Harrisburg, PENN. – Americans for Fair Treatment (AFFT) and its members have submitted written testimony on public labor law and employee experience ahead of an upcoming public hearing on April 25.
The Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee will hear testimony on House Bill 950, which would enshrine collective bargaining into the Pennsylvania constitution and ban any potential or future law or ordinance which “interferes” with union executives’ newly expanded collective bargaining powers. The bill would also let unions force employees to become or remain union members as a requirement of employment.
“The unusual and extreme vagueness of the amendment’s phrasing would give union executives a large and unequal amount of bargaining power at the expense of workers,” said Spencer Irvine, Senior Researcher and Writer at Americans for Fair Treatment.
“This amendment would extend unions’ power to be able to bargain ‘to protect their economic welfare and safety at work’ without defining what that means,” continued Irvine “This type of ambiguity invites litigation and encourages union executives to test the boundaries of the law for their own enrichment.”
Public employees and AFFT members in Pennsylvania are concerned by the potential impacts of a bill like this, which mirrors similar legislation that passed by referendum vote in Illinois last year.
“House Bill 950 is problematic for public employees like me because it opens Pennsylvania up to Big Labor’s interests even more,” said Kenneth Hemmler, a public school teacher in Pennsylvania. “I left my union because I no longer had a voice, and this constitutional amendment could further erode workers’ rights and their freedom of speech.”
Americans for Fair Treatment is a national nonprofit organization that educates public employees about their rights in a unionized workplace and connects these employees with all available resources to defend those rights. We offer a free membership program, networking opportunities, and professional development scholarships to support qualifying public employees.