Four Months to Find Common Ground in Pennsylvania

Posted by By at 24 February, at 14 : 13 PM Print

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is apparently not looking to incite labor strife with union workers, but he makes no bones about signing a “right-to-work” bill if it somehow came sliding across his desk.

For unions, a bill like that is tantamount to turning off the lights and closing the door, because it would bar an employer from forcing a worker to join a union and pay dues. Indiana thought better of it, and on Wednesday lawmakers in that state killed such a proposed bill.

However, in Pennsylvania, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) is working feverishly (I presume) on such a bill. Metcalfe has not returned a call to Rock The Capital, but he told John Micek of The Morning Call, “it’s percolating now in Pennsylvania and across the country.”

On the off chance, Metcalfe’s bill picks up layers of traction all bets are off in Pennsylvania. Statewide AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale told RTC earlier this week, “if they ever tried to get rid of right-to-work in Pennsylvania we would be pretty much up in arms about that.”

Contracts with most of the public-employee unions will end in about four months and according to what Corbett’s Spokesperson Kevin Harley told the Call the state will negotiate in “good faith.”

That’s not enough for union workers to call off rallies around Pennsylvania, including one today in downtown Pittsburgh. Partly a show of support for the ongoing battle in Wisconsin, and to call attention to how it could unfold here.

David Miller, a spokesman for the Laborer’s International Union of North America, told the Pittsburgh Post Tribune its the biggest attack on working people and their unions we’ve seen in decades, and “‘we do need to marshal all the support we have to fight this.”‘


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