Radical Union Leader Power Grab Advances in Pa. House
May 1, 2023, Harrisburg, Pa. — The Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee today advances House Bill 950, a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a new “fundamental right” to organize and collectively bargain and prohibit the state from passing any law that “interferes with, negates or diminishes” that right. The amendment would give extraordinary power to union executives—at the expense of workers—and infringe on legislative authority.
“HB 950 is about union executives amassing power, not protecting worker rights,” said David Osborne, a senior fellow at the Commonwealth Foundation. “The bill constitutionalizes nearly everything union executives do—from unending strikes, coercion of members, or even destruction of property. These unaccountable but powerful executives would, for the first time, be above the law.”
The proposed constitutional amendment would block a Right to Work law in Pennsylvania or any state legislation to check union power. Under HB 950:
- Collective bargaining agreements will trump state law, allowing union executives to wrest control over important public policies, including school spending and curricula, public health care provisions, government contracting, and professional standards and licensing.
- There will be no legal limits on public sector strikes, allowing union executives to indefinitely shut down schools, government offices, police, and fire departments.
- Workers will no longer be protected when coercive government union executives organize new workplaces or recruit new members.
- Union executives will be permitted to force employees to become union members, violating federal law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
“Government unions and trade unions poured almost $30 million into campaign coffers over the last state election cycle. They’re now looking to cash in on their political contributions with this radical proposed amendment,” added Osborne. “State lawmakers must remember to serve the taxpayers—and the workers—rather than special interest campaign donors and stop this power grab by union executives.”
The House Committee passed HB 950 12-9 on partisan lines. The bill now proceeds to the House floor for a vote.
Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact Erik Telford at (202) 280-8716 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview.
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