On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the AFL-CIO called a “press conference” at the rotunda of the state Capitol. Hundreds of union members were bused in to protest HB 1507 and SB 1034, which propose to end employer- (taxpayer-) funded automatic dues deduction for teachers and public employees.
Speaker after speaker railed on against the bills, claiming that the infamous Koch brothers were behind these bills (false), that the bill took away the right to belong to a union (false), that the unions demanded freedom of speech.
But the idea of freedom of speech only extends to them. We who attended the “press conference” to lobby in favor of the bill had our free speech rights blocked by the immature behavior of some members of the electrical union. These men made a concerted effort to block our signs. Others in the crowd started chanting, “One Term Tom” and “Corbett sucks!”
Father James O’Malley, of Pittsburgh, said the opening prayer, if you want to call it a prayer. It was a pro-union rant that was an absolute embarrassment.
The bills make the union member responsible for paying his/her own dues. Why should your tax dollars be spent deducting union dues, some of which are then used by the unions for their political action committees?
Please contact your state representative and state senator to encourage the passage of HB 1507 and SB 1034.