In a move that I never would have expected, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law HB 874 which removes exceptions to the offenses of stalking, harassment and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction from those involved in labor disputes. This move is shocking because Big Labor heavily supported Governor Wolf’s election campaign and the bill itself was opposed by nearly all Democrats in the Pennsylvania Senate.
As I have argued, the exemptions from prosecution for the crimes of stalking and harassment had become perverted from there original intent. Passed when the labor movement was in its nascency, the exemptions were meant to prohibit criminal codes from being used to thwart organizing efforts and chill protected speech. However, over the years the exemptions moved from being a shield to a sword that (much like the Supreme Court’s Enmons decision) organized labor wielded in conducting a host of objectionable – and now criminal – actions, such as following their adversaries’ children to school, videotaping them getting on the school bus, and outright assaulting non-union managers.
A favorite slogan of
regressives progressives in passing laws is “common sense.” Typical that slogan is used to justify them taking away more and more of your rights. However, with the signing of HB 874 a progressive has actually done something that is actually common sense. HB 874 makes it no more difficult to join a union or organize a work place to become union, and union members can continue to protest non-union companies vocally and visibly. What they cannot do is engage in conduct that has no place in any civil society, which, indeed, makes common sense.