Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pennsylvania Republicans Launch Attack On Unions

From Workers Independence News:
Another chapter in the relentless attack on union rights for workers is beginning to unfold in Pennsylvania. Right-wing Republicans are pushing so-called ‘right to work’ legislation in Pennsylvania that could cripple the ability of unions to collect dues and keep all workers in an organized workplace as union members. The Center for Media and Democracy says it’s no accident this is coming soon after a similar push in Michigan. The center says its part of an effort by American Legislative Exchange Council, backed by a witch’s brew of right-wing groups like the billionaire Koch brothers’ Americans For Prosperity and the Tea Party . Brandon Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy says this looks like a state-by-state march attacking unions and labor rights in an effort to weaken progressive politicians and progressive groups. These efforts have been made in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio. Michigan and now Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale told Working In These Times that the ‘right to work’ attack is firmly opposed by Democrats and some union friendly Republicans in the state legislature. He says the measure has been blocked before and he believes it will be blocked again. Governor Tom Corbett, though has said that if the Pennsylvania legislature passes the anti-union bill he will sign it.


  1. Good for Pennsylvania and joining the 21st century. Good for letting the workers have a choice into whether they can join a union or not and paying the union dues.
    Anti-right to work states are states are pretty much dying right now.
    Workers should be allowed the right to work at a job with out being forced to join a union. It's called pro-choice.

    1. The scariest part of all this is Dan is supposed to be a teacher...when he's not busy being Captain Walmart.

      Dan needs to study history to see that we are moving backwards to the 19th century. Dan also needs to understand that there are already federal laws that allow people to opt out of unions. Dan also needs to figure out how badly he will get screwed without his union. What Dan needs the most, however, is a brain.

      Thanks for making us all feel smarter by showing how stupid your really, really are.

    2. Dan, my problem with the righty hatred of unions is how blatantly dishonest you guys are. Also how you keep pushing a meme that is knowingly false.

      If you do not want to join a union, get 50% +1 of your fellow co workers to sign a sheet and the union is immediately dissolved. With your brilliant oratory and powers of persuasion, it shouldnt take you long at all to get the required signatures.

      Hence no one is "forced to join" a union.

    3. "Good for Pennsylvania and joining the 21st century."

      Yes, good for you Pennsylvania!! Why would you want your workers to be paid a decent , living wage? Why would you want them being able to afford to drive economic demand? That 20th century was horrid for the ascendency of the middle class. Things are so much better now with massive income inequality, income gains due to increased productivity going entirely to the upper 1%, and bargaining power for your labor next to nothing. Yes way to go Pennsylvania, way to join the 19th century!

      "Good for letting the workers have a choice into whether they can join a union or not and paying the union dues. Workers should be allowed the right to work at a job with out being forced to join a union. It's called pro-choice."

      Actually Dan, they already had that choice. It wasn't granted to them by the state of Pennsylvania or any RTW laws, it was granted by the National Labor Relations Act, specifically Section 8(a)3- http://www.nlrb.gov/national-labor-relations-act
      SCOTUS has reiterated this multiple times with its rulings as well. In the 1963 case NLRB v. General Motors Corp., http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/373/734/ the Court said that required membership is limited to its “financial core.” That means that the only thing a union can require of the workers it represents is the payment of union dues and initiation fees. No other obligations of membership in good standing can be imposed. In the 1985 case Pattern Makers’ League v. NLRB, http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/473/95/ the Court said that any union member in good standing could resign membership at any time for any purpose without giving any notice and become a dues-paying represented worker. Finally, in the 1988 case Communication Workers of America v. Beck, http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=487&invol=735 the Court said that a worker could be compelled to pay only that portion of union dues and initiation fees used for collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance procedures. No worker can be compelled to pay dues for such things as politics, lobbying, and union organizing.
      So you see Dan, Workers already had a "choice" to join unions. All RTW legislation does is make it so that there are no downsides to that "choice". They still get all the benefits of unionization without having to contribute financially to continue to protect those benefits. It's actually not called pro-choice, it's called "free-rider." You already knew that though didn't you Dan, this was just your attempt at rhetorical BS. Yeah, thanks for playing.

      " Anti-right to work states are states are pretty much dying right now."
      Really? I assume you have some evidence beyond your unimpeachable word that this is true. Perhaps you could define "dying" for us. If by dying you mean that Non-RTW states have higher wages, are significantly healthier, are more productive, have less poverty, with citizens who enjoy longer life spans, then yes, those anti-RTW states are totally in a death spiral. However, I have a hunch that wasn't what you meant. So, please feel free to elaborate. Furthermore, any advantage you claim RTW states have, only exists so long as there are non-RTW states. If you try to imply that employers will flee non-RTW states for the business friendly environments of RTW states, what happens if you get your wish and all states become RTW? Ostensibly there is no longer an advantage?

    4. Unions in these states should be countering with a "right to represent" bill...no freeloading! If you want the union benefits, you pay the dues, period.

  2. When unions cease to exist, there will be no one there to ensure workers are getting paid fairly, getting benefits and safe working conditions. Unions fought for everything we enjoy about our jobs today - weekends, breaks, holidays, raises, health care, 8 hr work day, ending child labor, just to name a few. People who dislike unions really need to understand the dangers of going forward without them.

  3. Dan- No one is buying your Orwellian bullshit. Anyone who spends five seconds looking at the data knows right- to- freeload states have lower wages, lower education levels, and tend to be neo- Confederate cesspools that no one with talent chooses to stay in.

    We must be prepared here in Wisconsin, and be ready to shut it down this time if they try any of these ALEC shenanigans

  4. Dan, the typical right-wing, "I hate unions" dumb-nut teacher. For the 50 years that Wisconsin teachers had the right to collectively bargain, all of the "Dans" out there were constantly blasting the union, trying to undercut the union, snitching to management about the activities of their co-workers, all the while accepting the wages and benefits gained through collective bargaining.

    Now that collective bargaining has been taken away in "Walker's Wisconsin", you would think all the "Dans" teaching in the public schools would be kicking their heels together in exuberance over the workers paradise that Wisconsin's public schools have become.

    Strangely enough, after years of ripping everything the union did, in my school district, the 30% of the teachers who fit into the "Dans" classification are quite silent now as they see their paychecks falling by 10-15%, workload increasing by 25%, NO respect from management, insurance and retirement benefits eliminated, and even some of their fellow "Dans" being terminated without recourse after 30+ years of service.

    Can't wait to see more anti-union "Dans" lose their jobs again this year in "Walker's Wisconsin"-the anti-union workers paradise.

    Maybe someday the Dan who regularly spews such anti-union drivel on this blog will realize that the "lavish" salary & benefits (to quote his buddies Sykes & Belling) that he was earning was due to collective bargaining, not his teaching skills.