Philly.com is reporting that the Philadelphia Police Department has arrested two union members for assault arising out of shenanigans at the Goldtex site.  Here is the video of the incident that led to the arrests:

In an early post this month, we asked if there should be more arrests of union leaders and members for engaging in the type of activity seen at the Goldtex site.  Unlike, the incident in New York, which prompted that post, where those charged were the organizers of the protest, the arrests here appear to be limited only to the individual protesters that took part in the assault.  In any event, the arrests are significant and is certainly the first time  in recent memory that union members have been criminal charged for there actions at a job site.  We will see if the Philadelphia District Attorneys Office – or even the US Attorneys Office – brings additional charges against any additional participants in the protests or, like in New York, union leaders themselves.

The Pocono Record reports that State Sen. John Eichelberger has introduced legislation that would make Pennsylvania a “Right to Work” state.  According to the article, the Senator Eichelberger’s bill would:

  • Eliminate the automatic deduction of union dues and political contributions from public employee paychecks.
  • Prevent the automatic deduction from public employee paychecks to unions’ political action committees, or PACs.
  • Make Pennsylvania a “right-to-work” state, which would prevent public- and private-sector workers from being forced to pay union dues if they choose not to join the union.

Of course, by enforcing their “Beck” rights, workers already have the ability to stop paying that portion of union fees collected for political purposes.  However, this bill would allow workers that do not want to belong to a union from paying any union fees at all.

If this bill passes it would have serious implications for both labor and management.  It also could lead to new employers moving to Pennsylvania because they would not be burdened by union work rules and wage rates.