3                        INFORMATIONAL HEARING

4                     HOUSE BILLS 50, 51, 52, 53

5                        August 16, 2011

6                             1:00 p.m.

7                   Room 140 Main Capital Building

8                        Harrisburg, PA 17124

9                                * * * *

















1    Also Appearing:

























1               CHAIRMAN MILLER:     Okay.    It's now 1:00.

2               I'd like to call this hearing of the House Labor and

3    Industry Committee to order.     The purpose of today's hearing is

4    to gather input on a package of House bills on Open Workforce

5    Initiative legislation. Of course, we all know it more commonly

6    as Right to Work.

7               For the information of all of those in attendance,

8    this hearing is being videotaped by the Broadcasting Office of

9    the House Bipartisan Management Committee.       The video is also

10   being made available to the news media and for streaming on

11   House websites.

12              When I became Majority Chairman of the House Labor

13   and Industry Committee, I realized that issues that this

14   Committee addresses could be emotional to many people with the

15   potential to be confrontational.        Perhaps none has that

16   potential more than the issue of Open Workforce Initiative

17   legislation, Right to Work.     I also believed at that time, and

18   continue to believe, that any legislation considered by this

19   Committee, especially in the current economic times, should

20   focus on fairness to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania and the

21   ability to create or retain jobs.       A jobless recovery is not a

22   recovery, in my mind.

23              Of course, at the same time we have to keep in mind

24   fairness to all Pennsylvania workers must be also be part of

25   our concerns.     Minority Chairman, Representative Bill Keller

1    beside me, and I share little in common in regards to

2    background, areas we represent and many political ideology

3    points, but with that said, I have to tell you, I have great

4    respect for Representative Keller because we disagree often,

5    but do so in a manner that I consider him a friend, and I like

6    and I trust him

7                 I hope this hearing can be conducted in a manner

8    that we know there is a great disagreement between different

9    sides, but that disagreement is expressed in a non-threatening

10   or confrontational way.

11                Chairman Keller, do you have any opening remarks at

12   this time?

13                CHAIRMAN KELLER:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm just

14   surprised at those kind remarks. I don't get very many of them.

15   It's always welcome.

16                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   You're welcome, Chair.

17                CHAIRMAN KELLER:   And I say, you know, we're here

18   again, we're trying to have an open debate on a lot of issues,

19   and especially in these times, hard issues.    I'd just like to

20   start out by saying I cannot believe that Pennsylvania is

21   trying to be like Alabama and Mississippi.    So, I think we

22   could go from there and keep this on the issues, and I believe

23   in the end we'll do what's right for the workers of

24   Pennsylvania.

25                Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

1                 CHAIRMAN MILLER:   If I might, I would like to allow

2    the members that are here to introduce themselves, and I think

3    we'll start at the upper -- my upper left with Representative

4    Grove.

5                 REPRESENTATIVE GROVE:    Seth Grove, York County,

6    196th District.

7                 REPRESENTATIVE SCHLEGEL:    Lynda Schlegel Culver.

8    108th District.

9                 REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:    85th District, Union and

10   Snyder Counties.

11                REPRESENTATIVE KAMPF:    Warren Kampf, 157th District,

12   Chester and Montgomery Counties.

13                REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:    John Galloway, 140th

14   District, Bucks County.

15                REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:    Stephen Bloom, 199th

16   District, Cumberland County.

17                REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:     Scott Boyd, 43rd District,

18   Lancaster.

19                REPRESENTATIVE MURT:     Tom Murt, 152nd District,

20   Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.

21                REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    Scott Perry, the great 92nd,

22   Northern York and Cumberland Counties.

23                REPRESENTATIVE EVANS:    John Evans, 5th Legislative

24   District, Erie and Crawford Counties.

25                REPRESENTATIVE DEWEESE:    Bill DeWeese, Greene,

1    Fayette and Washington.

2               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Thank you, everyone. We made

3    represent Representative John Evans an honorary member of the

4    committee today. He's in Harrisburg and was able to    join us

5    for this hearing.

6               With that, I would like to call up on Representative

7    Daryl Metcalfe for opening remarks on House Bill 50 and

8    possibly on some of the other pieces of the Open Workforce

9    Initiative legislation.

10        Welcome, Representative Metcalfe.

11        REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:    Thank you, Chairman Miller.

12   Appreciate the opportunity to be here with you today, and thank

13   you to the Minority Chair also and the Committee Members for

14   allowing me to testify on this very important issue today.

15        Mr. Chairman, Right to Work is a basic issue of

16   individual liberty.   Regardless of occupation, hard-working

17   taxpayers should never be forced to pay union dues in exchange

18   for the right to work.    In virtually every public opinion poll

19   conducted in the last 20 years, no less than 70% of all

20   Pennsylvanians favor an enactment of the Right to Work law.

21   The Framers of our Constitution never intended for our

22   government to become an enforcer for unions or a collection

23   agency of forced union dues at taxpayer expense.

24        Pennsylvanians without a Right to Work law encourages

25   coercive union practices in both the public and private

1    sectors.   Under my Right to Work legislation, House Bill 50,

2    the Freedom of Employment Act and the rest of the Pennsylvania

3    Open Workforce Initiative, House Bills 51 through 53,

4    employment would no longer be conditional upon membership or

5    non-membership in a union, nor upon payment or non-payment of

6    money to a labor organization.

7                Mr. Chairman, by forcing an employee to pay any fee

8    to a union, whether it's full dues or partial dues and whether

9    it includes membership rights or it doesn't, that is in itself

10   creating forced unionism by default.

11               Without this Right to Work legislation,

12   Pennsylvania's working citizens will continue to be deprived of

13   their individual right to decide which private organizations

14   they will join or support, and our entire economy suffers.

15   Forced unionism states such as Pennsylvania experience lost

16   individual freedom, lost income, lost jobs, lost population,

17   and increasing welfare rolls.

18               America's 22 Right to Work states consistently lead

19   the nation in all aspects of real economic growth and overall

20   quality of life, higher net jobs gained, lower taxation, more

21   people with private or employment based health insurance and

22   fewer individuals dependent on state welfare.

23               In fact, nine of the 10 -- nine of the Top 10 Chief

24   Executive magazine's 2010 best states to do business have a

25   Right to Work law, Mr. Chairman.

1                 Currently, Pennsylvania ranks 39th out of 50 states

2    in overall economic competitiveness, third highest on the list

3    of outbound jobs states, and has suffered stagnant population

4    growth since 2000 and has resulted in the loss three of

5    congressional seats through redistricting.

6            According to the Department of Commerce and Bureau of

7    Labor Statistics, between '99 and 2009, Right to Work states

8    have experienced 28.3% growth in real personal income as

9    opposed to only 14.7% in forced unionism states.

10                The U.S. Administration of Children and Families and

11   the Bureau of the Census reported for 2009 that the number of

12   welfare recipients per 1,000 residents was 17.3 in forced

13   unionism states such as Pennsylvania, compared to only 7.6 in

14   Right to Work states. The Bureau of the Census further reported

15   that the percentage growth in number of people covered by

16   private or employment-based health insurance increased by .9%

17   in Right to Work states.    Not a huge increase, but it's still

18   increased. In forced unionism states it decreased by 6.9%.

19                According to the U.S. Labor Department data, between

20   2003 and 2005, private sector job growth in forced unionism

21   states increased by only 2.3% while private sector job growth

22   in Right to Work states increased by 4.9%, or roughly 120%

23   more.

24                The lack of a Right to Work law in Pennsylvania

25   also, without question, increases political corruption. Since

1    the passage of Pennsylvania's agency shop law in 1988, nearly

2    20,000 non-union state employees have lost their individual

3    freedom to decide whether or not to join or support a union. As

4    a result, millions of dollars are collected annually by the

5    state from non-union members in the form of compulsory union

6    fees and sent directly to the coffers of state employee unions

7    such as AFSCME, all at taxpayers' expense.

8                  According to the Pennsylvania Department of State,

9    AFSCME Council 13 spent $863,310.79 during the 2010 election

10   cycle. Not surprisingly, 94% of that total went to support

11   Democratic candidates and Democratic political action

12   committees, providing the unfair bargaining power necessary to

13   drive state government employees' salaries and benefits higher

14   and higher.

15        Since 2004, state government employees' salaries have

16   risen from a median average of $39,037 to $45,105. In

17   comparison, the median average earnings for Pennsylvania's

18   private sector employees stands at $32,239. As cited by

19   Governor Tom Corbett during his 2011-'12 state budget address,

20   quote, since the recession began, the state's union employees

21   have seen annual increases.     The private sector, the taxpayer

22   has seen its average income stagnate, end quote.

23                 The passage of the Pennsylvania Open Workforce

24   Initiative would place the power back into the hands of the

25   employees, who would be able to hold their union and their

1    employer accountable by either choosing to join or leave a

2    union at any time. Best of all, the total taxpayer cost of

3    restoring the fundamental Right to Work, whereby all

4    Pennsylvania worker citizens will never again have to fear

5    losing their jobs or not being able to support their families

6    due to compulsory unionism, is absolutely zero. The facts could

7    not be clearer. Realizing the exclusive individual and

8    financial liberties associated with becoming America's 23rd

9    Right to Work state and enacting the Pennsylvania Open

10   Workforce Initiative is the true economic stimulus plan,

11   leading to real growth and job creation. It's a zero-cost

12   initiative that makes a lot of sense.

13              Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

14              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you for your comments,

15   Representative Metcalfe. I do not have any questions at this

16   time, but I will open it, and I believe Representative Keller

17   has a question or two.

18              REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   Surprisingly. Representative

19   Metcalfe, as the chairman said, he and I and you and I are

20   probably on different political sides of every issue, but I

21   do -- I have been here a long time, and I remember when you

22   were a caucus of one. Now you are growing exponentially, so

23   congratulations on that, I think.

24              But just to point out that the differences in

25   this -- I believe in every union hall across this country,

1    there should be a plaque commemorating what Senator Wagner has

2    done for this country. The Wagner Act, granting collective

3    bargaining, I believe is one of the top five laws passed in

4    this country, and it has been -- has done great for the country

5    and great for the workers.

6               I was just wondering how you believe -- I understand

7    you're saying unions are probably not a good thing

8               REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   I didn't say that. Being

9    forced to be in a union is not a good thing.

10              CHAIRMAN KELLER:   Okay. But how would -- I'm for

11   collective bargaining, like I said. I think Senator Wagner was

12   a great man. How would the people who are not part of the

13   collective bargaining union and do not have to pay union

14   dues -- how would you foresee them being represented? Who would

15   represent them to the employer?

16              REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   Well, I would foresee them

17   representing themself to the employer like any other non-union

18   in the United States does, as I did when I worked for a

19   corporation, and the agreement and the contract and the salary

20   and benefits agreement were between me and the employer, not

21   between me and the labor union.

22              CHAIRMAN KELLER:   You were -- I didn't know your

23   background. You know, I actually was a member of a union.

24              REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   I was a member of a union

25   at one time when I was forced to be, for a short time, prior to

1    going into the corporate world in a more professional capacity.

2                 CHAIRMAN KELLER:   And I'm sure you made much more

3    money when you were represented by the union.

4                 REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:    I made much more money

5    when I was in the corporate world.

6                 CHAIRMAN KELLER:   Yeah. Okay.

7                 And our differences will continue. And here's

8    basically what I don't understand:      You're saying that if

9    you're represented by a union, you make $40,000. It seems to me

10   you're saying it would be better to make $32,000? Now, I know

11   one of the right-wing new mantras is that 47% of -- 47% of the

12   people not pay income tax, and I'm not sure -- I don't have the

13   statistic.   I'm sure staff will get it.      But I'm sure somebody

14   that's making $30,000 in a family of four probably doesn't pay

15   income tax because it is almost a non-sustainable wage to make

16   $30,000 and to have a family of four or more. And I believe

17   that's what unions do.    And people who are represented by

18   unions, even though they're not part of the bargaining and

19   choose not to be, there's nothing wrong with having them pay

20   their fair share towards that collective bargaining union

21   that's protecting them.

22                I don't think I have any more questions for you, but

23   I just I think we are so diametrically opposed that -- that's

24   where I'm at. I hope that's where this state is at.      And if you

25   keep talking about fairness, that's fairness.      If you are being

1    represented and you're making a good wage, and you're having

2    good benefits, then you should pay at least your fair share

3    towards the collective bargaining that gets that done for you.

4                 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5                 REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:      Representative -- if I

6    could respond just quickly, Mr. Chairman.

7                 CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Briefly.

8                 REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:      Representative Keller, as

9    far as the salaries that you made mention of, throwing the

10   $40,000 out there and the $30,000 out there, you had heard the

11   figures that I had quoted from past statistics. The average

12   private sector worker in Pennsylvania does not make what the

13   average state worker makes. That is not sustainable. You cannot

14   have employees who are working for ultimately the shareholders,

15   that being the private sector citizen -- you cannot have them

16   making more than the private sector taxpayers, whether the

17   unions are leveraging it or not.     Minority people are in

18   unions. The majority are not.    And they're paying the price

19   through the nose for it.

20                CHAIRMAN KELLER:   We will continue to disagree on

21   this. There is a basic fairness to people being represented,

22   and if you're talking about -- you know, it's not right for the

23   taxpayers.   It's not right for the taxpayers for companies to

24   have $2.5 trillion of cash in a time -- we're in a recession,

25   in a manufacturing recession, and all of the corporate greed is

1    not helping any taxpayer in this state or across the country.

2               Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

3               REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   And --

4               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   I would just recognize that we

5    have been joined by Representative Gergely and now recognize

6    Representative Perry.

7               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

8               Representative Metcalfe, I just want to turn to some

9    testimony on the bottom of the page before the last.   It says,

10   As a result, millions of dollars are collected annually by the

11   state for non-union members in the form of compulsory union

12   fees and sent directly to the coffers of state employee unions.

13   Can you describe how that happens? Is this a cost to the

14   taxpayer to collect these dues? Who accounts for the correct

15   amount and accounting of all -- of that money? How much money

16   are we talking about, any idea, all of that kind of stuff.

17              REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   That's a great question. I

18   think that's something that folks don't really think about day

19   to day out there and the taxpayers who are paying for it. But

20   school districts across the state, the local municipalities

21   across the state, the state government, they're all working as

22   a collection agency for the union dues.   I don't have a dollar

23   figure on what the cost is, but there's certainly

24   administrative costs associated with collecting dues and having

25   those disbursed back to the union. I believe the union should

1    be, as any politically driven organization should be -- they

2    should have to go to the membership for the union dues and they

3    shouldn't be able to collect that directly from the government

4    entities that they're collecting it for them.

5               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Is that similar?    I'm not

6    really sure, so I'm just asking the question:      If you know, is

7    that similar to non-public sector employees that are involved

8    in the union where the employer does the collection or does the

9    union do the collection?

10              REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:    I assume the private

11   sector employer collects for the union also, but there's no

12   taxpayer side to that equation. It's a -- it's a -- something

13   that the employer has to pay in the private sector, whereas the

14   taxpayers get to pick up the bill in the public sector.

15              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   That would be a function of

16   the collective bargaining agreement, the accounting far it.

17              REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:    I assume.

18              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   And we don't have any idea of

19   the cost to the taxpayers?

20              REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:    I don't have any figures

21   with me.

22              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   All right. Thank you.

23              Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

24              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative DeWeese?

25              REPRESENTATIVE DEWEESE:    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

1    Just two minutes. A couple of observations that I think would

2    be helpful as a substructure for the event today -- and welcome

3    Mr. Metcalfe, like Chairman Keller, I'm counter-poised to my

4    colleague, but nevertheless, the momentum of the moment needs

5    to be addressed.

6               Frequent points in these two minutes:   One, in the

7    Clinton Administration -- Daryl, that's not heresy; that was a

8    very successful economic span -- 1% of the American

9    population -- 1% controlled 9% of the wealth. Today, 1% of the

10   population controls approximately 23% of the wealth. So, point

11   number one, we are migrating away from a middle class.

12              Number two, Chairman Keller's very astute historical

13   recollection on the inception of collective bargaining, at

14   least as it was sanctioned by the Wagner Act, Senator Wagner of

15   New York in 1935 launched an experiment that I would proffer

16   established, fortified and propelled a middle class.

17              So, with the amount of wealth in the United States

18   being so aggressively and probably transferred and with this

19   middle class being threatened, my final observation would be --

20   and I think it's poignant -- one of the most conservative

21   soldiers that ever marched across the American landscape, other

22   than my good friend, Daryl, was Douglas MacArthur.     And when

23   MacArthur was dispatched to Tokyo at the conclusion of World

24   War II, the first thing he did when he took control of the

25   government was to establish organized labor's collective

1    bargaining rights. The most conservative man in America at that

2    time was Douglas MacArthur. He assured the viability of unions

3    and collective bargaining as well as giving women the right to

4    vote.

5                  So, as I conclude, Mr. Chairman, I just want these

6    observations to be part of the undergirding of the dialogue,

7    because I think we cannot casually dismiss the idea that our

8    public employees are able to bargain collectively, and our

9    other employees in the trades and in the mines and mills of

10   this state cannot enjoy the same kind of opportunities that

11   they have been enjoying and benefitting from and giving back to

12   America since the New Deal.

13                 Thanks, Mr. Chairman, for your time.

14                 CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you for your time

15   management.

16                 Representative Gergely?

17                 REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

18   just a couple of comments, and Representative Metcalfe is

19   certain to respond if he likes. Page three of your testimony,

20   Representative, Paragraph 22, Right to Work states, economic

21   growth, they have better economic growth, overall quality of

22   life, higher net job gains, and you went on about lessening

23   health care -- dependence on state welfare. I don't understand.

24   I pulled this -- this is July 22, 2011.      Of the most unemployed

25   states in the country, seven are Right to Work states. And they

1    also have significantly less income than states such as

2    Pennsylvania. So, as Scott Boyd said -- Representative Boyd

3    said in the last hearing, let's be accurate on our facts.

4                 Alabama's -- Pennsylvania ranks median income is

5    $49,500; Alabama, higher unemployment, $40,500; Georgia, 47,

6    lower; North Carolina, 43,000, lower; Mississippi -- this is a

7    quality of life -- $36,000; South Carolina, $44,000. All of

8    them have almost 10% unemployment, and are all Right to Work

9    states. What's the justification? Please answer that, because

10   if it was right, these would be accurate. Quality of life would

11   be better.   And we haven't even talked about test scores for

12   education. They would be horrific in every one of these states,

13   I'm sure. Mississippi would lead the charge, along with

14   Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina.

15                So, Representative, I'm not -- I'm challenging you

16   on your facts. I think I would be accurate to say they're wrong

17   in your presentation, and I'm just looking for reasons why it

18   would be better in this state for quality of life, when we'd

19   lose income, have higher unemployment, and have worse test

20   scores.

21                REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   Well, I think

22   Representative Gergely -- Mr. Chairman, if I might. I shared

23   several statistics in my testimony. I don't know if you heard

24   these statistics that were actually looked at over a time span,

25   and I believe ten years in one case and a couple of years in

1    another, where you're really focussing on the current situation

2    that the Obama Administration has helped bring us into.        For

3    your points to be made with different numbers and different

4    statistics, I think the statistics that I shared were far

5    broader and over a greater time span that shows that ultimately

6    those states that are Right to Work states, I believe

7    ultimately based on the facts that I shared, will see a quicker

8    recovery than non-Right to Work states and not in an inflated

9    wage rate that's given through the union bargaining process

10   that the taxpayers cannot sustain any longer.

11              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative Murt?

12              REPRESENTATIVE MURT:     Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

13              Representative Metcalfe, I just have one question,

14   primarily focusing on House Bill 51, 52, and 53. Why do you

15   believe that it's unfair to have non-union employees pay union

16   dues, when the dues are used for their representation that

17   obtains for them higher wages and improved benefits, safer

18   working conditions, insurance for their families and so forth?

19              REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:     Why do I believe it's

20   unfair for non-union members to pay union dues?      This is

21   America, Representative Metcalfe.    I don't believe any American

22   should be forced into an association that they wouldn't

23   otherwise choose to be in, because some of your union friends

24   or allies are going to argue that they actually are the ones

25   causing the economic benefit to those non-union members.        That,

1    in fact, may not be the case at all. If those employees were

2    allowed to stand on their own and be judged on their

3    performance, I'm sure they would outwork the mediocrity that's

4    represented many times in the union bureaucracy.

5                 REPRESENTATIVE MURT:   When the non-union employees

6    are accepting the higher benefits and improved working

7    conditions and so forth --

8                 REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   Except when they're forced

9    to.

10                REPRESENTATIVE MURT:   Let me finish.

11   My question is:   Where is the unfairness when they're paying

12   for their union representative?     They're paying for the legal

13   counsel and the union representation that's obtained for them

14   and the higher wages and benefits and so forth.

15                REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   It looks like you and I

16   just won't agree.   We can agree to disagree.    But as I said

17   early on, when you look at poll after poll after poll,

18   Pennsylvanians on the whole, in the majority fashion, recognize

19   that forcing somebody to pay union dues to have a job is

20   unfair. Whether it's a small part of the union dues or a full

21   membership-fledged union dues, you create union membership by

22   default with forcing that union -- that non-union member to pay

23   some dues.

24                REPRESENTATIVE MURT:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

25                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   With that, thank you,

1    Representative Metcalfe.

2               REPRESENTATIVE METCALFE:   Thank you, Chairman

3    Miller.

4               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Our first panel -- and I

5    apologize, gentlemen, I'm 15 minutes behind already -- but we

6    have Rick Bloomingdale, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, and I believe Abe

7    Amoros is here, Pennsylvania Legislative Director, Laborer's

8    International Union. And Mr. Bloomingdale, you may introduce

9    anybody else with you. And proceed when you are ready.

10              Remember, we have your testimony.   If you can try to

11   do it five minutes, a little bit more, each of you, and then

12   we'll get to questions, as you see that many members have

13   questions. So -- and I appreciate the fact that you had quite a

14   journey to get here. So, thank you.

15              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Thank you, Chairman Miller.

16              I will certainly be as brief as possible, knowing

17   that the committee's time is valuable, and we'll leave time for

18   questions. With me is Russ Keating, our legislative staff, who

19   did a lot of the research for me. So, if there are questions

20   that people have, where they need, you know, citations and

21   where we might have gotten some of our statistics, I have Russ

22   here to help me out.

23              In order to try to answer Representative Perry's

24   questions on the cost of collecting dues, I have asked our

25   attorneys -- I worked on the original agency shop bill, and I

1    believe that we put in there that the union would reimburse the

2    Commonwealth for the cost of collection of at least the fee

3    part. I don't know if -- but it's turned out to be very

4    minuscule. It's the same program that they use to collect

5    United Way contributions. It's a negotiated thing. It's not

6    mandated that the employer collect dues, just like it is in the

7    private sector. It's a negotiated benefit that is on the table

8    with the Commonwealth.    And in this latest round of

9    negotiations with Governor Corbett, it stayed in the contract.

10   So, it was -- you know, one of those collective bargaining

11   issues that -- things people have given up to keep it. It's one

12   of those things that happens in bargaining. It's a trade-off.

13                Let me get to my testimony so we can answer other

14   questions.   And I'll just follow Representative Miller's

15   advice, try to get through it fairly quickly. If I see anything

16   redundant, I will try to skip over that.    But as you had said,

17   my name is Rick Bloomingdale. I'm president of the

18   Pennsylvania's AFL-CIO, the state's unions representing over

19   800,000 union workers. I appreciate this opportunity to testify

20   in opposition to House Bills 50, 51, 52, and 53.

21                Pennsylvania AFL-CIO opposes this legislation for

22   the following reasons:    We have since 1905. The equity with

23   which this legislation claims it seeks already exists. The

24   consequences of this legislation would be the weakening of

25   collective bargaining and unleveling the playing field and

1    giving an advantage to the employer.   And this legislation

2    would harm workers and their families, local economies and

3    block Pennsylvania's economic recovery.

4               Existing Pennsylvania labor laws already protect job

5    applicants and incumbent employees who do not want to belong to

6    a union. They also protect the right of the majority of workers

7    who want to negotiate in their contracts worker fairness

8    provisions such as fair share fee.

9               Existing laws confined fair share fee calculations

10   to union expenses attributable to contract negotiations and

11   contract enforcement only. So, that amount of money that

12   Representative Metcalfe mentioned went to work on political

13   stuff is not used in the agency fee calculation.

14              Fair Share fee payors, as differentiated from union

15   members, contribute only to -- for the negotiations and

16   enforcement of the levels of pay, benefits and other working

17   conditions all workers enjoy. Existing Pennsylvania labor laws

18   even already protect workers who have legitimate conscientious

19   objections to belonging to a union or paying a fair share fee.

20              For example, those whose conscientious objections

21   stem from religious beliefs may arrange for the equivalent of

22   their fair share fee to go to certain designated charities.

23   Thus, House Bills 50, 51, 52, and 53 would not provide any new

24   legitimate individual rights or protections for any workers.

25   Instead, they would trap all workers in the quicksand of

1    restricted right, vacant rights and ultimately no rights that

2    would leave them with less pay, less job safety, less health

3    care, less retirement and more debt and poverty.

4               The stipulation in House Bills 50, 51, 52 and 53

5    that unions would be required to represent only union members

6    would perpetuate divisiveness. Divisiveness in the workplace

7    harms all workers, encumbers employer, hampers productivity and

8    cheats taxpayers. Thus, such a proposal exposes this

9    legislation as a ruse, with the true purpose of busting unions

10   instead of promoting optimal vital taxpayer services.

11              We all know that employers in a non-union workplace

12   will pit one worker against another, and all this would do is

13   encourage that kind of aberrant behavior. Nothing protects

14   individual workers better than collective bargaining and a

15   strong union. The real motive of the hidden funds organization

16   driving this legislation isn't to protect individual workers.

17   Its real motive, camouflaged by the specious label,

18   inflammatory rhetoric and transparent props, is to maximize big

19   business profits at the expense of all of the workers. The less

20   recompense workers receive, the more income managers and

21   stockholders amass. Denying the citizens the rights to

22   collectively bargain a worker fairness provision does not

23   automatically lead to greater jobs creation.

24        According to the United States Department of Labor,

25   Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2011, the Pennsylvania jobless

1    rate was 7.6%. Ten states that prohibit worker fairness

2    provisions, Right to Work states had lower jobless rates. 13

3    states that prohibit worker fairness provisions had the worst

4    jobless rates, as Representative Gergely pointed out. In fact,

5    the state with the worst jobless rate, Nevada, prohibits

6    workers' fairness provisions.

7         Significantly, the states that prohibit worker fairness

8    provisions and which have lower jobless rates than Pennsylvania

9    are not heavily industrialized states. Thus, their real jobless

10   rates do not indicate real job growth. Instead, it indicates

11   that they do not suffer as much from the relocation and

12   creation of manufacturing jobs outside of the United States.

13              Many of you will remember Pennsylvania once had a

14   vibrant garment industry.   And as a result of lower wages,

15   those garment jobs fled to the South, South Carolina, North

16   Carolina, but within ten years had fled to Costa Rica,

17   Bangladesh, China and India. Those are folks searching for the

18   lowest wage, not any kind of equity for the workers. Most

19   likely, the employment figures from states that restrict

20   workers' rights are inflated with huge numbers of part-time,

21   seasonal and undocumented workers.

22              Oklahoma enacted legislation that denies workers the

23   right to negotiate workers' provisions, fairness provisions, in

24   2001, the most recent state to do so. Research that analyzed

25   economic data from before and after Oklahoma enacted this

1    legislation found that since 2001, manufacturing and employment

2    relocations into Oklahoma began to fall, precisely the opposite

3    of what opponents of worker fairness provisions promised.   And

4    that was -- this data is from primarily -- since Representative

5    Metcalfe mentioned President Obama and this recession, that was

6    under President Bush, who also had some recession

7    responsibilities.

8               I have witnessed America's manufacturing industries

9    relocate from states that genuinely promote workers' rights to

10   states that restrict workers' rights. These states still outlaw

11   worker fairness provisions, but yet many, if not most, of the

12   states that were relocated there from free bargaining states

13   subsequently were relocated overseas where the rights to

14   workers are categorically violated and their standards of

15   living are characterized by poverty, squalor and hopelessness.

16   This strongly suggests that the motive of opponents of worker

17   fairness provisions is to exploit cheap labor.

18              Quantity and quality are different measurements.

19   Quantity is the measure of the number of persons employed in

20   the state. Quality is the measure of the number of persons with

21   family-sustaining pay and benefits employed in the state. The

22   harm that House Bills 50, 51, 52 and 53 would do to workers and

23   their families is illustrated by comparing labor statistics of

24   states that promote workers' rights, including their rights to

25   negotiate worker fairness provisions, and states that restrict

1    worker rights, including by prohibiting worker fairness

2    provisions.

