- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2001

Under normal circumstances, you'd think that to find a severed cow's head on your car, you would have done something more severe than go to work. You might have disrespected the wrong don, for instance, or gotten too friendly with the underboss's daughter. But merely pursuing gainful employment? That's what happens when union members watch too many movies and decide to play dress-up.
Last week, attorneys for the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF) announced that they had reached a settlement in a lawsuit against the United Auto Workers (UAW) local union 149. Five workers at an auto parts plant in Winchester, Va., and one worker's spose had filed the civil suit against union members who confronted them with death threats and other assorted methods of harassment, including the tried and true method of placing a decapitated bovine head on the victim's car. The plaintiffs were seeking $1.63 million and received an undisclosed sum.
Apparently, free thought and independent action are too much of a threat for the unions to stand idly by. Instead, the goon squad mounts up and rides after the scabs, hell-bent on imposing their will. But for some who lack the economic luxury to strike, there is no other option than to cross the picket line. One of these, a Vietnamese woman named Shucheng Huang, was the main plaintiff in the case.
Ms. Huang was not a member of the union. Nonetheless, she was videotaped by union member Brent Powers, and the tape was shown at the Union Hall, where her address and phone number were also displayed. Mr. Powers, along with several other defendant union members, undertook a campaign of intimidation and terror that ranged from smashing car windows with a slingshot to decorating Ms. Huang's vehicle and another employee's property with the above mentioned bloody mess.
When Ms. Huang received a picture of her head superimposed on the cow's, she got the message: You, too, could end up like this. Her two options seem either to exercise free will, resist and meet a violent death or embrace conformity and join the herd.
Ms. Huang and the others who elected not to picket did nothing wrong they were victims. They were the victims of a mentality that is entirely contrary to the American spirit of choice and personal decision. For a union to impose its will through violence and intimidation is infinitely worse than a feud over the semantics of a collective bargaining agreement. As unions such as the local 149 continue to hide behind the veneer of popular outreach, vigilance remains essential against the coercion that all too often underpins their strength.

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