For Immediate Release
July 10, 2018
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the announcement of proposed legislation to effectively eliminate the right of public sector workers in Pennsylvania to vote by private ballot during a union certification process. The legislation would instead impose a “card check” process wherein employees may be publicly presented by union organizers with a ballot card and urged to make a decision at that moment – a situation that unacceptably risks public workers being pressured, coerced and harassed to “check the box” to unionize. A co-sponsorship memo was circulated the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which struck down the practice of public sector unions forcibly collecting fees from public workers who do not wish to be a member of the union.
“On the heels of the recent Janus decision – which was a major victory for employees’ First Amendment rights– certain legislators are desperately working to help their organized labor allies by re-introducing harmful legislation that so transparently seeks to tilt the playing field in favor of union bosses. Card check legislation has been introduced repeatedly for years and consistently rejected as a violation of workers’ freedoms and their right to privacy. The fact is existing law already strongly protects workers’ rights to unionize. However, individuals are also protected; and that means making this important decision without the fear of retribution or a hostile work environment. Regardless of the situation, workplace coercion, intimidation and harassment are never acceptable – and ‘card check’ policies make this type of behavior inevitable.
“Also concerning is the requirement in this proposed legislation that unions be given access to employees. In the past when organized labor has pushed for ‘access,’ it has meant information like employee’s personal contact information and work schedules. There can be no doubt that this ill-conceived proposal is simply a favor to union bosses at the expense of worker freedoms and peace of mind.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.