Perpetual Union-Boss Control Over Pennsylvania?

AFL CIO President-elect Frank Snyder and current President Angela Ferritto
Last year, state AFL-CIO President-elect Frank Snyder (right at podium) was forced out after allegations of his serial abuse of female staffers became public. Current President Angela Ferritto had been his enthusiastic running mate. (Credit: Pennsylvania AFL-CIO)

State Politicians Launch Preemptive Strike Against Right to Work

With Right to Work states consistently beating out forced-unionism Pennsylvania in the competition for job-creating business investments and talented employees, year after year, it is getting harder and harder for union-label state politicians in Harrisburg to justify the current coercive labor-policy regime.

For the time being, top bosses of the scandal-ridden Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and other union officials are still calling the shots in the state capital. But they are obviously getting more and more concerned about their future grip on power.

This is why union bosses are now seeking to kill hopes of passage of a Right to Work statute in the Keystone State by advancing their misleadingly named “Right to Organize” Amendment (H.B.950).

Big Labor Tries to Catch Opponents Off Guard

The state AFL-CIO hierarchy is leading the charge for a constitutional ban on Right to Work even as it deals with a scandal. In 2022, veteran union boss and President-elect Frank Snyder had to “retire” suddenly due to workplace-abuse allegations by many female as well as some male subordinates.

But state Democrat politicians are as subservient as ever to AFL-CIO bosses. H.B.950 was released in mid-April, passed out of committee May 2, and was rubber-stamped, 102-99, on the House floor the following day, with all but one Republican, Tom Mehaffie (Hershey), voting in opposition.

During the debate, Republican Josh Kail (Beaver) tried to curb union-label Democrats’ enthusiasm for H.B.950 by pointing out House Republicans had never okayed a Right to Work bill when they controlled the chamber. This obeisance to Big Labor seems to have been taken for weakness, however.

Pennsylvania Democrat Leaders Attempt to Follow Illinois’ Lead

In fact, it was primarily by targeting and defeating Republican members who refused to support Right to Work that Big Labor was able to install the radically pro-forced unionism Democrat majority that took over the chamber this January.

The Keystone State power grab is modeled after an anti-Right to Work amendment union strategists got placed on the Illinois ballot in 2022. After outspending supporters of worker freedom by an over 5-to-1 margin, Big Labor bosses and their cohorts were able to put it in that state’s constitution.

In addition to entrenching compulsory union dues in the private sector, the Illinois power grab effectively gives union bosses carte blanche to force public employers to bend to their will on practically any issue.

This result in the Land of Lincoln comes after a long string of government union troubles. For decades, with the helping hand of now-disgraced state House Speaker and Democrat Party chief Michael Madigan (Chicago), union bosses have successfully prodded elected officials to support exorbitant and unsustainable benefit packages for public employees.

And the politicians have been richly rewarded by the union political machine.

This incestuous relationship has come at a steep price. As of now, the state of Illinois has a public pension debt of $140 billion, and the city of Chicago has a debt of $48 billion. Without dramatic and difficult-to-pass reforms, these shortfalls are bound to get worse and worse, and taxes are poised to go higher and higher.

Should Pennsylvania go down Illinois’ path, fiscal ruin for the Keystone State may also be almost inevitable.

“With Republicans wielding 28-22 control over the Pennsylvania Senate, most observers believe H.B.950 will stall in that chamber. But given the willingness of even many putatively pro-job creation state legislators to side with Big Labor on tough votes, Right to Work supporters aren’t assuming anything,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President John Kalb.

Even if Pennsylvania Scheme Hits Senate Wall, California, Minnesota May Be Different

Mr. Kalb cited in particular two GOP senators on whom to keep a watchful eye: Frank Farry (Langhorne), who received $112,350 in cash alone from government unions in 2022, and Ryan Aument (Litiz), who received $36,000.

And copy-cat amendments are now moving ahead in California and Minnesota, two states where union-label Democrats currently wield control over both legislative chambers and the governorship. Stopping these schemes could be difficult, but Mr. Kalb promised the Committee would do everything feasible to block them.

“With forced unionism being discredited to a greater extent than ever before by the flailing economies of Big Labor-ruled states like Illinois, freedom-loving citizens can expect to see more and more state constitutional attempted preemptive strikes against Right to Work over the next few years,” he warned.

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. Go here to access previous newsletter posts.

To support our cause and help end forced unionism, go here to donate.

NRTW Home » News » Perpetual Union-Boss Control Over Pennsylvania?