In Harrisburg, legislation has been proposed to prevent the automatic withholding of union dues from public employees' paychecks. Sponsors of House Bill 1507 refer to this legislation as a “paycheck protection” plan.
This legislation serves only to undermine the timely, efficient payment of monies that are rightfully due to unions. Automatic withholding is routinely used by employers to collect money owed for charitable contributions, for insurance premiums, for child support and for taxes.
By providing an orderly system of payment, automatic withholding benefits those who provide services while protecting providers against deadbeat recipients — people who are willing to receive the services but aren't willing to pay the price for the services they receive.
By preventing automatic withholding of union dues, HB 1507 would seriously hinder the orderly collection of these dues while protecting deadbeat union employees — people who are willing to enjoy the benefits of working in a union shop but aren't willing to pay the price for these benefits.
Union membership is truly a bargain — and everyone benefits. People who belong to a union, people who would like to belong to a union and, yes, even people who don't belong to a union benefit from a strong, viable system of labor — and labor protections.
HB 1507 is a direct attack on the funding — and viability — of Pennsylvania's well-established system of labor. A more accurate label for HB 1507 would be “The Deadbeat Protection Plan.”
The writer is a Service Employees International Union Local 688 member and former shop steward who serves on two statewide union committees.
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