3                  In 2009, the average income and median weekly wages

4    in 20 of the 23 states that prohibit worker fairness provisions

5    was lower than $740 -- lower than the $740 median weekly wage

6    in Pennsylvania. Median weekly wages in Pennsylvania in 2009

7    were $60 a week more than the average for states that prohibit

8    worker fairness provisions. Poverty is higher in the states

9    that deny workers the right to negotiate worker fairness

10   provisions. All residents and children have a 31% -- 39.7%

11   greater chance of being poor, respectively, than Pennsylvania's

12   residents and children.

13                 Workers in worker fairness states are more likely to

14   have health insurance than workers in states that restrict

15   collectively bargaining. Residents of states that ban worker

16   fairness provisions were 46.3% more likely than Pennsylvania's

17   to be uninsured. Many of these statistics you've heard, so, I'm

18   going to skip around here.

19                 The issues of these suspect bills are whether we

20   really embrace the ideal of democracy, honor the principle of

21   majority rule. Remember, unions are voted in by the majority,

22   not by -- nobody mandates that a union be in a place and

23   respect the dignity of all workers. I was taught and still

24   believe the spirit of the American character is manifest in the

25   principle that all have a responsibility to bear their fair

1    share of creating the benefits enjoyed by all. Or as my mother

2    would say, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

3                 Federal and Pennsylvania labor laws promote

4    collective bargaining for many prudent reasons, including

5    insuring democracy and self-determination by majority rule in

6    the workplaces.

7                 A majority of workers is required for union

8    certification. A majority of union members is required for

9    contract ratification. Once ratified, the contracts benefit all

10   workers. Contract negotiations and contract enforcement involve

11   cost. It is central to the American character and spirit that

12   all individuals who receive the same benefits should pay their

13   fair share of the cost for that benefit.    This is what worker

14   fairness provisions in labor contracts accomplish. They insure

15   responsibility of union benefactors, while at the same time

16   protecting the minority of benefactors who have been declared

17   legitimate exceptions to belonging to a union or paying a fair

18   share fee.

19        House Bills 50, 51, 52 and 53 disregard the majority of

20   workers who exercise their rights to vote for union

21   representation, they disregard the majority of workers who

22   exercise their rights to ratify their union contracts, and they

23   discredit the rights to accept their fair share of supporting

24   the negotiations and administration of their union contracts.

25                This legislation would make it much harder for

1    workers to improve their working conditions. Businesses have

2    the right to maximize profits, and individual workers have the

3    right to try to maximize their incomes. Unions provide workers

4    with the best means for maximizing their incomes, and this

5    legislation would have the consequence of weakening unions.

6         The issues of House Bills 50, 51, 52 and 53 are decency,

7    dignity -- or opposition to them are decency, dignity, equity,

8    democracy, majority and good citizenship are the things that we

9    promote. This legislation presents a classic example of

10   exploiting the darker side of humanity. It encourages

11   selfishness and discourages community. It implicitly condones

12   morays that are counter-productive to the best interests of a

13   republic with a democratic form of government. In general, the

14   Pennsylvania AFL-CIO oppose this legislation because it will

15   harm workers and their families and further unravel America as

16   middle class and block Pennsylvania's economic recovery.

17              Specifically, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO opposes this

18   legislation for the same reasons which the late Reverend

19   Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so eloquently articulated when he

20   said, "In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard

21   against being fooled by false slogans, as 'right-to-work.' It

22   provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' It is a law to rob us of

23   our civil rights and our job rights. Its purpose is to destroy

24   labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which

25   unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.

1    We demand this fraud be stopped." Thank you.

2               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you, Mr. Bloomingdale.

3               Mr. Amoros, you may proceed when you are ready.

4               MR. AMOROS:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Welcome.

6               MR. AMOROS:   Thank you. It's good to be here.

7    Chairman Miller, Chairman Keller, thank you for allowing the

8    Pennsylvania Laborers to present testimony regarding House

9    Bills 50 through 53. These bills seek to make Pennsylvania a

10   right to work state which, if passed and signed into law, would

11   immediately weaken the state's economy by cutting workers'

12   paychecks as well as cutting their health benefits and their

13   pension benefits. My name is Abe Amoros, and I'm the

14   Pennsylvania legislative director for the Laborers'

15   International Union of North America. We represent 30,000

16   members throughout the Commonwealth.

17              Now, while the phrase "Right to Work" may sound like

18   a positive change in a weak economy, the phrase, the concept

19   and the results are anything but. Right to Work legislation

20   will not only suppress wages, cut health care benefits and make

21   a decent pension impossible to come by for Pennsylvania

22   workers, but it impacts every community in Pennsylvania.

23   The Bills before this committee do nothing but hurt working

24   people and their families. They also smack of a hostile

25   ideology against labor unions and are not based on sound and

1    logical business practices.

2               Now, with the unemployment figure at 9.1%

3    nationally, and Pennsylvania's being at about 7.6%, why would

4    turning the state into a Right to Work state become beneficial?

5    It only hurts workers, and not just union employees, but

6    non-union employees as well.

7               You know, supporters of Right to Work laws advance

8    two major arguments:   First, these laws would make the state

9    more attractive to investment, they say, and the passage of

10   Right to Work bills would lead to job growth. While this may

11   sound attractive to a state that is facing economic hardship,

12   the evidence is in dispute.

13              When making location decisions, businesses rate

14   factors such as the quality of the regional workforce, the

15   regulatory environment, and tax incentives before ever

16   considering Right to Work laws. Just ask those who are doing

17   work in the Marcellus Shale.

18              The second and main argument that Right to Work

19   advocates like is rooted in libertarian political thought, and

20   it goes like this:   Individuals should not be required to

21   financially support unions or any collective against their

22   will. Now, this free association position focuses on demanding

23   a sacrifice from all of the benefit from a collective effort.

24              In the U.S., a workplace becomes unionized when a

25   majority of the employees in a bargaining union petition for

1    union representation. This 50%-plus-one method of determination

2    almost guarantees the presence of a minority group that did not

3    want a union. And in many instances, a person gains union

4    coverage by accepting employment at a work site that is already

5    unionized without ever having the opportunity to vote for or

6    against unionization.

7               In non-Right to Work states, a labor union and

8    employer can agree to a union security clause that requires all

9    covered persons to pay dues to finance collective bargaining

10   activities. In such situations, someone seeking to avoid paying

11   dues to the union has three options:   They could either leave

12   their job, convince union leadership to negotiate an open shop

13   or persuade fellow workers to decertify the union. Given that

14   the last two outcomes are very difficult to achieve, the most

15   viable option for dissenters is to work elsewhere.

16              This is where the phrase "Right to Work" comes from.

17   It's the right to work in a unionized setting and reap the

18   benefits of collective representation without having to

19   contribute toward the costs of obtaining these benefits. And I

20   ask the members of this Committee, where is the justice in

21   that? Where is the justice in that?    How is it right for those

22   individuals to accrue the benefits that others have paid into

23   without paying their fair share?

24              On its face, Right to Work makes absolutely no

25   sense. In states that have passed Right to Work legislation,

1    wages and benefits of all workers, union and non-union, are

2    lower than national averages. Wages in those states are 3%

3    lower or roughly $1500 less.

4               Now, I don't know about members of this committee or

5    anyone in this audience, but I don't know very many working

6    families who would turn down $1500 to help them pay for their

7    mortgage, their car payments or put groceries on the table for

8    their children.

9               Health care benefits in those states are also 2.6%

10   lower. And one reason that the gains that -- one of the reasons

11   that the gains by unionized workers spill into the non-union

12   workers' section is due to competition. In the presence of a

13   strong regional union movement, employers with a non-union

14   workforce will raise wages and benefits to compete. What is

15   wrong with that?   Ultimately, all workers benefit, as do local

16   economies, from higher wages.

17              So, if unions are weakened, non-union employers will

18   have a greater latitude to lower wages, require workers to

19   perform dangerous task, work in unhealthy conditions and treat

20   workers without dignity, sending us backwards. This is the real

21   hidden agenda behind Right to Work. It allows employers to have

22   more leverage over their employees to continue taking money

23   from the top -- from the bottom to pad the top.

24              Right to Work legislation is nothing more than a

25   shameless attack on organized labor and an insult to wage

1    earners who struggle every day in trying circumstances to keep

2    a roof over their heads and a decent way of life. This

3    legislation promotes the notion of free riders. Those who stand

4    to enjoy the fruits of collective bargaining also have the

5    incentive of not paying for it and getting something for

6    nothing. This starves resources and makes labor unions crumble.

7    It's devious, at best, and will be devastating to working

8    people across Pennsylvania.

9               There isn't a single Right to Work state in the

10   country that hasn't experienced problems as a result of

11   suppressed wages, loss of health care benefits and deflated

12   pension plans for its workers. So, why would the Pennsylvania

13   state legislature embrace a faulty concept such as this?    Why

14   would we possibly want to join the ranks, as Chairman Keller

15   said, as economically distraught states such as Alabama,

16   Louisiana and Mississippi, just to state a few?   And as

17   Representative Gergely said a few moments ago, are you

18   seriously arguing that the quality of life in those states is

19   better than ours? I think not. As Mr. Bloomingdale alluded to

20   earlier in Oklahoma, Oklahoma lost 22,000 manufacturing jobs.

21   22,000.

22              A study that I recently read by the Economic Policy

23   Institute found that the rate of employer-sponsored pensions is

24   nearly 5% lower in Right to Work states.   And the workers in

25   non-Right to Work states who receive pensions at this lower

1    rate, that's 3.8 million fewer people without pensions. 3.8

2    million fewer. The study also found that non-union workers are

3    also harmed by Right to Work legislation. All workers earn good

4    salaries as non-union contractors provide those competitive

5    wages that we like to talk about.    And across the board, the

6    depression of wages affects every single person, regardless of

7    gender, race or educational level.

8               Full regression results in states where Right to

9    Work laws exist. Trimming a worker's paycheck should be the

10   absolute last thing that this legislature should be focusing

11   on. Good wages build strong communities by generating more in

12   state and local tax, recycle those hard-earned dollars in the

13   way of car payment, mortgage payment, et cetera, and we should

14   not take this path of destruction for workers.

15              Members of the state legislature should be more

16   concerned with creating jobs and allowing current laws that

17   support workers to remain in place rather than creating

18   barriers for them, which hurt their families, their children,

19   the innocent, those who cannot take care of themselves.

20              Right to Work legislation drives down wages,

21   financially depresses communities and hurts overall economies.

22   And they drive wedges, ladies and gentlemen, unnecessarily. Why

23   we would want to drive a wedge that does not exist there?

24        In Pennsylvania, workers in the construction industry are

25   facing unemployment rates of nearly 30%. Workers cannot afford

1    to lose any more, and this committee should be focusing on

2    helping those unemployed individuals.

3         The laborers are opposed to each of the four bills

4    regarding Right to Work, as they do nothing but hurt workers.

5    They take money from them and put it in the pockets of

6    employers, not taxpayers. Not taxpayers.

7         The Pennsylvania Laborers pledge to assist the

8    legislature in coming up with programs and ways to promote

9    workers in Pennsylvania. And I hope that we can set aside

10   political ideology in an anti-worker sentiment in favor of

11   hard-working Pennsylvanians who are the backbone of our state's

12   economy.

13              Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

14              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you to both for your

15   testimony today. I would just have one note for Mr. Amoros, and

16   that's on the statement about the companies looking to locate

17   to a state or an area look at the quality of the regional

18   workforce, the regulatory environment, overall tax structure.

19   And I don't totally disagree with that, but the reference to

20   the Marcellus Shale really doesn't work for me because I keep

21   trying to get them to drill in York County, and they won't. You

22   have to have the gas to start with.

23              MR. AMOROS:   So noted, Mr. Chairman.

24              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   I just want them to fix my roads.

25   So, with that observation, Representative Keller.

1               CHAIRMAN KELLER:    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

2               As I said to Representative Metcalfe, I guess the

3    disconnect is I believe that collective bargaining is

4    sacrosanct when it comes to middle class unions and increasing

5    people's quality of life. We're hearing all of these numbers,

6    forced millions of dollars, forced collection for unions, and

7    like I said, we're never going to agree on probably anything at

8    this hearing, but Mr. Bloomingdale, could you tell me, I mean,

9    what the average cost of a fair share fee per employee is?

10              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Well, it varies from union to

11   union. Again, it's based on, you know, the calculation. And the

12   union, by the way, when we drafted the law back in 1986/'87,

13   finally passed in '88, that has to be done every year. And

14   there are independent auditors who look at the books of the

15   unions and determine what that calculation is, that fee. It

16   goes anywhere from -- depending on what the union's doing in

17   terms of organizing, because organizing is not a calculation of

18   the fair share fee.   A person doesn't have to pay organizing

19   costs, either, only the enforcement of the collective

20   bargaining agreement. It runs anywhere from 74 to 85%,

21   depending on how that union -- some unions do only contract

22   stuff. They don't do anything political.    They don't -- all

23   they do is enforce the contract, grievances, those kind of

24   things. So, in that case, a fee payor would pay a higher

25   percentage. A union that might be more -- do more education,

1    organizing, would have a lower fair share fee because those

2    things are not part of the calculation.

3               But if you go back to the agency shop bill and the

4    way it was drafted, those audits are done every year.    And you

5    may hear today, after the first one, we went to court, federal

6    court, and there was a ruling that, you know, we had to do this

7    every year, and, you know, it worked out -- I forget who the

8    judge was, but we ended up in court, and it was determined that

9    was obviously Constitutional, but that we had to do these

10   audits in an independent way.    There was some question the way

11   the law was drafted. But that's done every year, the

12   calculation of the fair share fee. That's when people can

13   object to the fair share -- whether or not they pay the fair

14   share fee based on religious, like the Amish. That's

15   specifically prohibited in their religious code, so they don't

16   pay dues. Their fee goes to charities.

17              So, you have those times that people can do that

18   every year, object.   And also AFSCME, my union nationally every

19   year tells people, look, if you want your portion of -- even if

20   you're a full dues payor, if you want your portion of dues that

21   was spent on political education, you can get a rebate for that

22   money, if you so desire. So, you know, they -- everybody works

23   hard to make sure people feel like they're being treated

24   fairly.

25              CHAIRMAN KELLER:     Just trying to draw a contrast

1    between the numbers that are thrown out -- millions forced into

2    unions' treasuries from the fair share fee. I'm trying to get a

3    grasp of the average cost of a fair share. It can't be onerous.

4    It can't be --

5                  MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    It's probably 75% of dues, maybe

6    a little higher, depending on the year. So if the due is $1,

7    they pay 75 cents. It's pretty easy math. Most dues are not a

8    duck.

9                  CHAIRMAN KELLER:    But it's -- I mean, for the amount

10   of money that the fair share person is paying, he's getting

11   well worth --

12                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Oh, he's getting -- he gets

13   everything that's negotiated. He's going to get the raises and

14   he's going to get the health care or she's going to get the

15   pension, all of those things, the grievance procedure and the

16   right to be heard if they feel they're being treated unfairly

17   by the boss.

18                 CHAIRMAN KELLER:    All of the benefits of collective

19   bargaining.

20                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Yeah. And by the way, the unions

21   are subject to what's called duty of fair representation. Any

22   union member can sue or any fee payor can sue the union if they

23   feel like they haven't gotten a fair hearing. So, we -- all of

24   the unions do an extensive amount of training to make sure that

25   local union officers know that they have to treat everybody

1    equally, whether they're a fee payor or full dues payor.

2               CHAIRMAN KELLER:    Do you have any idea of how many

3    of your members have health insurance?

4               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Of the fair share --

5               CHAIRMAN KELLER:    No, all -- your membership.

6               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    I guess most union members have

7    some kind of health care.

8               CHAIRMAN KELLER:    And that would include the fair

9    share?

10              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Oh, yeah, that he absolutely get

11   it. They enjoy all of the benefits.

12              CHAIRMAN KELLER:    How many of your workers and the

13   fair share people earn above the minimum wage?

14              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    I would say 90% of them. I'm

15   sure there are a few in the hospitality industry that are at

16   that -- you know, get the tip thing and all of that going on.

17   But I'd say most of them are above the minimum wage.

18              CHAIRMAN KELLER:    And large percentage, if not all,

19   of your members receive retirement benefits?

20              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    In one way or another. I mean,

21   some have -- yeah, some have defined benefit, some have

22   401(k)s, but they all have some kind of pension plan.

23              CHAIRMAN KELLER:    And that holds true for the fair

24   share people?

25              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Absolutely. They are

1    beneficiaries.    And if that's a state employee, they're in the

2    SERS; and if they're a school employee, they're in PCRS.

3                  CHAIRMAN KELLER:    I still can't understand what the

4    big to-do about people paying a little bit of -- not even the

5    full union dues, to receive all of these benefits.      And I think

6    that's basically what this hearing is about, trying to take

7    away the ability of unions to help people, even people that

8    don't want to be -- pay into the collective bargaining of

9    benefits package that they receive.      And hopefully, we'll be

10   able to keep this -- Pennsylvania a non-Right to Work state so

11   all of the workers will benefit.

12                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Can I just say one thing about

13   the choice?    You know, nobody -- when a person goes into the

14   workplace, they generally know it's a union workplace, and they

15   know there are going to be dues and in some workplaces an

16   initiation fee. So they're making that choice. And if they get

17   in there and say, "Well, I don't want to pay for this," that's

18   a little bit disingenuous on their part. I mean, you know going

19   in, and you say, well, yeah, they should have the right to that

20   job, whether they pay dues or not.      But if a job says you have

21   to have a bachelor's degree and you go in with an associate,

22   you don't have a right to that job. I mean, so you know that --

23   you know what you are getting into going in.

24                 So, to say that these -- everybody should have the

25   right to just take any job they want is a little bit

1    disingenuous. You know that you are going into a union place

2    which means you know you are going to pay dues for the benefits

3    that you get.

4                Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5                CHAIRMAN KELLER:    Thank you.

6                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    If you don't want to pay dues,

7    you don't have to go into that job. Nobody's forcing you.

8                CHAIRMAN MILLER:    I would recognize we were joined

9    earlier by Representative Sheryl Delozier and Representative

10   Brandon Boyle, Representative Scott Boyd.

11               REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I got

12   kind of a couple of questions that probably apply to both of

13   you and just answer as you would like. I guess,

14   Mr. Bloomingdale, in your testimony you mentioned that somebody

15   can opt out, if you will -- my words, not necessarily yours --

16   for religious reasons. Are there any other reasons that are

17   available for somebody to opt out?

18               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    It's been 20 years since we

19   wrote that. I remember some of it. I don't remember all of it.

20   But -- I think there are, but don't hold me to that.

21               REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:    It's maybe something you could

22   get to --

23               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Absolutely.

24               REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:    -- us?   Particularly me. I

25   would be interested in that.

1                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   I'll text our attorney as soon

2    as we're done.   I'm sure they'll remember because she helped

3    draft the law.

4                 REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   The -- a lot of the focus has

5    been on -- I think there's a sort of built-in assumption, even

6    from the prime sponsor of the bill, that -- maybe that's not

7    fair; I don't want to put words in Daryl's mouth -- but that

8    the result of open negotiations would be lower wages. Would you

9    agree that you have testified to that?

10                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Well, I think if you just, you

11   know, look at Right to Work states and non-Right to Work

12   states, those folks that have the right to collectively bargain

13   tend to make more than those that don't. I mean, I --

14                REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   I'm going to take that as a

15   yes. I mean, I think it's been said in here. I'm not trying

16   trick you.   I just -- I.

17                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Yeah, our wages are higher,

18   absolutely. That's what we want.

19                REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   And Chairman Keller will

20   readily acknowledge that I come from an opposite position on

21   this, and one of my frustrations with this is it irritates me

22   that I can't negotiate a better deal for myself. You can say I

23   can go work elsewhere, but what if I want to be a public school

24   teacher. What if I want merit pay?

25                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Well, that's something --

1                REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   I mean, so, when we start to

2    talk about Right to Work, it applies across the board. It's not

3    just the AFL-CIO.   It's not just, say, manufacturing/factory

4    workers.   It's not just public workers.   It's all across the

5    board. And I guess from my standpoint, I know a lot of school

6    teachers who have confidentially confided in me, "I really

7    don't want to be in this union. I really would like to

8    negotiate my own deal. I'm a lot better teacher than XYZ person

9    over here and I'm not getting compensated for what I'm worth,

10   but I'm committed to the kids, so I'm going to stay in this

11   environment." In fact, one of the local schools in Lancaster

12   just recently, in the most recent contract negotiations,

13   established the union, forced that -- now, those dues are being

14   collected and going -- and applying across -- even those that

15   don't want to belong to the union, that was something that the

16   union negotiated with the school board, forced that on the

17   non-union educators in that local school district. So, I think

18   the questions here get a little bit broader.    And I can

19   certainly understand your points, at times. I'm just trying

20   from my own standpoint to say that from my -- from where I come

21   from, I see some merit to -- you know, maybe it's not forced

22   right to -- maybe it's not Right to Work. Maybe there's some

23   other alternative that allows me, if I don't want in the union,

24   I don't want the benefits that your union negotiates, I'll

25   cut -- I'll work my own deal. I mean -- maybe that's an

1    alternative to just this blanket Right to Work.

2               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    You know what happens there,

3    though, Representative Boyd?   And we see it in all kinds of

4    different situations.   The employer then uses that as a wedge

5    to divide workers. He will -- he or she will, at a given time,

6    you give the non-union worker more money, so he can say to his

7    buddies, or not -- not buddies for long, ha-ha, "I get more

8    money, and I don't have to pay dues." So, you know, the classic

9    example is Reeses in Hershey. The Hersheys workers are union;

10   Reeses are not. Reeses get the same benefits of Hershey because

11   they know -- in pay, because Hershey Company owns both -- knows

12   that if they didn't pay Reeses people the same, they would

13   unionize. So, they use it as a wedge to pit worker against

14   worker while they run off with the big bags of money. And

15   that's what tends to happen here.

16              You know, you can talk about individual rights all

17   you want, but this is really a method -- the Right to Work

18   Committee was created by the manufacturers' association whose

19   sole purpose was to destroy unions. And that -- I mean, I'm

20   hearing the mumbling over there, but that's -- if you look back

21   at their history, that's what it was.

22              If it was given a nice name and all of that kind of

23   stuff, but the sole purpose is to weaken collective bargaining,

24   and, you know, we're not -- we're going to fight against that

25   as much as we can. You know, we think that people should have

1    the right to bargain collectively.   And if they want to

2    negotiate merit pay and bonus, that's certainly in the realm of

3    collective bargaining. You got to understand, collective

4    bargaining is a contract between employers and employees, so

5    anything can be in that, anything, if the employers and the

6    employees negotiate that.

7               So, you know, you -- a lot of you up there are

8    like -- in limited government, don't get government involved.

9    Well, let the employers and employees bargain. You know, don't

10   set parameters on what we can bargain. Let us get out there and

11   cut our own deals. We'll make -- because we have -- you know,

12   we have an absolute desire to make our employers profitable

13   because we don't want them to leave. We want them to stay here

14   and do better, so we do better. And that's sort of why we try

15   to -- the rising tide lifts all boats.

16              REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:    Honestly, I'm not trying to be

17   combative. I understand the point of view.   From where I come

18   from, the way I was raised, it's hard for me to understand it.

19   I have always been sort of an individualistic guy. I like

20   working my own deal. One of the other things I did want to -- I

21   wanted to focus on, though, is you did acknowledge -- you made

22   the point it's very hard to decertify a union.

23              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Oh, yeah.

24               REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   So, really, for the new guy --

25   okay.   So, for example, the teachers' union has been around

1    since before I was born, I think. I mean, as long I can

2    remember when I went to public school, it existed. So, my point

3    is that for the new teacher coming in, for him to actually not

4    participate in the union is almost impossible -- he or she --

5    because you can't get it to decertify.   And you can't just say,

6    well -- okay, I guess you can say, "I don't want to be a

7    teacher anymore."   So, there is some fairness issues in my

8    opinion for the new guy.

9               I just have one more question, the Chairman's

10   chomping at the bit. This is the first I have talked, and I

11   have been good so far.

12              You cited Oklahoma. They went Right to Work -- I

13   believe in your testimony you said 2001.   That's ten years. In

14   ten years they lost 22,000 manufacturing jobs. How many

15   manufacturing jobs has Pennsylvania last in the same time

16   period? Hundreds of thousand.

17              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    I don't think --

18              REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   Hundreds of thousands. Just

19   for the record.

20              Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

21              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Which goes to the point that

22   Right to Work has really nothing to do with economic

23   development. You can't really use Right to Work as an economic

24   development.

25              REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   The one thing we will agree on

1    is we lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturers' jobs, and we

2    got to do things to fix that.

3               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:     Well, Right to Work isn't it. We

4    should be pursuing real strategies that create real jobs.

5               CHAIRMAN MILLER:     Thank you.

6               Representative Galloway?

7               REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:     Good afternoon.

8               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:     Good afternoon, sir.

9               REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:     Who would have thought we

10   would be talking about this in 2011 in Pennsylvania. It's hard

11   to believe. When I first came here five years ago, this type of

12   legislation never would have even been thought of, but here we

13   are discussing whether or not to implement it here.

14              UNIDENTIFIED SPECTATOR:    I can't hear you.

15              REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:     Can you hear me now, Del?

16   I said it's hard to believe -- it's hard to believe we're here,

17   but we are. So, I have a couple of questions.

18              First, for Mr. Amaros. You speak of a hidden agenda.

19   You eloquently point out -- you say the real hidden agenda

20   behind Right to Work is it allows employers to have more

21   leverage over their employees to continue taking money from the

22   bottom to pad the top. I'd like to stay on that topic for a

23   second. Hidden agenda. Who benefits from this legislation?

24              MR. AMOROS:   The ones who benefit from the

25   legislation are the employers, because the employers will

1    basically have a free hand to direct their employees any way

2    they wish, and it would set back all of the gains that

3    organized labor has had over the last 100 or so years in terms

4    of work safety, in terms of fairness, in terms of hours put in,

5    and in terms of time off. So, we feel it's inherently unfair

6    for this legislation to really backtrack and nullify all of the

7    successes, all of the struggles that have gone into this battle

8    over the last 100 or so years.

9               REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:   Thank you. And let's talk

10   about free-riders and fair share for a second. Let's talk about

11   the benefits of what you call free-riders.

12              What kind of benefits are they actually getting and

13   what are they getting -- what are they paying for?

14              MR. AMOROS:   They're paying nothing to get decent

15   health care. They're paying nothing to get a good pension plan.

16   They're paying nothing for better working conditions. They're

17   paying nothing to really improve the quality of their work

18   environment.

19              REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:   I noticed the

20   organizations -- some of the organizations that support this

21   also support efforts to drive down wages, create a cheap labor

22   force. They also opposed any immigration reform efforts,

23   E-verify. They were in favor of using and abusing illegal

24   workers for profit. Can you tell me -- can you just explain to

25   me what are the consequences of developing a cheap labor force

1    and allowing businesses to go unchecked.

2               MR. AMOROS:    What happens is this:   Employees are

3    not paid what they are worth.    And in the way of undocumented

4    worker, what are you doing is you're exploiting those workers

5    and really taking away jobs from those that are here legally,

6    and taking away jobs from residents -- legal residents of

7    Pennsylvania. The laborers have a strong track record of

8    supporting things like E-verify and documentation that proves

9    that those individuals on-site are here legally.

10              REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:     Thank you. And

11   Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the time. I just want to -- would

12   close with this:   Mr. Amoros, you wrote or you stated that

13   Right to Work legislation is nothing more than a shameless

14   attack on organized labor and an insult to wage earners who

15   struggle every day in trying to keep -- trying circumstances to

16   keep a roof over their head and a decent way of life. I'll be

17   honest with you. That's some of the best words I have ever

18   heard or read concerning this legislation. I couldn't agree

19   more. It is a shame in 2011 that we are talking about this type

20   of legislation, especially here in Pennsylvania. The idea that

21   we want to be more like Mississippi is just not -- is something

22   that I don't want to discuss. So, hopefully, people see the

23   foolishness of this type of legislation, and it dies here.

24              So, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

25              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     Thank you, sir.

1               Representative Fred Keller.

2               REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   Thank you for your

3    testimony. I do have a couple of questions. Mr. Bloomingdale,

4    you made a statement that if an employee goes into a union

5    shop, they know what they're getting into to. Would that

6    indicate if there's a shop that's not organized, the union will

7    stay away from it?

8               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Not if the employees decide they

9    want a union. That's what it's all about, man, free choice.

10              REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   That's why we're here.

11              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Right. The majority wins. The

12   majority wins.

13   [ Applause.]

14              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   The majority wins in the elective

15   union.

16              REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   Getting back to the

17   testimony -- getting back to the testimony. In both of the

18   testimonies, the workplace becomes unionized when the majority

19   of the employees in a bargaining unit petition for union

20   representation, and the one actually mentions 50 plus one. Is

21   that the entire workforce or is that just the ones that sign

22   the union cards?

23              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Depends on -- it's usually the

24   ones -- no, it's the entire workforce.

25              REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   The entire workforce, 50

1    plus one.

2                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Now, contract ratification will

3    be usually 50% plus one of those voting.

