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Abe Chait: The pivotal power of the trucking firms

Described as a “big hulking six-footer,” Chait was the dominant organized crime figure in New York’s Garment District in the post-World War II era. Chait had assumed a role previously held by Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, a prominent Jewish gangster in the Garment District, notorious as the leader of Murder Inc, who had been executed following his murder conviction in 1944. Like his predecessor Buchalter, Chait’s influence centered on the trucking segment of the garment industry; he owned an important garment trucking company and reportedly had interests in several other firms in the garment district. He also stood at the center of a web of organized crime networks that included Jewish and Italian mobsters who provided certain employers with a way to evade union contracts. His influence with employers’ associations and elements in the labor movement, meant that any union leader hoping to organize New York’s garment workers in this era had to deal with him.

Abe Chait, the Garment District's boss trucker. Herald Tribune



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