New PA bill would make the Commonwealth a right-to-work state

righttowork.jpgBefore I get into the this new bill, let’s clear up a popular misconception: David Hasselhoff lives in my basement rent-free right-to-work means that an employee can be fired at any time for any non-discriminatory reason. No, dudes. That’s called at-will employment.

Right-to-work laws give individual employees in a unionized workplace the right not to join or financially support the union. 24 states, plus Guam, have passed right-to-work laws. Absent a right-to-work law, all employees in a collective bargaining unit must join the union and pay union dues.

And Pennsylvania could be next.

Here is a copy of the Freedom of Employment Act. This bill, if passed, would prohibit the following conditions of employment:

  1. Membership.–No person shall be required to become or remain a member of a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.
  2. Abstention from membership.–No person shall be required to abstain or refrain from membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.
  3. Dues, fees and charges.–No person shall be required to pay or refrain from paying any dues, fees or charges of any kind to a labor organization or to a charity or other third party in lieu of the payments to a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.

Any violation of the law would be considered a misdemeanor of the third degree, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or up to six months in the hoosegaw, or both. Each day of a continued violation is a separate offense.

Governor Corbett has said that he would sign right-to-work legislation if it crossed his desk.

Earlier this year, six Republican state representatives each introduced right-to-work variants, none of which gained any traction.

  • Joe Brock

    One correction: in states without RTW laws, it’s not MANDATORY that you must join and pay dues to keep your job. it means that the employer and the union can legally negotiate a “union security” clause mandating such an arrangement. It’s not automatic. The union must get the company to agree to the clause first.

    • Thank you for clarifying.

      —– Reply message —–

  • bruno64

    Just to add. The TAFT HARTLEY ACT was passed in 1947.

    The Taft-Hartley Act provides for the following:

    It allows the president to appoint a board of inquiry to investigate union
    disputes when he believes a strike would endanger national health or safety, and
    obtain an 80-day injunction to stop the continuation of a strike.

    It declares all closed shops illegal.

    It permits union shops only after a majority of the employees vote for them.

    It forbids jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts.

    It ends the check-off system whereby the employer collects union dues.

    It forbids unions from contributing to political campaigns.

    The act also required union leaders to take an oath stating that they were
    not communists. Although many people tried to repeal the act, the Taft-Hartley
    Act stayed in effect until 1959 when the Landrum-Griffin Act amended some of its

  • bruno64

    to add even more: A right-to-work law, under Section 14B of Taft–Hartley, prevents unions from negotiating contracts or legally binding documents requiring companies to fire workers who refuse to join the union