4                REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   The other things I wanted to

5    touch on here:   Do you gentlemen know what agency handles

6    workplace safety?

7                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   What agency -- well, OSHA does.

8                REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   OSHA does.

9                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   We have a state department --

10   office in the state L & I that does some health and safety.

11               REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   Okay. By your testimony,

12   though, you are indicating if you are not organized, employees

13   are asked to do some things that are unsafe.

14               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Well, so --

15               REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   There again, I guess I just

16   want to get down to the bottom of it. If there's something that

17   is unsafe, there are agencies to do that, and that's not really

18   a function of collective bargaining.

19               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Excuse me, Representative,

20   that's not true.

21               State of Pennsylvania public employees are not

22   covered by OSHA. They're exempt. So, there is no agency that

23   protects state employees.   The only -- school district and city

24   employees and municipal employees.

25               The only people that protect them are their

1    collective bargaining staff representatives who can say, "This

2    is crazy. You can't make a guy go into a manhole with some kind

3    of gas and without some kind of instrument that tests for gas."

4                There is no public employee OSHA law in the state of

5    Pennsylvania, something I have been fighting for for over 30

6    years. But we don't have it here, and we should, because

7    that -- absolutely we need to protect the workers.

8                REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   Well, then that's a separate

9    issue than compulsory organization.

10               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   That's something unions do. It's

11   something we bargain for and something we do.

12               REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   The other thing you

13   mentioned was hours worked. There again, anybody that works

14   hours, it's governed by Department of Labor, correct?

15               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Well, you can negotiate hours,

16   as well.   And don't forget, you talk about OSHA. Do we have

17   OSHA? But you know what, it would take OSHA something like

18   1,000 years, for their inspectors, because people keep cutting

19   their budgets, in order to inspect all of the workplace. So, in

20   union shops, private sector union shops have safety committees

21   that they negotiate.

22               REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   There are private employers

23   that have safety committees, too.

24               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Private employers, yeah, because

25   public employers are not covered by OSHA, so the unions have to

1    do it.

2               REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   But unorganized --

3    unorganized private industry.

4               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Unorganized can call OSHA and

5    get OSHA to come in, but the chances of OSHA coming are very --

6    because OSHA has so few inspectors because of the budget cuts

7    over the years.

8               REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   I beg to differ with you. I

9    come from private industry. If somebody calls OSHA, OSHA is

10   knocking on your door, sir.

11              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    I wouldn't argue that, but --

12              REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   Couple other questions.    I

13   just want to keep moving here. The thing I ask on the fair

14   share -- I made a note here -- it was brought up that it

15   doesn't cost much.

16              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    To administer, no. It's all --

17              REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   No, to pay. If I'm an

18   employee, it doesn't cost much. Is it one hour of my wages?        Is

19   it two hours' wages every pay period?   How much is it?

20              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    It depends on the union due

21   structure. Some unions do a percentage; some unions do an hour.

22   So it's all different. You hear dues are an hours' worth of

23   work, so in that case, it would be 75% of that.

24              REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   So you determine whether

25   it's onerous or not.   It would be the individual who has to pay

1    that, not one of us sitting here in this room.

2                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Right, so it should be

3    bargained.

4                 REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   So, it should be my right to

5    determine whether I want to belong or not.

6                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   And you do when you go to work

7    there. You join and/or you don't go to work there.

8                 REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   You mention here in your

9    testimony, Mr. Bloomingdale, that businesses have a right to

10   maximize profits and individual workers have the right to

11   maximize their incomes. I guess the same is true for unions,

12   correct?   You're a business.

13                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   We are a small -- we are

14   non-profit, yeah.

15                REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   Okay.

16                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   But let me get to that.

17                REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:   Just another -- I want to

18   close here because I know we're behind schedule, but I just

19   want to make a statement.

20                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Can I address that, maximize

21   profits and income?   You know, that's the classic conundrum of

22   capitalism. Businesses create investors to start a business,

23   right? So, they want to reward their investors. Workers produce

24   the goods that provide the income that then comes in. So,

25   you're always going to have a little bit of tug of war, who

1    gets the share of the profits. But collective bargaining, does

2    it allow -- am I interrupting you guys?       What collective

3    bargaining does is allow the worker to get a share of those

4    profits so they can have a middle-class lifestyle. That's what

5    unions do:   They provide a middle class in America.

6                 REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:    And I guess we can debate

7    how that should go about, whether we should have the choice or

8    not, and that's why we're here today. One other question I

9    would just ask Mr. Amoros and Mr. Bloomingdale:       Yes or no, do

10   you believe unions have a good product to offer?

11                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Yes.

12                MR. AMOROS:   Absolutely.

13                REPRESENTATIVE KELLER:    Okay. When I choose to drive

14   a Chevy because I like it, I'm not compulsed to do it. So, if

15   your product is that good, I fail to understand why we need a

16   to compulse people to purchase it. Thank you.

17   [ Applause ].

18                CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Representative DeWeese?

19                REPRESENTATIVE DEWEESE:     Chairman, I can do this in

20   120 seconds. I just wanted to amplify a remark that Abe Amoros

21   made relative to collective bargaining units in the field,

22   enhancing the wages and benefits of non-collective bargaining

23   units in the field.

24                In the coal fields of Western Pennsylvania,

25   especially Greene County, there are four big coal mines, 7,800

1    men and women. 200 of them are union. They are under the Alpha

2    corporate umbrella and two of them are under Consol, and those

3    are two of Consol's non-union mines. Consol does have non-union

4    mines in other parts of the country. Every four or five years

5    there is a collective bargaining agreement reached with the

6    United Mine Workers, and invariably, the wages and benefits of

7    the two big Consol mines go up approximately the same.

8               There's no doubt -- it's unequivocal that

9    Mr. Amoros's comment about collective bargaining units

10   amplifying, augmenting non-collective bargaining entities

11   within the same realm, same neighborhood, the same industry is

12   a paramount factor, and it should be part of our discussion.

13              Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. (Applause)

14              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   You're welcome, Representative

15   DeWeese. Representative Bill Keller tells me that 120 seconds

16   was the same as your prior two minutes. Thank you for that.

17              Representative Scott Perry.

18              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And

19   thank you, gentlemen, for coming in today for a lot of facts

20   and figures and statistics, and I'm sure probably anybody in

21   the room can find something that supports their point of view.

22   But with that in mind, I just want to see if I can get some

23   agreement that private sector union membership is declining

24   historically in the last 20 or 30 years.   Is that -- would you

25   agree with that, generally speaking?

1                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   That's why incomes have

2    declined.

3                MR. AMOROS:   Right.

4                REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    What I'm wondering, if that's

5    the case, if we agree on that, what is the incentive for

6    employers who allegedly want to bust these union?     What is

7    their incentive to change anything?

8                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   What do you mean?

9                REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    If it's declining anyhow and

10   what you are telling me is they want less unions and if it's

11   already declining, why would they change anything?

12               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:      I -- you would have to ask them.

13               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    I can't figure it out,

14   either.

15               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Decline and destroy unions

16   faster to make more money.   I don't know.

17               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    Let me ask you this, with

18   regard to making more money.    Both of you had similar comments.

19               And I will be brief here, Mr. Chairman.

20               Mr. Bloomingdale, businesses have a right to

21   maximize profits, and individual workers have a right to

22   maximize their unions -- or their incomes, I'm sorry.

23               And then, Mr. Amoros, laborers are opposed to each

24   of the four Bills because they hurt workers by taking money

25   from the workers and putting it in the pockets of employers, to

1    which you emphatically stated thereafter that employers, not

2    taxpayers. Regarding public sector union, are not the taxpayers

3    the employers?

4                MR. AMOROS:   Well, seeing that I represent a

5    private -- seeing that I represent a private union I'm

6    surprised that you would ask me that question. But, let me just

7    say this:   What happens is there have been many arguments, and

8    I'm going to go back to the testimony that I heard last

9    Wednesday when there were two Bills on prevailing wage that

10   were on the table. And one of the prevalent arguments was that

11   prevailing wage hurts taxpayers, and I heard something similar

12   today that Right to Work would benefit taxpayers. None of this

13   benefits taxpayers. It's a red herring. It's a fallacy. What

14   you are doing is when you are suppressing wages and trimming

15   those paychecks, you're taking away from the bottom and you're

16   enriching the top.

17               And all I keep hearing about is how this benefits

18   taxpayers. We need to be clear that this does not benefit

19   taxpayers. Neither prevailing wage legislation nor Right to

20   Work legislation benefits taxpayers.    And I think it is

21   absolutely disingenuous for that comment to be perpetrated over

22   and over, especially in this Committee.

23               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Mr. Chairman, I'd just like

24   to respond and I'll close. Respond and I'll close.

25               The reason that we think, some of us, that it may

1    benefit taxpayers is because there are certain taxpayers that

2    are paying for that wage, that they're not able to achieve. So,

3    they're actually losing money. I mean, under -- if we looked at

4    your math, sir, and the way I understand it, we should double

5    the union wages or triple them or quadruple them and everybody

6    would be better, except for the taxpayers that are paying them

7    that are not receiving them.

8               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   But they're workers as well. If

9    they had unions, they would be negotiating in the private

10   sector for higher wages.

11              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Sir --

12              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Look, first of all,

13   Representative, only 5% of the entire state budget goes to

14   wages. So, it's not -- out of the $28 billion or $27.3 billion

15   this year, only 5 or 6% is actual wages that goes to people.

16   Most of it is outflows through Medicaid and Medicare, those

17   kind of things that help people on unemployment.

18              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   I'm sure there's no wages

19   involved in any of those services.

20              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   5%. 5% of the entire budget is

21   wages.

22              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   I'm not going to agree with

23   it.

24              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Well, look it up in the

25   Governor's task force report. It's in there. By the way, the

1    average yearly wage in Pennsylvania is $48,000.    That's what we

2    calculate the unemployment comp benefit on, the average yearly

3    wage. I don't know where Representative Metcalfe got $32,000.

4    It's been a long time since the average yearly wage in

5    Pennsylvania was $32,000. The average AFSCME union employee

6    makes 39,000, almost $10,000 less than the average private

7    sector worker in this state. They're not paying for people who

8    are making more than they are.

9               Unless you would include all of the Representatives

10   and Senators and lawyers and all of those folk, the cabinet

11   officials, the Governor, all of those folks that might bring up

12   wages because they're in the $100,000 range, and it's like an

13   average. You know, myself and Shaquille O'Neal, our average

14   height would be 6'5", but I'm only 5'11". You can do anything

15   with averages. The state -- the average unionized state

16   employee's wage is less than the average private sector

17   employee in the state.

18              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    I'll just close with this:

19   I'm going to remind Mr. Bloomingdale the $30 billion debt that

20   Pennsylvania taxpayers have currently incurred for the pension

21   program are a function of those higher wages based on

22   collective bargaining.

23              Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

24              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Can I respond to that?

25              CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Briefly.

1                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   You know, pensions are done on

2    actuarial basis, and our pension is about 88% funded. Now,

3    under previous rules, that would have been a gold plan. Under

4    current rules, it's considered to be slightly less than gold

5    but still a very healthy pension plan for those workers.

6                CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Representative Bloom?

7                REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

8                Mr. Bloomingdale, under questioning in one of my

9    colleagues -- I believe it was Mr. Galloway -- you were asked

10   about who would benefit from Right to Work, and I believe your

11   answer was essentially that employers would benefit from Right

12   to Work.

13               So, for a legislator such as myself, who ran on a

14   platform of improving the business climate for employers in the

15   state of Pennsylvania, are you saying, then, that I should

16   support the Right to Work initiative?

17               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Absolutely not. Because what --

18   the constituents you represent are workers, right? We keep

19   talking about taxpayers. Let's not forget, your constituents

20   are also workers.

21               Now, you have a choice to make. You can have

22   Pennsylvania look like Mississippi, or you can have

23   Pennsylvania continue the quality of life and the -- and the

24   progress that we have had. Have we hit a little bit of a

25   downturn?   Absolutely. But we will get back and we'll get

1    back -- we're already back faster than those other Right to

2    Work states. Our unemployment rate is 7.6. I think I mentioned

3    South Carolina, they're all over 10 still. So, it depends on

4    what you want.

5               If you want -- yes, look, could we have full

6    employment? Sure. We could have slavery, too, and we could --

7    it's a matter of what you want. What kind of wages do you want

8    people to have? How poor do you want your constituents to be?

9    Yes, we could give the employers all of the wealth that they

10   wanted, because that -- again, I go back to the classic battle

11   between capitalism. It's between the investors and the workers.

12   Who puts up the capital has the risk. They get a return.     And

13   the workers make the product that goes on sale that provides

14   the profits for those investors to get the returns. The

15   employer has to decide who gets most of that money, his

16   shareholders or his workers.

17              Historically in the non-collective bargaining realm,

18   the shareholders get all of the money, and because we have

19   declined to about 8% of the workforce, that's what's happening

20   now. The wealthier are getting wealthier -- the wealthy are

21   getting wealthier, and workers' incomes have stagnated for the

22   last ten years. So, while the rich get richer, the working

23   class gets -- the workers get poorer.   And those are your

24   constituents.

25              Now, I don't know how many employers you actually

1    have in your district, but I would bet you have a whole lot

2    more workers than you do employers, and you need to make a

3    decision on you what want their lives to look like.

4               REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:   So you're saying that the

5    forced unionization, in fact, it serves to redistribute the

6    wealth from the entrepreneurs to the workers?

7               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    It's collective bargaining. It's

8    the way it's -- whether, as Scott Boyd said, an individual

9    bargains individually with his employer, yes. Is he

10   redistributing the wealth when he goes in and says, "I'm a

11   chemical engineer.   I want $100,000 a year, instead of $50,000

12   a year"? Absolutely. We're always trying to maximize our

13   incomes. Don't you do that when you -- well, I don't know what

14   you did before you were a legislator, but when you went for a

15   job, you would negotiate salary. Weren't you asking the

16   employer to give up some of his salary to give it to you? It's

17   a constant shift of where the money goes. I know you're trying

18   to trap me into this redistribution, like Joe the Plumber --

19   yeah, yeah, yeah -- I'm not going do that. I have been doing

20   this too long. We're not going that road.

21              That's classic collective bargaining. You know, the

22   workers bargain with the employer, and they decide what they

23   can afford to give while keeping the employer in business.

24   Because like I said, it doesn't do us any good to put anybody

25   out of business, and we're not going to do that.

1         Now, negotiations is a two-way street. So, when people

2    say unions negotiated themselves out of a job, who was

3    responsible for some of those work rules? Did the employer not

4    agree to those? You know, unions don't go in and say, "Here's

5    our demands; accept them." There is a give-and-take. That's

6    what negotiation is.

7                  REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:   Right, but we're not here to

8    discuss the merits of collective bargaining.

9                  MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Well, sure. Absolutely.

10                 REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:   We are here to discuss

11   whether people can be forced to participate --

12                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Because Right to Work --

13                 MR. BLOOM:   -- in something they do not wish to

14   participate in.

15                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   And Right to Work inherently

16   divides the workforce and weakens collective bargaining.

17   Absolutely.    That's what it's intended to do, is unlevel -- to

18   make the playing field unlevel to benefit the employers versus

19   the workers.

20                 REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:   It benefits employers in

21   Pennsylvania to have Right to Work.

22                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   It does -- it benefits the rich

23   to have Right to Work.

24                 REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:   It benefits the rich.

25                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Not necessarily --

1    keeps -- collective bargaining keeps the employers productive

2    and going -- you're trying to entrap me.     You're not going to

3    do it, buddy.     Sorry.

4                REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:    The summary that I'm hearing

5    is the Right to Work will actually help the employers in

6    Pennsylvania --

7                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    I didn't say that.

8                REPRESENTATIVE BLOOM:    -- and as a candidate, as

9    legislator, I'm to help employers in Pennsylvania.

10               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Okay. Okay, gentlemen. I

11   appreciate it.

12               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    You can say whatever you want,

13   but that's not what I said.     You can believe whatever you want.

14               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    I appreciate it. We just can't run

15   it as a debate. I appreciate it. Because it's been very, very

16   good so far. So, I thank everyone.

17               Representative Boyle?

18               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   I don't have a microphone

19   where I'm sitting, so hopefully this works.

20               I want to thank both chairman for having this

21   hearing, and I'll just be brief. I assume, like most people in

22   this room, you enjoyed the last couple of days, Saturday and

23   Sunday, which we refer to as the weekend. That concept actually

24   didn't exist in American society before the organized labor

25   movement.   Isn't that true?

1                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Organized labor first fought for

2    the ten-hour workday and then the eight-hour workday and then

3    eventually the 40-hour workweek. Yes, absolutely. We brought

4    you the weekend, as they say.

5                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   And that was actually

6    controversial at that time before organized labor succeeded in

7    creating the weekend, isn't that true.

8                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   You would have thought that

9    employers were all going to run out of business if we had a

10   ten-hour workday. You got to remember, the same group that

11   pushes this are the same groups that have opposed the ten --

12   the eight-hour work day, the 40-hour workweek, minimum wage,

13   Social Security, Medicare, all of those things that have

14   benefitted America. Basically we're looking at trying to --

15               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   So, in other words, basically

16   the groups that opposed the entire 20th century are the ones

17   pushing this?

18               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   That's exactly right,

19   Representative.

20               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Thank you.   Well, let me just

21   briefly say, as someone who represents a district in which,

22   fortunately, there are very few poor people and there's

23   basically no one who is rich, the vast majority of my

24   constituents are hard-working working class and middle-class

25   people.   Let me say thank you to the organized labor movement

1    for helping us bring those advances to create a middle class in

2    this Commonwealth and this country. Thank you.

3               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Glad to do it.

4               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Gentlemen, we have one more person

5    with questions, Representative Sheryl Delozier.

6               REPRESENTATIVE DELOZIER:     Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

7               I actually just have a clarifying question. And from

8    what Representative Boyle just mentioned, I appreciate the fact

9    of what the unions have done throughout the history, and they

10   do have a long, strong history. My question, really, comes back

11   to when we're talking about choice and the capability of folks

12   joining a union or non-joining a union. You mentioned it a few

13   times so that's why I wanted to ask this question. You

14   mentioned the fact that people know what they're getting into

15   and they have a choice whether or not to work in the union

16   environment or non-union environment.

17              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Correct.

18              REPRESENTATIVE DELOZIER:     It was also brought up,

19   talking about, for example, the teaching profession, the

20   teachers do not have that choice. They either are a member of

21   PSEA or they're not a member of PSEA. As a teacher, you can

22   choose not to be a member of PSEA but still do the fair share.

23              When you're going in and the majority, you

24   mentioned, the majority made that choice. So, what you're

25   saying is that all teachers -- of all of the teachers that are

1    teaching right now, the majority of them want that union. Since

2    the -- when -- how long ago did teachers unionize?

3               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Oh, it's been over the -- Mike

4    Crossey is going to be up here from the PSEA, but mostly, the

5    '70s, I would say, '70s and '80s.

6               REPRESENTATIVE DELOZIER:    So, those that voted for

7    the union were the teachers of the '70s.

8               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   And -- right.    And some of them

9    might still be there.

10              REPRESENTATIVE DELOZIER:    They could be. In

11   teaching, would you or would you not be -- because you're

12   saying the majority either -- the majority of those doing the

13   profession at this point want the union. So, would you be for

14   or against the ability for a timely vote as to whether or not

15   to continue to be unionized or to be non-unionized, so that

16   those that are actually doing the job now, not the teachers of

17   the '70s but the teachers of 2011, whether they choose or not

18   to choose to be represented by a union, by the majority?

19              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Well, there's already a

20   mechanism to do that. It's called decertification. They can

21   decertify the union, and it happens in the private sector as

22   well as the public sector from time to time.

23              REPRESENTATIVE DELOZIER:    And we are talking about a

24   very large entity that do the votes?

25              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   You can do it by Local.

1               REPRESENTATIVE DELOZIER:     And that's for the

2    desertification, you are saying?

3               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:     Yes.

4               REPRESENTATIVE DELOZIER:     You mentioned that's very

5    difficult to do. So I'm assuming that the answer would be no,

6    you wouldn't give them that option to vote on a cost basis to

7    be unionized or non-unionized.

8               MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   I didn't say that. I said there's

9    a mechanism that's in place to do that. These attempts to make

10   the labor movement or union members jump through hoops to fight

11   what they should be fighting for, which is better pay and safer

12   working conditions and pensions, you know, it's just another

13   hurdle that -- you know, favors the employer over the workers.

14   So, we feel the mechanism in place is satisfactory.

15              REPRESENTATIVE DELOZIER:     Okay. So, at this point in

16   time -- the reason I bring it up is because many of the folks

17   that I do talk to in my district have mentioned the fact that

18   while they would love to teach and they want to be in the

19   classrooms and they do and they join the union because that is

20   the mechanism that's in place, desertification is not really

21   that much of an option, as has been stated, in the sense that

22   it does not happen that often.

23              So, I guess my issue is the fact that you're saying

24   the majority of those that are doing the profession at this

25   point chose to be in the union, and I don't think they did. I

1    think the teachers of the '70s chose for teachers to be in the

2    union.       And I think that that's -- that disparity needs to

3    be the fact that those that are actually performing the duties

4    have that voice, and so that's why I just wanted to clarify

5    that.    Thank you.

6                 CHAIRMAN MILLER:   I apologize, gentlemen. I told you

7    that was the last. There are two more. We have been joined by

8    Representative Murphy. Representative Murphy.

9                 I just remind all of the members that we have

10   several more panel, so try to keep it succinct. Thank you.

11                REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   Thank you very much,

12   Mr. Chairman. And excuse me for being late. I was attending a

13   policy hearing in Scranton at Scranton High School on the most

14   recent budget, the budget cuts as they pertain to education and

15   the cuts as they pertain to human services. So, once again,

16   excuse me for being late. And I'll be brief.

17                If you can, gentlemen, I'd appreciate your

18   testimony -- there are many of us that believe in collective

19   bargaining who are supporters of collective bargaining, and

20   many of us believe that as a result of collective bargaining,

21   not only members of collective bargaining units, but all of

22   Pennsylvania workers benefit from the fact that Pennsylvania is

23   a collective bargaining state. Could you explain on that for me

24   and possibly explain that contention that everyone's boat is

25   lifted as a result of collective bargaining?

1                MR. BLOOMINGDALE:   Well, it goes back quite a bit

2    of ways, and unfortunately, wages have been declining as unions

3    have lost membership, not because people have decertified but

4    because factories have moved overseas to chase really low

5    wages. They haven't even moved south; they have just packed up

6    and gone overseas. Historically what happened, you had --

7    again, workers organized in order to get a share of the

8    profits. I think everyone on this panel today has made a -- at

9    some point in their life, has said, "We need to create

10   family-sustaining jobs." But, you know, most jobs are not

11   really family sustaining unless they're union jobs.

12               Steelworkers were not well paid as steelworkers

13   until they became union steelworkers. That's just the history

14   of the industry. You look at people being killed all the time,

15   so we got some steelworkers here.   When they organized, those

16   became good jobs. Deaths on the job went down. Pay went up. As

17   a result, they became middle-class jobs. They didn't start out

18   that way.

19               Wal-Mart could be good family-sustaining jobs if

20   they were union jobs. You look at grocery stores that are

21   unions.   They do better than grocery stores that are not union,

22   and those marketplaces where a person wants to hire a good

23   worker, then he will compete on wages. I mean, employers want

24   the best employees, right? That's one of the reasons that

25   people locate to Pennsylvania because of our education system,

1    which took a hit this year and hopefully will get back on its

2    feet. Our education system, our rivers and waters, and our

3    infrastructure are keys to why businesses locate in

4    Pennsylvania, because they need to get their goods to market

5    and they need to have a well-trained workforce. So, employers

6    will compete for workers.

7               Now, if a person is in a union shop and he's making

8    a decent wage, like I said, Reeses workers get the same pay as

9    Hershey workers and they're non-union. The union has lifted

10   those Reeses workers up. There's not a Reeses worker who would

11   tell you, "I'll give up everything to go back to what I had

12   before Hershey was union." So, that's one concrete example of

13   how a union has lifted wages for non-union workers.

14              And of course, we obviously always lobby for minimum

15   wage increases, and that lifts wages as well.   And, you know,

16   so, there's a lot of things, public policy, that we do that --

17   better working conditions, fight for OSHA, those kind of

18   things, you know, to make the workplace safe.

19              And again, the same groups that are promoting this

20   opposed OSHA in 1971. So, you know, this is about either making

21   people poor or joining the middle class and having the right to

22   collectively bargain.

23              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   And in addition -- just a

24   brief statement -- it also takes into consideration health care

25   provided by employers to employees, to also make that

1    competitive so they could have the best workers possible and

2    also that that employee could then have a family-sustaining job

3    and health care benefits for them and their families.

4                  Thank you.

5                  MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Absolutely.

6                  REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:    Thank you very much for your

7    testimony, and thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for your

8    indulgence.

9                  CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Thank you. I promise you,

10   especially to the next panel and those that have been patient,

11   the last question comes from Representative Gergely.

12                 REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

13   for your patience. Mr. Chairman, last year we did this a lot,

14   and we had a lot of long meetings, so this is par for the

15   course for the labor committee, especially the members that

16   were on it last year.

17                 Mr. Bloomingdale, just because I heard the word

18   "entrepreneur" as if it related to unions and entrepreneurs are

19   unionized. What's the average size of the union?      Who do you

20   mostly negotiate with?     Private sector businesses?   Are they

21   big businesses, corporations, or are they small, family-owned

22   businesses?    Give us just -- just kind of give us a gist of who

23   it really is that you work with.

24                 MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    They're mostly corporations. You

25   know, some entrepreneurs see the benefit of union membership

1    and will start early having a trained, productive workforce.

2    But generally, you know, small businesses are not organized.

3    They're family-owned, so a lot of the family works in them. And

4    that's certainly -- they do well that way.   And primarily,

5    we're in larger industries:    Steel, you know, auto, garment --

6    whatever is left of garment. There is some in Pennsylvania, by

7    the way. Garment -- union-made dress shirts for all of you

8    representatives, made in Pennsylvania, made in America. So,

9    yeah, mostly bigger industries.

10              REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   Thank you,

11   Mr. Bloomingdale.   Just for recollection of our members, the

12   state that has the same exact unemployment rate as us and

13   almost the same exact wage base just went through a collective

14   bargaining recall election, and I think the voters spoke very

15   well and very clearly that many of them were very unhappy with

16   the results of that election, and two seats changed in that

17   state because of this. And I think this isn't the road we want

18   to go to in Pennsylvania. Thank you.

19              CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Thank you.

20              And thank you very much, gentlemen.

21              MR. BLOOMINGDALE:    Thanks, Chairman Keller and

22   Representative, for that lively debate.

23              CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Our next panel is comprised of

24   Lori Joint, Director of Government Affairs, Manufacturer and

25   Business Association; and Kevin Shivers, Executive Director of

1    NFIB. Have we chosen who is going to go first?

2               MS. JOINT:   Thanks. Good afternoon. My name is Lori

3    Joint, and I am the director of government affairs at

4    Manufacturer and Business Association, which is a regional

5    employers' association and we represent over 4,500 member

6    companies throughout 27 counties of Pennsylvania.

7               We have offices in Erie, Williamsport and

8    Harrisburg. I'd like to thank Chairman Keller and Miller, as

9    well as the members of the House Labor and Industry Committee,

10   for providing this opportunity to discuss the Open Workforce

11   Initiative, of course, House Bill 50 which, if enacted, would

12   make Pennsylvania a Right to Work state.

13              Enactment of Right to Work legislation is one of the

14   Manufacturer and Business Association's top state legislative

15   priorities, and it has been for many years. The Commonwealth's

16   labor laws bring an environment that restricts employees and

17   empowers unions. As a result, Pennsylvania's economy has failed

18   to maintain adequate job growth and now ranks in among the

19   least friendly business states in the nation.

20              I'm going to try to keep to this, although we were

21   told five minutes, but it seems like a lot of people went well

22   over, but I did condense my comments. But I do want to add, as

23   I have heard some of the other comments going on, it seems like

24   there's an assumption, first of all, that all businesses are

25   horrible and that they, without a union in place, will treat

1    their employees absolutely horribly and they would never pay a

2    fair wage or do anything on a fair basis without having a

3    union.

4                  And I work with thousands of businesses and

5    employees every day, day in and day out.     I have been with the

6    association for almost 20 years now.     And I can tell you

7    emphatically that that is not true. There are many employers --

8    many companies out there that without a union still have

9    Saturdays off and they still pay a very decent wage, and they

10   have great benefits.    But that's an aside and I will continue.

11                 You will hear a lot of different facts and

12   statistics today, many of which are included in my testimony. I

13   want to focus my time on what our members and your constituents

14   think. They are the true job creators. When I knew I was going

15   to be coming down here, I sent out an email last Friday just

16   asking if anybody had various opinions or something they would

17   like for me to include in my testimony today. The response that

18   I received was overwhelming, and again, I can tell you that our

19   membership emphatically supports Right to Work initiatives.

