It’s hard to believe that anyone would be exempt from criminal
laws, but in Pennsylvania union members involved in a labor dispute are not
subject to the laws on stalking, harassment and threatening the use of weapons
of mass destruction. NFIB is fighting
for legislation that would repeal this loophole.
Having a free pass can lead to an escalation of lawlessness.
The former head of the Ironworker’s Local
401 was found guilty in January of
extortion, racketeering and conspiracy for a pattern of violence and vandalism meant
to force open shop construction companies to hire union members. Eleven other union members pleaded guilty to
carrying out the business manager’s orders over a period of years.
One of the
victims of that union violence was NFIB member Rob Reeves, owner of E. Allen
Reeves Inc., an open shop construction firm.
Reeves had been threatened by members of Local 401 for not hiring union
labor when constructing a Quaker meeting house in Philadelphia. Recently those union members pleaded guilty
to setting Reeves’ construction crane on fire and using a cutting torch to
weaken the steel beams of the structure he was building.
enforcement been able to successfully intervene at an earlier time, the end
result may have been drastically different. Unfortunately, what starts out as harassment,
stalking, or threats often ends up in violence and destruction of
owners have felt intimidated when union members have followed and videotaped
their family members and children, or when disparaging leaflets about their
character have been handed out to their neighbors.
As we work toward
passage of a bill repealing this exemption for unions in the criminal law, we
will be asking our members to help us by calling their state House and Senate
members before critical votes.
Currently, Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) and Sen. Scott
Wagner (R-York) are gathering co-sponsors for bills that would address the issue.