Reports indicate that King had been harassed repeatedly prior to the shooting. Union thugs often threatened King with violence.
According to The Blaze:
John King owns one of Toledo’s largest non-union electrical contracting businesses. With 25 employees and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, King’s business reportedly often thrives while other unionized electrical contracting businesses fail due to their higher rates.
King says he holds no animus towards the union, stating that he only ever wanted to do what he loved to do. Labor Union Report writes that after some college, King did a stint with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers before being drafted into the military. Following his service, King went solo and became the youngest independent electrical contractor in the Toledo area.
Unfortunately for King, however, his success was confronted with animosity, exemplified through lawsuits, harassment, slashed tires, and a number of incidents of vandalism.
The Labor Union Report indicates that King remained a target for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), particularly after he won a major case against the union in the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2006 after that union “improperly promised his electricians jobs on union sites if they voted the union into King’s company.”
Since the start of King’s business, he’s had to contend with lawsuits and vandalism. He explains, “It was nothing to have to regularly buy a new set of tires. The ice pick was the weapon of choice.”
In the 1980s, a UAW strike at Toledo AP Parts brought approximately 50 IBEW picketers to King’s business, which at the time employed only nine employees. One of those employees was reportedly assaulted by the IBEW workers, who also trashed his vehicle.
In 2011, King has had to report three incidents of vandalism. In addition, there have been a number of cases of stalking him and his workers. Earlier this year, rocks were thrown through the front windows of King’s shop. One of the rocks had the word “kill” written on it.
On August 10, King noticed union workers attempting to vandalize his SUV. When he yelled at one man to stop, the vandal turned and shot King in the arm.
The shooter escaped the scene but left behind a shell casing, as well as a Swiss Army knife, which police assume would have been used to slash King’s tires yet again.
While police have been unable to confirm whether the attack was indeed union-related, the writing of the word “SCAB” on King’s vehicle is a very good indicator. ("Scab" is a disparaging slang term used by union members to refer to non-union workers.)
Furthermore, the shooting came soon after the union that represents Verizon workers declared “open season” on “managers and scabs.”
A recorded message by the union stated, “It is open season. Follow them safely, but when you get to a location, torture them, torture them with chants and noise. Be so loud that they can’t concentrate and wish they never got out of bed.”
The IBEW is certainly not the first union to resort to violence and bullying tactics. In fact, the union most guilty of this sort of behavior is arguably the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
In March of this year, a French catering company, Sodexo, filed suit against SEIU for its disruptive protests and use of intimidation, extortion, and sabotage to try and put Sodexo out of business.
Additionally, members of SEIU attacked and beat a black conservative activist, Kenneth Gladney, in 2009 because he was handing out Glasden Flags at a Tea Party event. One of the union members, who was also black, called Gladney a racial slur. The entire incident was caught on video, and the men delivering the beating were revealed wearing SEIU shirts.
Nearly 500 members of SEIU were bussed to the home of Bank of America’s senior executive Greg Baer to protest against big banks. The loud and intimidating protest frightened Baer’s teenage son who was home alone. He became so terrified that he took refuge in the bathroom of his home while his father attended his youngest son’s baseball game.
The SEIU does not have a monopoly on union thuggery, however, and union intimidation tactics are not limited to just non-union workers. When two members of the Communications Workers of America union (CWA) blew the whistle on other workers who were paid for work that they did not actually perform, they faced intimidation tactics from their “union brothers,” which eventually gave way to violence in the locker room. One of the whistleblowers, known only as DiStefano, found a dead rat in his locker and was later called a “rat” while being hit in the face and head by another union worker. DiStefano ended up with two herniated discs as a result of the violence, but when he turned to the CWA to take action against his attacker, the union instead terminated DiStefano for “starting the fight.”
Examples of this type of dangerous union behavior, as well as a more subtle insidious union agenda, are increasingly prevalent.
King has offered a $10,000 award to anyone who gives information that will lead to the arrest of the man who shot him. He has also publicly praised police for their detailed work in the ongoing investigation.