HOW THE MOBSTERS GOT INTO THE UNIONS
Interview With Sherman Skolnick -- February 26, 1996
This is my idea of how the thing works: Back around the late
1800s, the workers banded together, and formed unions. And the
bosses hired gangsters to beat up on them. So then the unions
figured, "Well, if *they're* gonna hire gangsters, *we're* gonna
hire gangsters." And that's kind of how the mobs got into the
There was a movie a few years ago about the organization of the
Teamsters. And that's the thesis that they took. I think it was
sort of a *roman a clef* about Hoffa. And then I think there was
an actual movie on the television called "Hoffa".
Yeah, I saw that movie, "Hoffa", with Danny DeVito and I think
Jack Nicholson was the other one in it.
In other words, it started out with exploited workers but then
the gangsters took over. However nowadays, some workers say,
"Well what's the difference if the Mafia runs the union, as long
as I get good wages?" In *some* places, that *is* okay. [But] if
the Mafia runs the union, they skim off... They make sweet-heart
deals with the boss so that the wages are not very good. And the
pension rights, in some instances, are almost non-existent.
One of the tricks they use, in the Chicago area and probably
across the country, they make certain that small employees are
forced to join a union even if they don't work regularly. And
they've got to contribute like 8 dollars an hour, if they're
skilled tradesmen, to the "health and welfare fund". And if the
worker does not work regularly (like seasonal workers)... if they
don't work for a month, whatever it is, that so many dollars to
that "health and welfare fund" is for *nothin'*! Because the
insurance only continues if you pay regularly.
So it's a racket for skimming off money.
In the case of the Teamster's Pension Fund, I did stories, years
ago, that the Teamster's Pension Fund has been the largest
private unregulated bank in the world. And the government didn't
regulate it, and the CIA started to use the Teamsters in the
early '50s, with "Red" Dorfman (who was the father of Alan
Dorfman, who had been in the Marines. Alan Dorfman considered
himself rather patriotic.)
And what they did is, they used the Teamster's Pension Fund as a
*bank*, for the CIA to funnel covert money overseas to overthrow
foreign unions that they didn't like.
And eventually these unions got intertwined with the politicians;
that they would give these huge "campaign contributions" (so-
called) to the politicians, and then the politicians would do
"favors" for them. And so that would be how the government and
the unions began to kind of "be in bed together" -- right?
Well, during the '70s the Teamsters escaped prosecution when Jim
Thompson was the District Attorney in Chicago. A key witness was
allowed to be murdered. The witness was supposed to be protected
by the government, but mysteriously, the guards "disappeared" and
he was murdered. That was 1974. And that was a key witness
against Alan Dorfman and others.
But then, by the end of that decade, into about 1980 and so on,
suddenly the government decided that they wanted to put Dorfman
in jail. And they found him guilty. And just before he was to be
sentenced, he was being interviewed by a foreign news group. And
he bitterly complained that he had been secretly in business with
the Governor, and that he had been in the Marines and was
patriotic and had helped the CIA -- and he couldn't understand
*why* they now were about to sentence him to jail. And once he
started that interview, in short order he was murdered. And it
remains an unsolved murder.
They would like you to believe, through the press, that Alan
Dorfman was killed by the mob. But I don't believe it. I believe
that James Thompson, who at that time was the Governor of
Illinois, he and his associates arranged the murder of Alan
Dorfman -- who was a wizard! He was really good at the numbers in
the pension fund.
You know, the name Alan Dorfman "rang a bell" -- that whole case.
But back at the time, I wasn't really following the news that
Judge Bua [BOO-ahh], Federal District Judge Bua, talked to us
later that the Dorfman estate escaped scrutiny. So the judges,
and the District Attorney, and all those guys were involved in
the whole business.
Supposedly the corruption was justified in that, secretly (as I
said), the Teamsters Pension Fund in Chicago was the largest
private bank in the world and, like the Vatican Bank, had
assisted the CIA in covert operations.
So I'm still not sure what the deal is: the mob muscles in on the
unions because they see a way of stealing money from the unions?
At the close of the Second War there were left-wing unions in
Europe. And they were controlling the docks in Marseilles,
France. And it was there that the O.S.S. (which later became the
CIA) arranged... They didn't want the left-wing unions to have
any power. So they allowed the traditional gangsters to muscle in
on the situation and to set up dope/chemical factories in
southern France. That is all well-documented in a book by Alfred
McCoy called *The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia* -- the
rise of the gangsters and the dope business worldwide because...
Well... It went back further than that. During the Second World
War they needed the help of the traditional Sicilian Mafia to
fight the Germans. So what they did is, before the Allies landed
on Sicily, the Mafia arranged to sabotage the roads... [This was
done with the help of] a Sicilian gangster who lived in the
United States: Lucky Luciano. And there's a book that goes into
it, how Naval Intelligence made a deal with him. [CN -- As I
recall, one book that tells of this deal is *Little Man* by
Robert Lacey. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991)]
That's where the connection between the gangsters and the
espionage agencies began.
And a more recent book is by the Godson and younger brother of
"Momo" Giancana, called *Double Cross*.
Yeah. Yeah. Good book.
*That* *book* rings so close to the truth, it is frightening.
In other words, the CIA used the gangsters. And then, when they
were tired of them, they murdered 'em one by one and said that
"other gangsters killed them." When in fact, many of 'em were
killed with guns with special silencers that only the CIA had.
And that includes Giancana. [CN -- Giancana was murdered by
So there's been a long connection between the gangsters, the dope
business, the espionage agencies, and the unions. And it
continues to this day (although the unions are getting very weak
in the United States.)