The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO condemns the passage of Senate Bills 166 and 167 by the State Government Committee. Today in a party-line vote, Republican members of the Senate State Government Committee chose to place partisan politics before the right of Pennsylvania’s working people to fair representation in the workplace. Paycheck protection does not aim to protect or have a positive impact on the wages of workers, instead it attacks the nurses, police officers, firefighters, and teachers by weakening the collective voice they achieve through their unions.
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale stated, “This is a disappointing and undisguised attempt to attack workers’ rights. It is an unreasonable intrusion into the relationship between an employer and employee and the fundamental right of workers to collectively bargain.” Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder added, “It is imperative that we continue this fight on the floor of the State Senate. We urge Pennsylvania’s working people to call and write their State Senators and voice their opposition to these bills.”
Rather than address payroll deductions uniformly, Senate Bills 166 and 167 single out public-sector unions in a blatant attempt to silence workers. Corporations and insurance companies also collect payroll deductions from public employees, and those funds are also used to advocate on issues and lobby politicians. Corporate political contributions outnumber those from labor unions approximately 15 times over and yet the Pennsylvania State Senate seems unconcerned by their undue influence.
“Yay” votes: Senator Mike Folmer (Chairperson), Senator Tom Killion (Vice Chair), Senator Joe Scarnati (ex officio), Senator Richard Alloway, Senator Charles McIlhinney, Senator Mike Regan, Senator Patrick Stefano, and Senator Donald White.
“Nay” votes: Senator Anthony Williams (Minority Chair), Senator Andy Dinniman, Senator Daylin Leach, and Senator Judy Schwank.