Preview of our next story
Labor Unions are defined as entities that are legal representatives of employees of a particular trade or in a company. Their main purpose is that of collective bargaining for good benefits, wages and working conditions for the employees that they represent. They also represent employees in contract disputes as well as other grievances. Unions are designed to protect their members, but sometimes corruption can occour at the top, and its the lower members who pay the price because of the greed and personal ambition for power of a few at the top as we will see in this story.
If you were a employer or employee of a roofing company in the city of Philadelphia in the late 1960s til into the 1990s chances are that you were a member of the Philadelphia Local 30. If you were not, well lets just say that you knew exactly who the Local 30 was and you most likely had the lumps to prove it . The Local 30 exerted an Iron grip over the roofing industry in Philadelphia for over twenty years with the use of terrorism and fear. Using tools such as assault, extortion, threats, vandalism, arson, theft, sabotage, witness intimidation, corrupt cops, judges and OSHA inspectors as their weapons to intimidate and terrorize out of business those who resisted this corrupt organization.
Imagine being an employee or employer of a roofing company, having just won a very large contract on a giant shopping center, when beginning the job of installing the roof when suddenly a convoy of seven large buses pull up to the job and out of those buses step literally a thousand men who physically beat the crap out of you and all of your coworkers, your boss and anyone else who gets into their way. They then proceed to destroy all of your equipment, burn your trucks and rip to shreds your roofing material. Criminal acts like the one just described were just the tip of the Iceberg when it came to the local 30. The criminal indictment against the members of the Local 30 reads like a mob movie. The Local 30 at its peak was one of Philadephias most powerful criminal organisations. Having said that, there is no way to convey an accurate story about this organisation in just one blog post. So this will be the first post in a series on the subject.
The takeover of Philadelphia began in 1968 when the leaders of the local 30 including Joseph Traitz, John McCullough, Jack Kinkade and William Stearn devised a plan to exploit the roofers of Philadelphia by forcing them to sign a collective bargaining agreement. They then summoned about 100 roofing contractors to a rifle club in Philadelphia. Over an open mik the Union leaders demanded that the 100 contractors sign an industry wide collective bargaining agreement or else their shops would be burned, thier trucks would be vandalized, ladders would be pulled down while men were on the roof and they would be beaten with baseball bats. I have no evidence of who actually signed the agreement that day but I have the proof that the union kept their promise to terrorize all who didnt bow down to their demands. These terrorist acts became official Local 30 policy and were employed early and often to accomplish their goals of advancing The unions interests.
One of the main characters in this criminal conspiracy was named Joseph Traitz, who was a business agent for the union. Traitz was also a boxing trainer and debt collector for La Cosa Nostra crime boss Nicodemo Scarfo. Traitz was also a major supplier of methamphetamine in the Philadelphia area.