October 24, 2013:
In August, the Judiciary Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives held a hearing on legislation (HB 1154) that would close loopholes in the criminal laws on stalking, harassment and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. As we noted at the time, these laws exempted unions from criminal prosecution if they took otherwise illegal action during the course of a labor dispute (in all fairness, the laws also exempted management from prosecution).
The good news is that HB 1154 was voted out of Committee on October 22nd. The bad news is that a disturbing number of Representatives opposed the legislation. All ten Democrats and one Republican (Rep. Joseph Hackett Delaware County) voted against moving the legislation a step closer to final passage. The roll call for the vote can be found here.
There is no good reason to exempt anyone from criminal prosecution especially when it comes to crimes as serious as stalking, harassment and most of all threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. Eliminating these ill-conceived loopholes sends a clear message that criminal activity will not be tolerated in a labor disputes.
The members of the Judiciary Committee, who voted against this commonsense legislation, ought to be ashamed of themselves.