Rep. Maureen Madden (D-Monroe) and Rep. Thomas Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) have proposed anti-worker legislation that would strip government workers of privacy rights in workplace elections and give union leaders workers’ personal information.
The legislation proposes a public “card-check” process for unionization votes in the public sector and provides union leaders with unprecedented access to workers’ private information, including:
- Job title
- Work location
- Personal email address
- Home address
- Work, home, and personal cell phone numbers.
Put simply, this is an attempt to kill workplace democracy and is among the most anti-worker proposals that could be considered by our legislature.
Currently, workers can join a union by casting secret ballots, with a simple majority electing the union—much like normal political elections. Reps. Mehaffie and Madden’s proposal would eliminate the right to a secret, safe, anonymous election process. Union organizers could pressure workers—in their workplace and even at their homes—to publicly sign cards supporting unionization. If a union collects authorization cards from a simple majority of employees, it becomes the exclusive representative without a traditional election.
If secret ballots are good enough to elect Rep. Madden and Rep. Mehaffie to the House, they should be good enough for unionization.
Government workers deserve better.
Sen. Scott Martin and Rep. Kate Klunk have introduced legislation this session to inform workers of their legal rights. HB 785 and SB 371 would repeal laws that violate the 2018 Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court ruling, while also ensuring workers know union membership is voluntary.
Pennsylvanian’s government workers deserve a fair, democratic, and anonymous voice in their workplace unionization vote. Informing workers, not violating their privacy and workplace election rights, is the path to protection and empowerment.