20                 Responses came from all types of companies, small

21   and large, service, non-profit, and manufacturing type

22   businesses.    And these views are represented across our

23   membership areas, including companies from Erie, Williamsport,

24   Meadville, Clarion, Bradford, Ford City, St. Marys, New

25   Bethlehem, Knox, Titusville, New Castle, Shippensville,

1    Adamsville, Mars and so on. I'd like to share just a few

2    comments with you.

3               Mike Weber from Smith Provision Company in Erie,

4    Pennsylvania.   Smith Provision Company is a fourth-generation

5    family-run business that manufacturers premium hot dogs,

6    sausage, deli meats, bacon and hams. And he says, "Although we

7    have been organized since the late 1950s and there have been

8    many good things that proceeded from that arrangement, I

9    strongly believe it should be the right of the individual

10   employee to decide whether or not to have union representation,

11   not to be forced on them as a condition of employment. My

12   experience has been that lack of Right to Work legislation

13   punishes the top-tier employee and protects the low performer.

14   This is not behavior we can afford to encourage."

15              From Andree Phillips, president of Radiant Steel

16   Products company in Williamsport, PA, "Radiant Steel Products

17   Company is a custom precision fabricating and finishing plant

18   founded in 1927 and was union-free until the late 1960s.

19   Although our relationship with the United Steelworkers is good,

20   I still favor the ability of employees to work without being

21   members of a union. Naturally, our contract states that every

22   hire must join the union or they can't work at our company.

23   Many applicants want a job with us and don't want to be a

24   member of the union. However, they have to accept the job with

25   the union because they have no choice. States with Right to

1    Work legislation have shown to grow jobs at a greater rate than

2    those who don't and should be evidence that this is the way to

3    go for the economic future of PA."

4               From Bruce Kern, C.A. Curtze Company in Erie, "C.A.

5    Curtze Company is a food distributor that has been in business

6    in -- for 133 years with distribution centers in Erie,

7    Cleveland, Ohio, and Rochester, New York. We believe in Right

8    to Work legislation and feel that employees should be able to

9    choose whether or not to join a union and pay dues.   Not being

10   a Right to Work state hurts our competitiveness with other

11   states that are more business-friendly. Our Erie and Cleveland

12   distribution centers are unionized; the Rochester location is

13   not. There is a difference in the feel and environment between

14   the union and non-union locations. We are not against the right

15   to collective bargaining but against compulsory unionism. With

16   binding arbitration, the deck is usually stacked against the

17   employer. This contributes to lower morale and loss of

18   productivity in the union locations. The non-union facility has

19   more of an all-for-one, get the job done for the customer

20   mentality. Making Pennsylvania a Right to Work state would be

21   good for the economy, provide growth opportunities, and be

22   better for our employees."

23              From Mark Hanaway, Tech Tool and Molded Plastics in

24   Meadville, Tech Tool is a injection-molded plastics company

25   founded in 1973. Mark says, "We believe in a truly Democratic

1    process of choice. The Right to Work structure allows

2    individuals to choose if and how their earned income is

3    garnished by non-government organizations."

4               From Gary Papay, C.K. Business Consultants in

5    Hughesville, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1984, C.K. Business

6    Consultants works with mergers and acquisitions of middle

7    market, petroleum and propane companies. "It's hard to imagine

8    that an employee is forced to join and finance a union as a

9    condition of employment anywhere in the U.S.A. It's time to

10   correct this unfair situation in Pennsylvania and allow our

11   businesses to compete on a level playing field and create more

12   jobs for Pennsylvania."

13              And from Scott Lee, Thomas Lee Printing and Mailing

14   in Erie. Founded in 1967, Thomas Lee Printing and Mailing is a

15   full-range printing and communications service. "I believe the

16   primary reason that Pennsylvania is experiencing brain drain in

17   manufacturing jobs is because we do not have Right to Work

18   legislation in place. We need to incentivize businesses to

19   relocate to Pennsylvania, and that can only start with Right to

20   Work and a lower business tax structure. Short of this, we are

21   doomed to continue down the road to default and bankruptcy."

22              From a business development standpoint, it is

23   difficult to get companies to look at this state when

24   considering expansion or relocation. Our association alone gets

25   calls very, very, very frequently from businesses that are

1    contemplating a move and looking at Pennsylvania. And the first

2    thing they ask us every single time:   Is Pennsylvania a Right

3    to Work state?   Business owners have long expressed their

4    desire for employment laws that let the company decide what

5    benefits and terms will attract and keep the quality of

6    employees that they need.

7               A lot of times, people are making the assumption

8    that the unions go away in a Right to Work state. That's not

9    the case. Unions exist. Unions are part -- and not all unions

10   are bad, and somebody mentioned earlier, if it's good, people

11   will want to join it; people will want to be a part of it. But

12   people should have the choice, and that's what we're hearing

13   from all across the state of Pennsylvania. I find it

14   interesting, too, if you take it back to your districts and

15   back to your constituents, what do they say? Do we have a good

16   feel for everybody in Pennsylvania as a whole what they really

17   feel on this topic?

18              I believe there was a point in time when unions were

19   necessary. I think anybody would agree with that. However,

20   times have changed and times are very different. Americans

21   generally prefer freedom to coercion, high incomes to low ones,

22   and individual decision-making to collective resolution of

23   issues. Right to Work provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act of

24   1947 have created sort of a natural experiment, providing an

25   opportunity to observe behavior in two types of environments,

1    one where workers are not compelled to join labor unions and a

2    second where they can be compelled to join as a condition of

3    employment.

4                  The evidence is absolutely clear:   Americans prefer

5    the Right to Work environment to the alternative. The

6    proportion of Americans living in Right to Work states has

7    risen noticeably over the years. The greater flexibility for

8    workers and employers offered where Right to Work exists has

9    contributed to higher rates of economic growth, and that's from

10   Richard Vedder, published in the Cato Journal.

11                 Again, I have worked for the Manufacturer and

12   Business Association for almost 20 years and have worked with

13   many hard-working and generous business owners from all

14   business sectors. Without hesitation, I can tell you that they

15   and their employees would welcome the opportunity for choice,

16   where every individual would have the right but not be

17   compelled to join a labor union.

18                 With this mind, the Manufacturer and Business

19   Association strongly supports H.B. 50 and the Open Workforce

20   Initiative package of bills. Now, more than ever, it's time to

21   allow the hard-working taxpayers in Pennsylvania the freedom of

22   choice.

23                 MR. SHIVERS:   Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. My name

24   is Kevin Shivers, and I'm the state director of the National

25   Federation of Independent Business. Our organization represents

1    small and independent businesses in Pennsylvania, about 14,000.

2    The common denominator for our members is they're not publicly

3    traded companies. These are family-owned business, closely held

4    businesses, you know, the companies that you see all across

5    main street in every community throughout Pennsylvania. And if

6    you would permit me, sir, I'd like to, in the interest of time,

7    just submit for the record my statement and just make a few

8    comments, if you will.

9                On the other side of the building, the

10   reapportionment commission is meeting to discuss the new

11   district lines for our congressional seats and our legislative

12   seats.   Just like we have had for, you know, every decade for

13   as long as I have been alive, Pennsylvania is losing another

14   seat, and it's something that has been going on for decades in

15   Pennsylvania. You know, it's not that the redistricting

16   commission just wants to eliminate seats and make Pennsylvania

17   government smaller; it's -- you know, those seats are based on

18   annual census reports.

19               Well, where are those people going? Those people are

20   going where the jobs are. As Pennsylvania is getting older and

21   older, younger -- our young men and women are going to states

22   where they can get better jobs in manufacturing sectors, in

23   service sectors, and other places where their wages are higher,

24   they have higher real income, and they have greater freedom in

25   their own workplace.

1               The data shows -- when you are looking at economic

2    performance, the top ten highest-performing states in the

3    nation are those with a low tax burden, with a low debt burden,

4    and with greater freedom for their workers and their

5    workplaces. The states -- the top -- the ten worst states in

6    terms of economic performance -- and Pennsylvania is one of

7    them -- all have in common a high tax burden, a high debt

8    burden and restrictive rules that weaken individual freedom in

9    the workplace.

10              We hear from those that oppose Right to Work

11   legislation that favor forced unionism. All of their arguments

12   are based on the "what was." I mean, I couldn't believe it when

13   I heard a minute ago that, you know, we're -- all of a sudden

14   we're cheering the weekend. You know, we have a real problem in

15   this nation. We have a real problem in Pennsylvania. We're

16   losing jobs. And, you know, it's your job, your responsibility

17   as lawmakers, to create an environment here in Pennsylvania

18   where entrepreneurs, small businesses and other businesses want

19   to be able to take their hard-earned dollars and invest it in a

20   free enterprise and to be able to grow and create those jobs.

21              Another problem that we have is when we look at

22   burgeoning school budgets, burgeoning state pension system,

23   there are real problems facing taxpayers.   And what I find

24   truly extraordinary about this system that we have in place

25   today is that the collective bargaining arrangements that exist

1    for public sector unions effectively give those bargaining

2    units -- the leaders of those bargaining units the same power

3    to raise taxes that all of you as elected officials -- by their

4    virtue of leading those negotiations, they have the same kind

5    of power that any elected official who has been charged with

6    tax and budget-making responsibilities in this Commonwealth.

7    That's a real concern.

8               Our members support the Open Workforce legislation.

9    I think if NFIB had introduced legislation that would require

10   every business in Pennsylvania to join NFIB, and I'm sure

11   Chairman Keller and other members of this Committee rightly

12   would oppose the legislation vociferously, and I certainly

13   would as well.

14              Our organization is based on the principles of

15   promoting and protecting our members' abilities to run and grow

16   their business. And every year, our members -- we have to show

17   them the value in being a part of our organization, and they

18   make that decision with their -- whether they decide to write a

19   check and renew their dues or get involved in the activities

20   and the issues that we are involved with. But every year they

21   make that decision on their own. So, for us, it just flies in

22   the face of common sense that you would require anybody to be a

23   member of your organization and force them, against their will,

24   to not only pay you with their hard-earned money, but then make

25   decisions about how to spend that money.

1                So, with that, I'd like to thank you for the

2    opportunity to participate, and I will answer any questions you

3    may have.

4                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you both for your testimony.

5    I would open the questions with Representative Bill Keller.

6                CHAIRMAN KELLER:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

7                Thank you both for being here. We're here today

8    as -- this is informational. We're supposed to gather

9    information.   And you said that the first question businesses

10   ask your association when they come in here is whether or not

11   Pennsylvania is a Right to Work state. I'm very interested --

12   if could you provide for the chairman -- because the chairman

13   told me he believes that's absolutely correct also. I'd be very

14   surprised at that. I would think that the first thing they

15   would ask for is quality of workforce, infrastructure, tax --

16   how the taxes are structured, quality of life issues -- school,

17   good neighborhoods. If you could provide that to the chairman

18   so he could share it with us, because I'm very surprised that

19   that is the first question a business asks when he comes to

20   locate in Pennsylvania.

21               Second thing is manufacturing, I know a little bit

22   about.   A little bit of knowledge is dangerous. The little bit

23   of knowledge that I have about manufacturing is my association

24   with the Port of Philadelphia. We have watched all

25   manufacturing, and it's -- usually benefits the ports, because

1    manufacturing follows cheap labor. I believe there is an

2    opportunity for Pennsylvania to get manufacturing jobs, but

3    they're going to have to be the high quality, high-tech

4    manufacturing jobs. The jobs that we keep talking about that we

5    have been losing, they go to China because manufacturing

6    historically has always followed cheap labor.

7               And again, to the benefit of the port, manufacturing

8    is now moving out of China and going into India because India

9    provides cheaper labor, which is another opportunity for the

10   port because it's closer.   And we could come out through the

11   Suez Canal, and we could gain port business because

12   Philadelphia is located. Why are we keep talking about these

13   jobs that we will never, ever, ever regain?     Those lower-cost

14   manufacturing jobs always follow cheap labor. As I said,

15   they're coming out of China and moving into India.    And it's

16   always part of all of these hearings that we have.

17              Now, I'm for you. We want to get high-tech

18   manufacturing jobs.   I'm for it, but I don't know why we keep

19   talking about these jobs that we will never, ever, ever regain.

20              MR. SHIVERS:   Mr. Chairman, it surprises me, too,

21   your comments about how manufacturers follow cheap labor. Well,

22   you know, just north of us here in the Marcellus industry, I

23   know that they have jobs available for folks with a high school

24   diploma that are paying $75,000 a year.   And what is

25   fascinating to me is while at the same time we're talking about

1    how can we throw away millions of dollars to corporations to

2    get them to locate here, we take a look at a home-grown

3    industry like Marcellus and say, "How can we tax it to death?"

4    They can't go anywhere. We have -- you know what?    If those

5    manufacturing jobs have gone, then what are we doing to embrace

6    and support and encourage our Marcellus industry where we have

7    kids -- with high school diplomas making $75,000 a year? That's

8    great. I'm for that. Right?

9                 CHAIRMAN KELLER:   And I didn't mention one word

10   about taxes, Marcellus. I'm talking about constantly to

11   everyone that comes in here -- they talk about the --

12   especially the business -- talking about we're losing

13   manufacturing. We're losing manufacturing. We have lost

14   manufacturing. The United States has lost manufacturing. It's

15   always part of the -- of the pitch of what is wrong. We're

16   never going to get them back. You know it. And we're for

17   Marcellus.

18                I wish -- as the chairman, I wish we had natural gas

19   in Philadelphia, but there's just -- I mean, it's just -- I

20   think we talk about the things that don't matter. And you use

21   that as a standard; that, you know, somehow, the unions are

22   high wages, chase manufacturing out. They didn't. They followed

23   the cheap labor and they're going to be there. The chairman

24   can't call a hearing on Marcellus.

25                MS. JOINT:   Could I comment, please, to reply to

1    that?   In some situation, of course, for every statistic I

2    think that anybody has brought up here today, there are ones

3    for, ones against, but as an example, GE, which we have a very

4    large GE plant in Erie, Pennsylvania. They just recently built

5    a plant in Texas. Could that have been built here in

6    Pennsylvania? Do we not have the quality workers? Do we not

7    have what Texas has to offer? What did they have that we don't

8    have?

9               CHAIRMAN KELLER:     Don't tell me Right to Work. Don't

10   tell me Right to Work. Come on! That can't be the sole

11   determining factor of why people locate in different states.

12              MS. JOINT:      Maybe --

13               CHAIRMAN KELLER:    It may be a portion, but it is not

14   the sole determining factor.

15              MR. SHIVERS:    You're right, sir, because it's a low

16   tax rate. I don't think they have a business tax there. They

17   have legal reform and --

18              CHAIRMAN KELLER:    I don't know if you noticed; we

19   just had it, too.

20              MR. SHIVERS:    Well, we had one step, but at end of

21   the day, if you look at what Texas is doing -- I mean, some

22   lawmakers talk about wanting to be Mississippi; I'd rather us

23   look like Texas.

24              MS. JOINT:      Right.   We're making comparisons to --

25               CHAIRMAN KELLER:    I'm sure Governor Perry would

1    appreciate that, but you also have to realize that we keep

2    talking about the burden we have here with our deficit. We pale

3    in comparison to Texas. Everything is not as rosy as everybody

4    believes. We're here -- if you want to talk about getting new

5    manufacturing jobs here, I'm with you. Don't keep talking about

6    the -- the old manufacturing jobs that we're never going to

7    get.

8               Let's get back to redistricting. All right? There's

9    another statistic you can help me with. This is an

10   informational meeting. You keep saying we're losing population

11   in Pennsylvania, and we are. But the little bit -- again, a

12   little bit of knowledge, a little bit that I know, boy, there's

13   an awful lot of -- Pennsylvania is an older state. We are old.

14   There's a lot of people moving to Florida, moving to Arizona.

15   Except you, Scott. You're not. You're doing good. Dorian Gray.

16   We have -- I want to know if that's -- the statistic that you

17   quoted, I'm here to find out, is that our older population is

18   moving to the Sun Belt or is it, as you say, a drain of young

19   energetic workers who have to go otherwheres to look for a job?

20   If you can provide that to the chairman, I would like to know

21   that -- a real statistic on that, as compared to people

22   following the sun. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

23              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Before I go to another member, I

24   have to make a point of clarification. Chairman Keller pointed

25   out that -- I believe that one of the first questions asked

1    when a business calls Pennsylvania is whether Pennsylvania is a

2    Right to Work state or not. That's not my opinion. That was

3    stated two years ago by the president of the York County

4    Economic Development Corporation at a public forum, and when --

5    at the public forum, they were talking about creating jobs in

6    Pennsylvania. He said, "Pennsylvania has to become a Right to

7    Work state. When businesses call me, as President of the York

8    County Economic Development Corporation, the first question

9    they ask is, 'Are you a Right to Work state?'"    Now, that was

10   not -- that's not my opinion.    That was his statement at the

11   time. So -- and it was in a public forum, and just as a point

12   of clarification.

13              CHAIRMAN KELLER:     And just like Representative Boyd,

14   Mr. Chairman, I would like to have the facts. It's nice if

15   people say that. I would like it backed up with facts. If we're

16   here to find out the facts, then we have to have facts. We just

17   can't get up here and --

18              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     I agree. I agree. But I believe

19   that was a fact. It was his statement, his first call.

20              CHAIRMAN KELLER:     I have his statement.

21              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     He's the president of the York

22   County Development Corporation.

23              CHAIRMAN KELLER:     You think you can't just make

24   stuff up like I do?

25              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     With that, we will move to the

1    next question. Representative Scott Boyd.

2               REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:     Real briefly, Ms. Joint, you

3    skipped over it in your written testimony, but you have a

4    series of a half dozen or so, eight bullet points, what you

5    call facts and figures. Would you please document them, where

6    they're from.

7               MS. JOINT:    I can get that to you, yes. I have a

8    whole stack of stuff here.     But if it would be okay, I will

9    send those to you.

10              REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:     In the interest of showing the

11   chairman that I'm fair, I'd like to have the facts that you're

12   presenting are documented, as well as the other facts. It's

13   interesting how they sometimes seem to conflict almost

14   directly. I guess -- and just one other really brief

15   question/point is:   I really enjoyed the dialogue with Chairman

16   Keller because the whole discussion about, you know, what major

17   manufacturer has moved to Pennsylvania in the last 25 years,

18   and where else have other major manufacturers located?    I think

19   that Audi has a new plant -- or not Audi -- Volkswagen has a

20   new plant in Tennessee. There was an issue in the news recently

21   about Boeing and a plant that they were moving -- or building

22   someplace else. You guys brought up -- what did you bring up --

23              MS. JOINT:    GE.

24              REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:     -- GE. I guess my question is

25   kind of anecdotally, and I would ask the other members -- maybe

1    I should have asked it when you guys were up.   I apologize.

2    But if you could get us the information, because anecdotally,

3    it feels like nobody is coming here anymore. Nobody is -- the

4    last major manufacturer car company I remember here was

5    Volkswagen when they built a plant in Westmoreland. If we're

6    within, what, 60% of the U.S. population is within a couple of

7    hundred radius? We have the infrastructure. We've got this

8    great workforce. Why ain't they coming here, then? Because if

9    it's not Right to Work, let's agree on what it is and let's do

10   something. That's where I'm at. Let's lower taxes.    Let's do

11   something if it's not Right to Work, do something to get them

12   to come here.

13              MR. SHIVERS:   You know, Representative, I would love

14   if this general assembly, the administration would make it a

15   goal that we can attract companies to Pennsylvania without

16   bribing them with corporate welfare and lots and lots of grants

17   and cash. We can do that by, you know, again improving our work

18   rules, lowering our taxes, improving our civil justice climate.

19   There are a host of ways that we can certainly do that.

20              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative Perry.

21              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and

22   thank you both for your testimony.

23              I'm curious.   I just want to have a little bit of

24   discussion with you, and acknowledging as well that I believe

25   that the unions have a great part in making this country what

1    it is.   And fighting for workers' rights and, you know,

2    capitalism comes with a lot of responsibility.   And it

3    certainly in the past that responsibility, we saw that -- I

4    didn't personally see it, but we know the stories.   And right

5    here in Pennsylvania, the Eckleys miners, there's a lot -- the

6    steel industry, there's a lot of great things that organized

7    labor has done. The 21st century, I'm not driving a Model T and

8                I'm thinking maybe it's time to at least address or

9    at least discuss some of the issues that we think might be

10   hindering us. With that view -- the global economy, we compete

11   against states. We compete against nations. Is there anything

12   that you can attribute to Right to Work or lack of Right to

13   Work in Pennsylvania that hinders us -- can you provide any

14   statistics globally that says that our union affiliation and

15   our lack of Right to Work is actually hobbling us on either an

16   individual manufacturing level, on a state level, competing

17   with other state, et cetera?

18               MR. SHIVERS:   You know, Representative, what I can

19   point to, I was checking the Bureau of Labor Statistics site

20   before I appeared on your panel here, and, you know, one of the

21   things that I saw in June, I guess, Houston created like 50,000

22   new jobs annually, and they were third in those large

23   metropolitan areas, I think, behind Dallas. So, you know, there

24   are places in this nation that are actually creating jobs.

25               Now, interestingly, it's those areas that have

1    greater worker freedoms. That's those areas that have lower

2    taxes on their businesses and individuals, and it's those

3    states that have lower debt. And, you know, I think that there

4    is evidence out there. You know, if you take a look at census

5    data, if you take a look the at Bureau of Labor Statistics

6    site, we're losing that competition not only for good

7    manufacturing jobs, which we need to, you know, generate all of

8    those other jobs that support manufacturing, but we're losing

9    them to those states that are making it easier for businesses

10   to do business.    But they're also giving individuals freedom,

11   and that's resulting in, you know, higher real incomes.

12                 You know, there were comments made earlier that, you

13   know, wages may be lower in other Right to Work states compared

14   to Pennsylvania, but the cost of living in those states is

15   substantially lower than it is in Pennsylvania. So, when you

16   take those figures combined, there actually is an increase in

17   real income and real earnings for those workers in Right to

18   Work states than there are in states like Pennsylvania and

19   others in the new Rust Belt.     And the new Rust Belt is

20   effectively Maine to Michigan and everything above the Mason

21   Dixon Line.

22                 The interesting point is I agree with you. The

23   unions play an important role in our society. And it's

24   interesting because not only -- you hear a lot about states

25   like Wisconsin, who have been addressing issues with collective

1    bargaining, but those kinds of reforms are also happening in

2    Massachusetts. Nobody complained when they made those similar

3    changes there. New Hampshire.    There are a host of other

4    states.

5               And what's important about Wisconsin to learn is

6    that they didn't decertify a union in Wisconsin; what they did

7    is they said that unions have the ability to collective bargain

8    on their wages. What they did take away was the ability for

9    collective bargaining on their benefits. And the last report

10   that I saw is that those Local governments, the schools that

11   were struggling are actually doing better now because they are

12   out from under that tremendous burden.

13              So, yes, unions have an important role, and the

14   point of this conversation today is not whether or not unions

15   have value. They have incredible value. What the point -- what

16   we're talking about today is legislation that says whether or

17   not I, as an individual, can make a decision on my own whether

18   I join that union and make a decision on my own whether I want

19   to support the programs that the unions are advocating.

20              That's a far different issue. We're not talking

21   about eliminating unionism. All we're saying is give workers

22   their freedom.

23              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     Representative Boyle.

24              REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:     Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and

25   I want to thank both witnesses for their testimony. I just want

1    to clear up a number of these economic statistics that were

2    alluded to during both of your testimony, because both of you

3    in different ways talked about Pennsylvania's employment growth

4    or lack thereof and then draw a direct linkage to the fact that

5    we're not a Right to Work state.

6               Here, actually, are the facts:   The unemployment --

7    the national unemployment rate right now is 9.1%. Pennsylvania

8    right now is 7.6. We have a dramatically better unemployment

9    rate in Pennsylvania than we do have nationwide. Mr. Shivers,

10   you had mentioned how reapportionment is going on and talked

11   about how Pennsylvania -- actually, we haven't had population

12   loss, but our population growth has not been as great as those

13   Sun Belt states, such as Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Nevada.

14   Actually, all four of those states have worse unemployment

15   rates today than we have in Pennsylvania. Florida has the

16   fourth worst unemployment rate in the nation, and Nevada has

17   the worst unemployment rate in the nation. So, I just want to

18   address that.

19              The perception, of course, though, is that somehow

20   there are all of those people who are picking up and moving

21   from Pennsylvania and moving to Florida and moving to Nevada,

22   and that's why they have such great population growth. In fact,

23   most of their population growth -- and just go on to the census

24   bureau's website and they will show that most of their

25   population growth is not due to Northerners moving down there;

1    it's actually due to immigration.

2               Somehow I suspect the prime sponsor of this bill

3    probably wouldn't support doing more to increase immigration in

4    the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But I do want to point out

5    one fact, though, that is true:     Texas does lead the nation in

6    job creation in the public sector. They have created more

7    government jobs over the last six years than any other state in

8    the country. And that's Texas.

9               Let me just make one final point because I

10   appreciated what Representative Boyd said, in terms of trying

11   to figure out ways -- because the fact -- ways that we can

12   increase job growth and help the business climate here in our

13   state, because I think one of the really disappointing things

14   about legislation such as this is it creates a false dichotomy

15   where if you're pro-worker, you're somehow anti-business, or if

16   you're pro-business, you're somehow anti-worker.

17              The fact is legislation like this won't do anything

18   to increase job growth or anything to increase job creation in

19   our Commonwealth. I think there are smart strategies that

20   states such as Virginia and Colorado are doing in terms of

21   creating jobs and helping improve the business climate. I think

22   that we can do that, and we can do that in ways that are both

23   pro-private sector, and pro-unions, and pro-workers.     But

24   frankly, legislation like this that just beats up on unions and

25   somehow blames the fact that we're a unionized state for an

1    unemployment rate really won't achieve anything. Thank you.

2                 MS. JOINT:    If I could just -- how does it beat up

3    on unions?

4                 REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Well, I think that a

5    number -- I haven't said that you personally were beating up on

6    unions, just in general.

7                 REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Let me just -- generally

8    speaking, the illusion -- not just the illusion, I think you

9    both have drawn a cause-and-effect relationship between our

10   state's unemployment rate and the fact that we're unionized or

11   when you talked about the GE plant that moved from Erie to

12   Texas. Correct? You had --

13                MS. JOINT:    They built a new one. They just built a

14   new one.

15                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   In Texas which actually has a

16   worse unemployment rate than Pennsylvania.    But nonetheless,

17   the fact that they chose to build in Texas as opposed to

18   Pennsylvania was somehow because we're such an onerous state

19   with the fact that we happen to be very supportive of labor

20   unions as opposed to those primarily southern states that have

21   no history of being supportive of organized labor. I -- these

22   are fighting the battles of the 1920s and the 1930s. And when

23   we brought up things like the weekend or child labor law, it's

24   because things like Right to Work should be about as old a

25   debate as they are.

1               I think we should move on to the debates of the 21st

2    century and ways, whether it's through tax credits or smart

3    investments, that we can actually start organic companies here

4    in Pennsylvania, because actually, that's where most of the job

5    growth tends to be. It's not from one company moving from one

6    locality to another; it's actually new businesses that start up

7    which originate in one locality and stay there.

8               MR. SHIVERS:   You know, the statistics show us that

9    when it comes to entrepreneurial activity, Pennsylvania has

10   among the lowest level of entrepreneurial activity in the

11   nation. Also, to a point --

12              REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Then why do we have such a

13   better unemployment rate than --

14              MR. SHIVERS:   You know, that's an interesting thing

15   because unemployment -- if you are basing economic policy on an

16   unemployment rate, it's like driving a car and steering it by

17   looking at the rearview mirror, because you're only looking at

18   the data what was and what the employers --

19              REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   The reason why I grabbed

20   this -- I'm sorry for interrupting --

21              MR. SHIVERS:   Yeah.

22              REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   -- but just to be clear, the

23   reason why I'm talking about the unemployment rate is that both

24   of you in speaking drew that linkage between jobs and whether

25   or not we are a unionized state.

1                MR. SHIVERS:   I talked about growing jobs.

2                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   This is present data, not

3    past.

4                MR. SHIVERS:   I talked about growing jobs, but I

5    never referenced the unemployment rate. It's important to know

6    that the unemployment statistics that you have are from the

7    prior month or prior couple of months. What's important to look

8    at, what are businesses planning to do in investing going

9    forward?   So, for example, NFIB has an optimism index, and what

10   we do is we ask employers, "What are your plans going forward

11   to invest in your company?   What are your plans in the next

12   three months or the next quarter to hire new workers?     What

13   were your plans in the next couple of months to, you know,

14   increase capital or, you know, increase inventory?"

15               You know, the unemployment rate is -- as an economic

16   indicator, a very poor one. It's ones politicians use, but it

17   doesn't really give you any real concrete information about how

18   we are doing and in terms of our economic policy. But remember

19   what this legislation is about.     It's not beating up unions;

20   it's just saying, Why don't we give workers their freedoms?       I

21   mean, you know, it's why can't an individual worker decide for

22   themselves whether or not they need to be in a union, and why

23   can't that worker be empowered to say, "I don't want to be in

24   that union and I don't want to pay those dues"?

