Metcalfe, Lawmakers Introduce Zero-Cost Legislative Package to Protect the Right to Work and Stimulate Job Creation

State House members, leaders from organizations across the Commonwealth and several negatively impacted individuals committed to ending the practice of compulsory unionism, joined State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) to officially reintroduce the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative (House Bills 50-53). 


“The framers of our Constitution never intended for our government to become an enforcer for unions or a collector of forced union dues at taxpayer expense,” said Metcalfe.  “Regardless of occupation, no one should be forced to pay union dues in exchange for the right to work. As the growing exodus of job-providing Pennsylvania companies demonstrates, businesses will not submit, but instead close up shop and leave to avoid the consequences of compulsory unionism.” 


Designed to protect the individual freedoms of Pennsylvania’s working citizens, schools and the economy by ending the practice of compulsory unionism, specific legislation and bill sponsors for the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative are as follows: 


·         House Bill 50 Freedom of Employment Act—Representative Metcalfe


During the past decade, real personal income rose 28.3 percent in America’s 22 Right to Work states as compared to 14.7 percent in forced unionism states, such as Pennsylvania.   During the same time frame, the number of welfare recipients per 1,000 residents was 17.3 in forced unionism states, compared to just 7.6 in Right to Work states.


Under Metcalfe’s free-standing Right to Work legislation, employment will no longer be conditional upon paying dues to a union.    


·         House Bill 51 Repeal of Act 84—(School Employee “Agency Shop” Law)—Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean)


During the 2009-10 school year, Pennsylvania once again topped the nation in teacher strikes with approximately 34,900 students locked out of the classroom.  


With nearly 85 percent of teacher strikes occurring in those districts with forced union dues contracts, this legislation would return the individual decision of whether or not to join or support a labor union to teachers and thousands of public education employees.


·         House Bill 52 Repeal of Act 84—(State Employee “Agency Shop” Law)—Representative Tom Creighton (R-Lancaster)


Since 1988, nearly 20,000 non-union state employees have lost their individual freedom to decide whether or not to join and support a union.   As a result, millions of dollars are collected annually by the state from non-union members in the form of compulsory union fees and sent directly to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and other state employee union coffers at the expense of Pennsylvania taxpayers.


·         House Bill 53 Repeal of Act 15—(Local Employee “Agency Shop” Law)—Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks)


This Right to Work protection bill would return the individual freedom of choice to all local, municipal, county and township employees to decide for themselves which private organizations they wish to support and prevent the collection of compulsory union dues.


“Today, we have delivered this legislation to restore the basic freedom to work as a zero-cost solution for Pennsylvania to become America’s next Right to Work state,” said Metcalfe. “Now, it is up to the General Assembly to send the Open Workforce Initiative to the governor’s desk, where it is expected he will sign it, so all working men and women will have the assurance that they will never again have to fear losing their jobs or not being able to provide for their families due to compulsory unionism.”


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State Representative Daryl Metcalfe

12th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Ty McCauslin
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