Disney and Racketeering to Deprive Americans of Their Jobs

By Dan Cadman on January 27, 2016

Well, it's finally happened — someone has decided to legally challenge the egregious actions of Disney when it fired American workers and replaced them with foreign H-1B workers whom they had to train before being shoved out the door.

You'll recall that Disney owns ABC, which on its nightly national news program regularly touts the values of keeping the economy vibrant and Americans fully employed by buying American, with its "Made in America" segments.

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The use (actually, mostly misuse and abuse) of "H" visa programs, for both skilled and unskilled workers, is a festering sore on the American economy by depressing wages and keeping Americans unemployed and underemployed. Our government has much responsibility for this state of affairs, given its profligate handling of the programs. They give away these visas like a drunken sailor does his coins while on a portside bender.

It is ironic that, even as the administration tries to find ways to bolster the minimum wage nationally, the way things are going, wage earners in many families have been obliged to get and keep several jobs, many of them at minimum wage level by slinging burgers or whatever, in order to stay afloat — because the decent jobs are going to foreigners willing to work for less and under substandard conditions.

More ironic than the administration's double standard is that many of our erstwhile "conservative" politicians, including those campaigning for president, have dabbled their hands in this unsavory stewpot and found creative ways to legislate increases in "temporary" worker programs (such as slipping provisions unnoticed and unheralded into massive omnibus budget bills), while at the same time touting their sympathy for the common man and promoting their adamant stance against illegal immigration ... because illegal aliens take American jobs. Do they realize the disconnect in their stances, or do they think we're so mind-numbingly foolish as not to see it?

But back to the lawsuit. This one is well worth watching, for two reasons:

First, it has the makings of a class action, meaning that everyone wronged by Disney's actions may be permitted by the court to participate. And where a 900-pound-gorilla like Disney is concerned, that pile-it-on factor may make the difference, because although Disney is all kindness and treacle at the front door, it has a bare knuckles reputation in the back corridors of its amusement parks where the employees are to be found.

Second, and most noteworthy, the lawsuit is being filed as a racketeering action under the civil federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, which can be found at 18 U.S.C. Section 1964. This provision allows each individual harmed to collect triple damages as well as legal costs. Those costs could mount up pretty quickly, especially in a class-action suit. But any potential payout pales compared with Disney's profits. The real harm will be to the company's prestige (and, consequently, its stock value) if it is found to have engaged in racketeering to cut Americans out of their jobs.