25               And our organization -- you know, we have 14,000

1    small business members at NFIB. There are 190,000 businesses in

2    the Commonwealth. We have -- over the last three years have

3    actually grown our membership. Do we have a lot more work to

4    do? Absolutely. Could you say that there are small business

5    owners that are out there benefitting from the hard work that

6    we put in? Okay. Sure. But that doesn't mean that there should

7    be a mandate that every small business in Pennsylvania be a

8    member of the NFIB because they're inuring that benefit. You

9    know what?   We'll go do that by making the case by going door

10   to door, meeting with those businesses on Main Street and

11   showing them our value. If they choose to be a part of it, they

12   choose to be a part of it. If they choose not to, they choose

13   not to. Why can't we let Pennsylvania workers make that same

14   choice?

15                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:    And I would.

16                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative, let's not make

17   this a debate, so if you have a final point or two, please.

18                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:    I had a couple of other

19   questions, but you are again so persuasive, Chairman Miller,      I

20   will yield to my other colleagues and enjoy the back-and-forth.

21   Thank you.

22                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Understood.

23                Representative Murphy?

24                REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

25   Thank you for your testimony. I just wanted to follow up on

1    what Chairman Keller started asking about with reference to

2    manufacturing companies that decided not to bring their

3    manufacturing jobs to Pennsylvania as a result of collective

4    bargaining being in play here in Pennsylvania.

5                As part of our quest for information here, would you

6    be able to provide a Committee with a list of those

7    manufacturing corporation, businesses, that have decided not to

8    come to Pennsylvania as a result of collective bargaining?

9    That's just a request for the Committee. I'd appreciate your

10   providing that to us. Is that information available?

11               MS. JOINT:   With what I -- my comment, I can

12   definitely provide you -- from our association standpoint, when

13   companies call, as they would an association of our size, if

14   they're considering relocating and that is the first question

15   they ask. How well that is documented -- we're not an economic

16   development corporation, so it's not our job, per se, to go out

17   and attract those. But what I can tell you -- Kevin had

18   mentioned or somebody mentioned being at a public presentation,

19   and same thing with the Erie -- part of the Erie Economic

20   Development Corporation, which is headed up out of the chamber

21   in Erie.   I have attended presentations there.   And I would

22   have to think they would have that documented because his

23   comment in a public presentation was the same thing:   This is

24   the question we always get. We can't compete with that. We have

25   lost business. And I would like to think that he would have to

1    have that information documented because that's their job.      I

2    will get that for you.

3               REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:    Thank you very much. I'd

4    appreciate that, because as this conversation moves forward and

5    the debate moves forward with this regard to this proposed

6    legislation, those facts would be very important to bear out in

7    a public hearing.

8               Also, this is for either one of you. And maybe you

9    can each give me your opinion on this. If this legislation were

10   enacted, would employers be required to apply the same wages,

11   benefits and health insurance packages to those that are

12   members of unions and those that are -- choose not to be

13   members of unions?

14              MR. SHIVERS:   Could you repeat that again.   I'm

15   sorry, I missed part of it.

16              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:    Would the employers that you

17   represent, would they provide the same wage, benefits, and

18   health care packages to members of unions, and those who choose

19   not to be members of unions?

20              MR. SHIVERS:   Our members -- and again, I represent

21   small and independent businesses in Pennsylvania -- you know,

22   they talk about a competition, and it's not a competition about

23   selling goods or services.    The competition that they speak of

24   is that competition for good quality workers. And small

25   employers, the people that I represent, are going to do their

1    level best to offer the best compensation package, the best

2    wages that they are able to offer, to attract the best workers

3    to their workforce.

4               One of the struggles that they have is that they

5    can't compete with the largest corporations in Pennsylvania who

6    have the size and wherewithal to be able to offer better

7    benefits, and better being a packages to workers. So, one of

8    the competitions that small business owners tell me they're

9    losing is the competition for good quality workers, and it's a

10   real -- it's a real problem.

11              It's made worse by the -- you know, the PACA

12   legislation, otherwise known as ObamaCare, which really hasn't

13   helped the small business owners.   In fact, it has proliferated

14   the cost of health care and has forced many of them to change

15   their health plans, and they're worried about higher taxes

16   going forward.

17              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   So, would you agree that

18   maybe as a legislative body we should be looking at closing

19   some of the loopholes for the largest corporations here in

20   Pennsylvania and focusing some of those economic benefits on

21   smaller businesses to grow our economy?

22              MR. SHIVERS:   You know -- (Applause) -- I'll let

23   them applaud that. No, I -- I think our members would rather

24   see a level playing field across the board. You know what?

25   Let's eliminate all of the corporate welfare. We have spent

1    tens of millions, if not billions, of dollars over the last

2    decade trying to attract companies to Pennsylvania here or to

3    save companies with large -- you know, 100 employees or more.

4    Meanwhile, you know, I have members who have five employees and

5    a dry cleaner or that own a couple-employee landscaping

6    business and nobody bats an eye when they have to close because

7    of taxes and regulations.

8               Our philosophy is that if you could reduce the tax

9    and regulatory burden -- and by "regulatory burden," I'm

10   talking about these workforce issues -- if you can reduce those

11   burdens on employers, by all means, you know, we can get to a

12   situation where we don't need any handouts or any incentives to

13   attract companies here. They're going to come here because they

14   know it's a great place to do business and we have the best

15   workers in the world.

16              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   Just as an observation,

17   before my last question, I think the fact that those

18   corporations that are paying their fair share, had they been,

19   in fact, paying their fair share right along, we may not be in

20   this committee hearing today.

21              Lastly, do you think the Right to Work legislation

22   would drive down wages here in Pennsylvania or lift wages here

23   in Pennsylvania?   Because the people that I represent in

24   Lackawanna County -- and obviously, we have a struggling

25   economy right now.   Unemployment is high, and the wages that

1    they're currently receiving with the price of gas, and the

2    like, they're struggling right now under their current

3    compensation packages to make ends meet, pay their mortgage and

4    take care of their bills. Do you think this would drive wages

5    up or down in Pennsylvania?

6               MR. SHIVERS:   I think what it's going to do, if you

7    look at those states that have, you know, Right to Work laws

8    today, presently, I think that you're going to see an increase

9    in real income. Because again, the whole point of this

10   legislation is to help lower costs. If you look at those states

11   that are Right to Work states today, they have a lower cost of

12   living than forced-union states like Pennsylvania. So, while

13   wages might be lower in those states, their real income is

14   actually higher. It actually grew 28% as compared to only 15%

15   in forced-unionized states like Pennsylvania.

16              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

17              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you.

18              Final question. Representative Galloway.

19              REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

20   I'll be brief.

21              And thank you for being here today.   I wasn't going

22   to jump in on this discussion, but I heard the talk about

23   Texas, and I do want to talk just for a second about the

24   reasons why businesses locate in one state as opposed to the

25   other and the contention that Right to Work is a major factor.

1               There are other factors. For instance, Texas --

2    Texas has a very good business climate when it comes to tax,

3    for example, right?   Could you just speak to that briefly,

4    about other reasons why a business would locate in one state as

5    opposed to another? What my point here is that -- I do -- would

6    like to get on to a discussion about taxes, about the tax

7    climate in this state. Could you just speak briefly to that,

8    please?

9               MR. SHIVERS:   Sure. You know, I think Texas has --

10   when you look at not only its tax climate, but you look at the

11   significant reforms that they have made to their civil justice

12   system, reducing junk lawsuits, you know, I think probably the

13   only -- the only industry that's struggling in Texas are

14   probably the personal injury lawyers. But if you look at their

15   tax climate, if you look at their civil justice climate, if you

16   look at their regulatory climate, if you look at, again, you

17   know, labor issues, I mean when you take them all in total, you

18   know, they have a far greater climate in which entrepreneurs

19   and businesses want to grow.

20              REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:   Thank you. And I would

21   agree with you in that there are many incentives for a business

22   to move to Texas, when it comes to taxes. One of the reasons

23   stated by Governor Rick Perry was their ability to lower

24   business taxes came from one of the largest extraction taxes on

25   the oil and natural gas. They implemented one of the largest

1    natural gas extraction taxes in the entire nation, second only

2    to Alaska. That allowed them, along with doing things like

3    closing the -- what we call the Delaware loophole, allowed them

4    to reduce the tax burdens in other ways. I assume that you

5    oppose both of those measures in Pennsylvania.

6               MR. SHIVERS:     I don't think they have a business tax

7    in Texas, right? I mean, at least at that level, it's -- you

8    know, so that the extraction tax, I think, is the only tax that

9    they have on those industries, right? Other than --

10              REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:     It's one of the largest in

11   the entire country, and you oppose -- yet -- and the reason why

12   their other taxes are so low, because they have things like an

13   extraction tax, not just on natural gas, on all of their

14   natural resources. So, let me ask you a question. I mean, the

15   final question is:   Why is it, then, that you see the

16   similarities in Pennsylvania and Texas, yet the differences

17   could not be more stark?     Their contention is that they want

18   companies to pay for the extraction of gas. They want companies

19   to pay for the right to do business in their state. You oppose

20   that in Pennsylvania.     And as a way of reducing taxes, and

21   incentivizing businesses to come --

22              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     Gentlemen, it's an interesting

23   discussion, but it's not really Right to Work. So, if we could

24   move on, please.

25              REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:     Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

1    He did bring the subject up.

2                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   I understand.

3                REPRESENTATIVE GALLOWAY:    Thank you. Appreciate it.

4                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative Goodman. Final

5    question.

6                REPRESENTATIVE GOODMAN:    I am going to be very

7    quick. We have strayed off the topic. But my question was very

8    similar to that of Representative Galloway's and that is, NFIB

9    is the small -- it says right here on the letterhead, you're

10   the voice of small businesses. Pennsylvania has the dubious

11   distinction of having one of the largest corporate net income

12   taxes in the nation, and most small businesses, as you know,

13   pay the brunt of that.   They pay the 9.9, where most

14   corporations pay the lower income tax because they're able to

15   be under Subchapter S's or LLCs.

16               And I guess my question would be:    Since most

17   large -- 70% of the major corporations in this Commonwealth do

18   not pay the corporate income tax because they're able to take

19   advantage of the Delaware loophole, since your organization

20   represents small businesses and small businesses are the ones

21   paying the 9.9, why aren't you -- I would think that your

22   organization would be here today asking the general assembly to

23   look into something that would definitely benefit small,

24   businesses which are the economic engine that drives our

25   economy.

1           I just wonder if you could -- since it is far astray, and

2    I would ask if you could keep it short -- I would like to know

3    why.   You should be coming to us saying it's not only about

4    Right to Work, but it's the tax structure.     And small

5    businesses are paying the lion's share of 9.9%, largest

6    corporate income tax in the Commonwealth, because 70% of the

7    companies are able to get away with it by paying the Delaware

8    loophole. You should be coming to us saying it's going to take

9    a series of legislations, not just -- legislation like

10   Representative Galloway was pointing to with Texas being

11   successful because they were able to close loopholes very

12   similar to that.

13                MR. SHIVERS:   Yeah.   That was another truth that was

14   stretched by former Governor Ed Rendell.     When he referred to

15   the 70% of business that are not paying corporate taxes,

16   actually what he was referring to were small businesses,

17   because actually 70% of the businesses in Pennsylvania are not

18   corporations; they're partnerships or sole proprietors or

19   they're Subchapter S corporations or limited liability

20   companies.

21                So, really, there's only like 20%-plus companies in

22   Pennsylvania that are actually C-corps. So, most of our members

23   actually pay their businesses taxes on their personal tax

24   returns.

25                If you went to a couple of the mid-year budget

1    reviews by the Rendell budget secretary, she always had a slide

2    in there, and she talked about how those Subchapter S companies

3    were not paying their fair share.      And she kind of lumped them

4    into all of these corporate people who weren't paying their

5    fair share of taxes when, in fact, these were small companies

6    that were. And they always kind of -- they flip-flopped those

7    statistics and made it sound like 70% of the companies weren't

8    paying their fair share in taxes, when, in fact, those

9    companies were small and they were paying their business taxes

10   on their personal tax rate.

11               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Okay. I appreciate the exchange.

12   Thank you for your testimony.

13               Our next panel is the PA State Education

14   Association, Mike Crossey, President-Elect, and the PA State

15   Troopers Association, PA State Corrections Officers

16   Association, represented by Gary Lightman, their solicitor.

17               Gentlemen, who -- just please proceed in order, and

18   identify yourself and proceed.    And thank you. Appreciate your

19   patience.

20               MR. CROSSEY:   Absolutely. I am Mike Crossey,

21   president-elect of the Pennsylvania State Education

22   Association, and with me today is Rick Burridge, who is our

23   legal field manager, in case there are any questions related to

24   the calculation of fair share fees. May I start?

25               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Yes.

1               MR. CROSSEY:   First of all. Good afternoon, Chairman

2    Miller, Chairman Keller and members of the Committee on Labor

3    and Industry. As I just said, I'm Mike Crossey. I'm a teacher

4    with 30 or more years' experience in the Keystone Oaks School

5    District in Allegheny county, and as I mentioned, I'm

6    president-elect of the Pennsylvania State Education

7    Association.

8               I'm here today to speak on behalf of our 193,000

9    members of the PSEA and to voice our concerns over legislation

10   that could limit the fair collection of fees that are used to

11   protect the rights of all employees. Most of the individuals

12   agree that it's only fair to pay for something that you

13   receive.

14              Established in 1989, Pennsylvania's Fair Share Law

15   encompasses that notion. Unions, by law, are required to

16   represent everyone covered by a collective bargaining

17   agreement. This representation requirement extends to the

18   individual who determines that they do not wish to join the

19   union.

20              Fair share is not, as I have heard suggested here

21   today, forced unionism. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It

22   provides a formal structure that enables non-members to enjoy

23   many of the same rights as their bargaining union peers while

24   insuring fairness for all employees, and while an individual's

25   right to associate is maintained, the purpose of assessing fair

1    share fees for non-members is to cover the appropriate costs

2    and to prevent individuals from becoming free-riders, who take

3    the same benefits and services without payment.

4               The services provided for non-members are not

5    insignificant, and fair share provides for individuals to share

6    in the costs of these benefits and services they receive by

7    paying a defined portion of those benefits and services. The

8    responsibilities of unions as exclusive bargaining

9    representatives for employees are brought in scope.

10              By law, the union must represent the interests of

11   all employees in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement,

12   as well as enforcing their collective bargaining agreements

13   through the processing of grievances. Such tasks are continuous

14   and difficult ones, which often require an expenditure of

15   significant time and money that require expert negotiators.

16   Researchers, lawyers, and other administrative staff are

17   necessary as well. It is these costs that are covered by the

18   fair share fees.

19              It is not rare for non-union members to seek out the

20   counsel of the union. For instance, if a non-member employee is

21   unfairly discharged, PSEA will provide them legal

22   representation in grievance hearings and arbitration hearings.

23   The costs can regularly run into thousands of dollars. In fact,

24   this happens more often than you would think. I could spend the

25   majority of my time informing you of instances like in

1    Charleroi School District where PSEA saved the job of a fee

2    payor who was unfairly dismissed from a part-time custodial

3    job.

4               Notwithstanding the protections that fee payors are

5    afforded, they are not asked to support all of the union

6    activities that benefit them. For example, all legislative,

7    political and charitable activities of the union are

8    specifically excluded from the fair share fee calculation.

9    Further, Pennsylvania's Fair Share Fee Law allows two

10   opportunities for fee pay payors to raise objections. First,

11   fee payors can raise challenges to the procedure for

12   calculating the fees assessed against them; or two, they can

13   raise religious objections to the payment of a fair share fee.

14   In both cases, fee payors have 40 days from the date that they

15   receive notice of their obligation to pay their fair share fees

16   to raise either of those objections.

17              Once the fee payor raises a religious objection,

18   100% of their fair share fees must be placed into escrow until

19   the fee payor and the union can agree to a mutually agreeable

20   non-religious charity to receive their fees.

21              Under law, fee payors who raise calculation

22   objections have 50% of their fair share fees placed into an

23   escrow account. Pending the fee payor's opportunity to have

24   their calculation challenges heard by an impartial arbitrator,

25   PSEA escrows 100% of the fees, even for calculation objections.

1    This is in keeping with PSEA's conservative approach to the

2    fair share administration procedure.

3               In administering its fair share program, PSEA always

4    attempts to give all benefit to the doubt of the taxpayer. --

5    of the fee payor. The fee payors who raise calculation

6    objections have the opportunity to proceed to arbitration

7    before an impartial arbitrator who will determine whether the

8    fee calculated by the union was accurate and if not, what the

9    appropriate fee should be.

10              During this arbitration, it is the union -- the

11   union has the burden of proving that its calculation of the

12   fair share fee was accurate, and fee payors have the right to

13   present their own case and cross-examine any of the union's

14   witnesses. Unions conduct thorough and exhaustive procedures to

15   insure that their fair share calculations are accurate,

16   including having staff maintain detailed, contemporaneous time

17   records that insure that fair share fees are based only upon

18   duties that are reasonably related to the union's role as

19   exclusive bargaining representative.

20              PSEA has never lost an arbitration case on its fair

21   share fee calculations, which I believe proves PSEA's

22   commitment to fairness and its participation in the provisions

23   of the Fair Share Fee Law. In fact, PSEA's fair share

24   calculation process has been upheld in all of the 21 fair share

25   fee arbitrations in which it has been involved.

1               The procedure for calculating the PSEA fair share

2    fee has always been upheld by the middle district court of

3    Pennsylvania, as well as the third circuit court of appeals.

4               Still, House Bills 50 through 53 seek to eliminate

5    the payment of any such fees to the union or association in

6    exchange for having no availability of services from that

7    entity. On its surface, the result purports to be simple and

8    easy to understand. But beneath the surface, it is fraught with

9    minefields that will damage unions and dues-paying members and

10   frustrate positive labor/management relationships. It will

11   undermine the ability of a union to represent all persons

12   covered by a collective bargain agreement in a way that is

13   consistent and supportive of the agreement and the relationship

14   between the employer and the union.

15              The implications could be mind-boggling.   It will

16   become impossible for employers, unions, and workers to figure

17   out who has what rights. For example, if a union successfully

18   arbitrates a grievance gaining teachers additional prep time,

19   are non-members to be denied that additional time? Furthermore,

20   in its role as exclusive representative, the union not only

21   takes forth grievances of all employees, it has the ability to

22   deny processing a grievance if it finds the grievance has no

23   merit. Giving individuals to the right to take their own

24   grievances to arbitration destroys the ability of both the

25   union and the employer to rely upon their mutual understanding

1    and intent. If the union determines the grievance claiming

2    extra pay is without merit, should the non-member nevertheless

3    be able to force the employer to arbitrate?

4               What if the claim concerned the assignment of bus

5    runs or workload issues? At some point, the inconsistencies and

6    contradictions in terms and conditions of employment will be so

7    unmanageable that the employer will not be able to rely upon

8    the union status and the union will not be effective in its

9    role.

10              House Bills 50 through 53 in their effort to repeal

11   the Public Employees Fair Share Fee Law not only take the

12   "fair" out of fair share, they also obstruct the union's role

13   as representative and destabilize the employer and union

14   relationships. On the other hand, if the result of these bills

15   is that the union cannot represent any aggrieved non-member and

16   the non-member himself/herself cannot likewise represent him or

17   herself, then non-members have lost the rights and protections

18   that they currently have.

19              Ironically, many of the aforementioned bills mention

20   workers rights or Right to Work.   Again, this piece of

21   legislation is attempting to -- from afar to control the

22   labor/management relationship between the employer and the

23   union and the relationship between the union and the workers it

24   represents and the relationship between employers and

25   employees, all of which will end in do-nothing-but-harm

1    workers' rights.

2               I say to you today that membership in an association

3    or the payment of an appropriate fair share fee which supports

4    the union work as an exclusive representative, fairly

5    bargaining and fairly enforcing contracts for both members and

6    non-members alike, are the true protection of workers in the

7    Commonwealth and beyond.   They represent the rights of workers

8    to enjoy their career in an environment of true protection and

9    allow them to be free of any arbitrary or capricious decisions

10   by employers that would negatively impact those careers. We

11   oppose these bills, and I'll look forward to your questions.

12              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you.

13              Mr. Lightman?

14              MR. LIGHTMAN:   Thank you very much. I have presented

15   written material that I will not read to you, but I would

16   highly recommend that you read it. I have read it. It's not

17   bad. So I would give that a quick review.

18              I actually -- I think I'm here for something

19   different than we have been discussing, although I'll be happy

20   to discuss the stock market, if you would like, but I'm dealing

21   with a very unique group of individuals:    Pennsylvania State

22   Troopers and Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers.

23              Throughout the existence of both of those

24   organizations, they have been treated differently by all of

25   you, and by "all of you," I mean the legislature, the courts,

1    the executive branch. They have been treated differently

2    because they represent a specific core function of government

3    that cannot be interfered with, cannot be interrupted.   So,

4    therefore, they have been given some very good things,

5    recognizing what they do. And we're all familiar with the

6    special benefits to the survivors of police officers, and

7    corrections officers who are killed in the line of duty. Those

8    things have been just hugely appreciated.   As one who has

9    actually had to visit the families that have suffered, it's

10   with great thanks what you have done for these people.

11              However, on the other hand, with the good comes the

12   bad. And if you want to call it bad, what I'm looking at are

13   the things that have been taken from them simply because of

14   what they do. And one of the tools that has been stripped from

15   them is the right to strike. I have always said I could do a

16   world better for police officers, for corrections officers, if

17   I could say, Look, why don't we just shut down the prisons and

18   shut down your streets until you pay us. That's not the way

19   they do business. Not only because you don't want them to do

20   business that way and it's prohibited legally, but because of

21   the professionalism that they all enjoy. They wouldn't do that.

22              But what has been given to them? They have the right

23   to engage in binding arbitration. Binding arbitration is a

24   unique process. It's a very expensive process. There's expert

25   witnesses involved. It's evolved over the many years from its

1    advent in 1968 to a very complicated and, as I said, expensive

2    process, involving economists and all different forms of expert

3    witnesses to go forward. It's a lot more difficult than simply

4    saying -- you know, yelling across a bargaining table and

5    walking out the door. It's a process they have no choice but to

6    involve themselves in.

7               Now we're confronted with this legislation. What

8    would this legislation do to police officers and corrections

9    officers? Well, again, the same thing that so many different

10   people have testified to would -- it would strip out the

11   ability of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association and the

12   Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers association from

13   representing their members in the one form that we have --

14   forum that we have, the only thing we have left. Not all of the

15   traditional union tools but the one thing we have left.

16              Interestingly enough, we have all been talking

17   about -- or at least everybody prior to me has been talking

18   about the series of bills, 50 through 53.   And while everyone

19   else was probably out enjoying their evening activity, I, of

20   course, was sitting there researching legislative matters,

21   which is what I usually do in the evenings. I see some people

22   here must know me. But I found House Bill 1418. House Bill 1418

23   seems like it should fit right in with this group of Bills.

24   What it is, is an amendment to Act 195, which would remove the

25   right to -- actually, what it does is repeal the Fair Share Law

1    that was passed that we made reference to.

2               Many of you who are sponsors of 50, 51, 52, and 53

3    are sponsors of 1418. 1418 does repeal the Fair Share Law, but

4    you know what it says? It says there are certain people in here

5    that are different, certain people that have different rights,

6    different responsibilities, from whom we have stripped the

7    traditional union tools, so we need to allow them to continue

8    to function with collecting union dues. Who are those people?

9    Corrections officers and those persons necessary to the

10   functioning of the courts.

11              We have always appreciated the recognition. We have

12   lived with the responsibility of the recognition of the

13   differences, but you can't -- I would specifically and

14   hopefully request that you can't slam the door in our face

15   after recognizing all of these differences.     And as I said,

16   what I'm looking for -- and again, I've always supported

17   working people no matter what their category.    And, frankly, I,

18   myself, would oppose 50, 51, 52, 53 and would urge you to do so

19   as well.

20              But I'm here for a group of people that I have spent

21   my whole life, my whole career, my whole working career with,

22   40-some-odd years. I have seen the sacrifices that these people

23   have done. I have seen the effect on their families. They have

24   become a bonded brother- and sisterhood of people that work

25   together with their lives on the line. Having recognized that,

1    giving them the right which you recognize in 1418, to be able

2    to collect from their members and represent them adequately in

3    the only way that they are able to under the law, would be

4    appropriate for you to do

5               One thing I would like to add, which had come up

6    before, was the idea that you can't get rid of your union.    And

7    ten years ago or back in the '70s, people should have a right

8    to vote again.   Sitting over there are a group of officers of

9    the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association who did

10   decertify their union. They decertified AFSCME who had

11   represented them for 30-some-odd years, and they felt that they

12   were maybe -- maybe whatever.   I'm not, again, taking any

13   position against any union, but they felt that maybe they as

14   corrections officers would be able to do a better job for

15   themselves, and they did.   They decertified their previous

16   union and certified PSCOA as their union.

17              It's not a process that can't be engaged in, and

18   it's no different than a process we elect somebody to represent

19   our interests in Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C.    And if

20   they are following what our needs are, and what our interests

21   are, we support them.   And if we don't, we vote against them.

22   And that's the way it works with unions. And if the union that

23   they had was not servicing their need, then they vote them out

24   through a desertification process and either certify a new one

25   in or go without a union. But that choice does exist in the

1    law.

2               And the final point that I would make is this:    One

3    of the things that the legislature has given us -- and when I

4    say "us" now, I mean every working person -- is a burden called

5    exclusivity which has been alluded to by everyone here. When

6    there is a union in place, it is the exclusive representative

7    of that group of people. And you can't engage in discrimination

8    when you're the exclusive representative. The duties that my

9    colleague has just made reference here to covers everybody in

10   that arena. So, when you then -- now engage in exclusivity, you

11   must now treat them all the same and bargain for them all the

12   same and fight for those things that we believe the majority

13   want, all the same.   Then you can't, on the other hand, then

14   say, "Oh, and by the way, we're just going to peel this group

15   out who will not engage in paying for the representation that

16   you have a duty, a legal duty, placed upon us to engage in."

17   It's not a situation where you can turn your back on

18   individuals. The law requires exclusivity, which every union

19   must do or they will be sued for failing to engage

20   appropriately in the process.

21              So, for all of those reasons -- and I guess the main

22   message I would give you is from 1968 onward, troopers and

23   corrections officers have been treated differently. We admit

24   the fact that we are different. You've always treated us

25   differently.   And now, if you have to engage in this process,

1    remember those differences. Remember their sacrifices and pull

2    them out of it as you did in 1418. Thank you very much.

3                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you both for your testimony.

4    I would just start the questioning. I have a question.    And

5    just help me to understand something. We're talking fair share.

6    If you don't want to belong to the union, per se, you don't

7    really have to join, but you pay a fair share. For those that

8    do decide to join the union, if the money that might be used

9    that wouldn't be the fair share, the other amount of money that

10   might be used for political activity, for PACs, is that in your

11   organizations?   And you will have to answer individually, I

12   suppose.   Is that an opt-in or an opt-out thing?   How does that

13   affect the people?

14               MR. LIGHTMAN:   Maybe my answer is different, so I

15   will -- well, I will do it first. Within the Pennsylvania State

16   Troopers Association and within the Pennsylvania State

17   Corrections Officers Association, the dues have nothing to do

18   with political activity of any kind. The PAC money is a

19   separate matter. If someone chooses to contribute to the PAC,

20   they can contribute to the PAC. If they choose not to, they

21   don't have to contribute to the PAC. They can opt in and opt

22   out at any time. That's the way it works with both. The union

23   dues are the same and have nothing to do whatsoever with any

24   involvement in political activity at all. They're totally

25   separate cards, members, choices.   And as I said, the rules

1    on -- you can opt in and you can just turn around and opt right

2    out if you choose to.

3                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   I appreciate that.

4                Mr. Crossey?

5                MR. CROSSEY:   That's exactly the same with PSEA.

6    There's zero union dues used for political activity. We have a

7    separate arm called the PACE, the Political Action Committee

8    for Education, which is where all of our political

9    contributions are deposited and all of our political

10   expenditures are made from.

11               There is no -- nobody is compelled to join PACE. We

12   certainly encourage it. You know, we think that's a valuable

13   thing.   But nobody is compelled to join it. Some people do;

14   some people don't. But it's a separate sign-up form. It's a

15   totally separate deduction. The funds are never commingled, and

16   totally separate, complete free choice of the member whether or

17   not they choose to contribute to PACE.

18               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Interesting.   Okay. Thank you.

19               Chairman Keller.

20               CHAIRMAN KELLER:   Thank you, Chairman.

21               If I may, staff did some research. I don't see

22   Ms. Joint here, the previous testifier, but it looks like the

23   GE plant that relocated in Texas was given a $4.2 million deal

24   to relocate to Texas. I'm sure that had a lot more to do with

25   it rather than it was a Right to Work state.

