With a new law, union strikers and activists in Pennsylvania lost what many argued they should never have had in the first place: legal cover to threaten their opponents with stalking, harassment, and even use of “weapons of mass destruction.”
Last week, Governor Tom Wolfe (pictured above), a Democrat, signed House Bill 874, a new law that would outlaw such harassment by union members involved in a labor dispute. Oddly enough, before this new law, unions had been allowed a free pass under Pennsylvania law to commit these acts without incurring the wrath of law enforcement if said harassment was conducted during a labor dispute of some type.
“I believe it is important to allow men and women to come together and their voices heard,” Gov. Wolf said in a statement. “I also believe that any form of harassment by employees or employers is unacceptable.”
“Under current law there is an exemption for a person who is involved in a labor dispute as defined in the labor anti-injunction act preventing a person to be charged with one of those three crimes.” Wolfe continued. “House Bill 874 simply removes those three exemptions and adds legislative intent to specifically say the legislature intends that the exemptions should not apply in labor disputes moving forward.”
In past disputes, union toughs had harassed the children and spouses of business executives–and at times threatened violence and even death to business owners–but those businessmen had no recourse under the law to prevent the harassment or have those who perpetrated the crimes arrested.
This represents a big win for the Keystone Chapter of the Associated Building Contractors.
“These loopholes have allowed for horrific activities disguised as legitimate labor disputes for years,” ABC Keystone President and CEO Kate McCaslin said at Watchdog.org. “Today, ABC applauds Governor Tom Wolf for signing this legislation into law that will provide for equal protection for employers and employees from hostile work environments.”
This new law will go into effect early next year.