Union bill

Dear editor:

Recently Rep. Kathy Rapp has been touting House Bill 1507. This is the bill that would strip a union’s right to collect dues from its members.

A passage of this bill would handcuff Unions and end collective bargaining as we know it. Without collective bargaining wages for all workers in the state would suffer.

Rep. Rapp has attempted to spin this bill into a fight to end “Tax payer funded political contributions” (Which Rep. Rapp herself benefitted from when PSCOA was listed as a top donor in 2012).

She says state workers are having a portion of their pay, which is generated by taxes; go to political activity through dues collection.

Unfortunately for Rep. Rapp it does not take much digging to debunk this line of thinking. A small portion of regular dues does go towards lobbying but, at the point where a union worker earns their wages, we as tax payers cease to have a right to tell them how to spend it.

And for those union employees that wish for none of their dues to go to politics, Communication Workers of America v. Beck (1988) allows them to recoup any portion of their dues that are spent on politics.

Also, Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010) defines very specific parameters for the political activity paid for by union dues.

Any heavy political activity done by unions is now done through voluntary donations to PACs. The same way large corporations and religious groups funnel their money to candidates. At this time there is no reason to believe that it will stop with public sector unions. Could it be that this is just the first step in a campaign to destroy organized labor in PA? I would say ask Rep. Rapp, but I doubt we would get a straight answer!

In Solidarity,

Aaron Stearns