1               Mr. Crossey?

2               MR. CROSSEY:   Yes, sir.

3               CHAIRMAN KELLER:   You have been on the hot seat

4    today, and you just got here. Everybody seems -- some people on

5    the panel today seem to think that it's you versus the

6    taxpayers. But as I said, you know, I think collective

7    bargaining probably is the top thing that created the middle

8    class, and it was a great law passed a long time ago. Who do

9    you collectively bargain with?   Who represents the taxpayers

10   when you go to collectively bargain?

11              MR. CROSSEY:   The elected school boards in every

12   school district that we represent.

13              CHAIRMAN KELLER:   So, if taxpayers don't like what

14   the union is getting in collective bargaining, wouldn't the

15   logical step be to get rid of the people who represent them at

16   the collective bargaining table?

17              MR. CROSSEY:   Absolutely.

18              CHAIRMAN KELLER:   That's what collective bargain is

19   about. You had mentioned collective bargaining. I kept saying

20   it over and over and again, it's a good thing.   And I think

21   that's one of the things that this bill will hurt. Could you

22   describe to me briefly what you think the effect of these bills

23   would have on when you go to collectively bargain.

24              MR. CROSSEY:   I think these bills are very damaging

25   to collective bargaining. I think these bills are an assault on

1    workers' rights. As I said, inside public education in

2    Pennsylvania, nobody's forced to join the union. You have a

3    choice. We talk to our members when they first become employees

4    in the school district whether --

5                  And we're not just all teachers.   I think that's a

6    common misperception out there. We represent the support

7    professionals in the school district, too. We represent

8    custodians.    We represent cafeteria workers.   We represent a

9    paraprofessionals in the classroom. So, it's not just teachers

10   but everybody when they become employed by the school district

11   will --

12                 Everybody is different. Every Local is different.

13   Every school district is different. In my Local, I was a

14   teacher for 34 years. You know, I would meet with the incoming

15   employees, and I would explain to them the benefits of

16   membership in the association and give them a form and tell

17   them to take it home, read it, please send it back to me by the

18   end of the week. And I know in my school district, I had 100%

19   membership. You know, there was no forcing anybody to do

20   anything. You know, so, there was no --

21                 I think collective bargaining is fantastic. I think

22   it creates great labor/management relationships. I was in a

23   school district that I would sit down with the superintendent

24   every other Friday, and we would sit down and talk about --

25   talk out different problems.     And, you know, if he was having a

1    problem with somebody, I would take care of it for him. If I

2    was having a problem in my school district, I would discuss it

3    with him, and we would figure out a way to mutually solve it. I

4    thought collective bargaining worked in my school district. I

5    know it doesn't work in every school district. It's more

6    contentious in some places. But I think when collective

7    bargaining is done right, collective bargaining is a great

8    thing.

9               CHAIRMAN KELLER:     I had to ask Mr. Bloomingdale and

10   I think he represents too many unions, and you also represent a

11   lot of people in different Locals.    But do you have any idea

12   what the average cost of the fair share fee is per your member?

13              MR. CROSSEY:     I do. The -- you know, we broke it

14   down several different ways for you. I believe it's in our

15   testimony that you have in front of you on the last page. But,

16   you know, if I look at the average teacher's salary in the

17   state of Pennsylvania, it's $59,000. If I take a look at that,

18   the fair share fee is .72% of the average teacher's salary in

19   the state of Pennsylvania. Not very high at all. But we have it

20   broken down actually as far as -- because our dues is comprised

21   of several things. There's PSEA dues. We're a unified state, so

22   we're part of the national association. So NEA dues is also --

23   theirs is calculated.     And then we have it broken down into our

24   ESP dues for both PSEA and NEA, but that is all in your fee.

25   But I believe the fair share fee is very small in comparison to

1    what is paid.

2                CHAIRMAN KELLER:    A whole .72%.

3                MR. CROSSEY:    Percent. Yes.

4                CHAIRMAN KELLER:    That's what we're here talking

5    about. That's what's stopping businesses from coming to

6    Pennsylvania and people from -- taxpayers from having a good

7    education system.

8                Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

9                CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Representative Perry?

10               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and

11   thanks for your testimony, sir. Good to see you.

12               I'm curious.    I don't know much about your

13   arbitration process. Can you tell me how arbitrators are

14   selected?

15               MR. LIGHTMAN:   I'm going to -- which process? Are

16   you talking about the fair share arbitration?

17               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    Yes. When an employee

18   disputes whether he is paying his -- he or she is paying their

19   fair share and how much it is and what it's going for.

20               MR. CROSSEY:    I'm going to ask our attorney to

21   answer that.

22               MR. BURRIDGE:   Yes, Representative, it's determined

23   through Triple A, the American Arbitration Association. We will

24   submit the fact that objections have been submitted. We will

25   submit the names of those objectors and any authorized

1    representatives that they may have stated to represent them. We

2    submit that to the American Arbitration Association in

3    accordance with the Fair Share Fee law and then that arbitrator

4    is selected by Triple A. It's not a selection process by the

5    parties. Triple A itself in administering it selects the

6    arbitrator.

7                  REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Can you tell me and us what

8    the background of the arbitrator -- how do you become an

9    arbitrator?    What is your background, employment history? I

10   have no idea who these people are.

11                 MR. BURRIDGE:   Generally, it varies. Many are

12   attorneys. Many are people who have higher degrees in labor

13   relations and labor history. Most in the Triple A -- and I can

14   tell you, of all of the arbitrators we have had over the past

15   20 years for the Fair Share Arbitration have been arbitrators

16   who have, generally, at least 10 to 15 years of experience in

17   arbitrating labor disputes, both in arbitrating labor disputes

18   in interest and grievance arbitrators. And many of them have

19   participated in other states for other unions' fair share

20   arbitrations, so they're somewhat familiar with the fair share

21   process.

22                 REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Is there a register or some

23   way for us to see who these folks are and just learn a little

24   bit about their background? Is that something that's publicly

25   available, or how do we gain knowledge of that information?

1               MR. BURRIDGE:   Yes. On the American Arbitration

2    Association website the names of arbitrators and their resumes

3    are available, and many of them are also on the Pennsylvania

4    Bureau of Mediation arbitrations lists. Their resumes, I

5    believe, are also available on the website, and we would be

6    happy to provide the names of the arbitrators that at least

7    have served as arbitrators over the past 20 years on the PSEA

8    fair share arbitrations and, to the extent that we have their

9    resume, current resumes.   We'd certainly be willing to provide

10   that.

11              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    I'd love to have that if it's

12   not too much trouble, and we'll do our own due diligence and

13   look.

14              One comment, Mr. Chairman.    And I know you want to

15   move on here.   With all due respect, President-elect, and

16   congratulations, where you say that in your testimony that you

17   represent the rights of workers to enjoy their careers in an

18   environment of true protection and allow them to be free of any

19   arbitrary, capricious decision by employers that would

20   negatively impact those careers, I understand that you are here

21   representing 193,000 individuals.   Each one of us is

22   representing 60- to 65,000 and 12.5 million people collectively

23   who -- and I must take some exception with Chairman Keller who

24   feels like they have little ability to affect their own

25   environment, true protection, and allow them freedom of any

1    arbitrary or capricious decisions made by people that are

2    acting on their behalf.

3               So, for the sake of the taxpayer, and I know that --

4    listen, I have got friends that are schoolteachers. We all do.

5    Everybody in this room has friends that work in public

6    education and colleagues and family members, et cetera. It's

7    not an "us versus them." But taxpayers -- this is -- the

8    taxpayers own this system. They own it. And we're looking for a

9    way to make sure that they have the biggest voice in how

10   it's -- in how it functions. This is just a method of finding

11   out information about whether we are doing adequately or not.

12              Appreciate your time, sir.

13              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative Murphy?

14              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

15              I appreciate the testimony given here today. First,

16   I'll address the corrections officers and state troopers and

17   the uniqueness of the positions and Act 111 and how that

18   addressed everyone's concern as far as public safety with

19   regards to the right to strike and that they still deserve to

20   be treated fairly.   Because they act in such a capacity that's

21   primary to public safety here in Pennsylvania, the rules were

22   separated, and it was clearly defined in Act 111.

23              There's still some questions with regards to

24   distressed municipalities under Act 47, and I represent one of

25   those cities municipalities in Scranton and Lackawanna County,

1    and some of our police and firefighters haven't had even a cost

2    of living raise in some nine years, so even though there's

3    Act 111 and collective -- you know, arbitration, you know,

4    that's a system, and a broken one, that we may have to address

5    in other legislation.

6               But the corrections officers -- and I understand it,

7    because I have tried to work with the corrections officers last

8    year in the inequity with regards to the leapfrogging and some

9    of the officers who are, you know, kind of stuck, and it's

10   something that we're trying to work with this administration

11   and we tried to work with the last administration on to try to

12   correct, because we don't want to have a situation where we

13   have no one who wants to become a captain, because as a

14   sergeant or as a regular officer, you know, with overtime

15   included, they're making a lot more money, so it's not

16   worthwhile for them to take that promotion. So, you end up, in

17   fact, having the lesser-qualified individuals who are going --

18   who have less time in the system looking for that promotion

19   because it's to their financial advantage, but it's not -- it

20   is to possibly the detriment and the safety of many others,

21   personnel and inmates included.

22              With regards to education -- and I'm glad I attended

23   the education hearing that Representative Ken Smith and myself

24   co-hosted along with the Democratic policy committee at

25   Scranton High School because what we're also doing at the same

1    time, as Chairman Keller pointed out, we have a system where

2    the electorate of any given school district goes to the polling

3    booths every two years, and they elect their local school board

4    members.

5               Well, there's legislation here in Harrisburg that

6    would also compromise the local school board's ability to even

7    raise revenue for programs for teachers, for -- to raise

8    revenue that's important to maintain the same level of

9    education for our students here in Pennsylvania. When it comes

10   to education, I'm sure my Republican colleagues and my

11   Democratic colleagues alike, and everyone that's watching,

12   their primary concern is that our children have a right to a

13   quality public education. And I believe that very strongly. But

14   to that end, when we reduce the appropriations to school

15   districts to the tune of about $1 billion and in Scranton, as

16   we talked about today, was reduced $5.5 million in their

17   appropriation, we're either going to have to compromise the

18   quality of education for our children --

19              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Excuse me.   Excuse me.

20              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:     -- or compromise --

21              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Excuse me, Representative Murphy,

22   to the Right to Work issue, please.

23              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   I was getting there.

24              CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Speed it up, please.

25              REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   And I'll cut to the chase

1    here. As far as -- well, what we're talking about is what's

2    fair to the taxpayers and what's fair to those that are members

3    of collective bargaining units and those that don't pay their

4    fair share end up enjoying the benefits of those that do.

5                  And there's significant legal expenses that are

6    incurred to even protect those that are only a fair share

7    instead of the actual union dues. So, could you speak to that,

8    Mike, and the difference in representation between those that

9    pay a fair share and those that are full-paying union dues

10   members?

11                 MR. CROSSEY:   We completely represent everyone who

12   is in the bargaining unit, whether or not they're a fee payor,

13   or whether they are a dues-paying member. We do not

14   discriminate.     I was Local president for 20 of the 34 years

15   that I was in the classroom, and never once did I discriminate.

16   Of course, I was pretty lucky. I almost always had full

17   membership.    But never once.    And I know that as I had

18   different positions within the association, we always made it

19   very clear that you represent -- you represent everybody that's

20   covered by the collective bargaining agreement whether they are

21   a member or a fee payor. So, we have never discriminated

22   against somebody because they were a fee payor. We make sure

23   that they get all of the rights of the collective bargaining

24   agreement, you know, enforced.

25                 REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:   Just as one follow-up, very

1    quickly, nobody likes unfunded mandates from the federal or

2    from the state. So, couldn't you look at this legislation and

3    consider it an unfunded mandate on those that wouldn't have to

4    pay anything that would also benefit from the -- those who are

5    collectively bargaining within the union-paying membership?

6                MR. CROSSEY:   I believe you could look at it that

7    way, Representative.

8                REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY:    Thank you.

9                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you.

10               Representative Boyd?

11               REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:     Mr. Crossey, real quickly, did

12   I understand your testimony correctly; did you say that PSEA

13   does not require fee payors?

14               MR. CROSSEY:   No, I said we do not require

15   membership. People are not required to join the union.     If they

16   do not choose to join the union, then they are required to pay

17   the fair share fee.

18               REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:     Okay. And maybe it's not a

19   fair question. If it's not, just don't answer it.     I won't be

20   offended. What is the difference between the fair share fee and

21   the full membership?

22               MR. CROSSEY:   Approximately 75 to 80%. Would that be

23   accurate?

24               REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:     You testified that the fair

25   share is about $410 or $415 on average.

1                  MR. CROSSEY:   I can actually give you the numbers if

2    you would like.

3                  REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   Just --

4                  MR. CROSSEY:   The PSEA EA dues -- that's the teacher

5    equivalent.    The PSEA EA dues is $427 a year. Our PSEA fair

6    share fee for those members, for those who choose to pay the

7    fair share, is $324.52. For the NEA, dues for -- again, EA

8    members, teachers' equivalent type dues, the NEA dues is $166

9    and the NEA fair share fee is $81.34. And then they're

10   proportionately lower for our support professionals.

11                 REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   Okay. Thank you.

12                 CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative Gergely?

13                 REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   Thanks, I'll make it brief,

14   Mr. Chairman.

15                 I want to ask to you do some research to follow up

16   on this question, Mr. Crossey. Thank you for your time today.

17   One of the most dubious negative distinctions you Right to Work

18   states have is that funding per pupil and education of the

19   lowest 20 states in the -- country, 15 of them are obviously

20   Right to Work states. Could you possibly -- if you are

21   knowledgeable of that, what's relevant to their test scores and

22   their outcomes of graduation relative to what investments in

23   education are?     Obviously, Right to Work states don't believe

24   investing in children is as important as we do right now in

25   Pennsylvania.

1               MR. CROSSEY:    Representative Gergely, we can

2    certainly provide you with that research. We have done it, and

3    I can tell you here for this panel's sake that in the states

4    that are not collective bargaining states, their test scores --

5    though I always say test scores is not the best way to measure

6    student performance -- but their test scores are not as high as

7    those states that have collective bargaining. But we will

8    provide with you that research.

9               REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   If you could also provide

10   that to the Chairman's offices and we could see that all of the

11   members get it and it's part of the record for today. Thank

12   you.

13              CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Representative Kampf?

14              REPRESENTATIVE KAMPF:    Mr. Crossey, of -- I see it

15   says 191,000 members you represent. Is there a percentage of

16   that or a percentage of the total teacher population that are

17   not active members, that are just fair share participants?

18              MR. CROSSEY:    We do. Do you know that number?

19              MR. BURRIDGE:   We can get that.

20              MR. CROSSEY:    We can get that number for you. Off

21   the top of my head, I wanted to say it was about 5,000, but we

22   will get that because I'm -- I don't know where I heard that

23   number, but we will provide that number again. Would you like

24   it through the Chairman's office?

25              REPRESENTATIVE KAMPF:    Sure. Yes,.

1                 MR. CROSSEY:   If you would.

2                 REPRESENTATIVE KAMPF:     And then you were asked a

3    question, I think, about the PAC, the political action

4    committee. Does PSEA or even the Locals participate in the

5    school board elections through the PACs?

6                 MR. CROSSEY:   Some do.

7                 REPRESENTATIVE KAMPF:     Does PSEA state organization

8    participate in Local elections?

9                 MR. CROSSEY:   Not very often. We may receive a

10   request. We set aside a small amount of PAC money every year

11   for those Locals who choose to get involved in Local elections.

12   We might help them write a questionnaire that they would ask

13   all candidates who are running for office, and I believe the

14   maximum contribution that's ever been given to -- and I may not

15   be 100% accurate, but the maximum contributions I have ever

16   seen to a local candidate is $300.

17                REPRESENTATIVE KAMPF:     Okay. Thank you.

18                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you, gentlemen, for your

19   testimony.

20                The next panel is Pearre Dean, Deputy Director of

21   Public Affairs, Commonwealth Foundation; Jennifer Stefano,

22   Director of Labor and Energy Policy, Americans for Prosperity;

23   and Dennis Shambaugh, Member, Board of Directors, Keystone

24   Teacher's Association.

25                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   I again apologize for not

1    succeeding in keeping this on a tighter time frame, but I think

2    we have heard some good questions and discussion today. Who is

3    going first?

4               MR. DEAN:   I'll go first.

5               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Mr. Dean, please proceed.

6               MR. DEAN:   Good afternoon, Chairman. Both Chairmans.

7    My name is Pearre Dean. I'm the Deputy Director of -- what is

8    my title now? -- Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the

9    Commonwealth Foundation. I'm probably the one that has probably

10   the most diverse background that you have ever had sit in front

11   of you.

12              I'm originally from the labor movement for 28 years,

13   and now I'm with the Commonwealth Foundation.   And -- I'm just

14   waiting for your comments and suggestions -- I know Scott.

15   I'm going to skip over a lot of stuff that was already

16   previously said just in the interest of time and just do my

17   edited testimony.

18              Imagine an organization with the CEO, treasurer, and

19   lengthy payroll with the power and authority to control your

20   government. This organization tells the State how much to pay

21   the State employees, under what conditions the State can

22   conduct their business, and dictates how much the citizens will

23   pay in taxes.

24        It makes the State its collection agency, forcing

25   government to take money out of its workers' paychecks against

1    their will, run their company, pad their executive pockets, and

2    bankroll the company's political endeavors. Sound ludicrous?

3    Welcome to the world of public sector unions.

4               In Pennsylvania, the State government is required to

5    bargain with them on a variety of issues, including employee

6    salaries, benefits, health care, performance standards, and

7    work rules. These unions pull the strings of public officials

8    and bargain for the public money at the public's expense at

9    their own members' expense and everyone else. Pennsylvania is

10   one of 28 states in which workers can be compelled to pay part

11   of their paycheck to the union just to keep their job.

12              Right to Work states give their employees the

13   freedom to choose whether or not to join a union, but even

14   non-membership is costly. Those able to evade union coercion

15   are still compelled to pay hundreds of dollars in fair share

16   fees or agency fees to cover their supposed share of benefits

17   gained from the collective bargaining. In total the

18   Commonwealth withheld and paid more than $33 million in dues

19   and more than $7 million of fair share fees to 19 unions

20   representing employees in 2010. The government-aided dues

21   deducted overwhelmingly funded Democratic campaigns -- and

22   emphasize "overwhelmingly" -- and are critical to maintaining

23   union power.

24              The Pennsylvania State Education Association, PSEA,

25   an affiliate of NEA, siphoned over $55 million of the 191,000

1    members' and 5,600 agency fee payors' wallets in 2010 with help

2    from school districts who deduct their payments.   A number of

3    members and fee payors would gladly keep their money if given

4    the choice. The National Association -- Education Association

5    general counsel Robert -- and I'm probably pronouncing this

6    wrong -- McHannon acknowledged the fact that it is well

7    recognized if you take away the mechanism of payroll deduction,

8    you won't get a penny from these people.

9               More than 2.5 million of that paid to political

10   fundraising, gubernatorial debate video, political calling,

11   lobbying, and other political activities. These efforts are

12   disproportionately directed to aid Democrats.   Union officials

13   also made a $30,000 contribution to the left-leaning think tank

14   research -- Keystone Research Center and gave $7,500 to

15   Keystone Progress, a progressive advocacy organization with

16   member dues.

17              While dues cannot directly be used for -- directly

18   for fund campaigns, candidates' campaigns, unions also have

19   PACs. Union war chests contributed more than $23 million in

20   campaigns in 2009-2010, which much more often [ inaudible ] the

21   natural gas industry. PACE, the PSEA political action

22   committee, contributed to more than $2.3 million in state

23   elective campaigns in 2009-2010, including $310,000 to Dan

24   Onorato for Governor.

25              The ability to elect preferred candidates for office

1    and lobby them to increase taxes, prevent privatization, and

2    cater to union whims that turned these organizations into

3    powerful political machines. Assume that every one of the

4    PSEA's nearly 200,000 members, and I'm going to broadly expand

5    that to any union's members, to support Democratic candidates

6    profess to be ideologically liberal and silly.

7               The union members each owe more than $475 a year in

8    dues which may be funneled to support candidates in positions

9    they would never vote for. As Thomas Jefferson proclaimed in

10   1786, to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the

11   propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and

12   tyrannical. Further, union policy goals are often not in the

13   best interests of the union members.

14        PSEA also endorses a last-in, first-out policy which lay

15   off the most recently hired teachers when economic conditions

16   are tough. That is, the longest-serving union members get to

17   keep their jobs regardless of performance, while the teacher of

18   the year gets laid off because he is low on seniority. PSEA

19   also rallies against merit pay for teachers, which rewards

20   effectiveness to the detriment of good teachers and, more

21   importantly, students.

22              Collective bargaining also gives unfair advantage to

23   mediocre educators and prevents good teachers from getting

24   raises and bonuses. Union power also means that bosses clean up

25   with hefty salaries, trips, benefits, often at the expense of

1    the ordinary union member who they are meant to protect.

2               Mr. Testerman from PSEA, the president, made

3    $185,000 in 2010 and receives $253,000 in total compensation.

4    His salary was more than twice -- was more than two and a half

5    times the average PSEA member's salary.   And David Philman, the

6    executive director of the AFSCME Council 13, which represents

7    the public employees in the state and local governments, made

8    $180,000 and received $206,000 in total compensation. In

9    contrast, the average AFSCME 13 union member makes less than

10   $40,000 a year. Leading the pack of the overpaid union boss is

11   Wendell Young, IV, who represents the Liquor Control Clerks

12   Local 1776, which I was a former member. He made over $269,000

13   in 2010, equal the salary of nine UFCW workers combined.

14              The right to association is protected and can be

15   beneficial for employees. But the structure of the public

16   sector lacks the market forces to curb public unions'

17   outrageous demands at the bargaining table. While private

18   sector unions have to compel over business's limited profits,

19   public sector unions compete unfairly over citizens' tax

20   dollars. The result is the unions' stranglehold over government

21   and essentially taxpayers.

22              Pennsylvania should ban government-aided dues

23   deductions and PAC donations and give the workers the right to

24   choose where the money goes and whether or not to join the

25   union in the first place. Only then will workers enjoy freedom

1    over the workers' lives and conditions, and the public sector

2    will be genuinely to serve the public.

3               MS. STEFANO:   Thank you. My name is Jennifer

4    Stefano, and I am the Director of Labor and Energy Policy for

5    Americans for Prosperity, PA, Pennsylvania. I'm also the

6    co-chair of the Loyal Opposition of Pennsylvania out of

7    Philadelphia, and the southeastern part of Pennsylvania. It's a

8    Tea Party grassroots conservative organization. These, of

9    course, are my part-time jobs. I am a full-time stay-at-home

10   mother. I would like to thank the chairman and members of the

11   House Committee on the Labor and Industry Committee for taking

12   the time today to examine House Bills 50 to 53, the

13   Pennsylvania Right to Work bills, and for allowing me to speak

14   on their behalf.

15              Our state director, Sam War, he was also a former

16   member for many years of this Committee, passes along his

17   greetings, and he urges the serious consideration of these

18   Bills.

19              I'd also like to say that I am a native

20   Pennsylvanian from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.     I

21   know a couple of busloads of my brothers and sisters from the

22   city made it out today, and I want to say that I stand here

23   with them in solidarity for their right to join a union,

24   absolutely, as well as their right not to, should they so

25   choose. So, to my brothers and sisters from Philadelphia, where

1    I was also born and raised, I want them to know I'm with them.

2               So, I'd like to start off by talking about the most

3    valuable lesson I have ever learned in my career, and that is

4    everything that you need to know about human behavior comes

5    from raising children under the age of three. I should know.

6    I'm in the process of it right now. And what you learn is that

7    in the whole spectrum of humanity, there are only two types of

8    behavior: voluntary or coerced.

9               Remarkably, the same holds true when those children

10   grow up. We as the adults in the societies that we create are

11   dedicated to only one of two principles:   That human beings

12   have the right to self-determination, as is written in our

13   founding documents, both here in the state and in the nation,

14   or they do not. And if they do not, then coercion, an ilk of

15   intimidation, thuggery, and corruption that so often follow it,

16   become the order of the day.

17              I'd like to believe the Commonwealth of

18   Pennsylvania, the great state that gave birth to liberty in my

19   fine city, my birth city, was dedicating itself to

20   self-determination, for its people, for its citizens, to which

21   all of you distinguished gentlemen and ladies are here to

22   represent. But until we pass House Bills 50 to 53, we are not.

23   Until those bills are passed, we live in a Commonwealth of

24   coercion, by unions and our own state government.

25              Let me give you an example that I lived with in my

1    life of forced unionization. My mother had a three-decade-long

2    career as a federal employee. During that time, my mother was

3    approached repeatedly by the union soliciting her to join.

4    Fortunately, federal employees can choose whether or not to

5    financially support a union. My mother decided she did not want

6    to put our family's money towards those dues and therefore,

7    turned them down. Respectful exchanges, but turned them down.

8               It's a good thing she was able to. First, we needed

9    every penny that my mother made to go towards supporting our

10   family. Second, she did not believe the unions would have added

11   to her salary or have helped us along in any way, obviously.

12   And third, my mother is a devout Roman Catholic, as is our own

13   family.

14              As time evolved over those 30 years, she had serious

15   ethical and moral objections to the political parties and

16   politicians the unions supported.   She refused to give money to

17   private organizations, unions, or others that supported issues

18   with which she vehemently disagreed. Now, my mother was lucky.

19   My mother had a choice. However, had my mother worked for the

20   Commonwealth of Pennsylvania instead of the federal government,

21   she would have been forced to unionize. She would have been

22   forced to violate her own moral code, to put money towards a

23   private organization that was funding people and a political

24   party that went against almost everything she believed in and

25   held dear. That money would have been taken out of her hands,

1    and she would have no longer had a choice of what to do with it

2    while it's going to a union.

3                  Now, compulsory unionization is one of enslavement

4    and tyranny, one that respects the rights of the group over the

5    rights of the individual. It's unacceptable. At this point --

6    okay. But in Iowa, a Right to Work state, it's a very different

7    story and one where unions are in tune with their members and

8    no one would ever be put in such a compromising position. The

9    executive director of the teachers' union out there in Iowa

10   highlighted that point on a radio show dealing with the

11   National Education Association calling for a nationwide

12   homosexuality awareness month in all of the public schools. The

13   head of that union in Iowa was asked, "Do you support this?"

14   And his quote was, "No, we don't support it. Iowa is a Right to

15   Work state.    We have to earn our membership. If we supported

16   that, we would lose too many members."

17                 So, the issue here is not to debate the issue that

18   the NEA was backing or not, but he realized that he had to work

19   and represent one thing -- not the NEA -- his members. And so,

20   he chose rightly. He did what they wanted because if he didn't,

21   they could leave him. So, I believe union leaders across

22   America are starting to realize this.

23                 In fact in Tennessee, the AFL-CIO failed to repeal

24   the state's Right to Work law.    Now that failure forced the

25   AFL-CIO executive vice president, Linda Chavez Thompson, to

1    conclude now that, quote, the unions must go out into those

2    communities and show non-members that we are also members of

3    these communities. Maybe then, Chavez Thompson opined, they

4    will want to join a union. As Oprah might say, Mrs. Chavez

5    Thompson had an a-ha moment.

6               Now, if only the union bosses in Pennsylvania would,

7    too. For if they would, we could create a wealth of economic

8    benefits and prosperity for their workers and all of the

9    working families across Pennsylvania, of which mine is one. I

10   know firsthand the increasing difficulty of stretching the

11   family budget as wages seem to go down or stagnate while the

12   cost of everything goes up.

13              Would it not be wonderful to see the working

14   families of this Commonwealth, unionized or not, benefit from a

15   Right to Work state?   And I will not go into all of the facts

16   and figures, as there was ample testimony on it and it's all on

17   the record. But I do believe the time has come for this great

18   Commonwealth to determine what kind of state we want to be, and

19   what we will be moving forward. While the economic data is on

20   our side for Right to Work, that alone is not enough to move

21   this along. We must ask ourselves who and what we are as a

22   people. Do we believe, as the father of the modern labor

23   movement and founder of the American Federation of Labor, which

24   became the AFL-CIO, Samuel Gompers once urged, "devotion to the

25   fundamentals of human liberty -- the principles of voluntarism.

1    No lasting gain ever comes from compulsion. If we seek to

2    force, we but tear apart that which, united, is invincible..."

