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Pennsylvania Governor Targets Workers' Right to Unionize

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By Kevin Zapf Hanes Legislation Labor Movement Workers' Rights
Pennsylvania Governor Targets Workers' Right to Unionize

Harrisburg, PA – Thousands of Pennsylvania workers descended from every corner of the commonwealth this week, transforming a press conference into a full-blown rally at the State Capitol in opposition to anti-worker legislation.

The legislation discriminates against workers over negotiated voluntary automated dues and non-partisan political deductions, and it follows the “right-to-work” (for less) playbook of the likes of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

Last week, Gov. Tom Corbett announced he would sign the harmful legislation if it passed. Then news broke that the Koch brothers – who are infamous for funding anti-worker legislation – would be spending big in the state to support the effort. That compelled more than 2,000 men, women and children to brave below-zero temperatures and take our message directly to Pennsylvania legislators.

And that message was simple: We will not be silenced, and outside money intended to squash workers’ rights isn’t welcome in Pennsylvania.

The anti-worker legislation introduced by the state’s House and Senate would severely limit the voice of working families and deny public workers the right to negotiate collectively.

Bill Jones, a 24-year veteran corrections officer at the Lancaster County Prison who is a member of AFSCME local 1738, Council 13, told union members that “these bills are a distraction from a failing governor and a distraction from real issues people care about. Collective bargaining helps workers and employers work together to find safe and cost-effective solutions.”