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How Labor Laws Could Play Out In Cases Involving Boston Officials08:00
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Kenneth Brissette, director of the Boston Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment, faced reporters during a news conference in Boston on Saturday. Brissette was arrested Thursday, May 19, 2016, on what prosecutors described as union-related extortion charges. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Kenneth Brissette, director of the Boston Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment, faced reporters during a news conference in Boston on Saturday. Brissette was arrested Thursday, May 19, 2016, on what prosecutors described as union-related extortion charges. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
This article is more than 4 years old.

Exactly where have American courts drawn the line between lawful labor union activity and illegal actions such as racketeering?

It's a fascinating history that matters now, as a federal probe of local unions has put Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in the spotlight, along with the city's tourism director, Kenneth Brissette. He's been indicted on charges of "union-related extortion."

Guest

Milton Valencia, reporter for The Boston Globe. He tweets @MiltonValencia.

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The Boston Globe: Labor Law Comes Under Scrutiny In U.S. Courts

  • "The recent prosecutions, and the ongoing federal investigation into union tactics that has reached into City Hall, have led legal observers to wonder: What’s the line between advocacy on behalf of working people and unlawful coercion."

Radio Boston: What The Indictment Of Boston’s Top Tourism Official Means For The Walsh Administration

  • "An official in Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration is in federal court for an arraignment on charges of 'union-related extortion.' Kenneth Brissette, the city’s director of tourism, sports and entertainment, was arrested and accused of withholding city permits to a business unless it hired union workers."

This segment aired on May 25, 2016.

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