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<< Prior to the early 80s, the Central and Southern (now just Central) states trucking union was run by the mob.>>

Well, now there is a significant exaggeration.

The Central States pension fund was a pension plan created by the Teamsters Union. It's an exaggeration to say that it was "run by the mob," although not that there was mob influence in the union.

The Central States pension plan provided a lot of funding to build gambling casionos in Las Vegas in the 1960s, and this attracted the ire of Attorney General Robert Kenedy, who waged legal warfare against the pension fund, which continued for decades after Robert Kennedy left office.

Actually, the loans made by the pension fund to build casinos panned out pretty well, and weren't really a problem per se.

After the Federal government grabbed control of the pension fund away from the union and put it in the arms of Wall Street, things started going south in a big way. Subsequent events such as trucking deregulation continued to make things worse.

Not to excuse mob influence, but it was an equalizer in dealing with big business. A lot of businesses decided that the smart thing to do was make a fair deal with the Teamsters and other such unions rather than start a war in which their asses might be on the line.

Seattle Pioneer
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