suspect ithat f there isn't already, there will be soon.
Hat Tip: Jason Walta