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House Bill 50 would ban unions from gaining union security clauses

01.09.10

January 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

House Bill 50 would ban unions from gaining union security clauses

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 28th- On November 10th, 2009 legislation was referred to the Committee on Labor Relations of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in Harrisburg that if passed would ban labor organizations and employers from entering into agreements that make joining a union part of a compulsory condition of work or employment. Such legislation is often referred to as “right-to-work.”

House Bill 50 has 32 co-signers with Republican House of Representative Daryl Metcalfe (12th Legislative District) and a member of the Committee of Labor Relations being the lead sponsor of the legislation.

“The General Assembly finds that to require a person to be a member of, or not to be a member of, a private organization as a compulsory condition of work or employment is not in accord with fundamental principles of individual liberty and freedom of choice. It is therefore declared to be the public policy of this Commonwealth that membership or no membership in a labor union should not be made a condition of the opportunity to work or to be or remain in the employment of any employer,” states House Bill 50. No local representatives were co-signers of the legislation.

“The legislation is an insult to the workers of Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Democratic Pennsylvania House of Representative Ken Smith (112th Legislative District). “In a region known for the labor movement, this legislation is an insult to all those hard working miners and laborers that were killed while working,” added Mr. Smith who made it clear he would oppose the legislation should it be introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Smith added he is surprisedthat House Bill 50 has 32 co-signers. “I really don’t know what they are thinking. They should be more interested in finding ways to improve wages, not decreasing them.”

“I will not support any anti-union legislation,” said Democratic Pennsylvania House of Representative Kevin Murphy (113th Legislative District).

Mr. Murphy was a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union prior to gaining a seat in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2008.

Democratic Representative Eddie Pashinski (121st Legislative District) did not immediately return several phone messages from the newspaper regarding the legislation. Mr. Pashinski was a member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union and is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Union.

Mr. Smith stated Mr. Metcalfe often supports anti-union legislation, including legislation that would prohibit the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) on public projects in Pennsylvania.

“No person may be required to become or remain a member of a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment,” states the legislation.

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