Today the state capital was abuzz with clamorous shouting from protesting union members. What was all the hullabaloo about? Union members organized in opposition to a press conference about a proposed bill to prohibit Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). PLAs are government contracts with mandated stipulations that benefit unions; such as required payments into union trust funds, required use of of union apprenticeships, and many other costly mandates. In practice PLAs are almost exclusively awarded to unionized companies.
While union members may enjoy these lucrative contracts, PLAs only end up costing taxpayers money and private contactors jobs. Why not give everyone a fair chance to bid on government contracts? This is why State Representatives John Bear and Stan Saylor were holding a press conference in front of the capital – to inform Pennsylvanians on the injustices of PLAs. However when Rep. Bear got up to speak he was catcalled and booed by the mob of union members. His message was drowned out; in typical fashion organized labor used tactics of intimidation to silence the voice of opposition.
What’s worse is that we overheard union members mentioning that they were being paid $26 an hour to protest. In contrast, most of Rep. Bear’s supporters were contractors who took time off of work to stand on principle. And yet the union members had the nerve to persistently ridicule supporters as clueless businessmen in suits bought off by special interests. It’s time to tell big labor that they can’t intimidate us into silence. It is time to demand fairness and transparency in all government contracts.
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