3                 In other words, what Gompers is saying is that by

4    forcing workers to join you actually undermine that which makes

5    it strong:   The unity of the workers. The Pennsylvania Right to

6    Work Bills are not about unions. They are about liberty. If you

7    believe in the principles of -- (Applause)

8                 If you believe, regardless of party, the principles

9    this country was founded on that -- the right to

10   self-determination, respect for individuals, and if you would

11   like those things for yourself and your children, then you will

12   vote yes to House Bill 50 to 53.       And if you do not, then this

13   general assembly will have supported the notion that coercion

14   and the subversion of a person's own judgment and only will is

15   the order of the day in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

16                I beg to you, look beyond special interest groups,

17   political parties, and policy arguments and ask what type of

18   life you want, not only for yourself but for your children and

19   grandchildren.    How is it you want them to live, freely or

20   coerced?   And what kind of Pennsylvania do you wish them to

21   leave them, one that allows them to live voluntarily, according

22   to their own will, or coerced by others?      I know which

23   Commonwealth I would like, and I hope you agree.

24                Thank you for the time.

25                MR. SHAMBAUGH:   Hello. I'm Dennis Shambaugh, and I

1    live in Shermans Dale in Blair County, just across the river.

2    I'm going to start my teaching career now the 32nd year

3    incoming in August and all at Susquenita High School, where I

4    teach math and computer programming. Believe me, I'd rather be

5    there than here.    Nothing personal, gentlemen and ladies.

6                  But for the first 11 years of my teaching

7    experience, I was a member of PSEA, NEA, and the local

8    Susquenita Education Association. At that point I just had some

9    issues with the ideas, particularly ideas of abortion. At that

10   point, I didn't have any coverage for a year, and a friend of

11   mine introduced me to KEYTA, the Keystone Teacher's

12   Association, where I have been a member ever since and I'm on

13   the board at this point. That's where I get my insurance at

14   this point.    Then as well. Thankfully, all of the teachers who

15   work with me in Perry County Schools also have that freedom to

16   join NEA, PSEA, KEYTA, or anything they want to or not join at

17   all.

18                 Unfortunately, though, other teachers across the

19   Commonwealth do not have the same right or privilege. Many

20   teachers don't have the privilege. Teachers in union shop

21   districts have the choice to join the unions or not join the

22   union, but they still have to pay those -- if they're in shop

23   districts, they have to pay the $405 a year for membership in

24   that fee.

25                 To make matters worse, the union excludes them from

1    being able to attend their meetings with the union membership.

2    They're not official members of the union, so they can't vote

3    on anything there, and they're forced to pay things. My

4    colleagues in the history department teach about freedom and

5    teach about the founding of our nation, but unfortunately, many

6    Pennsylvania teachers do not have the same freedom that we

7    enjoy in Perry County. I urge you, then, to keep in mind this

8    Right to Work law and pass it, if you would.

9               My wife and I just moved my daughter into a teaching

10   position down in Maryland. Hopefully, she will be moving back

11   sometime to Pennsylvania. When she does, I'd like to have her

12   be able to freely choose whatever organization she belongs to.

13   So, thank you very much.

14              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     Thank you to the three of you for

15   your testimony. The first question comes from Representative

16   Keller.

17              CHAIRMAN KELLER:     Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

18              I'd just like to point out to Representative Boyd

19   that decertification works. Mr. Dean has decertified.

20              Mr. Dean, I heard your testimony, but I heard every

21   previous testifier say that not one penny of the fair share

22   fees collected go toward political contributions.

23              MR. DEAN:   Right.   And I also testified that they

24   have PACs which go to political contributions.

25              CHAIRMAN KELLER:     We're here about Right to Work and

1    fair share fees. Not one penny goes towards political

2    contributions. So, to come up and try -- attempt to muddy the

3    waters is --

4               MS. STEFANO:   May I comment on that?

5               CHAIRMAN KELLER:   I'll get to you next.

6               MS. STEFANO:   I'm waiting for it. You got to be from

7    Philadelphia.

8               CHAIRMAN KELLER:   You're not from South Philly, are

9    you?

10              MS. STEFANO:   Actually, part of my family --

11   northeast. They're St. Cecelia.

12              CHAIRMAN KELLER:   I don't care about that. Yeah,

13   that's up there. But I think that's the thing we have to make

14   sure when we testify, that we're here talking about the Right

15   to Work legislation. I know the chairman has given us some

16   leeway, but everybody who testified before that said that not

17   one penny goes toward political contribution, and that was the

18   whole theme of your testimony. So, I'd just like to reiterate

19   that not one penny goes towards political contributions.

20              All right. Go ahead.

21              MS. STEFANO:   Well, I assume all of the union bosses

22   that were here today are paid for what they do, and this is a

23   political situation that we're in, so actually, money does go

24   from dues to the union bosses' salary who are here testifying

25   against Right to Work. So actually money does go to political

1    parties. Sorry, it does. You're wrong.

2                  CHAIRMAN KELLER:   And all I have to say, you are a

3    great public speaker; however, I don't agree with one word you

4    just said.

5                  MS. STEFANO:   You're against liberty. But you're in

6    the wrong position.

7                  CHAIRMAN KELLER:   You can have this position. You

8    just have to run for it. Get 200 signatures and away you go.

9                  MS. STEFANO:   Oh, that's a throwdown.

10                 CHAIRMAN KELLER:   300.

11                 UNIDENTIFIED REPRESENTATIVE:     Um, she -- I would

12   just like to say, I respectfully disagree with my Chairman,

13   Mr. Keller.    As she lives in St. Cecelia, she may be a

14   constituent of mine. I suggest you not run for office. City

15   Council. We need some great City Council people from the

16   northeast. I'll support you in that, but...

17                 MS. STEFANO:   I may petition you.

18                 CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative Boyd.

19                 MS. STEFANO:   As long as you believe in liberty or

20   not, and I'll let you know if I'm running against you or not.

21                 UNIDENTIFIED REPRESENTATIVE:     Bring it on.

22                 REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:      Actually, Chairman Keller got

23   to my one issue, and that was, I did want to, with Mr. Dean's

24   testimony, delineate between what money goes to what direction,

25   in terms of the dues versus the political action committee. So,

1    I'm glad that that was clarified. But I'm also glad that

2    it's -- when you -- it's clarified that, in fact, the unions do

3    represent a specific constituency, so members are really

4    encouraged to contribute to continue that constituency. So,

5    it's not forced, but it's highly recommended, I would suggest.

6               But to Mr. Shambaugh, one of the questions that I

7    had for you, and I tried to get at this earlier with the

8    gentleman from PSEA and I didn't get it clearly. So -- so, you

9    and your -- in your particular -- your district, the Local

10   doesn't have a mandatory that you belong to the PSEA; is that

11   correct?

12              MR. SHAMBAUGH:   Correct.

13              REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   However, if the PSEA members

14   of your district made that a part of their contractual -- their

15   contract negotiations with the board, they could force that on

16   you, correct?

17              MR. SHAMBAUGH:   That's my understanding, yes.

18              REPRESENTATIVE BOYD:   Okay. All right. That's the

19   point I was trying to get at earlier, that most -- and I would

20   love if somebody on staff or somebody who has given testimony

21   earlier can get us the numbers of the number of the local

22   school districts that actually have in their collective

23   bargaining agreement with their districts mandatory membership

24   in PSEA, and I believe we'll find that it's a substantive

25   number.

1               I think in my local county, one of the last holdout

2    school districts just went down this last election; that it's

3    not just the dues issue, it's that you can't even opt out as

4    you are doing in your local district. I just want to get that

5    clarified, Mr. Chairman.

6               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Thank you. We'll look into that.

7               Representative Perry?

8               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   Thanks, Mr. Chairman.

9               Mr. Dean, good to see you again.

10              MR. DEAN:   Good seeing you.

11              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:   I just want to clarify.   You

12   made some pretty strong statements, and Chairman Keller and

13   Representative Boyd also alluded to some of the statements

14   you've made.

15              Is there something that you know as a previous union

16   member in any of these organizations that we don't know or that

17   we should know regarding funding of political activities coming

18   from dues? Is there something that we're missing here, or is

19   there some way that the previous people testified -- not

20   erroneously, not that they were lying, but maybe changed the

21   words to dupe us?   Is there something I'm missing here?

22   Because it sounded like you're saying that this money is going

23   directly to political activity and not the type of activity

24   that was mentioned earlier, salaries and so forth -- I think we

25   understand that -- but going to campaigns directly. Is there

1    anything I'm missing here?

2               MR. DEAN:    My testimony was exactly the point.       And

3    just like she stated before, if they're here testifying on the

4    union's behalf, then they're here using the union dues money to

5    do political action.

6               REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    So they just don't consider

7    it political action because it's not going in the form of a

8    check to a political candidate, per se, but --

9               MR. DEAN:    Correct.

10              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    Okay. I understand. Can we

11   get a copy of your testimony?

12              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    I'll make sure you get it.

13              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     We have it. We just received it,

14   and somehow it was omitted from the package. You will get it.

15              REPRESENTATIVE PERRY:    Thank you.

16              MR. DEAN:    It's a conspiracy.

17              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     Representative Murt?

18              REPRESENTATIVE MURT:     Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

19              Dennis, I have a question about the Keystone

20   Teachers Association.

21              MR. SHAMBAUGH:    Yes.

22              REPRESENTATIVE MURT:     How big is it?     How many

23   teachers in the Commonwealth are members?

24              MR. SHAMBAUGH:    We have members in probably 200

25   districts across the state.

1               REPRESENTATIVE MURT:    Okay. Thank you.

2               Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

3               CHAIRMAN MILLER:     Representative Gergely?

4               REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5               To Jennifer, you quoted a U.S. Department of

6    Commerce statistic, correct, that Right to Work states grew an

7    average of 11.8%?

8               MS. STEFANO:    I do have that in my testimony,

9    correct.

10              REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:    Do you have the statistics

11   that would back that up?   Not just the commentary of it.

12              MS. STEFANO:    You want the United States Department

13   of Commerce from the website?    It's a statistic collected by

14   the United States Department of Commerce under the Right to

15   Know -- the National Freedom of Information Act, and you can

16   have access to all of that data, although I'm happy to provide

17   it to you as part of the testimony.

18              REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:    So you're saying they had

19   significant growth -- just to be frank with you, every

20   statistic I have ever seen, including the most recent ones --

21   this is one for us to chew on -- Right to Work states have seen

22   a significant increase in the minimum wage because now they

23   don't have to pay as much. So your statistic flies in the face

24   of that, and this is from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S.

25   Department of Labor.   And even more so, since we have came out

1    of the recession, Right to Work states have seen even a greater

2    reduction of wages going to minimum wage than states that have

3    non-Right to Work.

4               MS. STEFANO:    So, to make sure that I understand

5    what you are saying. You are saying that the minimum wages in

6    Right to Work states have increased, which supports the

7    statistic that employee compensation -- and by the way, just so

8    I can define for everyone listening, the United States

9    Department of Commerce defines "employee compensation" as not

10   simply wages and salaries but benefits and bonuses as well. So,

11   it's a complete package that they're looking at when they're

12   referring to compensation.   It's not just dollars.

13              REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   What I'm saying, so -- I

14   understand states that are Right to Work have seen a

15   significant increase in their population being paid minimum

16   wage, which means they're being paid less than they were

17   previously. Does that make --

18              MS. STEFANO:    I'm not sure that that's what that

19   statistic is supporting.    Wait, let me finish. If you look and

20   see where the -- for instance, Pennsylvania is one of the

21   states that has the largest aging population, and we're losing

22   our young people.    And where are they flocking to? The young

23   are flocking to Right to Work states.

24              Now, that would say, if you look the at general

25   population per capita, that the more people that flow to the

1    states, the more people you're going to have earning minimum

2    wage. Of course, if you look at all of the statistics, what you

3    are referring to, and I think have, not only are there more

4    people make minimum wage and there's more people making

5    management salary and six figures and million dollars as well.

6    It's as the population increases and does well, so does

7    everybody, minimum wage and on up. I think you want to look at

8    all of those statistics, a rising tide carries all ships.

9                 REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   For corporate CEOs, of

10   course.

11                MS. STEFANO:   Well, you know, corporate CEOs pay the

12   salary of people.    And I have always had those people sign my

13   paychecks, so I'm not looking to bankrupt those people or

14   anyone that wants to pay me.

15                REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   I'm glad that you have that

16   opinion.

17                MS. STEFANO:   Because through them, they pay any of

18   us, union or non-unionized. Samuel Gompers, again, founded the

19   AFL --

20                CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Okay. Okay.

21                Representative Gergely, have you gotten your answer?

22                REPRESENTATIVE GERGELY:   Yea. And just for anyone

23   out -- yes and to -- just for everyone out here, the tradition

24   of my district is unionism. We are the birthplace of the

25   unions.    In the Homestead strikes with Amalgamated Steel, Many

1    of the leaders, just so everybody realizes, were Catholic

2    priests that organized the labor unions. So, the distinction of

3    Roman -- being Catholic and that principle flies in the face of

4    all of my constituents out there in the Mon Valley. Thank you.

5                CHAIRMAN MILLER:     I --

6                MS. STEFANO:     May I answer that?   I'm a Roman

7    Catholic.

8                CHAIRMAN MILLER:     I don't think it requires an

9    answer. The gentleman made a statement about his district, and

10   I think that's good the way it is.

11               I don't have any other questions, so I thank this

12   panel.

13               And the next panel is the last panel, and they have

14   my very deep apology for running as late as we have. I can't --

15   couldn't figure out a way to get us back on time.

16               This panel is Susan Staub, President, PA Right to

17   Work; Rod Miller, a former board member; Mary Burkholder,

18   retired nurse and former union member; Mary Hohe, I believe is

19   the way it's pronounced -- correct me, then, if I have

20   pronounced it wrong -- lead plaintiff in the federal case,

21   court decision, retired state employee; Brad Strasser, Captain,

22   American Airlines, non-member objector of the Allied Pilots

23   Association; and Laureen Cummings, owner, Lorimar Health Care

24   and Staffing Services.

25               MS. STAUB:     Thank you, Mr. Chairman, we do

1    appreciate the efforts that you have made, which I would say

2    are yeoman efforts, to try to keep everything on time today.

3               We're very grateful to have this opportunity to

4    testify, and with your permission, sir, everyone has my

5    testimony. I would just prefer to answer some questions that

6    have been asked throughout the panel and submit my testimony

7    for the record. Would that be acceptable?

8               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   That is acceptable.

9               MS. STAUB:   Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

10              Mr. Chairman Keller, let's start with where

11   Pennsylvania is. In 1955, we had 35 Congressmen. 60 years

12   later, we have 19, going down 18. Obviously, something is not

13   working. We don't know where the next Congressman will be taken

14   from, but if you look at a 60-year history -- and that's not

15   the course of the whole history of the Commonwealth, but 60

16   years is a lot of lifetimes of several of us -- then something

17   isn't working right. And what we have been exporting in

18   Pennsylvania for at least the past 30 years -- and we can

19   document all of this, so if you want documents later, I'll get

20   them for you -- we have been exporting jobs, number one, which

21   is followed by, number two, the exportation of our people. If

22   people don't have any jobs, then they're not going to stay.

23              What has been so sad for the families of

24   Pennsylvania -- and I do mean this sincerely -- is that their

25   children, their grandchildren, can't work here, so they can't

1    live here.   And that has been a pattern that's been going on,

2    and that is a problem.

3                 So, here we come to 2011, as a number of individuals

4    have said here. We're not going back to 1930 or 1935, at the

5    passage of the Wagner Act or the National Labor Relations Act.

6    We're trying to see what the present and future of Pennsylvania

7    is going to be. And the first amendment to the Constitution

8    guarantees freedom of association. Is there any dispute about

9    that? And because it does, then the freedom of association

10   should be returned to every individual in this Commonwealth.

11   Every single individual in this Commonwealth should have the

12   right to decide which private organizations they will or will

13   not support.   And even though powers have been given over quite

14   a few years, including from the last governor of Pennsylvania,

15   a lot of power has been given to labor unions themselves and to

16   union officials. The truth of the matter is that they really

17   don't have the right to put people's freedom on the bargaining

18   table when they run out of something else.

19                So, what are we looking for now? Let's make this

20   very clear and let's be sure everybody understands this, both

21   Democrat and Republican Chairmen. These Bills, House Bill 50

22   through 53, have absolutely nothing to do with collective

23   bargaining. Nothing. Zero. They do not impact anything in the

24   collective bargaining process whatsoever. Nothing. No change in

25   the private sector law, the Wagner Act, no change in the Public

1    Sector Relations Act, which was passed in 1975 in Pennsylvania.

2    They only have to do with the freedom of the individuals.   And

3    I think this is what we're facing in our state.

4               I'm a Pennsylvanian by choice. I have lived here

5    longer than any other state in my life. It is my state. I'm

6    very involved in my community. I'm very involved in everything

7    in our state, and I love this state. It is absolutely

8    beautiful. But let's be real here. Let's be very real, people.

9    We do not have jobs. And there's not a government in the world

10   that's going to bring them in. No government is going to create

11   jobs. Government does not create jobs. It's just a fact.

12              So, we have to do something that we -- we have had

13   some minor things done already this year. This has been just

14   such a bright light year, I think, for Pennsylvania, after some

15   darkness, that it's very important. But after -- we're talking

16   about the Constitution. We're talking about the First

17   Amendment. Why can we not give people -- here it is. No right

18   is a right unless people have the corollary right to refrain.

19   That's just it. Our whole country is built on the right to do

20   something and the right to refrain from doing it.

21              Many of our Founders came here for freedom of

22   religion, but our country doesn't say that you must belong to a

23   specific church. It doesn't say you have to go to church at

24   all. It's the same thing with opportunity here.

25              You know, the United States of America and the State

1    of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is the greatest

2    experiment in liberty the world has ever known. And ours, the

3    United States, is very fragile and very young as compared to

4    some of the societies in other parts of our world. It's 235

5    years. That is not a long time in history. And

6    Pennsylvania's -- we're the birthplace of liberty, Benjamin

7    Franklin, all of these people. We don't -- I don't think that

8    there's any part of any Pennsylvanians, either now or

9    historically, who want to be the killer of liberty and the

10   killer of jobs.

11              Now, we have lost a lot of jobs, and somebody --

12   Representative -- Chairman Keller said that the manufacturing

13   jobs are not going to come back. Well, is Marcellus Shale going

14   to support everyone in the whole Commonwealth? This is just

15   nuts. The state that has lost the most jobs in the whole United

16   States is Illinois. There's a president from there, but we'll

17   move on. The state that has lost next to Illinois is

18   Pennsylvania. Now, that's a fact, and it's not in dispute. And

19   every single thing I'm stating here, I will be glad -- my staff

20   will be glad to provide you all of the documentation you need.

21              What -- we're talking about wages.    This isn't about

22   wages. This isn't about any collective bargaining at all.

23   That's what you got to get in everybody's head on House Bill 50

24   through 53. They have nothing to do with changing anything

25   within the bargaining process whatsoever. Nothing. This is not

1    Wisconsin.   This is not -- this has do with returning freedom

2    to individuals, number one, and bringing jobs in this

3    Commonwealth, because I'll tell you where they went.    Carlisle

4    Tire and Wheel was 100 years old when it moved to Tennessee.

5    Mack Truck, much older than that when it moved to Right to Work

6    state, North Carolina. The most successful company in America

7    last year was Caterpillar. Where did they go after they left

8    York County? Now, that's a fact.

9                 The old saw is that nobody will live leave a

10   brick-and-mortar plant. Well, yeah, they do. They absolutely

11   do. What are we doing in our public policy that we're driving

12   jobs out?    Williams Sonoma had a couple of great call centers

13   here in Cumberland and York County. They're gone. They're gone,

14   and they employed a lot of people. They were the packaging

15   people. How many places have filed for bankruptcy?

16                We are in serious trouble here, people. We are in

17   serious trouble. And that's the first reality we need to face.

18   And nibbling around the edges of things just isn't going to cut

19   it. It just isn't going to do it.

20                So, if you want to talk about the business of

21   whether Right to Work states do well or not, this is a

22   monograph I'm going to recommend to you.    It is called "Does a

23   higher wage mean that you are better off?" It was written by

24   two economics Professors at George Washington University, and

25   it is available online. We have a couple of copies.

1               We'll provide them to you, Mr. Chairman.

2               Now, let's see, what are the questions that came up?

3    It was just incredulous to many of us that some of the

4    testimony we heard here -- it's just enough to make your head

5    spin around. This is about our life now, Mr. Chairman,

6    gentlemen. This is about where is Pennsylvania going to go

7    after we lose one more congressional seat?   If we don't turn

8    this ship around -- this great big, beautiful ship called

9    Pennsylvania -- we are going to be in serious trouble.

10              And I really do want to thank you, sir, for giving

11   us this opportunity and we'll provide you any information you

12   need. I'm so glad that you let us on because several of our

13   folks here actually do have jobs. I would like next to

14   introduce you to American Airlines pilot, private sector

15   gentleman, Brad Strasser.

16              MR. STRASSER:    Good evening. Mr. Chairman and

17   members of the committee. I hope you had a chance to read it,

18   but if it's -- if you haven't, I'll go real quick through it.

19   I'm Brad Strasser, and I'm from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, but

20   originally from Lake Wampagpac and Holly in Northeastern PA.

21   Pretty much a native of Pennsylvania, PSU.   Everybody in my

22   family went to PSU, and so we're all pretty much against Pitt.

23              Anyway, I'm here for the Right to Work law.       I'm

24   stationed as a captain employed by American Airlines. My status

25   is non-member objector to the single agency shop of the Allied

1    Pilots Association.   Representing the pilots of American

2    Airlines didn't happen by mere objection to the use of a

3    private organization as a compulsory condition of work or

4    employment. Not in according with the fundamental principles of

5    individual liberty or freedom choice. That's verbatim. It was

6    that, and more, which led me to my current status as an

7    objector and agency fee payor, not fair compensation or fair

8    pay, in the Right to Work state of Texas.

9               My history with associations, a term that the

10   legislation should include, began when I first sought

11   employment with a major airline after serving in the Air Force

12   as a B-52 commander. In early 1988 I was hired by one of

13   America's premiere flag carriers, TWA, which required as a

14   condition of employment that I join the Allied Pilots

15   Association.

16              In fact, right now, we just won a huge case in

17   Camden, New Jersey, against ALPA for DFR representation.

18              Being fresh out of the military and naive to the

19   workings of an association, a/k/a union, my collective

20   bargaining agent charged me in the 1980s and '90s with a 2%

21   off-the-top fee for the privilege of being a member of ALPA.

22   During the volatile period of the post-deregulation of the

23   airline industry, when bankruptcy was a vehicle of airline

24   management used to reorganize contracts and debt, retirements

25   were defunded to legal limits and thrown to an overwhelmed

1    PBGC. I saw Eastern, Pan Am, Continental, TWA and others thrown

2    on the altars of competition and free market principles while

3    sacrificed to the high priests of the likes of Lorenzo and

4    Icahn. So, I've seen it all, both good and bad, of union. And I

5    prefer the latter. Excuse me. Pilots who had years of

6    experience and expertise had to start at the bottom of the

7    seniority list, as if they were an inexperienced novice. This

8    was the way of unionized professional pilots for generations.

9               Because of union, I have no choice of the company

10   that I work or location I live. I cannot use my expertise,

11   trained to a certain skill level with experience, as a vehicle

12   of compensation. If I voluntarily resign from American

13   Airlines, interview with Delta and get hired, I start at the

14   bottom.

15              This is true for all U.S. air carriers, and the only

16   exceptions are some foreign carriers who are desperate enough

17   for English-speaking and experienced pilots and the type of

18   aircraft they will fly. It would be disastrous financially and

19   professionally if I left American for another airline out of

20   choice. A few brave have left one major airline for the other,

21   but have been forced to by furlough, hardship, or quality of

22   life issues.   And most of these few do it when they have

23   relatively low seniority in the company they are leaving so as

24   not to lose too much money and pay and retirement.

25              If flying airplanes weren't such a specialized

1    profession -- and, in fact, it took me four years of higher

2    education and seven years of internship in the military to land

3    a job at major airlines. But even electricians keep their level

4    of pay for experience because they don't have to need a

5    collective bargaining agent as a craft of individual contracts.

6               Getting back to the issue of passing HB 50 to 53 for

7    the benefit of all who support and endure the overwhelming

8    burden of lack of choice of shops that are closed to

9    non-members or use forced union labor membership as a

10   requirement of employment, I cannot stress enough this is not

11   about union busting. It's about choice. It's about choice of

12   the employer with whom you work. It's a choice of location of

13   where you work and the ability to transfer your expertise,

14   thereby your career, to that next great job.

15              But this isn't only about choice and professional

16   freedom locked in the rigid box of unionism but one of ethics

17   and accountability. I know that this legislation will not

18   change or won't even address the way seniority issues are

19   tossed aside as a forgone conclusion by unions and associations

20   like mine. I have endured the criticism, the inability to buy

21   reasonable rates of professional insurance, and other perks not

22   available to agency fee non-members, but as an objector, I do

23   force the issue of accountability by ethical enforcement of the

24   law by charging APA to a line-by-line review of how they spend

25   the members' -- non-members' dues and agency fees.

1               I cannot stress how important this is to those who

2    choose not to be part of this association because of a plethora

3    of reasons but none as important as freedom of choice or

4    political affiliation. By the used force of members' dues and

5    propagation of political agenda or ideologies ethically

6    reprehensible and seriously unconstitutional, and I know you

7    guys -- as far as an agency fee payor is concerned, right now

8    mine is set at 88%. Okay?   I pay 80% of the actual dues. All

9    right? There's only 300 non-member agency fee payors in

10   American Airlines out of 10,000 pilots. Of that 88%, -- of the

11   300 -- that would be what, 9700 pilots?   They all pay dues

12   which go to a political action -- political reasons. So, in

13   actuality when you have a monopoly of a closed shop, in any

14   manufacturer or in any industry, you leave out -- you leave a

15   monopoly of non-competitive unionism inside your own -- inside

16   your own business.

17              And quite frankly, as far as the other percentages,

18   you said there was 70 to 75% or a 75% to 85% of Pennsylvania

19   unions to the AFL-CIO were paying -- were -- up to that point

20   were paying that much of dues and the rest were non-political,

21   I don't see how they can go ahead and reverse and come back and

22   say there was only .73% that was not -- they were paying .73%

23   of the dues when actuality where else is it? If it's 85%,

24   that's 15% that goes for politics.

25              And so, I know the arguments of one qualifier of

1    free political speech is that is to be enforced. By being a

2    member, non-member objector agency fee payor, which is required

3    by the National Labor Relations Board and not necessarily just

4    Pennsylvania, through that act you are protected because all my

5    Locals, as far as the union is concerned, is it's not just a

6    Right to Work state of Texas, because even though the Master

7    Executive Committee is in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, but there's

8    Locals all over the country.    So we're covered by the NRLI and

9    also under the auspices of the NLRB, which also went ahead and

10   is trying to enforce card-check, which also forces members into

11   a default question of whether you want to join union or not,

12   and it's not a majority.

13                Every time you talk about majority, when it comes

14   down to political dues, they're deductible -- they're

15   deductible as union fees. So, if you have 9700 pilots that are

16   paying into regular dues, all those dues are being -- are

17   subsidized by the State because the State fees and dues are

18   deductible, and it's a write-off. As far as closed shops, it's

19   not the same as representative government. I heard the AFL-CIO

20   and the PSEA talk about it being representative government. You

21   can vote people in and out. That's not true. It's a

22   single-party government inside a unionism, just like the

23   Politburo.

24                You say you have a -- you have a chance to gate -- I

25   say open up the unions. Open up the unions to other unions.

1    When I first came in with ALPA, I had to become an APA member

2    when there was a merger with TWA, and I became a member of what

3    was called the AICA, which was a second union inside of

4    American Airlines. They had two unions inside the same airline.

5    And in fact, APA is an offshoot of ALPA.

6               All right. Now, decertification is one thing, but to

7    have, I think, competition inside a class or a craft for unions

8    is probably the best way to get fairness, because you cannot

9    have fairness without competition, even inside of unions. And

10   I -- I only have one -- two choices. I have two choices when I

11   want to be a non-member.   And plus, I don't get all of the

12   benefits, to include professional insurance. I have to go

13   outside the group in order to buy into it. So, I don't get

14   those discounts. So, I'm treated, like I said, somewhat outside

15   of the organization.

16              I only can go ahead and stress the importance of

17   opening up the monopoly that these unions have over the

18   industries that are -- that they are in, and open it up. Thank

19   you.

20              MS. STAUB:   If I may add a couple of facts here. I

21   have made a standing offer the entire time I have lived in

22   Pennsylvania to the AFL-CIO and the other unions, if you think

23   it's a burden to represent non-members, who don't want you

24   anyway, which you're hearing now from our witnesses, then let

25   us both go right to our general assembly and ask that you only

1    have to represent your members. That's all you have to do. You

2    don't have to represent anybody else. Only represent your own

3    members. For 25 straight years, I have never gotten agreement

4    from them.

5                 On the business of political collections, it is true

6    that political and operating funds must be kept entirely

7    separate. It is a fact. But it is also a fact, in many school

8    districts in Pennsylvania -- and we have 500 school

9    districts -- it is also a fact that the public sector, that is,

10   the taxpayers, collect both. They collect the union fees, as

11   you call them, and then they collect the political action

12   money, too. They send it to different accounts, as is

13   instructed by the unions, but they still do collect them. Now,

14   what in the world are the taxpayers of Pennsylvania -- and you

15   know what school board members make, right? It's a zero. Why

16   are the taxpayers of Pennsylvania collecting union dues and

17   delivering them over? Is that just nuts or what?

