Last week, The Nation published a story about Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Foundation, and a sweeping new anti-worker campaign they are launching called Project Goliath.
In a fundraising letter sent out last month, accompanied by a letter of support from Senator Toomey, The Commonwealth Foundation declared their intentions to ‘slay Pennsylvania’s Big Labor Goliath.’ In the opening lines of their fundraising appeal, they boast:
“This promising new campaign for the future of our state is aptly named, “Project Goliath: Conquering Pennsylvania’s Political Giant.” Like biblical David, your gift will help us hurl the stones that finally take down freedom’s #1 enemy in our state!”
While they go on to identify their ‘enemy’ as ‘Government Union Bosses’ – that is not the ultimate target of their proposed strategy. The true ‘Goliath’ that they have in their sights is made up of school teachers, construction workers, nurses, retail employees and factory workers; and incredibly, the ‘Davids’ they are perceiving in this analogy are the ones who they soliciting $10,000 donations from to fund their effort to undermine the safety and security of middle class working families. Only in Orwell’s ‘1984’ could wall-street millionaires be considered ‘Davids’ and average working families be considered ‘Goliaths.’
Just take a look at their laundry list of objectives which are detailed in their fundraising letter:
- Make Pennsylvania a ‘right-to-work’ state
- Eliminate prevailing wage
- Outlaw strikes for all government employees
- Destroying public education through unrestricted school choice
- Eliminate defined-benefit retirement plans for all new public employees
The recent victories that similar right-wing groups have celebrated in Wisconsin and Michigan have emboldened their approach here in Pennsylvania; and with a legislative agenda that mirrors that of many in the General Assembly, we should take this threat seriously.
There is already a package of ‘right-to-work’ bills this legislative session. Two anti-prevailing wage bills were voted out of committee this month. A co-sponsorship memo on the Governor’s anti-pension bill was just circulated last week. Last month the State House passed an unprecedented liquor privatization bill that would cost thousands of jobs. There is no doubt that those on the other side are attempting to mobilize all of their resources and spend all of their political capital to see this agenda advanced.
We must stand together as a united labor movement as we fight back against these attacks.
- Visit our ‘Take Action!’ page to see our current advocacy campaigns that provide you with the ability to easily e-mail your representatives about issues like privatization, prevailing wage, and pensions.
- Sign up to volunteer, and let us know how you would like to get involved!
- Donate to the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, to support our continued legislative and political fights on behalf of ALL workers in Pennsylvania.
- Help us to reach more of your friends and neighbors with a message of empowerment in the workplace. E-mail our website link to 5 of your friends, or share the link on Facebook or Twitter, and encourage your friends to sign up!