Union Red Herring Erring

The recent Pennsylvania AFL-CIO media campaign to malign Rep. Scott Perry by saying he wants to “punish workers” is as off base as it is disingenuous.

The union, for which I used to work and lobby for in Harrisburg, knows full well how many states have exhausted their Unemployment Compensation Funds and how other states have limited the amount of time workers can collect benefits. Moreover, they realize something needs to be done to sure up our U.C. fund that is currently $400 million in debt.  But instead of attacking the problem, they attack the messenger.

Inducting Rep. Perry into the Pa. AFL-CIO Hall of Shame is really just a distraction from the sad reality that the union doesn’t have a viable solution to an unsustainable system other than to force it off life support and watch it slowly die.

Conversely, Rep. Perry’s bill, HB 916 reflects the reality that Pennsylvania workers and taxpayers face in these difficult economic times.  It’s a very simple formula: When money is tight in our households, we tighten our belt.  Perry has taken the common sense approach of tightening rules and streamlining the process and simply applied it to the U.C system in a bill that would potentially save the U.C fund $600 million.

Yes, in all fairness, it does reduce the amount collected by using a different formula, but it saves the system from utter collapse. On balance, this is a sounder and more beneficial approach for both workers and taxpayers than simply strangling the golden goose.

It is unfortunate that when faced with tough choices the Pa. AFL-CIO would rather spend time making personal attacks and simply let the fund die.  This only emphasizes once again their inability to truly protect workers.