Who should decide whether a union benefits an employee? The union or the employee? In a free society there is only one correct answer to this question. It still amazes me that, here in Pennsylvania, we live in the birthplace of freedom yet the scourge of compulsory unionism is all around us. It’s in our schools, our municipalities, and our county and state governments.
If an individual employee rejects union membership in Pennsylvania he or she can be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Passing a right-to-work law would make such compulsory union dues payments illegal. Union bosses would have to encourage the voluntary financial support of employees instead of coercing it. I recently spoke at the press conference to unveil a right-to-work bill in Pennsylvania and I told how approximately 3,000 employees of the Philadelphia School District and over 20,000 employees of state government have all rejected union membership.
Perhaps some of these employees are non-union because they object to the union’s politics; perhaps some object on religious grounds; perhaps others object to the union’s representation and want instead to be paid individually for the unique talents they bring to the workplace. Whatever the reason all of these non-union employees are being forced to pay union dues to keep their jobs. It is downright un-American. If an employee likes a union and wants to join and pay dues, he or she should have that right. But every employee should have the equal right to refrain from doing so.
Numerous studies have shown that right-to-work states are economically more prosperous than compulsory unionism states like Pennsylvania. This is only logical because economic prosperity has always flowed from individual liberty in America. The right of Americans to freely associate, or not associate, with the organizations of their choice is fundamental to the constitutional principles upon which this nation was founded. Compulsory unionism is just sinful and evil. There is no other way to describe it.
I have debated this issue many times and there isn’t a single state lawmaker who can defend this coercion. They realize that they’re trying to argue that a union should have the right to impose its view of its own worth onto an individual, instead of trying to encourage the voluntary financial support of that individual. So why is Pennsylvania not a right-to-work state? It’s because we have spineless wimps in state government who are too scared to do the right thing — that’s why. They are scared that the unions will come after them at election time.
As a Republican, I am fed up with Bucks County’s Republican state representatives. With the exception of Paul Clymer not one of these “lawmakers” co-sponsored the right-to-work bill last session. Republicans like Scott Petri, Bernie O’Neill, Frank Farry and Gene DiGirolamo are a joke. They should just go register Democrat since they love compulsory unionism so much. Better yet, I’ve decided that what I say and do benefits them so I want a law that forces these guys to finance my activities against their wishes. Just to see how they like it.
Surveys have repeatedly shown that Americans of all political persuasions support right-to-work. This is not about whether unions are good or bad. It is about who should make that decision. It’s about freedom of choice and freedom of association. Americans get it. Michigan just passed a right-to-work law. That we have Republican majority control of all three chambers of state government in Pennsylvania and we still don’t have a right-to-work law is a damning indictment of the Republican Party in Bucks County and the surrounding southeastern counties.
Join the discussion at facebook.com/paunionreform because we’re going to be “outing” the wimps as we move forward. Let’s see who takes campaign cash from the unions. On this Facebook page you’ll also see an interview with State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe stating how the teachers union traded campaign activity with the Republican caucus to get the monstrous pension grab increase of 2001 approved. Taxpayers are being ripped off. It’s enough already.
Simon Campbell, Lower Makefield, is a Pennsbury School Board director.