PA Open Workforce Initiative Unvieled

Member Group : News Releases

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
12th DistrictRep. Kathy Rapp
65th DistrictRep. Samuel Rohrer
128th DistrictRep. Tom Creighton
37th District
PennsylvaniaHouse of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin

November 10, 2009

Lawmakers, Right to Work Advocates, Teachers and Other Impacted
Employees Rally for PA Open Workforce Initiative

Legislative package would protect the individual freedoms of
Pennsylvania’s working citizens, schools and the economy by ending the
practice of compulsory unionism

HARRISBURG – State House members, leaders from organizations across the
state and other affected individuals committed to ending the practice of
compulsory unionism in Pennsylvania joined Reps. Daryl Metcalfe
(R-Butler), Kathy Rapp (R-Warren), Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) and Tom
Creighton (R-Lancaster) for a rally at the state Capitol today to
officially reintroduce the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative (House
Bills 50-53).

"It’s not hard to visualize the devastating economic impact resulting
from Pennsylvania’s ongoing failure to become America’s 23rd Right to
Work State," said Metcalfe. "Simply look for the nearest empty
industrial complex and the expanding size of the geographically
corresponding unemployment line. Caterpillar, Mack Trucks,
Williams-Sonoma, Carlisle Tire and Wheel and Harley-Davidson are just
some of the high-profile staple employers who already have or are
presently considering taking thousands of Pennsylvania jobs and
relocating to any one of America’s 22 Right to Work states.

"The framers of our Constitution never intended for our government to
become an enforcer for unions or a collector of forced union dues at
taxpayer expense. As the ever-growing Exodus of job-providing
Pennsylvania companies demonstrates business owners will not submit, but
instead close up shop and leave to avoid the consequences of compulsory
unionism. Bottom line: Working men and women should have the freedom
to join a union if they choose and to leave that union when it is in
their best interest to do so. With the enactment of the Pennsylvania
Open Workforce Initiative, they would never again have to fear losing
their jobs or not being able to provide for their families due to forced
unionism," Metcalfe added.

Designed to protect the individual freedoms of Pennsylvania’s working
citizens, schools and the economy by ending the practice of compulsory
unionism, specific legislation and bill sponsors for the Pennsylvania
Open Workforce Initiative are as follows:

· HB 50 Freedom of Employment Act—Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
Under this free-standing Right to Work legislation, employment will no
longer be conditional upon membership or non-membership in a union, nor
upon payment or non-payment of money to a labor organization. The
Freedom of Employment Act will also relieve the collective bargaining
unit from providing benefits that union members enjoy, such as grievance
filing and support, and wage and benefit increases.

· HB 51 Repeal of Act 84—(School Employee "Agency Shop"
Law)—Rep. Kathy Rapp
This legislation would return the individual decision of whether or not
to join or support a labor union to teachers and other public education

· HB 52 Repeal of Act 84—(State Employee "Agency Shop" Law)—Rep.
Tom Creighton
This legislation will amend the Administrative Code of 1929 to
eliminate the authority to impose forced fees on state employees.

· HB 53 Repeal of Act 15—(Local Employee "Agency Shop" Law)—Rep.
Sam Rohrer
This Right to Work protection bill would return the individual freedom
of choice to all local, municipal, county and township employees to
decide for themselves which private organizations they wish to support
and preventing the collection of compulsory union dues.

"Approximately 67 percent of Pennsylvania school districts operate
under forced union contracts, which means that 75 percent of all public
school teachers must join or pay union dues in order to keep their jobs,"
said Rapp. "As the power of labor leaders grows through the collection
of forced union dues, students, parents and citizens from all walks of
life are held hostage to their demands and almost always end up paying
the ransom through even higher taxes. It is unconscionable for any
level of government to allow union leaders to profit or maintain their
existence by leeching off the earnings of another. Each of the bills
we’re introducing here today has the potential to provide our working
citizens with the freedom to join and support only those organizations
that promote and share their values."

"Pennsylvania needs to move to the forefront of the right-to-work issue
and set an example by shedding the outdated practices of forced union
participation within its own state agencies," said Creighton. "My bill
will provide employees with the freedom of choice when it comes to union

"This initiative is about protecting the rights of individuals to
choose the organizations they join," said Rohrer. "The freedom of
association should not end when a teacher enters a school building or a
local government worker enters a town hall or the county courthouse. In
any other circumstance, we would find it unconscionable to even think
about forcing someone to join a group with which they disagree.
Compulsory participation in a private organization – which is what
forced unionism amounts to – is contrary to the very foundation of
personal liberty upon which our Commonwealth and our country are built.
It’s time to protect the personal freedom of workers, unleash the
creative innovation that accompanies individual liberty and remove this
roadblock that stands between our Commonwealth and future prosperity."