Pennsylvania Worker Fights Union-Only PLAs
On September 17, John Falk and a few companions set off on foot for Washington, D.C. At the end of the journey, they pled with Congress to stop PLA discrimination against union-free workers and firms. Image Credit: Daily Record/Sunday News—Jason Plotkin Obama Executive Order Denies Union-Free Workers a 'Fair Shake' (Source: October 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) John Falk, a genial 59-year-old glass worker from Red Lion, Pa., made a five-day trek on foot last month from his home state to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Mr. Falk and the three people who accompanied him -- a friend, a fellow worker, and his employer, Debra Zarfoss -- walked 89 miles to help mobilize public opposition to federal and state policies that discriminate against union-free employees and businesses. As Mr. Falk puts it, "We're not looking for a handout, bailout, or any other special favor. We just want a fair shake." Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and most current U.S. congressmen and senators are opposed to letting union-free workers like John Falk compete on a level playing field. Back in February 2009, one of the first major actions the President took after settling in at the White House was to issue Executive Order 13502, which promotes union-only "project labor agreements" (PLAs) on federally funded public works. This April, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council published a "final rule" implementing E.O.13502. 'Job Discrimination Because . . . of a Worker's Union Membership Is Flat Wrong' "E.O.13502 pressures federal agencies to acquiesce to PLAs on all large public works," noted Matthew Leen, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee.