(HARRISBURG, Pa.) – More than a thousand Teamsters from across Pennsylvania rallied on the steps of the state capitol today to protest legislation designed to weaken worker protections and undercut their ability to bargain for improvements on the job.
Currently, there are a number of bills introduced in the general assembly that are a direct attack on working families in Pennsylvania. These bills are attempting to make harmful policies like right-to-work and paycheck deception law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf spoke out against the legislation at the rally, denouncing the attack on working Pennsylvanians.
“There is a concerted effort by many at the national and state level to damage working men and women’s ability to fight for wages they deserve, benefits they have earned, and protections that are fair,” Gov. Wolf said. “The constant threat of legislation like right to work, like paycheck protection, is an assault on the market and the economy. Any legislation that makes it harder for employees to organize in turn makes it harder for businesses to provide quality products and services to their customers.”
Opposition to these bills crosses party lines as representatives from both sides of the aisle have joined the fight to defeat the legislation. Republican State Rep. John Taylor spoke at the rally, expressing his opposition to the right-to-work and paycheck deception bills.
“I believe the sanctity of the bargaining agreement should stay intact,” Taylor said. “Right to work is something I’ve fought against since I was a college student and a Teamster. Right to work is not an issue worth pursuing. People will be hurt by this legislation.”
Rank-and-file Teamsters visited their elected officials before and after the rally to call on their representatives to vote against these bills. Pennsylvania Conference of Teamster President William Hamilton stressed the importance grassroots activism and the role it will play in defeating these bills.
“We can’t stand by and hope that our representatives to the right thing and vote down these bills,” Hamilton said. “We must keep the pressure on them and let them know that their constituents will not stand for this attack on Pennsylvania’s working families.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.