State Rep. Kathy Rapp joined fellow Pennsylvania House Republicans on Tuesday morning to launch a package of bills she said aims to “permanently eliminate this anti-American, anti-freedom policy known as forced unionism.”
The policy Rapp referred to is that of fair share fees, or contract agreements between a collective bargaining unit, or union, and an employer which include a provision requiring employees to pay a fee to the bargaining unit, regardless of membership.
Rapp, along with Reps. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland), Jim Cox (R-Berks), Fred Keller (R-Union/Snyder) and Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill) held a press conference announcing their intent to re-introduce the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative, a package of bills comprised of what is popularly known as right to work legislation.
“The greatest reason is not economic, it’s moral,” Justin Davis, director of legislation for the National Right to Work Committee, said at Tuesday morning’s session. “They (unions) force themselves into employee/employer relationships preventing employees from being rewarded for their hard work. Make no mistake; the villains in this fight… are union bosses insisting on remaining the gatekeepers to employment.”
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale said at a 2011 Pennsylvania House of Representative Labor and Industry Committee meeting on the bill package, “What collective bargaining does is allow the worker to get a share of those profits so they can have a middle class lifestyle. That’s what unions do. They provide a middle class in America.”
The package includes four bills which failed to pass during the 2011-2012 legislative session: House Bills 50, 51, 52 and 53.
Rapp is primary sponsor of House Bill 51 and is a co-sponsor of the rest of the package.