18                And so, I'm going to make my offer again right here

19   to this committee and everyone on it and everyone in the

20   general assembly, if it's really a burden for all of you who

21   have labor unions to represent non-members, then let us change

22   it so you don't have to, because they don't want you in the

23   first place. So, if you want to represent your own members,

24   great. Let the people go. Let my people go. They don't want you

25   anyway.

1               And just for your information, Mr. Chairman -- then

2    I'll turn it over to the other witnesses -- the fastest-growing

3    grassroots organization in this state is Pennsylvanians for

4    Right to Work.

5               Now, I believe Mary Hohe or Mary Burkholder -- which

6    one of you wants to go first? Mrs. Hohe. She was not just the

7    state employee of the year in 1985; she was also elected that

8    in 1986, two years in a row.

9               MS. HOHE:   Good afternoon. Thank you for allowing me

10   to speak before you today on behalf of all forced unionism --

11   victims of forced unionism. My name is Mary Hohe and I am a

12   retired state employee. It has always been my belief to work

13   and to serve is the highest calling in life and that each of us

14   is blessed with certain talents and abilities and charged with

15   the task of using those talents and abilities for the good of

16   other people.

17              In 1972 I took a civil service exam and interviewed

18   for a job and hired as an employee of the Commonwealth of

19   Pennsylvania in the hope of doing just that. No union gave me

20   my abilities and talents. God did that. No union took a civil

21   service exam for me. No union interviewed me for a job and no

22   union hired me.

23              So, imagine my surprise when in 1988 the union

24   informed me I had two choices:   I either had to join their

25   membership or I had to start paying them an agency shop fee.

1    Having grown up in a union family, I knew I wanted nothing to

2    do with unions; however, if I refused to pay them an agency

3    shop fee, I would no longer be allowed to use my God-given

4    talents and abilities in service to the citizens of this

5    Commonwealth because I would be fired from my job.

6               To force anyone to pay money to a special interest

7    group in order to be allowed to work is tyranny. No union

8    should have the right to interfere with my choices for my

9    life's work and my willingness to fulfill those choices. Our

10   forefathers fought and died to prevent that kind of oppression.

11   My freedom in the workplace was offered up for sale to the

12   highest bidder against my will. Even the United States

13   government may not deduct money from my salary unless I sign a

14   W-4 form authorizing them to do so. However, the union deducted

15   an agency shop fee from my salary without any authorization by

16   me. I never signed anything giving them permission to take this

17   money out of my paycheck. Evidently, in Pennsylvania unions

18   have more power than the United States government. If we allow

19   this to continue, we had better start posting signs on all

20   roads leading into Pennsylvania warning people that American

21   freedom in the workplace stops at Pennsylvania's borders

22   because in Pennsylvania, unions dictate policy and union

23   tyranny reigns.

24              We need to get rid of the agency shop law because

25   all citizens should have the freedom to decide for themselves

1    whether to support a union is beneficial to them, and those who

2    want nothing whatsoever to do with the unions should never

3    under any circumstances be forced to support them in any way.

4    Full freedom as American citizens will be achieved when this

5    agency shop law is repealed.

6               MS. STAUB:   Mr. Chairman, we have an interesting

7    situation now. We have someone who manages a nursing service in

8    the private sector, and then we have a nurse, which is very

9    good for all of us who have been sitting this long. Would you

10   like the business person first or --

11              CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Your choice.

12              MS. STAUB:   Go ahead.

13              MS. CUMMINGS:   Well, that's a little bit scary.

14              MS. STAUB:   You got it.

15              MS. CUMMINGS:   I want to thank this Committee for

16   giving me the opportunity to speak to you today. Thank you very

17   much. I consider this an honor and a privilege to be here.

18              My name is Laureen Cummings, I'm from Old Forge in

19   Lackawanna County. I'm the owner and operator of Lorimar Home

20   Care and Staffing Services. As a nurse and small business owner

21   in the health care industry, I can say I enjoy the flexibility

22   to adjust my staffing levels to meet the needs of my clients,

23   not the demands of a union. My employees also know I can only

24   direct them while they're on the clock. What they do on their

25   own time is their business.

1               I owe a debt of gratitude for this privilege to

2    Vicki Hoak, executive director of the Pennsylvania Homecare

3    Association, and the Coalition for R.E.A.L. Home

4    Community-Based Services -- sorry. I have to move that. Thank

5    you -- both of whom not only challenged, but defeated, Governor

6    Rendell's plans to force consumer-directed homecare workers to

7    unionize by executive order. Please understand that's executive

8    order.

9               You should also be aware that I am the founder and

10   organizer of the Scranton Tea Party in Lackawanna County. In

11   that capacity, I have been able to speak with many

12   Pennsylvanians about their concerns of the day and for their

13   future. I get daily calls from folks just like me about their

14   problems and the fears they face on a daily basis. Many

15   Pennsylvanians are hurting, and they have nowhere to turn and

16   no one to listen to them. The Tea Party groups across the great

17   country have filled that void and given regular folks a voice,

18   a voice that I am humbled and honored to represent today.

19              One call in particular sticks in my mind. It's one

20   call that I always try and speak of at every Tea Party that I

21   hold. It's about the effect unions have had on everyday

22   citizens. After about my second Tea Party rally in Scranton, I

23   received a call from a woman who said she wanted to attend, but

24   was afraid to.

25              At the time the media was reporting the Tea Parties

1    that were Astroturf Terrorists, angry mobs; kind of like

2    they're still doing today. I asked her not to listen to the

3    media reports. I assured her that we have very peaceful and our

4    rallies are educational. There's no violence or angry protest.

5    But she interrupted me and she said, "No, that's not what I'm

6    talking about." I said, "Well, what are you afraid of?"    She

7    said, "Well, my husband cannot come and I'm afraid to come

8    because he might get fired." And I asked her, "Why would you

9    ever think you could get fired just for attending a Tea Party

10   rally?"   She told me when her husband and her first moved here,

11   she went to a local politician and asked him to help him find a

12   job. The staff at the office was happy to help and said if the

13   gentleman were willing to volunteer to help in the upcoming

14   election, he would be sure to see what he could do to help him

15   out. Her husband did everything that he could to help,

16   including changing his registration from Republican to

17   Democrat, which he thought was an odd request, but he did it

18   anyway. And I understand in Lackawanna County we have people

19   that switch from Republican and Democrat, back and forth, all

20   the time. It's not unusual.

21               After that, her husband was hired with the local

22   company that was a union shop, and from that point forward, he

23   figured he was done. But he soon found out that wasn't the

24   case. He was not only asked to help out but basically told by

25   other workers that he should donate the standard $50 to the

1    Democratic party, or it wouldn't look good. So, he complied.

2               But that wasn't even enough. Now he's told to put

3    yard signs out in his front yard. He is expected to help --

4    should I stop and -- he's expected to help out during

5    campaigns. As I sat and listened to the woman's story, I could

6    hear her tremble and she was about to cry.

7               But it didn't end here. She told me that it has

8    gotten so bad that he actually came home from work one day, put

9    his head in his hands and started crying and sobbing to her

10   about how difficult it was for him to continue to deal with

11   this. He said he felt helpless, trapped. He looked at her and

12   he said, "What am I supposed to do? I can't lose my job." I

13   mean, this is what this woman was telling me she is faced with

14   in her husband. This is heartbreaking to me and should be for

15   everyone else.

16              Now, he also said that he can't refuse to help

17   someone he wouldn't vote for, and he said, "I can't say what I

18   feel about it," in his own workplace. As upset as I am to hear

19   her story, in my own head now, in front of you and at the time,

20   I tried to console her, and I promised her that I would make

21   sure that I told her story. I made sure that I promised her

22   that she would be heard, and she wouldn't have to worry about

23   her husband losing a job or she wouldn't have to be fearful of

24   politicians or the wrath of any union.

25              So, I am proud and I am grateful and I'm humbled to

1    be here today in front of you to give her story to you, because

2    this is the exact place that it needs to be heard. This is

3    happening in my community. These are the things that are being

4    told to me on telephone calls when they call and voice their

5    concerns and come to our rallies. I was shocked to hear some of

6    the stories myself, but I continue to represent and fight for

7    them on a daily basis.

8                 I am here to speak today not just for this woman and

9    her husband, but the countless others that have called me ever

10   since. I didn't just hear from this one woman. I heard from

11   many men and women. I heard stories about threats to families.

12   I heard stories about threats to children if school board

13   members didn't vote their way. The stories that come to me are

14   quite shocking. I am here today to represent the voices of many

15   who are too afraid to speak out and tell you what is happening

16   in our communities. I am here to tell you their stories about

17   the strong-arm tactics of union leaders and intimidation by

18   their members.

19                There was a time when unions were needed for

20   workers' safety and fair wages. Now they only serve to protect

21   the Democratic political machine while denying workers of their

22   Constitutional rights while simultaneously milking the

23   taxpayers.

24                I have to ask:   Does anyone in this room really

25   want to hear the story coming from their son or daughter in the

1    future? I don't. I don't. I think you need to look into all of

2    these things. I say it's time for us to stand up and be the

3    voice for this woman, others like her, and so that no man, no

4    woman, will ever feel like a slave to a union, an employer, or

5    a politician ever again. I ask you today to support Right to

6    Work in PA so that your sons and daughters will never have to

7    be beholden to the demands and intimidation of a union.

8               Thank you for allowing me to speak on this critical

9    issue. I'd be happy to take any of your questions.

10              MS. STAUB:   And now Ms. Mary Burkholder -- Mrs.

11   Burkholder, who has testified before Congress on this issue.

12   She is from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and she will testify

13   about her experience.

14              CHAIRMAN KELLER:    Mr. Chairman.

15              CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Yes.

16              CHAIRMAN KELLER:    I appreciate everyone coming here.

17   This is very -- I mean this is an informational meeting. It's

18   very helpful, and I know the Chairman is -- has given you a lot

19   of leeway and far afield, but please, this hearing is about the

20   Right to Work legislation.    All right?   And I feel for the

21   stories of -- but we cannot legislate by anecdote, and those

22   stories really have nothing to do with the Right to Work

23   legislation that is before this Committee today. So, I --

24   Mr. Chairman, if you don't mind, if you could ask to stay on

25   point.

1               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    I appreciate that.

2               Please proceed.

3               MS. BURKHOLDER:    Legislators, panelists, guests and

4    friends, good afternoon, and thank you for allowing me to

5    testify. My name is Mary Burkholder.    I'm a retired nurse. I'm

6    also a former union member of the former 1199 PSEIU, currently

7    SEIU, of the Chambersburg Hospital where membership began with

8    my employment. I'm here to voice strong support for the passage

9    of these Bills HB 50 through 53. We're on the road to

10   establishing a Right to Work law for Pennsylvania because, in

11   the words of Governor Tom Corbett, "If a Right to Work law

12   comes to my desk, I will sign it."

13              In my introduction, I indicated I was a former union

14   member. I must tell you that I did not relinquish my membership

15   until much later. Call it what you will, uneducated,

16   uninformed, I really didn't know anything about the union way

17   of life and really was unconcerned about it; that is, until I

18   became active in researching political campaigns. With my

19   research, I read that increases of dues were coming to our

20   union and how this might just fill the coffers of political

21   campaigns of Democrats, particularly in the presidential

22   campaign. I was outraged.

23              I continued my research on this --

24              CHAIRMAN KELLER:    Excuse me, Mr. Chairman.   I --

25   I --

1               MS. BURKHOLDER:    I'm sorry.

2               CHAIRMAN KELLER:    I need to take an objection

3    because this isn't really a Democrat/Republican issue. This is

4    a Right to Work issue.    And I -- the past two testifiers are

5    going just too political on that point. We really need to talk

6    Right to Work issues --

7               MS. BURKHOLDER:    Okay. All right.

8               CHAIRMAN KELLER:    -- union issues and whether or

9    not -- and it's just going too far. So, I would appreciate some

10   consideration on that.

11              MS. BURKHOLDER:    Just talk. Well, what I did was I

12   was upset with what was going on. We didn't know where our

13   money was going, being used for payment of dues. I became a fee

14   payor in that process, and I ended up going to Right to Work to

15   help me out because I didn't know where to turn. I got 25% of

16   the workforce to sign a petition because of complaints of where

17   the union dues was being spent, how it's being spent.    And

18   that's -- this is the main reason I support Right to Work.

19              There's too much inconsistency within the union

20   itself. We weren't told the truth on many issues. They'd put

21   things in a bulletin board or a blackboard and then erase it,

22   so how are you to prove anything? That is my issue. I -- I want

23   to belong to something if I want to belong to it, not because

24   someone tells me I have to belong. Paying money to someone or

25   some organizations that I don't believe in or don't have the

1    same philosophies about, I'm sorry, I just can't handle it.

2               I ask those in the nursing profession that want to

3    look into some situation where they're being frustrated by the

4    management to look into and investigate into a union before you

5    end up doing it because emotions get in the way, as we have

6    seen all day long here. People throw out issues, throw out

7    words, and it gets everyone upset. So, this is my issue, Right

8    to Work now, to give us freedom by importing liberty and

9    exporting coercion, as Susan Staub has eloquently said in the

10   past. Thank you.

11              MS. STAUB:    Your last witness, Mr. Chairman, will be

12   Rod Miller. I saved him for last for this reason. When I was

13   younger, not a tremendous amount younger, I was in charge of

14   all of the state operations at national Right to Work, all 50,

15   and we were looking for worker -- worker heroes. In 1973 we

16   determined to give an award to a Pennsylvanian, 1973, and that

17   Pennsylvanian's name is Rod Miller.

18              Rod?

19              MR. MILLER:    Hello. Good afternoon. Boy, keeping

20   with the theme of today's, I trust you folks are not here out

21   of compulsory, but you hopefully are here to hear what is

22   traditionally thought to be the best is for the last. I hope I

23   can support that view.

24              I'm -- on behalf of the directors, of the members of

25   the Berks County Patriot, I thank you for the opportunity to

1    give testimony on an issue that has our unanimous support.      And

2    I am Rodney Miller, and I am the vice chairman and the

3    legislative chairman, and I'm here today to offer the testimony

4    on behalf of our over 1,000 members, and as well as many of the

5    Tea Parties across Pennsylvania that I have shared our

6    resolution that we have supported and distributed. As a matter

7    of fact, we distributed that resolution to all 25 Labor and

8    Industry members, in fact, with a postcard, self-addressed,

9    just asking it be returned by identifying:   Are you in favor

10   of, support, opposed, or undecided on these four Bills in

11   question today?   I'm actually disappointed out of the 25, we

12   got 4 returned.

13              I'd like today to change a little bit, to talk about

14   the fact that the theme or the history of Right to Work, and I

15   would even question why these hearings are even necessary. I go

16   to Section Article 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which,

17   quoting, all men are born equally free and independent and have

18   certain inherent and indefensible rights, among which are

19   possessing property and pursuing their own happiness. Section

20   26, neither the Commonwealth nor any political subdivision

21   shall deny any person the enjoyment of a civil right.

22              I go back to 1903, in the Urban versus Mitchell

23   case, where it was upheld under the Declaration of Rights of

24   the Constitution of Pennsylvania.   The rights of a working man

25   to be free to use his hands is a right which neither the

1    legislature or a trade union can take from him, one which it is

2    the bounded duty of the courts to protect.

3               Now, despite that ruling, the Wagner Act in 1935,

4    Section A(3), actually allowed for agreements between employers

5    and officers of unions regarding union membership as a

6    condition of employment, if the union were certified or

7    recognized as the employees' exclusive bargaining agent on

8    matters of pay, benefits and work rules.

9               Now, to me, this is clearly a violation of the 10th

10   Amendment of the Constitution as all workers' rights as defined

11   by that Constitution. With a stroke of the pen, our rights

12   seemed to vanish.l

13              Another example, on the ongoing nationalization of

14   state sovereignty. Instead of objecting or even nullifying the

15   Wagner Act, Pennsylvania's legislature acceded to the federal

16   legislation.   And the Wagner Act was then followed in 1947 by

17   the Taft-Hartley Act, which granted employees the right of

18   self-organization to form, join or assist labor union

19   organizations to bargain collectively, the representatives --

20   through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in

21   other concerted activities for the purpose of collective

22   bargaining or other mutual aid and shall have the right to

23   refrain from any of those activities.

24              Had it ended there, the forced union membership

25   would have been prohibited, but it continued, "except to the

1    extent that such rights may be effected by an agreement

2    requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of

3    employment, as authorized in Section 15(a) of that Title.

4                Now, that's where we are today.   We are seeking the

5    return of individual rights and states' rights that could have

6    been retained in the first place.

7                Berks County Patriots dedicated to working toward

8    the return of respect of our Constitution, both the state and

9    the federal, in addition to every one of our state Senators and

10   Representatives take an oath obeying and defending the

11   Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so we should

12   be on the same side of the issue.

13               I'm here today so that -- our board of directors and

14   the membership unanimously supports Right to Work. It's the

15   right thing to do. It's the noble thing to do, and it's the

16   Constitutional thing to do.

17               I think on a personal level, just to point out, in

18   1968 I was employed under contract with a company, contrary to

19   earlier testimony, where if you didn't like to work under a

20   union, go somewhere else, I was working for this company under

21   contract.   And the UAW came in and organized the workforce. I

22   was there first, but I was told the company -- the company was

23   told, "You got three choices:   You fire that man, you force him

24   to belong to our union, or we're going on strike. No other

25   option." I didn't have another job at the time, so I decided,

1    under protest, I would join.

2               I sent letters to the governor at the time, Schafer,

3    to my two senators, Scott and Schweiker.   I got the same

4    response from all three:   "Get over it," basically. "That's the

5    system." Well, I intended to file suit, and I got Washington

6    attorneys to support me because the union was using dues money

7    for political purposes. They ran buses down to Philadelphia

8    that year in support of Eugene McCarthy for president. As such,

9    I intended to file suit and proceeded on to support my view

10   that they cannot use my dues money for those purposes as a

11   collective passenger.

12              As it turned out, I really got an offer from another

13   company and left, and because of that, my suit did not continue

14   under my name.   But today, 20 years later, in fact, in 1988,

15   the Peck decision was made. It probably would have been the

16   Miller decision if I had had 20 years to stick it out. So my 15

17   minutes of fame sort of came and went.

18              Well, my limited testimony, time to focus on

19   individual rights. The right is provided by both the U.S. and

20   the Pennsylvania Constitution. I could address economic

21   consequences. I'm sure that was covered plenty to today. I'll

22   skip that. But I'm encouraging the Committee to follow these

23   hearings and vote these Bills out of Committee, get them on the

24   floor. Let's have an up-or-down debate. Let's have a vote. We

25   are way overdue to learn who believes the workers of

1    Pennsylvania have a Constitutional right to seek employment and

2    provide for one's family without being coerced to belong or

3    support an organization.

4               I was a member of the Board for 37 years of Right to

5    Work, and all of those years -- I don't care which party

6    controlled all three branches -- never was a Right to Work Bill

7    put to the floor for an up-or-down vote, so we did not know who

8    was who. So, I conclude in my comments just to say one thing:

9    I want to know, do union demands trump employee rights?

10              Thank you.

11              MS. STAUB:   As you can tell, Mr. Chairman, a number

12   of our witnesses are, frankly, very nervous.    So, I'll be happy

13   to answer any questions you have, unless they want to

14   personally inquire of these people, but we do understand, and

15   we have adhered to it -- I have -- that this -- these hearings

16   are about House Bill 50 through 53 and nothing else. So, I will

17   answer any questions on that.

18              CHAIRMAN MILLER:     I appreciate that.

19              Chairman Keller?

20              CHAIRMAN KELLER:     Yeah, Ms. Staub, when we were

21   researching your group, I noticed that your office is at 225

22   State Street.

23              MS. STAUB:   No, that isn't true.

24              CHAIRMAN KELLER:     That's not --

25              MS. STAUB:   We're not at 225 State Street.   We

1    haven't been for more than two years.

2               CHAIRMAN KELLER:   That's the end of my questions.

3               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Well, thank you.

4               MS. STAUB:   We're in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

5               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   I just lost my list.

6               Representative Grove?

7               REPRESENTATIVE GROVE:   Thank you. Thank all of the

8    testifiers coming up and enjoyed your personal stories and all

9    of the testifiers who came about. It's been a long day,

10   four-and-a-half hours of testimony, and I must say the

11   legislature does work during the summer.

12              MS. STAUB:   Yes, you sure do.

13              REPRESENTATIVE GROVE:   Some, you may say.

14              Susan, my testimony is for you. All day I have been

15   hearing through testimony -- and I will quote a section here --

16   if passed and signed into law, obviously, House Bills 50 and 53

17   would immediately weaken the state's economic by cutting

18   workers' paychecks, by cutting health care and benefits. In

19   House Bills 50, 51, 52 and 53, can you cite the page number and

20   Section that's found in?

21              MS. STAUB:   It isn't. These Bills have nothing to do

22   with people's -- workers' rights, nothing to do with collective

23   bargaining. That's what I started with.     That's what I will end

24   with. House Bill 50 is the straight Right to Work Bill; House

25   Bill 51 is repeal of the forced dues over all of our education

1    employees, whether they're teachers or not; House Bill 52 is

2    repeal of all forced dues over state employees; and House Bill

3    53 is repeal of all forced dues over local employees.

4               You see, the two forced dues laws were passed in

5    Pennsylvania at two different times. The state employees and

6    the education employees were put under forced dues in 1988. The

7    local employees were not put under forced dues until 1991. In

8    each of those cases, everyone here can look and see who were

9    the governors and who was running what.    This -- again, I'm

10   going to say this one more time because it's the absolute fact

11   and it is not in dispute:   House Bills 50 through 53 do not

12   impact anything relating to collective bargaining whatsoever.

13   They do one thing and one thing only:     They give back the

14   right to the individual employee, male, female, no matter what

15   their line of work is in Pennsylvania.    You have heard from

16   both public employees and private employees here. That's all

17   they do. And then the next three, 50, 51, 52, 53, repeal the

18   forced-dues provisions over our public sector employees.

19              I think this is an interesting fact for you:    Every

20   single government employee in Pennsylvania had Right to Work

21   until 1988. So, we have had a much longer history in

22   Pennsylvania of freedom of choice than we have of coercion.

23   Now, we have had 21 years of coercive unionism, and I think we

24   can see what that's done to all of our people. It's time to get

25   rid of that. Thank you.

1                Did I answer your question, sir?

2                REPRESENTATIVE GROVE:     Just to clarify this one more

3    time:    In the four pages of House Bill 50, four pages, there's

4    no mention of, quote, Right to Work legislation will suppress

5    wages, cuts health care benefits, and makes a decent pension

6    impossible to come by for Pennsylvania workers?

7                MS. STAUB:   That's absolutely true, in none of those

8    Bills.   None of those Bills, 50, 51, 52 or 53 have anything

9    whatsoever to do with free and untrammeled collective

10   bargaining. Nothing.

11               REPRESENTATIVE GROVE:     Okay. Thank you.

12               MS. STAUB:   Thank you.

13               CHAIRMAN MILLER:   Representative Boyle?

14               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:     Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I

15   just have three quick points. First to direct to your

16   testimony, Mrs. Cummings, first of all, I appreciated what I

17   said at the beginning of your comment, and it is a reminder how

18   fortunate each of us are to be here, whether on that side of

19   the table or this, to be able to express our views. I do want

20   to address, though, the anecdote that you talked about because

21   that is very serious, the anecdote about the lady who is a

22   friend of yours and her husband -- or she is not a friend.

23               MS. CUMMINGS:   These are the people who called me.

24               MS. STAUB:   Information.

25               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:     Just to be clear:   The

1    situation that you described where this gentleman was forced to

2    change his registration and then give money to a local

3    Democratic politician, that is blatantly illegal behavior.

4                MS. CUMMINGS:   Right.

5                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:    It is disgraceful. It is

6    illegal. I encourage you to tell that lady to contact the

7    authorities to have that investigated. There is absolutely

8    nothing in our current labor laws that in any way sanction that

9    sort of behavior, and we should not in any way confuse the

10   matter at hand with that specific anecdote. And just to be

11   clear:   Your example, you describe a Democratic politician

12   allegedly taking place in this behavior. In Philadelphia, we

13   have had a similar instance with a Republican politician who

14   compelled people to donate to the local Republican party. So

15   I'm sure situations like this have occurred on both sides.

16               MS. CUMMINGS:   Right.

17               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:    It is illegal, and that

18   should be dealt with the in criminal justice system. So, that's

19   point number one.

20               And point number two -- and this has been throughout

21   the long afternoon -- we constantly hear that somehow our

22   current labor laws are contrary to liberty. In fact, one of the

23   testifiers stated, and I quote, if we allow this to continue,

24   we had better start posting signs on all roads leading into PA

25   warning people that American freedom stops at Pennsylvania's

1    borders because in Pennsylvania, unions dictate policy and

2    tyranny rules.

3               Well, again, just to be clear, this is -- the laws

4    that we have right now where Pennsylvania is not a Right to

5    Work state, that's not just Pennsylvania; we are one of 29

6    states representing almost 70% of the American people --

7               MS. STAUB:   That's incorrect.

8               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   -- that operate under this --

9    excuse me -- you're interrupting me. Oh, it's not 29 states.

10   It's 28 states.

11              MS. STAUB:   That's correct.

12              REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Nonetheless, we are of the

13   majority, actually, I think, illustrating my point, and those

14   states represent almost 70% of the American people, so that by

15   that view, somehow in 70% of the country, liberty does not

16   rule.

17              Finally, my final point I'd make is this -- and

18   again another theme that we have heard throughout the

19   afternoon -- is that somehow the Right to Work states are doing

20   better job-wise than we are here in Pennsylvania.

21              The fact of the matter is that Pennsylvania, the

22   unemployment rate is 7.6%, as opposed to a 9.1 national

23   unemployment rate. Mrs. Staub, I believe you referenced

24   Tennessee and North Carolina --

25              MS. STAUB:   The reference --

1                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Excuse me, I'm not finished.

2                MS. STAUB:   Are you asking a question?

3                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   I'm not finished asking my

4    question.   Please don't interrupt me.

5                MS. STAUB:    Well, please ask a question.

6                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   I will give you the

7    opportunity.

8                CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Folks, folk, folks --

9                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   I don't need to you tell me

10   how to do my job.   I do it just quite fine, thank you.

11               MS. STAUB:   Somebody does.

12               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    Representative Boyle. I

13   appreciate --

14               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   If the witness would not

15   interrupt me, Mr. Chairman.

16               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    She is not a witness. She is

17   testifying before the committee. But I appreciate it. Finish

18   asking your question. Please.

19               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   My question is, before your

20   interrupting, you referenced that Tennessee and North Carolina

21   as two states to which we recently lost jobs, correct?

22               MS. STAUB:   That's correct.

23               REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Are you aware that the

24   unemployment rate in Tennessee is 9.8%, 2.1% higher than it is

25   in Pennsylvania?

1                 MS. STAUB:   Very soon it will be much better because

2    all of our jobs went there, sir.

3                 REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Presently, you are aware that

4    it's 9.8%?

5                 MS. STAUB:   May I answer you?

6                 REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Please answer the question.

7                 MS. STAUB:   And a lot of our jobs in Pennsylvania

8    have gone to Virginia. CNBC -- CNBC just chose Virginia as the

9    most successful state in terms of job growth and lower

10   unemployment. You see, one of the things we have here, because

11   you want to talk about unemployment, is that we have so many

12   people unemployed that a lot of them have run out of benefits

13   and they're not even counted in the numbers anymore. They're

14   not counted in the numbers in Pennsylvania because there are no

15   more benefits for them to have. So, when you calculate these

16   number, these numbers have to include not just the people who

17   are unemployed, but the people who are no longer looking for a

18   job because there's no job to be had.

19                REPRESENTATIVE BOYLE:   Right. And I would also point

20   out you had referenced North Carolina where the unemployment

21   rate is 9.9%, as opposed to Pennsylvania's 7.6%.

22                But I'll conclude with this:     I do have good news.

23   You referenced Virginia.     I am someone who moved from Virginia

24   to Pennsylvania to work here, so apparently Pennsylvania is at

25   least doing something right over Virginia.

1               MS. STAUB:    Mr. Chairman.   Thank you, Representative

2    Boyle, because I moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania, too,

3    before you were born.

4               CHAIRMAN MILLER:    With that, I appreciate the

5    attendance and patience of everyone today. It's been a long

6    hearing, and I thank everyone. With that, this hearing is

7    adjourned. Thank you.

8               MS. STAUB:    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

9    (Hearing adjourned at 5:40 p.m.)




13                       * * * *

14        I hereby certify that the foregoing is a correct

15   transcript from the record of the proceedings in the

16   above-entitled matter.




20                                   ________________________________

21                                   Marjorie Peters, RMR, CRR





Shared By: