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Jimmy, hop on!
by DORIN TUDORAN - January 28th 2005I take a look at the Washington Post. One of the titles draws my attention - "The Rise of Hoffa". Could this be a miracle and the one considered to be the most powerful syndicate leader in America - James Riddle Hoffa - reappeared? He disappeared in 1975 from the parking lot of a restaurant and has been officially declared deceased in 1983, even though no one ever discovered his body. Is there any possibility that the man that Robert Kennedy, the Minister of Justice in John Fitzgeraldâs administration, hardly managed to keep behind bars, after President Nixonâs pardoning, to have reappeared? Is there any possibility that the man that was considered to have been murdered by the Mob to which he was supposed to have had fluctuant relations, to have reappeared? "The barons of the American union movement" - reads the first paragraph of the article, "gathered here on the 10th of January, in the AFL-CIO fortress, behind the closed-for-public doors as usually". I get it - it is about Jimmy P. Hoffa, the son of Jimmy, which today is himself the leader of the feared syndicate members in Teamsters, the truckersâ union. Hoffa asks for a radical reform of AFL-CIO, the decentralization of the power of this institution and announces that his opinion is that the AFL-CIO shouldnât receive even half of the money that the syndicates put in its banking accounts.
I take a look at a Romanian newspaper and I read about a trade-union that gets larger every day unexpectedly becoming a huge octopus of the media. The firm of the unions in the oil industry, Global Media, wasnât satisfied with the "ownership of Realitatea TV, Alfa TV, Radio Total, the Ziua daily newspaper and many other local TV and radio stationsâ¦"
We find out that "the syndicate members led by Liviu Luca have bought 30% more of the shares of the Ziua newspaper, this month. This way they own the daily newspaper completely. They also negotiate "the take over of the main share stock of the Independentul newspaper". We are reminded that "Liviu Luca, the leader of the syndicate members in the oil industry that have shares at Global Media, is one of the most influential persons of the public life. Besides the bought media, the trust has a partnership deal with Prima TV and Radio Star - owned by Cristian Burci. Actually, Global Media are associates of Graffiti Press, an editing companyâ¦"
Last year in September, another Romanian newspaper was observing that, while the unions represent an extraordinary force in the Occident where they almost make the economical political strategies, in the pro-electoral Romania, huge unions were "embarrassingly" negotiating at the doors of the political parties. "Do you know the result of these low bows?", the author of the article was asking. The answer: "On one hand, the respective meetings (between the union leaders and the political leaders) conclude with tremendous electoral promises, which are also the endorsement of these business organizations. On the other hand, any political person can speak highly of the fact that the businessmen come to him to ask for this and thatâ¦" The title of the article - "Why Do the Trade Unions Have to Have Anything to Do With the Political Parties?"
Going further on with the comparative analysis of the happenings in Romania and in "the place we want to reach", the occidental world, several other questions might be posed: "Why the Connection between the Unions and the Media Trustsâ Owners? Since When this Urge of the PETROM Independent Union to Become a Media Empire?"
The unions are not made to be one of the many sharing the press monopole. A press in the hands of the unions cannot be cleaner than the press in the hands of the political parties. The danger represented by the manipulation of the pres by the syndicates isnât less negative than the danger represented by the manipulation of mass-media by the political parties. On contrary. When the trade union barons become media barons as well, the real press has to suffer from insomnia.
Someone should have the courage to say: "Jimmy, hop on!"