Late in 2012, the US Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlighted criminal laws that granted exemptions to union members. In their report, the Chamber highlighted the fact Pennsylvania’s anti-stalking law granted an exemption for unions. Going a step further, the Commonwealth Foundation found a number of other exemptions that unions enjoyed:
“It turns out, stalking isn’t the only crime labor unions get a pass on. Pennsylvania’s criminal code, Title 18, also exempts organized labor from responsibility for harrassment [sic] and…threatening to use weapons of mass destruction.
“In the statute, a weapon of mass destruction counts as any “bomb, biological agent, chemical agent or nuclear agent.” It is illegal to call in a bomb threat, or suggest you have a nuclear warhead, or like Marvin the Martian, threaten to destroy the earth with your space modulator. That is, unless you are in a labor dispute—in which case, that behavior is perfectly acceptable”
By exempting union members from prosecution, Pennsylvania has created an environment where destruction of property and intimidation of non-union contractors and workers has become commonplace. Union members can behave like they are above the law because they are in some cases.
The good news is that legislation (HB 1154) has finally been introduced to stop unions’ crazy exemptions from criminal prosecution. Take a few minutes to contact your Representative and Senator. Let them know that it is time to apply criminal laws to all Pennsylvanians with no special exemptions for union violence.
Note: If you have time and are in the Harrisburg area, you can also attend a hearing on HB 1154 scheduled for Thursday, August 22. The hearing starts at 10:30 and is Room 205 of the Ryan Building.