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Many in labor community believe Tom Corbett most anti-union Governor ever

08.28.13

AUGUST 2013, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Many in labor community believe Tom Corbett most anti-union Governor ever

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, July 15th- Many in the labor community throughout Pennsylvania believe Republican Tom Corbett is the most anti-union Governor in the state’s history.

The labor community has put a high priority on defeating Mr. Corbett in 2014, if he seeks a second four-term term as Pennsylvania Governor.

Nearly all of his legislative initiatives involve union represented workers being eliminated. The Corbett agenda has hurt all three groups of the labor community, the building and construction trades, the public sector unions, and the industrial trade unions.

He is currently serving the third year of a four-year term in Harrisburg and has supported many anti-union initiatives while being governor.

Mr. Corbett supports the privitization of Pennsylvania State Liquor Stores, which would put more than 5,000 family sustaining jobs at risk, supports charter schools, supports legislation that would make Pennsylvania a right-to-work state, supports the elimination or making changes to the state prevailing wage law, and awarded a contract to let a British company manage the Pennsylvania Lottery System, a nearly totally unionized system, that would have resulted in those jobs put in harms way. Pennsylvania Attorney Kathleen Kane rejected his plan in February and the system remains operated by the state.

Under the 20-year contract that the Corbett Administration awarded to privitize the Pennsylvania Lottery System, Camelot Global Services, a British company, would have been able to fire the workers that are currently employed by the lottery system.

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union represents approximately 170 of the 230 state workers employed by the lottery system.

Mr. Corbett wanted to privitize the lottery system, which had $3.5 billion in sales last year, and is structured to assure funding to support senior citizen programs.

Legislation supported by Mr. Corbett was voted out of committee by the Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee in April that would effect labor organizations affiliated with the building and construction trades.

Mr. Corbett supports legislation that would prohibit the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) on public funded projects in Pennsylvania.

Legislation has been introduced several times since Mr. Corbett has been governor that would prohibit the use of PLA’s by public bodies for construction of schools, prisons, roads, and other public buildings in Pennsylvania.

A PLA is a comprehensive agreement signed by a builder and local craft unions under which a defined construction project is agreed to be completed by workers from the local union halls, in return for the union’s guarantee of no strikes, a steady labor supply, and general labor peace.

Frank Sirianni, President of the Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg, which is a labor federation representing unions who members are employed within the construction industry, believes corporate greed is behind any anti-PLA legislation and Mr. Corbett supports such greed.

Mr. Corbett also stated he would sign legislation that would ban union security clauses in labor agreements which is also called “right-to-work” or “no-rights-at-work” laws.

Michigan became the twenty-fourth state in the nation to pass right-to-work legislation that bans the signing of union security clauses. Indiana passed the law in 2011 and the last state before them to pass the law was Oklahoma in 2001.

However, Mr. Corbett indicated in January that he believes while he would support the banning of union security and would sign the legislation should it reach his desk, more issues are more pressing in Pennsylvania than pushing the right-to-work law.