Pennsylvania law must stop kowtowing to Big Labor's thugs
Every state in the nation — including Pennsylvania — has passed laws making it a crime to engage in stalking. As defined, stalking is an obsessive pursuit to the point of harassment. One would think any reasonable person would favor laws that prohibit an individual or group from harassing and intimidating someone. And for the most part, it's a true statement, with one very notable exception: Big Labor bosses.
That's correct, Big Labor used its considerable influence in Pennsylvania to carve out a special exemption for union bosses and organizers from the state's anti-stalking law. It's inconceivable, yet true. The Keystone State's statute stipulates the prohibition on stalking “shall not apply to conduct by a party to a labor dispute” (PA § 2709.1). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a report titled “Sabotage, Stalking & Stealth Exemptions: Special State Laws for Labor Unions,” which describes the contemptible exemption, as well as others in California, Illinois and Nevada.
Union bosses specifically sought out this exemption for one purpose — to bully and pressure individuals in an effort to organize more workplaces and force employees into forming collective bargaining units. In fact, Pennsylvania's Labor Anti-Injunction Act ties the hands of the state judiciary in a number of ways, including inhibiting it from engaging in labor disputes with injunctions. Whether an illegal act has been threatened or committed, if it is in the name of a labor dispute, judges are unable to engage.
This special “carveout” grants union organizers the ability to disrupt the business of a local employer, trespass on their property and violate their personal property rights. In essence, it gives unions license to “obsessively pursue” individuals “to the point of harassment.” Only when labor bosses engage in acts resulting in physical damage or gross misconduct can the business owner even seek relief from the court system.
In fact, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court has chosen not to intervene in labor disputes even when union organizers block deliveries, tamper with and destroy property, or follow workers home during strikes.
The laws in every state should protect the rights of average citizens. Instead, in Pennsylvania this special provision appears to consider the interests of only one constituency — union bosses.
Our liberties, including the right to live free from fear, are non-negotiable. Laws allowing union organizers to stalk Pennsylvania citizens are simply unacceptable.
Katie Packer Gage is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Clairton joins list of great WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette not far behind
- Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers
- WPIAL Class AAAA final preview: Penn-Trafford looking to reverse trend of playoff losses to Central Catholic
- WPIAL history full of football dynasties
- Take deal breakers off your list of deal breakers
- WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- WPIAL Class AA final preview: Rivals South Fayette, Aliquippa to play for title for record 3rd straight season
- WPIAL Class A final preview: Jeannette proved it was up to challenge of facing Clairton during Eastern Conference matchup
- Democrats unfazed by Paris
- Mountaineers wary of Iowa State’s trickery