HB 1481 striking workers

Taxpayer-Funded Strikes Would be Bad for All Pennsylvanians

Harrisburg, Pa., November 15, 2023 – The Commonwealth Foundation highlighted major problems with House Bill (HB) 1481. If passed, this legislation will provide unemployment benefits for striking workers, effectively forcing taxpayers to fund strikes. Unemployment compensation is intended for workers who lose their jobs involuntarily and is paid for by a payroll tax on employees and employers. 

In response to the upcoming Pennsylvania House floor vote on HB 1481, Commonwealth Foundation Senior Vice President Nathan Benefield issued the following statement: 

“HB 1481—legislation pushed by union executives—slams everyday Pennsylvanians and small businesses with increased taxes. But more than that, it incentivizes labor strikes by mandating that taxpayers cover their costs. That is wrong.

“Taxpayers and job creators should not bear the burden of funding strikes. Raising taxes to incentivize walkouts and picket lines is a slap in the face to hardworking Pennsylvanians. We’ve seen firsthand how strikes hurt workers, taxpayers, and consumers alike, and this bill would only worsen matters.

“Union leaders aren’t above using strong-arm tactics, lies, and threats to get their members to strike. All too often, union members don’t have a voice in their organization and lack the freedom to make choices. HB 1481 does nothing to address the genuine concerns of union members who may feel unions are railroading them into decisions that affect their livelihoods.

“This bill also punishes those who don’t want to join a union by pressuring them into membership—and the contingent benefits—ahead of a potential strike. HB 1481 would infringe on workers’ freedom and their right to choose.”

The Commonwealth Foundation strongly urges the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to reject HB 1481, standing firm on the principles of individual freedom, economic fairness, and responsible governance that Pennsylvanians deserve.


The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.